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VOL. 126 | NO. 20 | Monday, January 31, 2011

Chamber Breakfast to Help Businesses ‘Revive and Thrive’

By Aisling Maki

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Jane Applegate, the leading speaker for Bloomberg Television’s “Financial Forum” speaker series, will discuss growth strategies for small businesses at the Greater Memphis Chamber’s first Small Business Council Breakfast of 2011.

“Revive and Thrive: Strategies for Growth and Success in 2011” is the theme of Applegate’s presentation, which will take place Tuesday from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, 3700 Central Avenue.

“This upcoming breakfast event is a great venue for our small-business members to network and hear from Bloomberg Television’s top business speaker, Jane Applegate,” said John Duncan, vice president of member development for the Greater Memphis Chamber, whose Small Business Council membership is made up mostly of small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

“Her presentation will cover how to be successful in 2011 – and what better way to start off the New Year? We’re very happy that Comcast has sponsored this event and brought in such a talented and engaging speaker for our first small business breakfast event of the year.”

Applegate is a respected small business management expert and popular keynote speaker and commentator. In addition to her Bloomberg role, she has authored four books on small business success, including 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business and The Entrepreneur’s Desk Reference.

She has served as a spokesperson for Sprint, Merrill Lynch, MasterCard and IBM, and she pens a bi-monthly small business column for the American Express Open Forum site.

Last year, Applegate served as keynote speaker at 15 events co-sponsored by Bloomberg Television, chambers of commerce and cable operators around the country.

Memphis is the inaugural stop on her 2011 speaking tour. Already scheduled to speak in Knoxville later in the week, she decided to kick off her tour a few days early at the request of the Greater Memphis Chamber.

“It’s going to be a really great session and I’m looking forward to meeting some of Memphis’ best small business owners,” she said.

Applegate’s presentation on reviving and thriving will focus on four key themes: management, money, marketing and morale – which can be adversely affected by a small business owner’s work-life balance.

“Morale is about managing your life because when you work for yourself, you never work harder. I do talk about having a life and a business,” she said.

Within the scope of those topics, Applegate will provide specific strategies that have been proven by small-business owners.

She said she plans to offer tips on hiring both real and virtual workers, networking through social media and developing practical strategies for setting up new credit policies so you’re not “serving as a bank for your customers.”

“A good customer is one who pays for your services and products,” she said. “You should have no tolerance for customers who don’t pay their bills.”

Applegate said the overarching theme of her presentation is that “you should never work with anyone who gives you a headache or a stomach ache; that’s very important.”

As for the forecast for 2011, Applegate said the future’s looking brighter.

“Basically, I’ve spent the past couple of years speaking to business owners who are just trying to hang on, and now I really feel things have started to turn around and look much more optimistic,” she said.

With so many talented individuals looking for work, Applegate said it’s a great time to be hiring. And the reduced price of technology is allowing small-business owners to purchase cutting-edge technology for just a few thousand dollars.

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