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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.

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GrowSmartBiz 2010 Conference is on Nov 5 so Save the Date!

August 11th, 2010 :: Steven Fisher

Coming this fall is the second annual GrowSmartBiz Conference being held on November 5, 2010 at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington, DC. Last year Network Solutions launched this conference and it was MC’d by Alex Orfinger of the Washington Business Journal. This year the Washington Business Journal is partnering with Network Solutions to make this a bigger and even better event than last year.

We listened to your feedback and this year we also plan to have multiple content tracks to really take this event up a notch. If you are interested in reserving your booth space before August 27, call 703-258-0800.

Register Now!

Our GrowSmartBiz registration site is up and running! Tickets are $79 per person and if you want to bring a group of 10 the cost $69 per person or $690 for the group. You can register at

If you are curious as to the quality of content, here are some videos from the 2009 GrowSmartBiz Conference.

This is an event not to be missed. We will be announcing more in the weeks ahead so fill out the form below and we will let you know the details as they are announced.

If you are curious as to the quality of content, here are some videos from the 2009 GrowSmartBiz Conference.

BlogCritics and Technorati’s Dawn Olsen Gets #SmallBizCool

December 1st, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

I’m really excited to bring you another #SmallBizCool, thought up by the great Jill Foster of WomenGrowBusiness, from the floor of BlogWorldExpo 2009. I met so many great people there, but I really got a great interview Entertainment Editor of BlogCritics and Technorai, Dawn Olsen. Dawn and I shared a lot of laughs, but she gave a great insight into what BlogCritics is all about and a little into what’s new with Technorati.

You can learn more about BlogCritics and Technorati at their websites and learn more about Dawn.

You can also reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at

As all ways if you have been reading, and this time watching, thank you and stay wicked.

Ted Murphy Gets #SmallBizCool

November 12th, 2009 :: Michael Dougherty

Here comes another #SmallBizCool from the floor of BlogWorldExpo 2009. This time around I get to talk to twitter and social media legend Ted Murphy about social media and security. Ted Murphy is well known for his his Twitter and Blog Marketing Company, IZEA.

At BlogWorldExpo 2009, Ted took a few minutes to explain social media is cool and give us the update on his latest product Sponzai.

You can learn more about Ted at his website and you can follow Tee on Twitter @tedmurphy

You can also reach me on Twitter by sending a message to @wickedjava, or on Facebook at

As all ways if you have been reading, and this time watching, thank you and stay wicked.

GrowSmartBiz Conference Interview Series – Thieme Creative Media

October 19th, 2009 :: Steven Fisher

During the GrowSmartBiz conference we had the opportunity to meet some really great and innovative small businesses. One of those businesses is Thieme Creative Media. They are a small business that does web design, print and creative media. Here is an interview with the co-owners:

this will be replaced by the SWF.

You learn more about Thieme Creative Media at their web site.

Recap of the #GrowSmartBiz Conference Here and Around the Web

October 5th, 2009 :: Steven Fisher

Last week those of you who are regular subscribers to the blog know that the first GrowSmartBiz conference was held on Sept 29 in Washington, DC. By all accounts it was a successful event full of great content and valuable lessons for small business owners. One of my favorite things was that they gave you a branded thumb drive with all the conference content as well as more that wasn’t on the agenda. That alone is a great resource plus it saved a ton on printing costs and environmental impact.

Here is a comprehensive recap for the GrowSmartBiz Conference here at Network Solutions and from all over the Internet:

Watch the Entire Conference On-Demand from Livestream (who did an amazing job):

Twitter Coverage:

Go to SEARCH.TWITTER.COM and use THIS search string: OR growsmartbiz OR #growsmartbiz

Coverage here on the Grow Smart Business Blog (Blog Series):

GrowSmartBiz Conference

Coverage from other Network Solutions sites:

GrowSmartBiz Conference Recap: Integrating Traditional Marketing with Social Media by Ken Yeung
GrowSmartBiz Conference Recap: Raising Capital with Effective Finance Strategies by Ken Yeung
GrowSmartBiz Conference Recap: Driving Small Business Performance with Marketing & Innovation by Ken Yeung

Coverage from around the Web:

Online News Coverage:

SMBs, startups find growth support in first GrowSmartBiz Conference

Marketing Expert Bob London to Participate in Network Solutions ® GrowSmartBiz Conference, Focusing on Small Business Marketing & Innovation - The DC event of the year for Small Business Owners – GrowSmartBiz Conference

GrowSmartBiz Conference

GrowSmartBiz conference provides insights into small business best practices

Tech Bisnow: HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Blog Coverage:

The Cascade Effect - GrowSmartBiz Wants Your Story

Small Business Trends - GrowSmartBiz Conference and Contest – Goodies

Chris Abraham Links for 2009-08-11

Inside Out Branding: Bob London to speak at first GrowSmartBiz conference on 9/29/; keynote is Wired’s Chris Anderson

Just for Small Business: Put the GrowSmartBiz Conference on Your Radar Screen (and Enter the Contest)

A Must –Attend: Grow Smart Biz Conference

SMC:DC: Upcoming Events – Fall 2009

Free Agent Writer: Wired Editor-in-Chief to Keynote DC GrowSmartBiz Conference

Social Fish: GrowSmartBiz Conference

Small Biz Labs: GrowSmartBiz Conference DC

The Nash Chronicles: Shannon Nash will be speaking on the Raising Capital with Effective Finance Strategies panel

Blogwrite for CEOs: Q & A With Chris Anderson, Best Selling Author of FREE

InkThinker: EVENT: GrowSmartBiz Conference, September 29 in Washington, DC – Keynote Speaker Chris Anderson of Wired

The AIW Blog: Network Solutions Presents the GrowSmartBiz Conference – September 29 in Washington, DC

East Coast Blogging: GrowSmartBiz Conference

Posts about Small Business Info as of Saturday, September 5, 2009

Chris Anderson Live in DC at the GrowSmartBiz Conference

9 Reasons to Sign up for the GrowSmartBiz Conference

GrowSmartBiz Conference – Helping Small Business Owners Grow Their Business

Reston Limo Blog: GrowSmartBiz Conference

Waxing UnLyrical: DC Conference Mania

Chef Vinod: Grow Smart Business Seminar

Business in General Blog: Grow Smart Business Conference – Washington DC Area
View from 17th and Riggs: Grow Smart Business Conference in DC – with Coupon Update!

SCORE Women’s Success Blog: Small Business: Grow Your Biz Event in DC on 9/29

SCORE Ask an Expert Blog: Small Business: DC Event September 29th

Powder Room Diaries: GrowSmartBiz Conference

Chris Abraham: GrowSmartBiz in DC with Chris Anderson

Waxing UnLyrical: DC, #GrowSmartBiz Is Here

Photographic Department: Live Photoblogging GrowSmartBiz – Morning Session

Web Wahala: Rebroadcast Of The #GrowSmartBiz Conference From Network Solutions

Katie Rogers Writes: Chris Anderson of “Wired” mag speaks at GrowSmartBiz D

Hot Mommas Project: #24a Techniques for Learning to Improve Your Business – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time

NextGenWeb: Grow Smart Business Conference Connects Experts With Entrepreneurs

Jen Consalvo: growsmartbiz & a brand for small businesses

Waxing UnLyrical: Why GrowSmartBiz Rocks

Capital Communicators Group: GrowSmartBiz Conference: Takeaway #1

Mayra Ruiz blog: 2 state lines *and* 3 metro lines to bring you my #growsmartbiz recap(s)

New Media Consults: #GrowSmartBiz Conference: Top 20 Tweet Takeaways

Small Business Blog: A Wealth of Information for Small Business Owners

#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