Tumblr is often stereotyped as a haven for angsty teenage girls. And while there may be some truth behind this misconception, there is a whole lot more to this social networking site than the casual critic might expect. Just ask David Karp, the site’s 26-year-old founder. Following the well-publicized and much-criticized buyout of Tumblr by the continually struggling Yahoo, Karp is now worth more than $200 million .
The ability of a high school dropout like David Karp to succeed in business lends hope to budding entrepreneurs. But, like Karp, small business owners need to be savvy. In the aftermath of Tumblr’s success, small-scale entrepreneurs should keep the following lessons in mind:
Bigger Isn’t Always Better
It’s common for a beginning small business owner to shoot him or herself in the foot by immediately looking to capture the entire market. David Karp knew better. When he created Tumblr, Facebook had already been established as the go-to social networking site. Trying to go head-to-head with Facebook was clearly futile, as many failed social networking platforms had already discovered. But even a massive social media site such as Facebook is not all-encompassing, which is why Karp was able to carve out his own little niche with Tumblr.
The takeaway for small business owners? Find an area of demand that has not yet been filled and then create a unique product that will meet the needs of consumers. For Karp, this meant combining social networking with microblogging. For your business, it could be anything from unique logo design to a new take on gourmet cheese.
Who Needs An E?
In case you haven’t noticed, Tumblr is not spelled with an e between the l and r. This little distinction may drive grammar and spelling fanatics crazy, but it also helped to set the site apart. If you are trying to compete with what feels like a completely saturated market, you might just find that its the small things like the eliminated e ‘s that separate you from the competition.
Businesses can learn from Yahoo’s side of the equation, too. When former Google exec Marissa Mayer took over this Web-giant, she brought a new culture a new principles for growth. One theme became clear: It takes money to make money. Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr is a sign that it won’t sit idly by as other web titans evolve and grow. If your small business is stuck in the mud, perhaps its time to start boosting its value. Whether it’s a new type of advertising or upgraded technology, little investments will keep your business improving and growing.
The little things cost money, though, and when you’re trying to keep your business afloat, you may not have expendable capital. That’s where a little business savvy comes in handy. Small business credit cards by American Express offer capital to splurge on the little things. As you spend, you’ll earn business-friendly rewards, like airline miles, online advertising and car-rental discounts.
Connect With Like-Minded Businesses
In an age of hyper connectivity, Internet surfers want to effortlessly float from one website to the next. It would be tempting for a budding social networking site to isolate itself from the competition, but this impulse could end up backfiring. But because platforms such as Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter all fill slightly different niches, they have been able to come together to provide a better experience for all. The same principle can easily be applied to the small business owner. There is nothing wrong with fostering a sense of competition, but in some cases, you’ll actually benefit more from tempering that impulse and working with other businesses in your industry.
Stay Ahead Of The Curve
Change has always been the one constant, but in today’s technological environment, it comes at a faster pace than ever before. Companies unable to keep with the times are doomed to irrelevance. Conversely, businesses committed to forecasting trends and delivering innovative products give themselves a huge advantage. Tumblr proved this with its recent release of a Google Glass app . Although Google Glass is not yet on the general market, its inclusion on the social media platform has proven that Tumblr’s leaders are forward-thinking individuals. And that is a perception that today’s businesses definitely want to build among their targeted consumers.
LEXINGTON, Ky. – In anticipation of the many business opportunities that could stem from the construction of a new federal prison in Roxana, the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, in partnership with Letcher County Fiscal Court, is sponsoring When Opportunity Knocks, a luncheon and resource fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT June 22 at the Pine Mountain Grill in Whitesburg.
During lunch, local business owners will share how they answered the knock of opportunity and found success. The event is free and seating is limited; preregistration is required. Reservations can be made online at http://tinyurl.com/j9rdjtf .
At the event, organizers will discuss a three-part series of training events. Series topics will include general business and government contracting. The first event will take place 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 12 at the Whitesburg campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. Training will also take place at 6 p.m. July 26 and August 9. Prior to each training event, a resource fair will begin at 4 p.m.
For more information, visit http://www.ksbdc.org/moving-forward-letcher-county or email Shawn Rogers at email@example.com .
KSBDC, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 13 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information on KSBDC services, visit their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .
Other partners include: Kentucky Small Business Development Centers at Pikeville and Ashland, Southeast Small Business Development Center, Small Business Administration, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, Kentucky Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, Kentucky Innovation Network – Pikeville , Kentucky River Area Development District, Eastern Kentucky Concentrated Employment Program, Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises Inc. and Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet – Minority and Women Business Enterprise Certification.
LEXINGTON, Ky., (May 3, 2016) - Kentucky’s finest small businesses and the small-business community were celebrated in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort during Kentucky Celebrates Small Business, an awards ceremony presented by the Kentucky Small Business Development Center and the Kentucky District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration May 3.
Gov. Matt Bevin opened the awards ceremony by signing a proclamation recognizing National Small Business Week in the state.
"The vibrant entrepreneurial spirit in the commonwealth is a fundamental force driving Kentucky's economy and creating valuable jobs for our communities," Bevin said. "I understand, from personal experience, the sacrifice it takes for small business owners to survive. Every day they strive anew to secure a better life for their customers, their employees, their families and themselves. I am grateful to these men and women across Kentucky for taking the risk necessary to succeed."
WLEX-18 chief meteorologist Bill Meck served as emcee, along with his wife, Connie, whose small business, Sign Language Network of Kentucky, provided sign language interpretation for the event.
The Kentucky Small Business Development Center presented Kentucky Pacesetter awards to six businesses. Winners were chosen based on how they are changing Kentucky’s economic landscape by introducing innovative products, increasing sales and/or production, boosting employment and serving their communities.
This year’s outstanding Kentucky Pacesetters are D&D Shoe Company, Mayfield; Ingram Brothers, LLC, Morgantown; JSB Industrial Solutions, Inc., Tollesboro; Maynard Studios, Inc., Lawrenceburg; Trunnell’s Farm Market & Family Fun Acre, Utica; Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter, Louisville.
“We owe so much to the small businesses across the commonwealth that make our economy strong and diverse. It is a pleasure to recognize them and say thank you,” said Becky Naugle, KSBDC state director.
Each year, the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes outstanding small businesses and entrepreneurs with awards across the country. The Small Business Person of the Year winner from each state will be acknowledged at both regional and national levels.
The 2016 Kentucky Small Business Administration award winners are:
Kentucky Small Business Person of the Year: David Dafoe, founder and CEO of Flavorman and Distilled Spirits Epicenter, Louisville
Kentucky Southeast Region 8(a) Graduate of the Year: Kathy Mills, president and CEO of Strategic Communications, Louisville
Kentucky Financial Services Advocate of the Year: Bill Fensterer, president and CEO of Capital Access Corporation, Louisville
Kentucky Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Harsha Wijesiri, president of Integrated Engineering, LLC, Lexington
Kentucky Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year: Scott Matheny, president of Semper Tek, Lexington
Kentucky Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Desiree Sloan Harmon, founder and owner of Club Fit Studio, LLC, Paintsville
“The creative genius that drives our commonwealth forward lives in the minds of our entrepreneurs. This year we are honoring entrepreneurs from the far corners of Kentucky. We are deeply grateful for what they have done to sustain the economic vitality of large and small communities,” said Ralph Ross, district director of the Kentucky office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. “We are also grateful for our local, state and federal partners who work with us to help these entrepreneurs along their way.”
The Kentucky Small Business Development Center, part of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a network of 13 offices located throughout the state. The center helps existing and start-up businesses succeed by offering high quality, in-depth and hands-on services. KSBDC is a partner program with the U.S. Small Business Administration. More information on KSBDC services can be found on their website, http://www.ksbdc.org/ .
Writer: Roberta Meisel, 859-257-0104
UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.