Grow Smart BusinessUMDNetwork Solutions

Small Business Success Index 4

Index Score*   Grade
73 marginal
Capital Access 67
Marketing & Innovation 65
Workforce 76
Customer Service 88
Computer Technology 73
Compliance 92
*Index score is calculated on a 1-100 scale.

Search Articles

Author Archive

Ken Yancey CEO of SCORE gets First-Ever Small Business Corporate Support Award

September 24th, 2010 :: Shashi Bellamkonda

I was thrilled to hear about this news that SCORE presented the first-ever Ken Yancey Small Business Corporate Support Award on September 16th at the SCORE Awards in Washington, D.C. SCORE CEO Ken Yancey, is the first recipient of this award honoring those who provide exceptional assistance in creating small business procurement opportunities. I have met him several times and his passion for helping small business comes across as he speaks.

SCORE has a network of volunteers who mentor new and existing small Business and has helped  more than 8.5 million entrepreneurs with a network of 12,400 mentors. Well deserved award- Congrats ! Ken Yancey and SCORE.

More information from the SCORE press release :

This award the “Ken Yancey Small Business Corporate Support Award” is named for SCORE CEO Ken Yancey in honor of his personal leadership in the development and growth of Business Matchmaking and his guidance in facilitating more than 75,000 face-to-face opportunities for entrepreneurs to present to government and major corporate potential customers, resulting in more than $1 billion in sales for America’s small businesses.

The Business Matchmaking organization established this annual award for an organization or individual who has provided exceptional assistance in creating small business procurement opportunities. Yancey has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, Fox and PBS as a small business expert. He serves on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Advisory Council. He is an active supporter of the Boy Scouts of America.

Mike Mendez, SCORE Association Incoming Board Chair, says, “Ken Yancey has been instrumental in SCORE’s growth and success. It’s been an honor to work with Ken in leading mentoring and training support for America’s small businesses.” Mendez adds, “Today, we honor Ken Yancey as the first recipient for this award named in his honor the Ken Yancey Small Business Corporate Support Award. It’s a testament to Ken’s long-standing support of small business and the corporate partners that help small business connect with resources & opportunities for success.”

Mark Dobosz, Executive Director of The SCORE Foundation, says, “Ken is a visionary and inspirational leader. His ability to rally support for SCORE, small business mentoring and other great programs like business matchmaking demonstrate his commitment to small business success.” Dobosz adds, “Ken has built corporate support for SCORE’s mission and small business. We felt it was appropriate to name this award honoring corporate supporters of small business after the man who has done so much to enable small business success.”

About SCORE: Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 8.5 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE provides small business mentoring and workshops to more than 375,000 new and growing small businesses. More than 12,400 business experts volunteer as mentors in 364 chapters serving local communities with entrepreneur education to help grow 1 million small businesses.

Here is a video the Network Solutions team interview with Ken Yancey during the National Small Business Week

About Jay Ehret

February 15th, 2010 :: Shashi Bellamkonda

Jay Ehret (, popularly known as @themarketingguy on Twitter. He is a small business marketing consultant and has coached several entrepreneurs on how to build a powerful brand and more importantly how to create a rewarding customer experience.

According to the latest Small Business Success Index report, the biggest use of social media for small businesses is customer engagement. Jay will tell you just exactly how you can leverage social networking to attract new customers with some real world examples.

Here’s our first podcast with Jay Ehret. Listen in and tell us how you like it.

#GrowSmartBiz Video : Thank you and What next ? Roy Dunbar Chairman & CEO Network Solutions

October 2nd, 2009 :: Shashi Bellamkonda

Here we wrap up the conference and talk about what is next for small business.

#GrowSmartBiz Video: Effective Use of the WashBizJournal – Alex Orfinger

October 1st, 2009 :: Shashi Bellamkonda

Alex Orfinger, Publisher of the Washington Business Journal was our MC for the event and was very entertaining. He kept the audience going throughout the day and on top of that gave a great 10 minute overview of using the WBJ. Check out the video below:

#GrowSmartBiz Video : Panel 3: Staying Ahead in the Current Economy

October 1st, 2009 :: Shashi Bellamkonda

Christine Banning from SCORE gave a great presentation on the current economy in the afternoon of the #GrowsmartBiz conference. Check it out below:

Christine Banning is VP of Marketing and Communications at SCORE Association and is a marketing expert. She leads strategic brand management, marketing, marketing alliances and PR & communications for SCORE nationally. She has successfully led SCORE’s digital marketing strategy, reaching nearly 3 million people each year. Christine reaches an audience of 500 million annually through SCORE’s PR efforts. Christine speaks nationally on branding, entrepreneurship, small business identity and marketing. Christine serves on the Board of Directors of Dress for Success, Washington, DC. She received her graduate degree from The American University in Washington, DC. She was recently named an Honorary Member of SCORE New York City.

#GrowSmartBiz Video: Where do you stand on the Small Business Success Index?

September 30th, 2009 :: Shashi Bellamkonda

Ever wondered what the Small Business Success index is all about? Well, get it from the guy that runs it and will give you fond memories of statistics class in college.

Charles Colby is that guy and Rockbridge Associates is his firm. Check out the video below for some great content.

Presented by RockBridge Associates

#GrowSmartBiz Video : Panel 4: Integrating Traditional Marketing with Social Media

September 30th, 2009 :: Shashi Bellamkonda

On the last panel of the day, Jill Foster moderated a great group of social media experts.

For a detailed write up, check out Ken’s live blogging coverage OR watch the video of the panel below.

Terri Holley, Creative Blog Solutions

Terri Holley, MS CPCC, is the owner and founder of Creative Blog Solutions. As one of the premier social media strategists on the Internet, Ms.Holley helps small businesses harness the power of social media so they can generate more leads, retain existing customers, and create additional streams of revenue. Her clients include profit and non-profit organizations throughout the United States. To maximize results and ensure a return on investment, Terri aligns business objectives with social media solutions while taking into consideration the needs and resources of the small business owner.

Terri brings a broad range of knowledge and experience to social media and online marketing. A proud graduate from the world-renowned Coaches Training Institute, Terri views social media marketing through the prism of strengthening customer relationships. By emphasizing the relationship factor that drives social media, Terri helps small businesses develop online marketing tools that attract a community of enthusiasts around their brand, products and services.

In addition to running Creative Blog Solutions, Terri currently authors two blogs, both of which have excellent search engine rankings and substantial traffic. Her blogs have received extensive press coverage and have several inbound links from prominent sites on the Internet.

Danilo Bogdanovic, Loudoun Scene

Danilo Bogdanovic is a full time Real Estate Consultant/REALTOR® with Market Advantage Real Estate, LLC in Northern Virginia and owner/author of He has been successfully utilizing social media and technology in his business model since October 2006. Approximately 75 percent of his business is generated from his online and social media efforts, which include blogs, Facebook, and Twitter, among others.

Danilo’s local real estate blogs are followed by editors of, and have led to features in, media and publications such as the Loudoun EasternerLeesburg TodayWJLA ABC7 News,Washington Business JournalWashington PostReutersUSA Today and The Economist. This credibility and exposure has helped increase his presence in the market place, which has led to increased business.

Brent Leary, Co-author of Barack 2.0 , Partner of CRM Essentials

Brent Leary is a CRM industry analyst, advisor, author, speaker and award winning blogger. He is co-founder and Partner of CRM Essentials LLC, an Atlanta-based CRM advisory firm covering tools and strategies for improving business relationships. Recognized by InsideCRM as one of 2007′s 25 most influential industry leaders, Brent also is a past recipient of CRM Magazine’s Most Influential Leader Award. He’s been quoted in several national business publications, including the Wall Street JournalNewsweek and Entrepreneur magazine.

In 2009 Brent co-authored Barack 2.0: Social Media Lessons for Small Business. He has written regular online columns for Inc. and Black Enterprise magazines, as well as for popular business sites including American Express OPEN Forum. Brent also hosts and produces the popular “Technology For Business $ake” Internet radio program. His popular blog can be found at You can find him on Twitter at @brentleary.

Joanna Pineda, Matrix International Group, Inc.

Joanna Pineda is CEO and Chief Troublemaker of Matrix Group International, Inc., an interactive agency that helps companies, associations and non-profits develop and implement their online strategies. Matrix Group offers clients a mix of Web strategy, branding, design, multimedia, custom application development, content management, association management software, and mission-critical hosting solutions.

Joanna has worked with hundreds of organizations that appreciate her out of the box thinking aboutways to promote their businesses online, grow their membership, and streamline internal business processes. Joanna is a well-known tech leader in the DC area. She was named one of the most influential business women in the DC area by the Washington Business Journal, one of the top 100 techies by Washingtonian magazine, and one of the top CEOs by SmartCEO. She also serves on the Executive Board of DC Web Women.

In addition, Joanna is a well-known blogger. Through, Joanna blogs about social media, leadership and marketing. She is also a contributor to

Jill Foster, DC Media Makers

Jill Foster, co-founder of DCMedia Makers, teaches social media and serves as editor, a Network Solutions community blog that brings together resources and success stories (humor too!) for women in small business. Fulfilling a ‘bucket list dream’ last year, she covered events at the Democratic National Convention ’08 using mobile media. And in May 2009, her mobile media project report which she co-produced won the Apps for Democracy Social Citizen Award in Washington, DC. Conversations regarding her work have appeared in the WashingtonianWashington PostGuardianUKIndy Star, and other media outlets; she enjoys participating in tech and entrepreneurship communities including DC Web Women and WomenWhoTech. She can be reached via twitter @jillfoster.

#GrowSmartBiz Video: SmallBiz Quick Tips: 10 Rules for Killer Business Cards – Steven Fisher

September 30th, 2009 :: Shashi Bellamkonda

About Steve Fisher:

Steve currently is Managing Partner of AppSolve. In its 10th year, Appsolve specializes in user experience design, enterprise web development and online community management. Through AppSolve, he works with Network Solutions to manage its online small business community. Prior to that he was founder and CEO of Slipstream Air, a software provider to the private air travel industry. It was sold in 2008 to JIT Airline Resources, which rebranded as Slipstream Aviation Software. Steve has also held key leadership positions at Global Network Solutions, OnSite Technologies, IKON, USConnect, Ryland and Wells Fargo.

He has published several e-books on Small Business Management, User Experience, Online Marketing and Innovation. Currently, he is working on his first book, “101 Rules for Entrepreneurs” slated for a Spring 2010 release.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from University of Baltimore and on a personal note he is a private pilot, musician and concert photographer. He cur¬rently resides in Columbia, MD, USA.

You can reach out to Steven Fisher at the Network Solutions Blog

#GrowSmartBiz Video: SmallBiz Quick Tip-Becoming an Entrepreneurial Leader Rieva Leonsky

September 30th, 2009 :: Shashi Bellamkonda

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a communications company offering custom content and expert insight designed to help entrepreneurs build their businesses and achieve success. Lesonsky spent 26 years at Entrepreneur magazine, where she started off as a research assistant and worked her way up to editorial director. Lesonsky is also one of the only women to ever hold a top spot at a business publication.

A native of New York, Ms. Lesonsky is the author of Get Smart and the best-selling Start Your Own Business, and co-author of the books Young Millionaires, Ultimate Book of Franchising and 303 Marketing Tips. She served on the Small Business Administration’s National Advisory Council for six years. The SBA also honored her as a Small Business Media Advocate and a Woman in Business Advocate. She is a nationally recognized speaker and expert on entrepreneurship and small business ownership, and is a regular on MSNBC’s “Your Business” program.

#GrowSmartBiz Video: SmallBiz Quick Tips: SEO/SEM Randy Windsor Network Solutions

September 30th, 2009 :: Shashi Bellamkonda

At the GrowSmartBiz conference, Randy Windsor of Network Solutions gave a great small business tip presentation onf SEO and SEM. Check out the video below: