Bigger Isn’t Always Better: Helping Your Small Trade Show Stands Get Noticed

If you’re with a small company or a company that has a small marketing budget, you might be concerned about standing out among the big trade show stands that larger companies can afford. Instead of shrinking away into the background, show off your small booth proudly. You’ll prove that you can attract attention even if your exhibit was designed without using a big budget.

How To Take Advantage Of Banner Stands

Banner stands are some of the most versatile elements of any display. Companies can use a grouping of banner stands to create a backdrop or they can stage them around their display floor for a one of a kind exhibit. One of the best things about using banner stands is that they are highly portable, which means that companies can take them down quickly and easily without a lot of technical experience. Another benefit of these banners is that the graphics can be updated inexpensively, allowing businesses to change their message whenever they want to, without spending a lot of money. As long as the frame is unbent and solid, businesses can continue to use them.

Using Pop Up Displays

Pop up displays are other ways to make a big impact with a small exhibit. The frames of pop up displays simply ‘pop’ into place and then fabric banners are stretched across them. These pop up displays are typically 10×10, but you can find them larger if you need to. Some companies choose to use more than one display to create a semi closed-off exhibit space.

Other companies can choose to use table top pop up displays if they’re really short on space. These exhibits work just like a floor model, but they’re designed to sit on a table instead of the floor. Add a table skirt, a banner stand and other design elements and you have a display that can look as great as a larger, more expensive model.

Other Design Elements

The possibilities are endless when you use a number of other elements to create trade show stands. Different elements can include podiums, literature racks, lighting and even electronic displays. If you’re not sure how to put these elements together, contact a company that specializes in trade show stands. They’ll be able to help you find the best option, while remaining within your budget. Some businesses worry that they aren’t spending enough on a display and that an exhibit company won’t be willing to help them, but this isn’t the case. These companies are experts at working within budgets of any size so don’t be intimidated if you’re working with a smaller amount of money.

Just because you don’t have a huge marketing budget doesn’t mean that you can’t make an impact with your trade show stands. Use small, less expensive elements such as banners, pop up displays, lighting, podiums, and others pieces to pull together a display that will make an impression without spending a ton of money.

Why Small Trade Show Displays Are Beautiful

Today’s Trade Show Displays

With one or two exceptions, small cars in the 70’s and 80’s, whether domestic or foreign, were designed for the frugal, the poor, or the seriously brain addled. You prayed they would last 75, 000 miles. You accepted the fact that no one would ever give you a thumbs up at a stop light, and you set your sights on a girlfriend or boyfriend who respected “value” and “inner beauty. ” Small cars were unloved, and the manufacturers did very little to make them loveable.

The history of portable trade show displays is not much different. Through much of the 80’s and 90’s, they were functional rather than beautiful. Pop ups were lightweight and convenient, and if you could afford mural graphics, often attractive (if at times fragile). Folding panel systems were more durable, but regardless of how many detachable graphics, lightboxes, shelves, or backlit headers were added, they were folding walls with carpet. And they were heavy. Laminate modular systems upped the ante a bit since they mimicked many custom features. These were an improvement, but the prices were no longer portable.

Times Have Changed

Over the past 7-8 years, trade show display manufacturers have evolved, much like the auto industry. Smaller products come in far more designs, in a wide range of price points, and can be basic or upscale. No display category speaks to that more than “hybrids. ” Hybrid displays are much sexy than pop ups or panel systems, without necessarily sacrificing the benefits of portability or modularity. Hybrids combine engineered aluminum extrusion and large format tension fabric graphics with just about anything else that makes sense. And because metal can be bent, hybrids move beyond squares, rectangles, and 90 degree corners. Curves elevate simple designs into alluring, attractive, and lightweight displays.

Does that mean hybrids are custom displays? Not necessarily yes, but not necessarily no. The very nature of a hybrid display makes it somewhat of a chameleon. For example, they can be simple 10 ft. kits between $4k to $8k, or ground-up island designs between $60k to $160k. It’s their upscale look and adaptability that make them popular choices. Hybrids can pack in portable roto-molded cases or ship in custom crates, all depending on the complexity, scale, and features of the exhibit.

What Makes Them Different?

So what makes similar hybrids different from manufacturer to manufacturer? Design for one. In that respect, it’s very similar to buying a car. There are certain looks that appeal to us, and others that don’t. Features are another. For example, you may need locking storage, a large monitor option, or an iPad solution. Not all manufacturers or designs will address those requirements. Finally, there’s assembly, packaging, and quality. Except for design, this is where you’ll find the biggest difference between hybrid display manufacturers.

Assembly: You have a choice. There’s the ‘bag of bolts” approach, where assembling a hybrid requires multiple tools, loose parts, and generic instructions. Unfortunately, there’s no rule of thumb since price doesn’t dictate ease of assembly. It depends on whether the manufacturer values easy assembly and custom instructions. Manufacturers who value easy assembly design their systems with attached knobs and connectors. This approach limits the number of loose parts, and all components are numbered (and referenced in the instructions). There’s a night and day difference between a “bag of bolts” vs. “knob and attached connectors. ”

Packaging: Few exhibitors think about packaging when purchasing an exhibit, but they should. Quality manufacturers sweat the details. They make sure that packing is just as easy as unpacking. They remove the guesswork. They don’t rely on bubble wrap and lightweight disposable foam, but die-cut foam packaging, fabric lined crates, and permanent jigging.

Making The Most Of A Small Trade Show Exhibit Area

When it comes to trade show displays, bigger isn’t always better. Although many veteran designers will despair when faced with a small unit, those who are innovative and often more successful welcome the smaller space as an opportunity. Condensed convention spaces can lead to better choices, better design, and ultimately a more impactful presentation.

Small Trade Show Displays, Big Impact

A compact unit has an inherent advantage because of its reduced area. When you’re planning out a small booth, you must consider every letter and every picture much more carefully. The space is so tight that you cannot avoid coming up with a precise, well thought out layout. This is a sharp contrast to the larger units, where almost limitless space allows designers to be more careless in their selections. It’s easier to end up with information overload and provide data that doesn’t have a lot of value in the end.

Similarly, a small trade show exhibit often leads to a more focused message than its larger cousins. When working with a limited area, the sheer volume of information that can be communicated becomes limited as well. Less space forces companies to be very selective about what they choose to feature, which almost inevitably produces a highly targeted and highly effective message – even if the company isn’t aware that they are being so careful to craft the perfect phrase.

Make Sure To Leave Empty Space

One of the most common mistakes people make when designing a small trade show booth is to fill every available inch with information. While this might seem like a good idea at first, you’ll quickly realize that you will overwhelm your visitors with too much text or too many pictures. As you consider the design more thoroughly, you’ll begin to notice a trend toward a more minimalist aesthetic. This is a good trend to follow when room is tight; a stark canvas will draw a lot of attention and help you stand out amongst larger competition.

Think Outside The Trade Show Booth Box

When you are working with a limited area, being creative can be a great way to distinguish yourself from the competition. A brilliant design idea will make you stand out from even the largest displays with the flashiest high-budget elements. There are many different kinds of creative paths which can be helpful here. The first is to use your space as wisely as possible, beyond just your exhibit. How much space do you really have? Can you put some kind of product demonstration on a nearby table? What about something at the feet of your unit if it’s a tabletop exhibit? Any idea which fully utilizes your allotted area is a good one.

In addition, innovative marketing is a great addition to a small trade show exhibit. It is wise to announce your presence via social media and perhaps even more conventional advertisement in your industry’s media or local markets, depending on your target audience.

Boost Up Your Small Trade With Utilization of the Credit Card

The use of credit cards has become the call for the hour. If you are operating with a small or undersized business and desire to boost it then you must not delay in switching over the credit cards. This is the best option to encourage your trade. Switching over the utilization of the credit cards the ideal or finest option can develop your small trade. The utilization of these plastic cards can have a great impact on your trade. I am confident that the use of these plastic cards will augment the trade which is being dealt by you.

Employing the credit cards simply indicates that the person wants to make the trade reach the new heights. It has a great impact on your business and you cannot easily ignore this fact. The consumption of these plastic cards can avail you with two fold promises: it will expand your trade and make huge profits in it. Apart from these promises the deployment of these plastic cards will attract more people towards your business.

As a bonus point the people that are making the use of these cards are availed with both current and future potential. It will develop the interest of your customers in the transactions and draw them towards your trade. The utilization of these plastic cards will develop the trust of your patrons and establish the business. These cards have a great use for the people who are dealing with the merchant account. The older accounts are swamped and bear a close resemblance to the accounts that were in the existence few years ago.

In the latest years the recession has brought ample of sufferings for the companies that were well established. The business has been pressed down and curbed by a heavy hand of this devil. This has made the people to switch over the merchant account and take the help of these plastic cards. It will take only some efforts and few hours for comparing the providers and exploring the finest account that will suit your purpose. Accepting a credit card is not a big and sophisticated deal. You can easily switch over these cards and take the best out of them.

Once you have made your mind to utilize these cards for your small trade and the linked transactions you can easily take the pleasure from the fresh level of handiness and flexibility which will avail you with the visitors that will love to make the deals with you time and again.

How to Grow a Small Trading Account Successfully

Before we jump into the details, we need to first look at your mindset, your expectations and what is achievable. We all know that you’re not going to make a million dollars in 6 weeks, so we need to align your goals and your expectations. You wouldn’t learn to be a doctor in 2 days, similarly you won’t learn to trade in 2 days.

Let’s assume you’ve got a trading account of $3000 or less. The first step is to understand that the reason you are not making money trading is not down to the size of your account. If you can grow a small trading account, you can grow a large trading account, and vice versa. The simple truth is that when trading a smaller trading account you are typically more desperate to grow it faster. You need to control your emotions, control your desire to grow the account at an exponential rate and understand what is achievable. You cannot allow desperation, or a ‘need’ to make money to creep in or you will simply blow up your account, through trying harder and risking more until there is nothing left.

Look at the percentage growth, not the monetary growth.

Focus on trading the markets, on making % growth, not on the money you’re making to begin with. As an example, if you’ve got a $3000 trading account and you’re consistently producing $300 a month, that represents a 10% growth on account, and will triple your trading account every year. That is huge % growth, even though the money seems small to begin with. We all understand that trading is a marathon, not a sprint, so expect to be actively trading for at least 3-5 years. I always start off targeting people at 3-6% growth per month, and increasing that % as their ability improves.

If we take 6% growth per month, this will double your account every year. Which granted, on a $3, 000 account, is only $3, 000 profit, but your account will grow from $3, 000 to $6, 000, to $12, 000, to $24, 000, to $48, 000 to $96, 000, to $192, 000, to $384, 000, to $768, 000 to $1, 536, 000. You are putting in the same amount of work at the end, as you were at the beginning, but as the account grows, the financial return from the account grows and grows and grows.

Treat a small account like its 100 times greater than it actually is.

Improve your discipline by imagining your account is 100 times greater than it is, or by imagining you are risking all of your account per trade. DO NOT actually do it, but think how your discipline and quality of trades would improve if you had to put all of your account on each trade. The importance of this exercise is not in aggressive risk, but in improving discipline. Remember that growing a trading account successfully is based on taking as many winning profitable trades, with each winner making as much as possible, while losing few trades and losing as little as possible on each loser. In essence taking as many steps forwards, while taking as few steps back. The importance here is on taking as few losers as possible and making them as small as possible. Keep the drawdowns small, and the big winners will take care of the rest.

A consistent track record, is worth far more than you could possibly imagine

Traders that start with small accounts, should seek to achieve a consistent track record. A consistent track record can really take you places. If you’re doubling your money every year, isn’t it feasible that you could do that for others too? Think of everyone you know that has the finances to put a minimum of $2000 in a trading account and forget about it for a few years. Parents, grandparents, angel investors, even friends. Once you’ve got yourself a solid year track record, start showing people. You’re going to have a lot of interested parties, as I don’t know anywhere else you can get 100%+ returns each year, and I’m pretty sure they don’t know that many places either. If you are able to offer that service you’d be amazed at how many people suddenly find a few thousand to put into an account.

Online Business Degrees

Have you have made the decision to get an online business degree but do not quite know what business area to specialize in? If you are looking for flexibility, it is hard to think of another field as vast as business. Online business degree programs tend to incorporate classes from all specialties of business, giving you the knowledge to tackle any business project. You may choose a general online business degree such as an online business administration degree or you may specialize by pursuing a specialty such as an online accounting degree. To help you decide, here is what you can expect to learn in the many online business degree programs that are offered.

Online Accounting Degree
Accountants are essential to all organizations, as accountants log income and assets. To remain competitive today’s economy, organizations are actively seeking job candidates who are thoroughly knowledgeable of accounting theories and practices. Upper level positions in accounting are always available for those with the essential understanding of generally accepted accounting principles practiced in today’s accounting profession. An online accounting degree will provide you with the knowledge of financial, managerial and tax accounting practices. Besides organizing and preparing a company’s financial statements, accountants are may also get involved in projects such as reviewing new accounting technology and evaluate financials for mergers and acquisitions.

Online Business Management Degree
For ultimate flexibility it’s difficult to think of a degree as valuable as an online business management degree. Organizations are actively seeking job candidates who are well-rounded in their knowledge of business practices and management methodologies. For those with the understanding of the skills to effectively direct the required imperatives that today’s marketplace demands, upper level positions in management are always available. An online business management degree will teach you critical communication and problem-solving skills, along with practical knowledge about how businesses operate and function successfully.

 

Online Business Administration Degree
Can’t decide what business specialty to pursue? If so, then an online business administration degree is the way to go. With a degree in Business Administration, you will learn all of the fundamentals required in business & management including communication, critical thinking, strategizing and problem solving. An online business management degree is your ticket to a wide variety of specialties, from office management and accounting to financial administration and human resources.

Online Communications Degree
With an online communications degree, you will become a vital part of any company seeking to stay on top of the fast-changing communications curve. After obtaining a an online communications degree, you will have a thorough knowledge of the different methods of communication including print, television, radio and the web. You will also learn the best practices to apply whether the you are trying to get a message across to one person, a community, or the entire world.

Online Finance Degree
The finance of any organization must be properly managed to make sure that the company is profitable and an online finance degree would make you invaluable to any organization as you help them to stay above their profit margins. With an online finance degree, you’ll learn the principles of accounting and finance, asset and debt management and financial analysis. After obtaining your online finance degree, you will know how to plan, evaluate and manage a company’s financial position and make recommendations to improve a company’s standing.

Online Human Resources Degree
As companies hire new recruits, companies turn to their human resources team to assist them in the company’s growth. Your online human resources degree can make sure that you have a thorough understanding of human resources practices to help any organization grow. There is more to human resources than just interviewing and hiring. Earning an online human resources degree will not only provide you with the skills to interview and recruit new staff for a company, but you will also learn about employment law, labor policies, and proper hiring and training procedures.

Online Businesses Don’t Work!

Type in the words ‘Online Business, ‘ ‘Working Online, ‘ or several other versions of that word-search and you will find a myriad of online business opportunities. It would appear that there are hundreds, if not millions, of people becoming entrepreneurs overnight, with millionaire lifestyles all with online business working only two-hours a day. If this were the case, would we not all be amassing our fortunes online?

The real question is: How do you sort out the wheat from the chaff: The good online business from the bad? There are so many online business opportunities on offer. There are a number of essential elements that any online business has to have to make it a credible and viable business:
1. Are the online business incomes credible?
2. Are you given full systems support for your business?
3. Do you get any training?
4. Is the training on-going – does it develop with you?
5. Are there real people for you to talk too for advice, help and support?
6. Is there an actual product behind the internet business?

‘Earn 100k in one month. ‘ We have all seen the adverts on Google or Yahoo. This will come as no surprise these claims are not true for the average internet business entrepreneur. The claims are more often than not bogus. Any internet business that is offer 100k income after four weeks is likely to be a scam. These sites claim that for minimal investment you will reap huge rewards quickly without having to do a thing. If someone, a complete stranger walked up to you in the street and said: “Give me £100 and I will make you a million. ” Would you do it? No. I thought not.

It is possible to earn a good amount of money online, in some cases, life changing sums of money if you take the time to understand study and substantiate how the income claims are realized. For example an online marketing business may specify that it take 800 leads to return 1000 in sales per month. The business should specify whether the lead generation is free or requires investment in the form of advertising on Google or Yahoo. It is important to note that 800 leads may not automatically lead to 1000 in sales, as like in any business, there are always going to be some variables that impact on the overall sales per number of leads. Any sites that offer 100% conversion rates should trigger big flashing warning signs in your brain ‘Danger! ‘, a spoof business opportunity, don’t invest!

Once you have substantiated that an income potential is achievable form an online business opportunity it is important that you know how the business generates its income. What operating systems are in place to ensure that your internet business, that you have invested time and money in, will operate successfully and what does it cost?

A true online business should offer you an integrated and personalized marketing and customer management system. This facilitates you with the means to set-up and run your own personalized website and the leads generated by your website will be stored for you to view and follow-up with. The most professional online business opportunities will offer you a detailed traffic, leads and sales tracking systems that will allow you to see which adverts and promotions are driving traffic to your site and which are not. This saves you wasting time and money on advertising that does not work and investing more in those adverts that do generate sales.

Once you have a list of interested potential customers (leads); are you left to call the customers or does the online business operate a system that allows your leads to be followed up by their team of experts? Credible online business opportunities will offer you a professional call center to assist in helping to close sales or tell people more about your business and service and product that you have on offer. After all, you may not be able to talk to every lead; you may well be working your regular job while starting this new online enterprise.

Getting Started Building a Successful Online Business!

Start Planning!

It is true you can make money on the internet. You can make a lot of money on the internet. Online business is growing rapidly and there’s a reason for that. But starting an online business and starting a successful online business are not one and the same thing. Many people ask “How can I start an easy online business? ” However, like any successful business idea the notion of an easy online business is a myth. A successful internet business needs the same attention to forethought as any successful business. Whether you are looking to start successful online store or successful home business the early stages require good planning, good organization and hardwork.

You will make money online with good planning!

The first step of starting a successful business online is the same step as starting any successful business. You need to plan your new online business as much as any other business. A home based online business is going to need to planning just as much as a home based cake business or delivery firm in order to succeed and make money online!

Only fools rush in!

Often, when people are starting a new online business their first impulse is to get online! This would seem to make sense. I mean how can you start an online business without being online? They then waste a lot of time and money searching the net for good hosting and snapping up web domains so they can quickly get started in their new online business. In truth though you are already online! And you are already working on your new internet business.

What kind of Online Business do you want to start?

The first thing you will need to plan for in your online business is what kind of business that will be! Are you trying to sell items on eBay? Start an online store selling a product of your own? Or start an online store selling someone else’s products? Are you going to start a website to market affiliate products?

Get a clear idea of what kind of online business you want and research it.

Having a clear idea of where your new online business is going is going to save you a lot of wasted time and money. Good research into what you will want to market in your online business will help you to choose wisely when choosing domains. How much traffic or web space you will need for your online store or your new online business website will determine which hosting option you choose and where you plant those domain names – especially, if you plan on having multiple sites.

What products will you sell and how will you market them?

Marketing tactics are going to be crucial to your online success. Knowing which path you are taking and what marketing methods you will be using is going to save you a lot of time and money in the future. It will determine what kind of site you will need and what marketing tools you will use. Good choices early on will help your business to achieve its aims quickly and mean any money you did spend on hosting and domains starting an your business was money well spent. Having a clear business idea and choosing the right products to sell on your website will increase it’s effect and help you decide the design and content of your site.

Get the proper training and online resources.

If you are completely new to internet marketing and online internet business, one thing that often proves crucial to success is proper training. Getting help and advice form the experts can save you a lot of time in learning skills of online business and have you running your internet business much more quickly and profitably. This needn’t break the bank and there is a lot of information out there.

The Power of Online Business Directories and How to Get Started Fast

More and more small businesses today are using online business directories to their benefit. If you run a small business, you likely spend a great deal of your time thinking about your marketing plan. online business directories can be a great addition to your current small business marketing strategy. Those sites can help your small business expand its website traffic, increase the likelihood that your website will be found by interested visitors and increase your bottom line. If you haven’t taken a look at those directories and considered how your small business could use them to increase its market presence, then now is the time to start!

What Are Online Business Directories?

There are many different types of online business directories available on the Internet. Each of these sites serves a specific purpose and can be used by your small business in specific ways.

An online business directory is a website submission service that allows your small business’ website to be added to a specific category where it can be searched for by interested visitors. Listing your small business on an online business directory increases your website’s visibility on the web and helps to create inbound links to your business’ website. This places make it easy for people to find what they are looking for. These directories can be accessed from just about anywhere that has an internet connection. This means that people could find your business’ website from their home, office or even while traveling.

Every website that is submitted to an online business directory is placed in a specific category. These categories can range in how they are organized. Some are organized by business-related categories, some are organized according to personal preferences and others are organized by subject. Each category consists of several websites relating to a specific topic. Each website listing features the name of the website, a direct link to the website and a short description of the website. Interested Internet visitors will be able to browse through the various categories in the directory and locate websites like yours that they may be interested in visiting. Essentially, those places make it easier for any visitor to find your business’ website.

How Do Online Business Directories Work?

The concept of online business directories is actually a pretty simple one. These webistes are very similar to the Yellow Pages in the real world, only these listings are only online. (Actually Yellow Pages.com is now one of the largest online directories as well.) A directory is just a listing place for a number of websites. Any type of website could be listed in an online business directory. Some directories are huge and cover every topic that someone could create a website for, while others are very small and specific to a specific niche.

Let’s use an example. Say you are a model airplane enthusiast and you want to find some websites that cater to your specific interest. You could look through a huge online business directory such as Google My Business and find several dozen websites that are related to model airplanes. Or you could look for an online business directory that is niche-specific, which means that the entire online business directory would be based on hobbies such as model airplanes. With a niche-specific directory you may find even more websites that are based on your specific interest than what you could find on the larger directories.

Since online business directories are organized by categories, finding websites that relate to a specific interest such as model airplanes is very easy. You could find information and websites about model airplanes in your local region too, if you use a regional-specific online business directory. So if you live in Phoenix you could find websites that relate to both model airplanes and the Phoenix area. These places will direct you to websites that you want to find. All you have to do is perform a search in the online business directory for a specific topic or browse through the various categories until you find the type of websites you are looking for. When you perform a search you will be given a list of all of the websites that relate to your search term. You will be presented with a number of links to these websites and each link will have a short description of what you are likely to find on the website. You can read the descriptions and choose to click on the website that best suits you.

Find More Clients Being Active In Local Business Communities

Small business owners can find more clients by becoming active members in the local business community, whether by joining a local business chamber of commerce or through industry groups, or just attending business social events and local trade shows. By interacting with local businesses a small business owner has the best chance at locating companies that can be excellent joint venture partners that are currently servicing their exact demographic. The following, highlights a few of the most important aspects of developing joint ventures through participation at local business community events.

Find Industry Groups / Business Owner Gatherings

Determining the type of companies and people that are required to develop the relationships needed to create successful joint ventures is the first thing required before identifying where to meet them. There are lots of places to find information about local business groups and trade shows for industry groups. A few Google searches for trade shows and a specific location will result in lists of venues and upcoming events. Attend relevant events that would be interesting for pursuing companies and individuals of interest to your business. One good source for finding local events is Meetup.com where there are plenty of business / entrepreneur focused groups where business owners get together to talk about business topics as well as industry groups that are interested in a specific niche, like software developers that get together to talk about industry topics.

Develop Relationships with Business Decision Makers

When at business functions and events as a small business owner it is best to focus energies on meeting and spending time talking with individuals that are decision makers. At business events and trade shows time can be wasted interacting with a sales rep that is just looking for sales opportunities. This can be good if there is an existing customer base for your business that aligns with their product or service, but if the desire is to locate new existing customers for a business through joint ventures, spending time with executive management is key and it’s best to avoid the typical sales rep just pitching products and services.

Establish Joint Venture Partnerships with Local Businesses

Reaching out to local businesses to become joint venture partners is a proven way to find more clients in a specific region. For most small business owners the focus is on servicing the local community with a product or service and so developing partners with other local businesses can quickly expand brand awareness to the right demographic of customers. Local business owners will be easier to develop relationships with regardless if a business is planning on only servicing a local region or planning an eventual national or global launch. It’s important that each joint venture is successful to build momentum in the market and maintaining strong communication between partners is more easily done when decision makers for each business are close enough to meet in person.

Don’t Sell – Find Champions Who Sell

When meeting business executives and business decision makers it is important to not spend lots of time selling a product or service, instead develop relationships with others that can become a champion for your product or service to their existing customer base which will lead to your business finding more clients. Build a personal relationship first even though attending business related functions, the business part will always come, but learn the kids and spouse’s names and other details through the conversation to be used in later conversations to develop a personal relationship with a potential business partner. By the time a partnership agreement is on the table and discussions about how to implement the marketing strategies for promoting the joint venture the terms will always be more favorable than if approaching joint venture partnerships from a strictly business perspective when dealing with local business owners.