Tag Archives: entrepreneur

Let Your Image Speak for You

Pung Foundation logo created for mid-Michigan based concrete construction and renovation service company.

Phones have been ringing, emails are flowing in, social media posts are crammed with new business start ups ready to make a difference. New entrepreneurs are emerging with products and services that can change the world – or at least their communities and bank books. Ahhh, the passion of entrepreneurs!

I love when new start ups come to Connection Group for a graphic design or marketing consultation. I know when they start here they are serious about their approach and their image. I get to see their eyes light up, hear their story, and feel their drive. New business start ups come to us with a lot of questions, hope and dreams and often very limited budgets. It is our job to understand their goals, their philosophy, their market, their budget, service or product, and provide guidance to them that will assist their business launch without breaking the bank.

McNaughton and Gunn logo

McNaughton and Gunn is a 50+ year old book printer headquartered in Michigan

One of the first recommendations I make to business owners is to start with a professional logo. So many software programs and websites out there have stock art that people can place on a business card, throw a phone number and website next to and convince themselves they are the next Apple or HP. Online printers spout 250 free business cards, free icons, free templates. What cash crunched start up can resist’, FREE graphic design, FREE business cards?

We have all been to a networking event where we come back to the office and have two or more identical design business cards or two cards with the same logo or clip art. image. The designs and logos are the same the only difference is the names on them – one is a massage therapist, one is a florist, and another is a dog groomer. One was a contractor who specialized in tile installation, the other does windows. Now which one was the it that I wanted to refer to my mother? None of them. Why? Because they are not unique, they do not stand out from the crowd and chances are that is the way they will run their business. These owners did not take their business or craft seriously enough to invest in their image  – they decided their business was only worth a free set of business cards.

Women In Successful Enterprises logo

Logo created for WISE, a Michigan based organization comprised of second stage women owned businesses.

So when I have a start up company call or email and say they understand the importance of presenting themselves professionally but don’t know where to start, my question is not, ‘What is your budget?’, my question is, “When can we set up a time to meet?” I love an entrepreneur, I am one, I know small businesses make a difference in their communities and can change the world. I want to help the good ones to succeed.

Stay connected!

Join us on Facebook.com/connectiongraphics

Join the Michigan EcoSystem at Entrepreneur Connect

The Lansing Economic Area Partnership (Leap, Inc.) has combined with Great Lakes Entrepreneurial Quest  (GLEQ) to bring aspiring  entrepreneurs two days of inspring presentations, Angel funding session, points on securing government contracts, tips on marketing, notes on protecting intellectual property and many more critical topics of value to entrepreneurs.

On Thursday, June 9, enjoy a day of presentations and breakout sessions and virtual tours of Michigan’s business incubators and the GLEQ Business Plan Competition Awards Banquet that evening. On Friday, you’ll have the option of participating in numerous networking and educational activities and exploring the displays in the exhibit hall (please stop by Connection Group table and let us know you read this post to receive a special gift!).

The agenda on both days encourages meeting and learning from other entrepreneurs, investors, business professionals and resource experts. Contact LEAP to secure small conference rooms that are available at no additional cost on a first-come, first-served basis for small meetings and private conversations. Visit Entrepreneur Connect to read more about the session available and reserve your place. Participate in the events and activities as best fits your schedule and interests.

I hope to see you there and look forward to this great opportunity to meet and support business in Michigan. Even though Connection Group opened our doors over 14 years ago, business continues to evolve because we keep learning. If all we offered were the graphic design services for print marketing that was our base  in 1997 we could not have sustained the business. Because we paid attention to trends and consulted experts, we have continually expanded our product offerings to meet the market. Internet marketing, website design and consulting quickly became a larger segment of client sales, even in those early days.

The ability to learn and excel is a critical component to business success. Because we have stayed in touch with customer needs and honed our skills, Connection Group has become recognized as a brand marketing resource. When our customers need to engage in social media we develop social media strategies for them, custom designed Facebook fan pages, landing pages, and custom website design and development as part of the marketing services mix. We don’t know what the future will bring, but we will be one of the first to learn about it as we continue to attend great events such as Entrepreneur Connect.

Entrepreneur Connect will be held at the Henry Center in Lansing, Michigan.   Take a look at these breakout sessions and register to attend!

As Miche Suboski shared, “Summer is usually a sleepy time for business, but not for Entrepreneurs!  At least the one’s that are out making stuff happen….Entrepreneur Connect has many… excellent opportunities (all in one event!) for you to get out there and continue to build your brand or make connections that will help you take the next step with your venture.”


Apply for INC 500 and MEDC will cover $100 fee.

For all Michigan Rock Star Entrepreneurs, MEDC is inviting Michigan companies to apply for INC 500 and contributing the $100 fee.

Here is an opportunity to get your fast growing business listed in the Inc 500/5000.   This is a great public relations opportunity and we encourage your consideration to use this opportunity or to share with associates that you feel will gain from this excellent recognition and exposure.  Let’s put our Great Lakes region on the technology entrepreneur community leadership map which will attract more entrepreneurs, investors, team members, and customers! As a thank you for doing business in Michigan, MEDC will contribute your $100 application fee to Inc.

The state’s economic development agency, the MEDC is providing a streamlined and no cost application process for entrepreneurs to apply for the Inc. 500|5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in the country.  Honorees who make the list will be recognized in Inc. Magazine as well as online at www.Inc.com.  Additionally, a special celebration will be held at the annual Inc. 500/5000 Conference later this year. The goal is to increase the number of Michigan companies recognized on the list each year.

Michigan based companies should contact the assigned concierge, Colleen Armstrong, Senior Project Specialist for Inc. 500|5000 at 212.389.5504 or via e-mail at cgwen@inc.com, to apply. (The deadline may be extended by 2 weeks for Michigan companies ONLY so please be sure to contact the concierge to apply). As a benefit to you, MEDC and Inc. have partnered to provide Michigan companies with personalized concierge services to walk you through the application process.

MEDC hopes to see you at the annual Inc. 500|5000 Conference in September 30–October 2, 2010, to celebrate other Michigan companies and alumni.

As a thank you for doing business in Michigan, MEDC will contribute your $100 application fee to Inc. We look forward to celebrating your success as part of the Inc. 500|5000 community.

Thanks to Lisa Dancsok, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications of MEDC for sharing this opportunity with us.