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Score some business advice

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  • | 8:26 a.m. November 22, 2013
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Manasota Score, a mentoring organization for businesses with a stable of retired executives in consulting roles, has hit on two new ways to reach out to entrepreneurs.

The group, for one, recently launched a podcast series on iTunes. The recordings, in talk-radio interview format, are led by Score mentor Dennis Zink, a retired publishing executive who's now a facilitator for Manatee Chamber CEO Roundtable meetings. Zink interviews experts on franchising, buying a business and selling a business in the first three podcasts.

Manasota Score also recently debuted Success Strategies for Business Owners, a series of meetings through, a website that connects people to a variety of gatherings in their community. The first meeting, held Nov. 13 at the Manatee Chamber's Lakewood Ranch office in east Manatee County, featured a presentation from Mical Johnson, who runs a Sarasota-based digital marketing firm. Johnson centered his talk on what he calls the three things every business must have for success. His rules:

  • Differentiate or die: “There are a lot of things you can do to be different,” says Johnson. “It can be as simple as a name change.” Johnson should know: He changed his first name from Michael to Mical to stand out more, given his common name. Johnson also cited the example of a painting contractor he knows who wears a suit to meet with perspective clients, so they will remember him.
  • No other skill is as important as sales and marketing: Johnson says he regularly works with and sees businesses that get bogged down in little-picture issues. That can shift focus away from the overall mission and objectives. “You can't be in business if you're not collecting checks,” he says. “You can't pay employees and you can't grow.”
  • Forge networks and learn to connect: Johnson encourages entrepreneurs to meet regularly with other business owners. “These connections,” Johnson says, “will help you weather the good and bad times.”

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