Sales & Marketing

Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) is a multi-billion dollar public/private initiative developed by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) in 2011 that introduces Michigan companies to opportunities that help them grow and expand. 

PMBC’s mission is to help Michigan businesses grow by:

  • Connecting local, national and global purchasers to Michigan suppliers by offering customized procurement or joint venture matchmaking searches, summits and buyer tours.
  • Partnering with local and national purchasers to organize dedicated buyer-supplier matchmaking events.
  • Delivering full concierge services to businesses to help find the right connections.
  • Offering dedicated international trade services for Michigan businesses who want to start or expand export activities.

More Details on Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC)

pmbc.connect.space

See how PMBC can help you forge partnerships and grow your business by creating an account in the “PMBC Community”.  The PMBC Community is an online and mobile business-to-business platform linking Michigan companies with private sector procurement opportunities and business services available from other Michigan companies.  Michigan businesses may learn more about the platform and register at no cost. 

Here are a just few benefits to joining the PMBC Community:

  • Connect with other businesses in the Community
  • Apply to attend and participate in matchmaking procurement events
  • Add your own company’s procurement needs
  • Schedule 1:1 meetings with other companies

Instructions on Creating an Account:

  1. Go to pmbc.connect.space and click “Sign Up Now”.
     
  2. Complete the registration steps to create your personal and company profiles. Please note that if anyone from your company has created an account before you, your company may already be created. In that case you’ll simply select it from the options that show up when you begin typing your company’s name.
     
  3. Don’t forget to download the mobile PMBC app from the iOS App Store and Google Play stores by searching for “PMBC”, allowing you to access your account from your phone and interact with other businesses during events!

EasyDNNNews

$100,000 business plan competition for women entrepreneurs! Get the details at 10 a.m. on the Business Next audio seminar

Michelle Lewis Watts, director of programs and operations for the Michigan Women’s Foundation, talks about their $100,000 Entrepreneur-You Business Plan Competition. Also today, Sean Simpson, co-founder of Autobike, talks about their innovative bicycles with automatic transmissions; Why helping employees complete credentials and degrees drives economic growth (and what small business owners can do). Interview with Frank Novakowski, Ph.D., Professor of Management Davenport University; The Malcolm Baldrige principles applied to small business needs. Interview with Daniel J. Kallman, Davenport Adjunct Professor.

Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page

Get Business Next audio seminars delivered three times a week automatically to your iPhone or other mobile device. Subscribe in iTunes using this URL.       

Get great tips for small business success! Listen to our free Business Next audio seminar

HR expert Julie Mann discusses how to help job seekers fit in to small business job opportunities; Rob Trube, author of the business planning book “The Simple Focus Plan”; Athena Trentin, program director of the Global Talent Retention Initiative, discusses the role of talented immigrants in growing Michigan’s small business economy; Shelley Lowe, director of career services of Davenport University, talks about training resources for complying with state and federal regulations; James Muffett on the Student Statesmanship Institute Business Track program.

Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page

Get Business Next audio seminars delivered three times a week automatically to your iPhone or other mobile device. Subscribe in iTunes using this URL.      

Protecting Your Clients’ Data

Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner Midwest Transaction Group

Millions of customers use credit and debit cards for purchases each year. The flow of money, and information, is at an all-time high. Not only do businesses need to take precautions against fraud for themselves, it is more critical than ever to remain vigilant about protecting the banking information of their customers as well.

Here are some reminders about what should be done to protect credit card information of customers you want to do business with again and again:

Credit card information should never:
  • be acquired or disclosed without the cardholder’s consent
  • be electronically transmitted by email or any type of text messaging services
  • be electronically stored
Credit card information should always:
  • be stored in a secured area with limited access
  • be moved, when necessary, in a way so that it can be tracked
  • be shredded or incinerated when it is no longer needed
In addition, personal identification numbers (PIN) or validation codes (CVV2/CVC2/CID) should never be stored - even in a secured area with limited access AND any electronically generated credit card processing receipt should only display the last four digits of the account number. The expiration date of the card should not be displayed at all.

When conducting transactions through an internet connection, keep these security measures in mind:
  • A firewall should be in place at all times and checked regularly for activity.
  • Anti-virus software would be running at all times and regularly updated.
  • Vendor supplied system default passwords should be immediately changed.
  • Security settings should be enabled at their highest levels.
  • The connection should be periodically checked for foreign objects that could compromise cardholder information.
  • Any service provider utilized in the transaction process, like MTG, should be PCI compliant.
All of these security policies should be assigned to an individual or group to ensure that they are effectively executed and any violations or failure to execute them should be immediately reported to the appropriate individuals. It is more important than ever to protect the credit card information of your customers.

If you have any questions about MTG's credit card processing services, give them a call at (888) 599-2209 or click here for more information.

The marketing and business-building opportunities of social media. Today at 10 a.m. on the Business Next audio seminar!

Joe Serwach, Managing Director of Organik consulting, on how to take full advantage of the marketing and business-building opportunities of social media. Also, a west Michigan small business that’s keeping jobs in Michigan thanks to a new partnership in the collegiate jewelry industry. Interview with Mike Byam, managing partner with Terryberry. Plus, the week's Legislative update with Dave Jessup.

Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the 
Michigan Business NetworkSBAM members can log in and listen to archived programs anytime on a PC or mobile device by going to the Business Next show page

Get Business Next audio seminars delivered three times a week automatically to your iPhone or other mobile device. Subscribe in iTunes using this URL.       

Steven Strauss: Twitter for Business

Question: I like using Twitter to follow famous people and writers I like. The ability to see what they are thinking in real time is cool, and watching a breaking news story unfold on Twitter is also cool. But what I don’t get is how to really use it to grow my own business. And what would I tweet, and who would care?

Answer: Well, I tread in dangerous waters when I wade into the River Twitter, but here we go.

The first time I wrote about Twitter – several years ago – I suggested that “people really don’t want to know what you had for lunch.” OK, right, I didn’t get Twitter at the time, and not a few of you told me that. These days, let’s say I am a bit better informed. I tweet regularly, have about 10,000 followers, and it is an essential part of my marketing strategy, as it is for many businesses. But that said, Twitter nevertheless remains out of the marketing mix for a lot of small businesses.

Now, why is that?

A main reason is that the social media landscape has grown so big, so fast, that it is hard for some small business people to get a handle on yet one more thing, and they would rather play in the familiar playground of Facebook than work in Twitter (or learn Google+, Pinterest, etc.)

Consider: I first wrote my best-selling book, The Small Business Bible, in 2003. There is nary a mention of social media in that first edition because it didn’t exist. I wrote the second edition in 2007, and the only social media site I mention was . . . MySpace (yikes!) because that was it at the time. So when my editor asked me last year if I had anything new to say if we did a third edition, I was happy to report that yes, I sure did. (And incidentally, the book just came out and has about a dozen new chapters on, yes, social media, technology, etc.)

But even though there are a lot of social media sites to master these days, let me suggest that the payoffs vis-à-vis Twitter in particular, can be significant for the small business. Indeed, there are four main reasons why it’s smart (and not too late) for any small business to still jump on the Twitter bandwagon:

1. It is a great megaphone for branding: Twitter is not free – it takes time, and time is, after all, money. That said, it is time well spent. Branding a business usually takes a lot of money – you have to spend to get people to notice you and the business personality you are working to create. But by tweeting tweets that reinforce your brand, by creating a Twitter page that does the same, by becoming a thought leader via Twitter, and then by connecting with people on the site, you slowly but surely build your small business brand.

2. It is a great prospecting tool: By using the Twitter search function, you can find the people who need what you sell, with whom you can do deals, etc.

3. Twitter is the networking tool of today. No longer do you need to trudge off to the chamber mixer to meet folks who you might be able to do business with someday. No, today it is easier, faster, and cheaper to find them via Twitter. Using the tool to create and foster relationships is among its best attributes.

Maybe the easiest way to do that is to follow hashtag (#) conversations and topics that interest you and then forge relationships with those folk.

4. It is a great tool for staying connected with your customers: Small businesses that have been most successful with Twitter use it to offer exclusive deals and content to their base. By encouraging your customers to follow you on Twitter, and doing so by offering special deals on the site, you are being given permission to interact with your customers more often.

What should tweet? Well, what tweets do you like? It is probably content that is interesting, valuable, fun, or quirky. It is a coupon to your business. It is a free e-book you wrote. It is an article that you think your followers would find usefu
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