Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Holiday Hearts for Vets ~ This Week’s “Small Business Spotlight”!









In this season defined by giving and gratefulness, many charity organizations look to make things a little brighter for those around them.

Holiday Hearts for Vets stands out among the crowd.  This organization, located in the Rockbridge county area of Virginia, is focused on giving thanks to our disabled, aging, and other deserving veterans during the Christmas holiday.


Sandy Collier started Holiday Hearts for Vets in 2011.  Helping bring holiday joy to veterans and their families is close to her heart.  Holiday Hearts for Vets is Sandy’s chance to “pay it forward”.


HHFV honors the sacrifice made to our country by veterans and their families.  So, what better way to celebrate the season than to combine the spirit of Christmas and gratitude to our veterans? Sandy even hopes to expand the program to include veterans in neighboring Augusta county.


Sandy finds local veterans and fills them in on the Holiday Hearts for Vets program.  If they agree to take part, the real work begins.  Sandy and her corp of volunteers will clean up the yard, rake ~ whatever it takes to get it ready for the fun part ~ decorating!


HHFV will then set to work making the veteran’s house festive.  Lights and other decorations donated by local businesses and individuals are used to make their home sparkle.  The veterans also receive other “goodies” such as gift baskets and gift cards.


Then, come January, the volunteers return to take it all down and clean up.  Sandy has many volunteers who participate, whether it is for yard clean up, knitting hats and scarves, baking cookies, assembling gift baskets, and even local stores and restaurants that donate gift cards.


Sandy’s hope is that by decorating their home for the holidays, each veteran will know that there are people who care about their sacrifice.  It is especially important to Sandy to return the Christmas spirit that some veterans may have lost.   


 This year, Holiday Hearts for Vets is helping three area veterans.  All three served in the US Army.  However, each year it is different.  Since its beginning, Holiday Hearts for Vets has helped a total of 7 Veterans.  Their goal is to always strive to do better and improve upon the preceding year.


A memorable and  touching moment happened recently when Sandy explained the HHFV program to one of this year’s veterans;

“When I told him of the program, he started to cry and said in a stuttering voice, ‘But I have no money’. When I explained to him it didn't cost him anything, just permission to let us do it, he proceeded to tear some more.”


Sandy believes that Holiday Hearts for Vets has a lot to be thankful for this year.  They have been blessed by support and donations from many sources:


  • Penny Perasso of Grey-Wolf Designs donated her talents to create a wonderful new logo.   Check the logo out at the beginning of this article!



  • HHFV also had help from Miller Finch of Miller Finch Media in helping to write a letter for a recently featured newspaper article.  



  • They also thank Joe Soltis of Soltis Consulting for setting up their non-profit status.


New this year is Holiday Hearts for Vets Christmas Cards for Troops program.  Central Elementary in Lexington, VA., was picked to help get the cards to our soldiers.  They helped send over 500 of them!!!

Central Elementary Students Help Send Cards to Our Troops!
Sandy gives credit to Jacinta Jacfred Creation Stationary for helping her make the connections necessary for getting the cards.  A generous paper company donated all the cards, but they wish to remain anonymous.


Also, this year the local Waynesboro, VA Home Depot  donated the decorations needed.  Sandy hopes this will be an ongoing thing as the need is great.


HHFV also thanks Michael Camden Landscaping and LawnCare for jumping on board to assist with clean up. 


Sandy’s hope is that in the coming years they can get a construction company to donate their time and skills to our vets.  Many need help completing minor repairs, or constructing a wheelchair ramp, etc.


If you are in the Rockbridge area and want to help, be sure to contact them.  You can find Holiday Hearts for Vets through this Facebook link


Or, you may even be inspired to start a similar program in your area!


We thank Sandy and Holiday Hearts for Vets for spreading Christmas cheer to our veterans.....What a great example of knowing “the reason for the season” to us all!


Authored by  


To learn more about deserving businesses in our “Small Business Spotlight” series, or for tips to help your own small business, be sure to visit my blog and website.


We can also connect on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

5 Tips to Help You Make the Best “Holiday Hires”!


Is Your Business Hiring for the Holidays?
Find out what You Need to Know Now!
Anyone who will be out shopping in the next  couple months or so will come in contact with “holiday hires”. These employees are hired on a seasonal basis to keep a company running during this hectic season.

While it may seem that finding and hiring seasonal employees would be an easy task ~ there are definite pitfalls that you need to avoid. 


The key to making this hiring process run smoothly? Developing sound guidelines and sticking to them! Going in haphazardly or rushed will only set you up for failure.

So, when you find yourself in need of Holiday Hires (or any temp employees for that matter), these 5 tips will help you make the best decisions.

5 Tips for Hiring Seasonal Workers
  • Start Early
If at all possible, avoid beginning your seasonal hiring process until the last minute. Giving yourself the time you need to find the best temporary employees will save you a lot of headaches.

Even if you find yourself getting a late start, following these other tips can still help you be successful in your quest.
  • Stick with What Works
If your existing hiring practices are successful, why change them for your temporary hires? Many will argue that the rushed timeframe and pressure to fill your hiring needs justifies cutting corners. I completely disagree. Doing so will only open your company to unnecessary risk.

Instead, it is more important than ever for you to maintain your hiring standards. Be sure to follow your usual interview and screening processes to ensure the safety and integrity of your company.
  • Check References and Criminal History
Many times, the temporary nature of “seasonal employees” and the heightened sense of urgency fools companies into believing they can skip this step.

This is a possibly costly mistake. Unless your hire has worked for you before, omitting the background check can cause you major problems. It is actually more important than ever to make sure your new hire is reliable and trustworthy.

Having to worry about whether they will show up on time or is apt to steal from you simply adds more stress to the holiday chaos. That is why checking references and criminal history may actually be more important than ever.
Discover more about why using Background Checks makes Sense for Your Small Business, HERE!

  • Use Previous Hires or Existing Resources
Don’t forget about temporary workers you have used in holidays past. They are a great pool of talent to fill your needs. You can even tap into the friends and families of your existing employees, college students on break, or retirees.

Each of these resources can help you find the seasonal hires you need, and many have the flexible schedules you want.
  • Don’t Overlook Training
While you may not be able to offer your usual orientation to get your seasonal employees up to speed, you still need to provide a condensed version to make sure your news hires will be ready to step right in.

It is important you develop a training plan that focuses on exactly what your holiday hires need to know to be successful. Place special emphasis on working safely, customer service, and following procedures.

Remember, even temporary employees are the face of your company. It is crucial to realize they are often the first thing your customers see. A bad impression can leave them with a lasting, negative feeling about you and your company ~ one that will remain long after the holiday rush. Therefore, hiring the best possible should be your ultimate goal.



Following these 5 tips will help you make the successful seasonal hires you need.   

These hires can then turn into a great resource for finding permanent employees. That is why doing it right the first time makes sense!

Do you have tips for surviving the Holiday Rush? Please leave them in the comments below!

Authored by  




Check out our site to learn how API can help You and Your Small Business!
Find tips and information on our About UsBackground Investigation, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting pages too.  



Monday, November 25, 2013

Ready to Improve Your Brand? Why You Need Think Before Clicking "Like"!

Created by Kim Kline, API


How Careful are You when Using Social Media?
Do you really give it much thought 
when you “like” something on Facebook, 
or any other social network?  

Do you simply see a cute photo, funny story, interesting post, or great product and give it the “thumbs up”?

Many do just that. Even if we pause for a moment, it is simply too easy to press the “like” button for something that makes us smile, think a little, or catches our eye.

However, this may not be the best tack to take.  

Your “like” may actually reveal more about you than you think.  

According to a 2013 Cambridge University study, Facebook “likes” can be used to accurately predict things like race, gender, sexual orientation, political party, religion, drug use, and relationship status*. (Source 1)


In most cases, your "like" is not an obvious statement, such as when you "like" a certain political or social page, but a pattern of “likes” that allow others to “infer attributes such as intelligence, sexual orientation, or political views that an individual may not have intended to share”.

Many times these are things about ourselves that we may not even be aware we are sharing. And recent issues with Facebook and our elections shows that companies and candidates are watching!!


In reality, your “like” may even be seen as an endorsement.

When you click “like” on a product or business page, it is assumed that you have a connection with that company. People may think you have used their product or service and, unless you state otherwise, are happy with it.

Companies are also counting on the fact that when you “like” a product or service on Facebook, that “like” will now be seen by your friends. The result? Instant advertising and product endorsement.

And the power of a Facebook "like" doesn't stop there. Even the courts are in on the act.  

A case concerning Facebook "likes" came out of the Virginia circuit court. It involved police department employees and their “like” of a rival Sheriff candidate’s Facebook page. The current sheriff objected and instituted disciplinary actions against the department employees. In turn, they filed a lawsuit against the sheriff.  

The court ruled that Facebook "likes" are protected as free speech. Therefore, the sheriff could not legally take any actions against the department employees for liking the page or posts of the rival sheriff.

However, the court also stated that “liking a political candidate's campaign page communicates the user's approval of the candidate and supports the campaign by associating the user with it”.

The most concerning part of this is that, according to the court, 
a “like” shows “approval”, in this case of a candidate.   
It stands to reason then that this approval may be inferred about any other post you “like”.

As you can see, whether you mean to or not, Facebook “likes” can present a picture of who you are and what you think.  

Some things, like causes you believe in, you may want to share. While other things, like your politics, you may not.

While this may not mean much if you simply use Facebook to connect with friends, for those of you cultivating an online business presence, this can be more problematic.

The professional brand you build needs to be protected. Creating trust between yourself and your customers takes time. But it can take very little to lose it. 



You may find that certain “likes” actually alienate potential clients, or attract interest you never intended.  

Learn more about mixing your business and personal life and views ~ and why sometimes it makes sense in "Are You Ever Smart to Mix Your Personal Beliefs with Your Business?".

And if you are in the market to for new job or even a promotion, your online image has weight ~ and that includes what you "like" and share.  

Employers will look.  Projecting the most professional image possible goes a long way.

"Social network posts, comments, and pictures by either you or others may reveal information about you that you might not want a potential employer to know. The truth is, employers often use whatever information they can obtain to help them make a hiring decision. It is important that you know what information can be seen by those not even in “your circle” and to think about what kind of conclusions might be drawn from it."

Excerpt from; "Social Media, Background Checks, and Company Policy".

As you can see, the Facebook, 
or other social media “like”, 
may not be as innocent as it seems.  

However, being aware of that is more than half the battle. 

Keep that in mind and you can enjoy the wonderful connections and fun that “liking”, sharing, and commenting on posts can bring.

Pay it Forward!  
Please Share and "Like" this post! 
Thanks!


Authored by





API can Help You or Your Company Navigate the world of Background Checks, Hiring, and running your Business!

Discover more About Us and get answers to  Your Questions too!

Source 1:  "Private Traits and Attributes are Predictable fromDigital Records of Human Behavior"

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I am Thankful...........



November is a time for many of us to take time and give thanks.  We may gather family and friends around us for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, or simply join them in watching our favorite football teams compete.


Whatever you choose, the season brings thoughts of get togethers and a feeling of thankfulness.


I would like to extend that gratitude to you ~ my clients, readers, and Social Media friends.


Despite being in business for almost 17 years, this past year has made me feel more successful than ever.  What is really special is that this success does not come solely from having a healthy bottom line.  

It comes from the feeling of being blessed to have connected with each of you.  You have all been extremely supportive of my efforts and it has renewed my commitment to you and to my business.


I start and end each day with a sense of purpose, and I am thankful.


I can honestly say that I feel lucky and privileged.  You are all wonderful and amazing people.  Many of you are pursuing your own success, and I admire your efforts.  I also hope you feel the same sense of encouragement from me that I feel from all of you.


It is also gratifying to feel the camaraderie you have all shared with me.  It will never be forgotten.




My goal is to strive to live by these words from John F. Kennedy and put my gratitude and appreciation into action throughout the year.   You all deserve nothing less.


In closing I leave you with these thoughts:

“Having an appreciation for how amazing the people around you are leads to good places ~ productive, fulfilling, peaceful places. So be happy for those who are making progress. Cheer for their victories. Be thankful for their blessings, openly. What goes around comes around, and sooner or later the people you're cheering for will start cheering for you.”     Unknown


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For more of my articles, please take a moment and subscribe to my blog.  You can also find more about what I do in my business, Access Profiles, Inc. on my website.

I would love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.


Thank you all!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Become that “Go To” Person and Help Your Business Succeed!


Finding ways to set your company apart from the competition makes you memorable.  

That means finding something about you and your company that speaks to you and focusing your efforts on spreading the word.......

Unless your business is completely unique, you will have to deal with the reality of competition. Other companies are bound to offer products or services very much like your own.


The question then becomes, How Can You Set Yourself Apart from the Crowd?

 I think the answer is to 
Become that “Go To” Person!

You need to establish yourself as “the” person that comes to mind when others need a specific problem solved or help in reaching the next step. When you accomplish that, you are now a “Go To” Person!

We have found 6 ways to help set our business apart from even our biggest competitors ~  and they can help you too.

Check out these Quotes to Inspire You and Get You Started:

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply." ~ Stephen R. Covey
  • Establish Yourself as Someone who will Listen. Really talk with your clients. Ask them questions and then use what you learn to help them find a solution to their problems and concerns. Practice this and they will come back time after time.
A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.”   ~ Henry Ford
  • Be Available and Provide Stellar Service. In our business, we make sure we are available. We are there not only for routine projects but also for rush jobs others may not want to take. We always focus on doing exactly, or even more, than what we say we are going to do. Focus on service does not go unnoticed.
Don’t treat your customers like a bunch of purses and wallets.” ~ Chris Brogan
  • Show Your Customers that You truly Care about Them and Their Businesses. Make sure they know through your actions, not just your words, that you are not just in it for yourself. Put them first and you cannot fail.
Genius is seldom recognized for what it is: a great capacity for hard work.”  ~ Henry Ford
  • Work Harder and More Passionately than Your Competition. Pride yourself on exceeding your client’s expectations. You will be rewarded for it. 
I have discovered that by providing my clients with the quality Background Checks they need, my business is completely in line with my values and what is important to me.  This is my “why”!” ~ quote from my blog article “I Know Why I do What I Do!”
  • Don’t be all Business. Show a little of your personal side to your clients. Let them know what makes you tick. We have found the best way to do this is through our blog. By reading our articles they know what API is all about and where we are coming from. Revealing a little "About You" adds depth to your character and helps your customers get to know you.

Given the chance people will buy from people who care.”~ Paco Underhill.
  • Be Known for Something. Find that thing that is uniquely yours. Pick something important and do that better than anyone else. This is called finding your “niche”.  Our focus is being a friend to Small Business. We have proven time and again that we realize their needs and will work with them, providing the quality they deserve. They know we care.
No matter what you choose to do, being a “Go To” Person will help you achieve your own success.  

You will also gain great satisfaction in knowing you have achieved your goal to set yourself apart from the norm.

 We wish you luck!

Are You a "Go To" Person in Your Field? Share your tips that helped get you there!

Authored by  




Be sure to visit our website for more ways to help your business lead the pack. We also invite you to subscribe so you won’t miss our latest new article (and we promise no spam!).  



Monday, November 4, 2013

Background Checks & “Ban the Box” - The Pendulum Swings



www.accessprofilesblog.com

Do You Understand “Ban the Box”?  
Do You Know what it means to both 
Employers and Employees?



I recently read an article summarizing the EEOC’s guidelines regarding background checks in the hiring process; “EEOC’s Guidance on Criminal Background Checks Questioned”.

In it, author Jim Evans takes a look at what the EEOC is trying to accomplish with its quest to “ban the box” and lessen instances of “disparate impact” that using background checks can create.  The EEOC believes that automatically eliminating candidates that have prior criminal records disqualifies many unfairly.

A Criminal Record Shouldn't Automatically Mean You Won't Get the Job  "Tweet This"

This is the crux of the movement to “ban the box”.

While I have written on the subject before, the continued confusion surrounding this issue prompts me to revisit it.

At its most basic, 
“ban the box” is the removal of 
the question or “box” on an application 
that asks whether the person 
has a criminal history.  

The belief is that by disclosing that early in the application process, many are being automatically rejected.


The EEOC believes that by waiting until after a conditional offer of employment to check criminal history, the process is more fair and unbiased.  EEOC guidelines also require that employers only consider criminal acts that have a direct impact on the open position and have been committed in the past 7 years.

Many states have enacted legislation to “ban the box”.  Some have limited it to state employers, while others are expanding it to the private sector.  Either way, many private companies are being proactive and creating policies that follow EEOC guidelines on this issue.

It seems to many that 
the pendulum now swings in favor of 
the employees over that of the employer.  
I don’t believe it needs to be viewed that way.


In fact, “ban the box” can be as good 
for the company as it is for the applicant.


Here are 2 Ways Opting to “Ban the Box” May be Good for Your Business:

“Ban the Box” Can Save You Money - By only running a criminal background check on the applicants given a conditional offer of employment, companies will be reducing the amount of time and money spent on these investigations.


Since “ban the box” only covers criminal records, applicants that are given conditional offers would have already been determined to meet all other requirements of the job.  Their education, past employment, references, and skills should have been verified prior to that conditional offer.



“Ban the Box” can Protect You from Litigation - Companies that employ “ban the box” are more likely to have a sound policy in place concerning criminal background checks.

They would have determined what prior criminal activity is detrimental to the safe performance of the job’s duties, written guidelines to adhere to the “7 year” rule, and made sure all applicant’s sign a release prior to running the criminal background check.  Such companies also would be careful to notify the applicants of any adverse findings and give them the opportunity to disprove or mitigate them.

Employing these practices can lessen the likelihood of EEOC investigations into your hiring practices. It can also help avoid lawsuits based on employment discrimination from rejected applicants.

This is why “Ban the Box” 
does not have to be seen as a negative
Over time, most things in life and in business 
run on an undulating path - 
much like the swing of a pendulum.


While right now it may seem to many business owners that the pendulum is fixed on the rights of the applicants, the reality is that "Ban the Box" can benefit both.



Authored by



To learn more about how you can use Background Checks to help your Small Business, be sure to check out our Website


You can also find out more About Us and our Hiring, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting services too!
Message us through our Contact Page to find out what API can do for You and Your Business!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

We Are All Survivors!


October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and once again I share my own story in honor of all those who continue to fight to the fight.....  

As many of you may know, I am a breast cancer survivor. I was diagnosed in 1997 at the age of 35. With no family history, two young children, and having recently started my business - it was a time of shock, confusion, and yes ~ fear.

But here I am, years later, and I can say I not only survived, I have thrived. My children are now grown, my marriage is strong, and I am the sole owner of a Background Check business for which I have a passion and sense of purpose.

And I am not alone!
Not long ago I came across an article that tells the story of  7 Cancer survivors who used what they learned from their journey about themselves and the world to launched their own businesses!  Each found a new direction for their lives and their work through their fight with cancer.

Their stories both amazed and inspired me. Read them here!

Many of us have been faced with challenges that threaten to derail or stop us in our tracks. We are continually bombarded with life ~ family obligations, health issues, and concerns about our work.

But I believe in our resiliency. I see this ability to keep going in many of my small business friends too.


Each time we, as entrepreneurs, are confronted with struggles, we fight them head on, and not just survived but emerged stronger for it.

That is not to say it isn’t difficult. There were times during my own cancer fight, and many times after, that I thought of just chucking it all and taking an easier road. But I didn’t.


Instead I dealt with it. 
I made a conscious decision to get up each day with a positive attitude, focus on the tasks at hand, and move on. And slowly things became easier. This strategy served me well and I still use it today.

The reality is that every one of us are never really free from life’s obstacles. Each time things are running smoothly, something else is almost certain jump in your path. 
It is not giving up and distancing ourselves from the negative that makes all the difference.

That is what defines a Survivor.  
Someone who refuses to let anything stand in the way of their dreams. 

That is why I believe that as Entrepreneurs, we are all Survivors. And I am proud of us!

If You have a Story of Your Own ~ Please Share it Here & Inspire Us! Also we invite you to Pay it Forward and post this article on your favorite social sites. Thanks!

Authored by  

Please take a moment and visit our website 
to find out more About Us and Our Company  and What Our Clients have to Say. You will also find articles and tips in our blog 
that can help you with your own Business.   

Let’s Connect!  
Visit our Contact Page for links to our social sites and to send any questions you have about Hiring, Blogging, and Your Business. We would love to hear from you!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Are Too Many Choices Confusing Your Customers?

Are You Offering Your Clients too many Choices?

I recently took my mom to a local hardware store to pick paint for her kitchen. She had just finished having a new backsplash installed and wanted to paint the wall behind her cabinets with a coordinating accent color.

We had been at this particular store many times over the last few weeks. We would look through the paint swatches, compare them against the tile she had chosen, then take them home to look at them in natural light.

She finally thought she had made her decision. The shade of blue looked perfect against the backsplash and her cabinets. So we headed to the store to get what we needed.

Of course when we got there we took a final look at the paint colors on the display wall, and once again, confusion set in. My mother began second guessing herself. I explained that she should stick with the color we had all liked at home. Her response...... “but there are just so many choices”!


Have you ever felt like this? When confronted by too many possibilities, you start to shut down. You suddenly find yourself unable to come to any kind of decision.
Too many choices can confuse our customers too.  
If we offer too many products, packages, or services, our clients can be overwhelmed. They can also question whether the quality of our products suffers to the quantity.



What should You do? 
Hone in on what You do best!  
Don’t be drawn into the notion that you need to be a “one stop shop” for everything under the sun.

By focusing your efforts, you can give your clients what they deserve ~ something stellar! You should focus your talents towards providing products and services that will truly make you stand out.

This focus will also help you to be seen as an expert in your field.  

You be able to excel by limiting your customers' options. They will recognize that you are providing them with exactly what they need, not trying to confuse them by trying to sell them on more.
At API, we know our own clients appreciate that.


What Should You Do Now to Avoid Confusing Your Customers? These 3 tips will help!
  • Eliminate the Clutter - Take a good look at what you are offering now and streamline your list.
  • Focus On What You Do Best - Spotlight products and services in which you excel. Your clients will discover that this helps you provide them with your highest quality work!
  • Listen to Your Clients, then Suggest What They Really Need - Listen to their problems and concerns. Find out what it is they need to solve or what will make their lives easier. Then, help them by focusing your services on being the solution. This is what all clients are really looking for!  
Focusing on Your Clients' Needs is Good Business!
Following these 3 steps will you avoid the “customer confusion” that comes from having too many choices.  
You will also find yourself with a very loyal and satisfied client.

You may wonder what happened with my mother’s predicament. Well, all is well that ends well. We stuck with the color we had set out to buy, and it looks wonderful! There simply came a time that we had to shut out the other possibilities and own our decision.


As savvy Small Business owners, our goal should be to keep our own clients from having to question their choices - and by offering less, but better, options, we can!
Please share this article on your favorite social sites! Thanks!

Authored by





Our services will help You Hire Right!
Visit our About Us and our Background Investigation, Business Mentoring, and Security Consulting pages to find out more about what API can do for You and Your  Business!

Monday, September 30, 2013

BD-PRo Marketing: An Uncensored Networking & Marketing Event - This Week’s “Small Business Spotlight”!








Need Help Networking?  Want to increase your sales and close more deals?  If you are in the Pittsburgh area, BD-PRo Marketing’s Networking event “Networking Uncensored:  What Do Pole Dancing and Networking Have in Common?” is for You!


Now is the time for you to “move beyond outdated networking practices and experience what true strategic networking is all about”.  During this workshop, you will participate in hands-on activities to strengthen both your networking skills and follow-up techniques.  You will learn and apply goal setting and networking strategies for better sales results.  In addition, you will uncover ways to supercharge your marketing message so you stand out from your competition.


So what does Pole Dancing have to do with networking?  This “netWORKing” event will show you how the “mindset of pole dancing” can teach you successful networking techniques to help you reach your goals.


Guest speaker Darieth Chisolm, popular area news anchor and now studio owner, will tell her story of how pole dancing can help you gain confidence in any networking situation.


Rest assured, actual pole dancing is not required!




Check out BD-PRo's flyer for this one of a kind event here!  


The event’s agenda is filled with information to help you “take the illusion out of networking” and activities to help you put the strategies you learn into practice.  You will have the opportunity to interact with other attendees and learn “power questioning techniques” to ramp up your networking effectiveness.


BD-PRo Marketing will also help you create follow-up techniques that will give your networking a boost.


You will leave with a list of qualified connections, a “World Mastery Report Card” to find out if your follow-up message is clear and compelling,  a one year subscription to BD-PRo’s exclusive “Network PRo Toolkit”, an online networking resource that breaks networking down to a concrete process so you can turn relationships into revenues, and more!


In addition, the workshop includes wonderful food and entertainment.  You will be able to enjoy crepes prepared to order by a local Pittsburgh crepe company and sleight of hand by a local magician.


This event is perfect for everyone from the entrepreneur looking to create connections to grow their business, to professionals that want to connect with others in the community to increase their visibility and contact list.


There are also sponsorship opportunities available for businesses and networking groups interested in supporting small businesses.  Examples include companies that specialize in website design, promotional products, photography (head shots anyone?), business coaches, and even those that promote health and fitness.



“Networking Uncensored:  What Do Pole Dancing and Networking Have in Common?” will be held on Thursday, November 7, 2013, in the Clear Story Studio, Southside.  Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the event will wrap up by 1:00 p.m.


Check out the registration page for more details on this exciting networking event:  http://networkprotoolkit.com/events/networking-uncensored/

BD-PRo Marketing is also offering a 20% discount for anyone reading this article.  Just enter code “discount20” while registering on the above link.  Thanks BD-PRo!


So free your calendar for the morning November 7 and learn real networking strategies, make new connections, and have fun doing it!


To find out more about BD-PRo Marketing Solutions, be sure to visit their website, http://www.bdpromarketing.com/.  They have a lot to offer anyone looking to learn more about the art of networking!


Authored by   





Be sure to check out more Small Businesses in my "Small Business Spotlight" series here!  Let's support Small Business!

You can also get tips to help you Grow Your Small Business by visiting me on Facebook and Twitter!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Know Why I Do What I Do!

#SmBiz #Entrepreneur 

Often we do not take the time to 
consider “Why”, 
we are simply too busy 
doing what needs to be done - 
both in our businesses and our lives.

Recently I came across an article titled; “Why Do You Do What You Do?” by  John Murphy, John Murphy International.

I shared this article and it really struck a chord with many. 

For quite awhile now, 
I have known exactly "Why" I do What I Do.
And I believe that starts with first understanding your fundamental values and what really matters to you!  



I found the best way I could do this was to 
really consider my core beliefs.  
In doing this, I discovered my “Why”.
#SmBiz #Entrepreneur
By nature, I am a trusting person. I choose to believe the best of people and find myself disappointed when my expectations prove to be false. I also love to help people. Whether it is with advice, or simply by listening, if I can help, I will.

Many may think that this conflicts with the type of business I run, but I disagree.


I have discovered that by providing my clients with the quality Background Checks they need, my business is completely in line 
with my values and what is important to me.  This is my “why”! 

First off, I am able to establish a sense of trust between my clients and their new employees. Proving to them that their applicant is truthful on their resume is instrumental in establishing that trust. While I firmly believe that most people are honest, my clients know it pays to check.

This speaks to my desire to build a trusting relationship with those around me. My clients trust me to provide them with quality information and I help them forward that trust on to their employees.

Secondly, my services protect my clients’ businesses. Each time I help them hire safe candidates, I know that I play my part. I also lessen the possibility of litigation due to non-compliant hiring practices.

By doing this, I am able to fulfill my wish to protect others from harm. Knowing my services are instrumental in achieving this is very gratifying.

Lastly, and most importantly, I find great satisfaction in being a partner in my client’s success. Each time they begin the hiring process, I am there to work through it with them. I can also be assured that by helping them build a strong work force, they will have a solid foundation on which to grow.

I am also cognizant of the challenges in running a business and am flexible and fair in dealing with my clients. I am honored to have created a relationship of mutual respect and loyalty with each of them. This is extremely important to me.

I have learned a lot about business, and especially about myself, in running my own company. 

I recognize that it is not possible for me to do everything. I understand the need for a good budget. I believe in the importance of building relationships before “selling”. And I know that I love what I do! Find out more in "What I have Learned by Starting my own Business!".

All this keeps the drive alive to do what I do. 
Running the type of Background Check business where I feel a sense of accomplishment and that speaks to my desire to help others has been a blessing.

That is why I can honestly say that I Do Know “Why” I Do What I do, and I am grateful. It has helped me focus on what is truly important and renewed my passion for the Background Check industry.

Knowing Your “Why” can do the same for you!


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