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

Simple Checkout an Easy E-Commerce Option

Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner Midwest Transaction Group

If you are looking for an easy and inexpensive way to accept payments on the web, Authorize.Net’s Simple Checkout could be the perfect solution. It is so easy to configure that you will save time and money bypassing a web designer.

Simple Checkout is great for those who:
  • have a limited number of items to sell
  • wish to accept donations  
  • want to allow clients to pay invoices.
Buttons offered by Simple Checkout for your page:
  • “Buy Now”
  • “Donate” 
  • “Submit”
What you need to get started:
  • an account with Authorize.Net. Clients of MTG are extended preferred rates - literally less than half the cost of going through them directly.
Whatever your needs, you will also be provided an Authorize.Net verified merchant seal to display on your page, which is promptly recognized and verifies the safety of the transactions.

Whether you are taking orders or collecting money, Simple Checkout gives you the ability to secure your presence on the web and secure your transactions, without spending a lot of hours or dollars to do so. Visit www.authorize.net and search Simple Checkout to see how truly easy it is.

You can be the SBAM Facebook member of the week!

On March 31, Facebook is rolling out a new look for the Facebook “brand” pages (like SBAM’s). The new design will feature a large, prominent image at the top of the page. We’re excited about sharing this new promotional imaging opportunity with you, our SBAM member firms! 

Beginning April 2, each week we are going to feature on the SBAM Facebook page a picture from an SBAM member. We invite you to start sending your photos today! What are we looking for? Pictures that illustrate the dynamism and entrepreneurial spirit of our members. Be creative – don’t just send us your logo or a photo of your building. Email your photo (or questions) to michael.rogers@sbam.org.

Give a vet a job, and marketing with modern mailing lists. Today at 10 a.m. on Business Next

Helping veterans get jobs in small businesses. Michael Rogers talks with Julie Mann of Rockstar Warriors. And, the value of targeted mailing and email lists for growing your small business customer base. Guest expert Dave Fant, owner of Market Mapping plus.

Listen today at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the Michigan Business Network. Listen to archived programs anytime at your convenience on your 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.

Photo by http://www.flickr.com/photos/excard1970/

Skate to where the puck is going to be

I was attending a business networking event the other evening and I ran across a friend of mine who is a chiropractor. Interestingly enough, this networking event was taking place at a bowling alley. The name of this facility is Super Bowl of Canton, and it is one of the top facilities in the state of Michigan and boasts that it has 60 lanes at this location. This place was jammed with bowlers. They had an excellent restaurant and as I learned from the manager, business was booming. Incidentally, the owner operates thirteen bowling centers in the state. Many people are not aware of this, but there are quite a few businesses that are booming in Michigan. They are very profitable and successful because they are providing the kind services and products that people need and want, despite the economy. The fact that these businesses exist, seems to be a quiet secret often escaping the news media.
 
Now, this chiropractor I have known for at least 20 years has had part of his marketing plan advertising in the local paper. As I looked at him and glanced around at all the people in the bowling alley, it occurred to me that this facility would be an excellent place for him to advertise his services. It seems the activity of bowling connected to back problems would make a great fit for a chiropractor. So, I asked him had he ever considered advertising in this bowling alley. He replied, “It never occurred to me. I don’t even know if they would allow me to advertise here”. I suggested he find out. Here is an example of how easy it is to miss an opportunity to anticipate where the need for your products or services could be used.
 
Another example is a business person I know who owns a jewelry store. She was expressing her concern about not knowing good places to advertise. She explained that wedding shows were not ideal, because she concluded that by the time a couple were engaged, they had already purchased a ring from some other jewelry store. I thought for a moment and asked myself where would someone find potential customers who would eventually want to purchase an engagement or wedding ring? How about a place where people are just starting the dating process? One place would be on-line dating services. So, I asked her if she ever thought about advertising with an on-line dating service? She said it never occurred to her. 
 
A third example is a women’s fitness studio. Some of the places, its future clients could come from would be a hair salon, Weight Watchers, or a women’s clothing store. Any and all of these could be an excellent place to promote the fitness studio because their services compliment the fitness studio.
 
The final example, a wholesale tile company. This organization could develop business relationships with companies who would be involved in the planning of commercial building projects. Some of the relationships the wholesale tile company could target would be with architects and building planners. Another business field they could focus on would be homebuilders. These companies would use the wholesale tile company’s products as part of their offering to future homebuyers. The wholesale tile company would also develop relationships with and market to installers who work with the private sector and the home remodeling projects they would provide.
 
The advantage to taking this approach to locating and marketing to your future clients is a focused allotment of resources in areas that will provide you with the best return on your investment of advertising dollars or your marketing efforts. 
 
I hope you see the value of approaching this activity in this way. Now, to grow your client base for your business, please complete the following exercise to help you get a better idea of where to spend your advertising budget and with whom to spend your networking time.
 
When it comes to your business, what and where

Registration open for May 3 “Michigan Celebrates Small Business”

Tickets for the May 3 Michigan Celebrates Small Business event are $95 per person (down from $135 last year) or a table of ten for $900. The evening includes a cocktail reception, a keynote speaker and the awards dinner at the Lansing Center in Lansing. To register online go to MichiganCelebrates.biz.

(Photo at left: SBAM President and CEO Rob Fowler congratulates Innovation Award winner Kyle Schwulst of ElectroJet at the 2010 Michigan Celebrates Small Business)

Michigan Celebrates Small Business is a cooperative effort of the Small Business Association of Michigan, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center, the Edward Lowe Foundation, the U.S. Small Business Administration – Michigan and the Greater Lansing Business Monthly.

"Michigan Celebrates is an opportunity to tell the new story of Michigan -- a story of bright futures and exciting companies that are building Michigan's economy," says Penny Lewandowski, Director of Entrepreneurship and Development at the Edward Lowe Foundation. "This is the place to celebrate and acknowledge their success and to learn who and what is driving the state's momentum."  

Underwriters for this year’s Michigan Celebrates Small Business event are PNC, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Michigan Certified Development Corporation, Accident Fund Insurance Company of America, Varnum Law, Michigan Credit Union League, Comcast Business Class, Huntington Bank, DBI Office Interiors, Comcast Spotlight and Dynamic Edge Inc.

The new Michigan Celebrates underwriters brought onboard this year are Varnum LLP, Michigan Credit Union League, Huntington Bank and DBI Office Interiors

"Last year we attended the awards event for the first time and were so impressed by the accomplishments of the honorees that we decided to become a sponsor," says Scott Hill, Partner with Varnum law firm.  "We assist entrepreneurs and small businesses with their legal needs and understand the many challenges of growing a business.  Recognizing success honors the recipients and inspires us all."

PNC has been a supporter of Michigan Celebrates for the previous seven years.  “We’re honored to have been the primary sponsor of this prestigious event since its inception eight years ago,” says David Morrison, Southeast Michigan Business Banking Market Manager with PNC. “Michigan Celebrates Small Business is very important to PNC because it recognizes those companies and individuals that have taken the risks necessary to grow our economy. At PNC, we have a group of seasoned bankers that help those risk takers succeed.”

“Thanks to the generosity of this year’s underwriters, the MCSB organizers have been able to accomplish a longstanding goal to decrease the event’s ticket price,” says Jennifer Deamud, Associate State Director of the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center. “In a time of ever-growing prices, we are proud to change that trend. For the first time in seven years the ticket price will drop substantially to $95.”

The expectation with the decreased ticket price is more community members, such as Chambers, EDCs and small business owners will be able to attend to support the businesses in their community that are being awarded.

For more information about Michigan Celebrates Small Business contact Jennifer Deamud, Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center at (616) 331-7480 or deamudj@gvsu.edu.

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