Sophie Kovic is an Australian small business owner on the rise. She is the owner of FlockStocks, feathered hair extensions made from selectively bred roosters from Whiting Farms in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado. About one year ago when the feather extension craze took flight in the United States, Sophie decided to use her beauty industry experience and small business research to tap into the trend. In the beginning she was not sure exactly what feathers would best suit her customers taste so she shipped out different types of feathers. Sophie found that feathers are extremely hard to come by and she found herself only being able to get feathers from fly fishing stores or directly from fishermen, making for an inconsistent product. As she continued to research feathers and learned more about exactly what her customers wanted she was able to narrow down her search to the farm that produced feathers to suit their needs. In her second month in business, Sophie made over $100,000 with the assistance of Google Adwords. Sophie is also the winner of Shopify’s Build-A-Business contest in the Apparel and Jewelry category. The 25 year-old mom and super savvy small business owner has taken time out of her schedule to share a few small biz diamonds.
In honor of Earth Day this post points out why and how every small business owner can begin the process of going green. It is important to note that everyday is Earth Day and business owners should embrace the green movement and practice sustainable living daily, not just for special occasions or marketing opportunities. A small business that goes green; pledges to take an active role in reducing their carbon foot print and saving the environment, saves a significant amount of money from implementing green practices, has the opportunity to receive tax credits, and provides a competitive advantage for the business. To begin your green transition partner with a professional energy auditor that is equipped with the tools and more importantly the knowledge to help a small business owner save money and reduce energy that is currently being wasted. Once your small business has been audited be sure to sit down with your auditor to create a solid sustainability plan that your small business can adhere to.
There are several things that a small business owner can begin implementing on their own before their appointment with the energy auditor, try some of the following:
Small business owners that want to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace can do so by positioning themselves as the expert in their field. Experts are not viewed as salesmen/woman, instead they are perceived as having a vast knowledge about a particular subject. Expert advice and opinion are often respected and trusted and consumers are willing to pay more for an experts product or service offerings. It would behoove a small business owner to position themselves as the expert within their niche in order to; gain a following, request premium compensation, and experience multiple streams of income. So how does a small business owner effectively position himself as the expert?
Kelly Dooley, CEO and designer of BodyRock Sport wearing the Tzarina bra.
When Kelly Dooley was unable to find a fashionable and functional active wear line she did not complain, instead she created her own line to suite her needs. In 2009 she introduced BodyRock Sport to the marketplace. Kelly’s innovative and active wear line is not only stylish but it cleverly incorporates functionality equipped with Ipod pockets, tag-less labels, and strategically placed zipper compartments. Each piece in the BodyRock Sport collection is appropriately named after inspirational women —from cancer survivors to Greek goddesses. Last week I introduced Kelly’s phenonmenal success with her brand highlighting; Maria Menounos was spotted wearing BodyRock Sport on ‘Dancing With The Stars’ and pop icon Britney Spears wore a $20,000 sports bra from BodyRock Sport. I also mentioned that I had a chance to meet Kelly at the 2012 Stiletto Woman In Business Awards (SWIBA) where she won the ‘Fashion Business of the Year’ award back in March. I was blown away by Kelly’s extremely positive personality. She also proved to be smart, business savvy, powerful, and extremely stylish —in perfect harmony with her brand. Kelly refers to her customers as ‘BodyRockers’ or women who in her words, “Walk into a room and electrify it with their confidence.” She suggests that all women should, “Be that woman.” I must admit that Kelly IS that woman and her brand and personality reflect that. Kelly is a small business owner that is doing big and amazing things, she took some time out of her busy schedule to share her small business jewels and diamonds.
The Sophie Bra from Zip ‘em Up Collection
Yesterday I posted Small business on the rise: BodyRock Sport and I mentioned that Maria Menounos was spotted wearing BodyRock Sport on Dancing with the Stars this week. Well, today I have been informed that pop icon Britney Spears rocked a $20,000 sports bra designed by Kelly Dooley, CEO of BodyRock Sport. The superstar wore the 18K gold zipper and diamond-eye skulled tassel bra on the set of the shoot for her new video, “Twister Dance”. Small business has risen straight to the top, there’s no turning back now! Congrats BodyRock Sport your a small business that is doing big things!!!
Guest Post by Small Biz Diamond Contributor Monica Jackson
In today’s economic and environmental culture our attention has been directed towards “sustainability”. A word not common in many households and businesses nearly 10 years ago—from following our carbon foot print, to recycling and going “Green”, the nature of our everyday lives have changed.
Sustainability is vitally important for businesses and entrepreneurs. We rely on new business and retaining existing business, however, are we cultivating these relationships that help grow and sustain our business? Most businesses today get caught in the hustle and bustle of pushing the next best thing and have forgotten about the fundamental premise of building and maintaining business relationships. This lack of nurturing, cultivation and appreciation has caused many once successful businesses to falter.
Fashionable and functional active wear for women, BodyRock Sport was spotted on EXTRA! TV Host Maria Menounos during rehearsals on the April 9th, 2012 episode of “Dancing With The Stars”.
Extra! TV host Maria Menounos rehearsed for her ‘Dancing With The Stars’ tango performance in a very “stylish and functional” bra and jacket by BodyRock Sport founder and designer Kelly Dooley. Kelly created the BodyRock Sport brand in 2009, after she was fed up looking for the perfect sports bra that would incorporate both style and function. The BodyRock Sport brand is an active wear line has been designed for women that do not want to forfeit being stylish for fitness. Women that want their gym garments to be both fashionable and wearable in everyday situations are turning to BodyRock Sport. The innovative active wear line is functional equipped with built in Ipod pockets, tag-less labels, and zipper compartments. One of the coolest things about BodyRock Sport is that each piece in the collection is appropriately named after inspirational women —from cancer survivors to Greek goddesses.
Gray and gunmetal cropped moto jacket with Swarovski crystals, silver chain and stud details ($138) by BodyRock
Similiar to Lady Gaga and her ‘Little Monsters’ or Nicki Minaj and her ‘Barbs’, Kelly refers to her customers as ‘BodyRockers’. They are women who in Kelly’s words, “Walk into a room and electrify it with their confidence. Be that woman.”
I had the chance to meet Kelly back in March at the 2012 Stiletto Woman In Business Awards (SWIBA) and I must admit she is her brand 1000 percent! She walked away (or possibly sprinted) from the awards’ with the Fashion Business of the Year trophy in tote. During our chat I quickly discovered that Kelly is stylish, confident, assertive, powerful, smart, and very positive just as her outward appearance suggests. I really took a liking to her alpha female, sporty, stylish ways. Most of all I respect and admire her business acumen. She is a go-getter and it shows in her personality and brand alike. I caught up with Kelly last week for her small biz diamonds and jewels and she has plenty to share. Check back next week for her Q&A to witness for yourself why I told Kelly she better tell Sara Blakely to make some room for her over there on billionaire’s row. BodyRock Sport is definitely a small biz on the rise. Visit Kelly’s website: bodyrocksport.com and connect on Facebook and Twitter.
Kelly Dooley, CEO & Founder of BodyRock Sport
Do you know a small business owner on the rise? Please share your small biz diamonds in the comments section below.
Have a successful day!
Shawn Amerlinck, is a Registered Vet Technician (RVT), Animal Health Technologist (A.H.T), and owner of My Pet’s Butler based inWindsor, Ontario, Canada. Shawn opened his business and on December 1, 2011 and he has proven to be a small business superstar (in just four months!). Shawn provides in-home medical care, pet sitting and shuttle service for pets. In May 2012, Shawn will be a guest judge at a Chihuahua Beauty Contest and he will be an exhibitor at the Pet-a-Palooza Pet Expo. He is a master at keeping his brand visible, in fact I found him via a Biz Launch Canada’s Small Business Blog where he explained in detail how he obtained media attention quickly. As an entrepreneur and a writer of small business I found his answer to be exceptional, Shawn did his homework he was persistent and strategic about getting the word out about his business via his local media (be sure to check out AND learn from his response!). Small Biz Diamonds caught up with Shawn to learn more about his new business and his over all experience as a small business owner.
Domino’s Pizza recently announced the launch of its advertising campaign that will tell customers “No!” if they ask to add or remove toppings from its signature artisan pizzas. The purpose of the the new ad campaign is to position Domino’s as a leading authority for pizza. The company has spent years ”perfecting the balance on our artisan crust toppings,” states the voice-over in the advertisement. This is a bold campaign but is it smart? Should Domino’s or any business really tell customers no? Absolutely! Small business owners should be prepared to turn down customers if their requests are not strategically aligned with their overall business goals and objectives.
What is a virtual office?
Before I move onto why a small business owner should have a virtual office, lets make sure everyone has a clear understanding about what a virtual office is. A virtual office is a service that provides an office address (typically at a prime and/or upscale location) and professional reception services without leasing the or buying the actual office space. Clients enter into a service-level agreement in which a virtual office provider will; receive mail, handle and route customer phone calls, a provide the business owner with a place to conduct business, train, staff, hold meetings, and meet with clients.
Who can benefit from a virtual office?
Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I am a freelance writer and entrepreneur, one of the places that I write online is for Examiner.com as the Atlanta Small Business Examiner. I provide localized content pertaining to small business. I have had a very positive experience writing for them and positioning myself as a small business expert. In this blog post I share (with evidence) why small business owners should write for Examiner.com in their area of expertise.
Angela Yodice exhibits entrepreneurship at its best; she has a well defined niche, she is an expert at what she does, and she builds her network both online and off — chasing after the true American dream. She is the owner and principle photographer of WhirlieGirl Photography, a boudoir photography firm. She truly has a passion for helping women feel beautiful and sexy in a tasteful way. Small Biz Diamonds caught up with the Queen of Boudoir photography to pick her “small business, big future” brains. Angela had
some plenty of jewels to share…