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Welcome to the world’s first SMALL BIZ Alphabet Series of blog posts!



First off, as an entrepreneur, small business or professional practice owner, operator, or manager, you have a public persona, or image —a brand, if you will– that communicates your reputation to others in your Private-Public and in your Public-Public. You do, indeed, have both! Ignore either at your peril.

Your Public-Public (or EXternal customers) is what most often comes to mind when we talk about sales and markets. But every business also has INternal customers (family, friends, partners, investors, referrers, lenders, employees, agents, consultants, and suppliers). These are your reliable supporters, your Private-Public.

Many successful businesses build their Public-Public customer / client / patient base as an offshoot of their Private-Public resources because –sorry, marketing, advertising, PR, SEO, and social media experts— NOTHING sells like personal recommendations.

Often overlooked in this mix of supportive and prospective recommenders are FORMER family, friends, partners, investors, referrers, employees, lenders, agents, consultants, and suppliers who you are still on good terms with. Some older mid-sized companies actually foster employee alumni associations and reunions.

Not only can your Private-Public become a loyal customer base and serve to refer Public-Public purchases, they can also often suggest new business approaches, technology, and revenue streams… IF they are properly motivated and encouraged AND (and here’s the biggy) IF they are carefully solicited and attentively listened to.

Lest there be any doubts , I am not suggesting abandonment of marketing functions (sales, PR, promotion, packaging, pricing, SEO and SM applications, etc.). I am simply pointing out that day-to-day, many of us have a tendancy to overlook the obvious, spend more than we need to,  and  not tap into our best resources.

Traditional Public Relations is rapidly becoming an ineffective tool for building brands and brand awareness. With increased use of Internet sites, webinars, digital marketing and social media, the odds for stimulating Public-Public purchasing and Private-Public referrals, only the flexible, cyberspace-savvy PR firms are surviving.

A similar assessment surfaces for traditionally-invested advertising, sales, and marketing firms. This doesn’t mean “always and everywhere.” It does mean that small businesses can no longer rely on successful past media, creative, financial and market development  strategies to survive today’s onslaught of instant communications.

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Remember too that YOU, personally, are always on stage. Someone is always watching and listening. You are always being sized up by someone, even when you least suspect it. The bottom line is that in addition to your business having public concerns, awareness’s, and opportunities, so do you!

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Making the most of what you have means being, as Thoreau once urged, forever on the alert! 


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