SANTA MONICA, Ca. (PRESS RELEASE – January 12, 2009) – Business.com, the leading business search engine, directory and pay-per-click advertising network, today announced a broad cross section of small businesses as winners of its first ever What Works for Business contest. Designed to reward small businesses finding practical solutions to today’s market challenges, the 2008 contest received entries from companies all over the United States and Canada. After a panel of business leaders narrowed the entries to 50 finalists across 10 categories, the business community cast more than 5,000 votes to select nine category winners and one $10,000 grand prize winner: Broadcasters & Sportscasters Mentoring Group (www.sportscastingcareers.com).
A sports broadcasting school and mentoring program located in Calabasas, Calif., Broadcasters & Sportscasters Mentoring Group (BMG) received the highest number of votes in both the Startup category and the contest overall. As a fledgling venture with a niche audience, SMG faced a common challenge in 2008: building brand recognition on a shoestring budget. SMG turned to the Web for a comprehensive solution. Its low-cost but effective approach relied on email, online search marketing, social media outreach and e-commerce.
“Winning the Business.com contest is an incredible honor that validates the systems and processes we’ve put in place to ensure our continued growth,” said BMG founder Michael Madden. “This award proves that start-ups can rely on ingenuity when investors are scarce, and that today’s business challenges are no more than obstacles waiting to be solved.”
“All the businesses that participated in the What Works for Business contest demonstrate the resourceful, entrepreneurial spirit at the heart of American business,” says Daniel Kehrer, Editor of Business.com and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2008 Journalist of the Year for the Los Angeles region. “Now more than ever, Business.com is dedicated to meeting the needs of businesses searching the internet for real solutions to their challenges.”
The What Works for Business contest will also award each of the following individual category winners $2,000 for their businesses:
Best Business Location Solution – Rodeway Inn and Suites. This Colorado Springs, Colo. Hotel successfully tackled the challenge of lost business due to their location in a rough neighborhood by offering exceptional customer value (uncompromising focus on quality, upgraded amenities, below market rates) and by forming a very active local merchants association focused community development and safety to improve the neighborhood.
Best Management Solution – Coconut Grove Construction. In a classic case of turning around a business in the face of a recession, the owner of this Fort Myers, Fla. company faced a 50 percent drop in sales last year and the loss of an important business partner. By focusing the company on the most recession-proof of the services they provided – roofing – and nearly doubling advertising spend with a careful eye on return on investment, the company increased revenue 92 percent and net income before taxes 354 percent.
Best Office Management Solution – sweetriot: In need of an office manager but with no budget to hire one, this socially responsible New York, NY chocolate company got everyone involved to create a better workplace: “homebase” employees split general office tasks, the company’s Board members contributed photo frames and gifts to support the office culture, and customers were encouraged to submit and vote on a name for the company’s new office.
Best Money Solution – Sew ‘N Sew Bridal and Tuxedo. To save the considerable expense of hiring models for bridal shows, this Lafayette, N.J. bridal store turned to their most recent customers as models. These new brides can provide clear testimonials about the company’s service, plus they are thrilled for the opportunity to wear their wedding gowns again.
Best Operations Solution – Clifton Billiards: The new owners of this popular Clifton, N.J. pool hall wanted to renovate the space, which had changed very little since the business started in the 1960s, but didn’t have the funds due to high energy bills running three times monthly rent. To reduce energy costs, they replaced outdated lighting fixtures with more energy efficient models and modified circuitry to be able to light individual pool tables rather than the entire 6,000 square foot space.
Best People Solution – crowdSPRING: To replace a star employee as quickly as possible, this Chicago creative services agency made an aggressive push into social media, such as blogging, Facebook and Twitter, and attracted a large number of highly creative and qualified candidates.
Best Sales, Marketing & Customer Support Solution – eyedia, design it again: Located on historical Beargrass Creek and founded on the principle of environmental responsibility, this Louisville, Ky. consignment store hosted a “De-Bug the Beargrass” environment education event in conjunction with the City of Louisville’s removal of a Volkswagen Beetle embedded in the creek 30 feet below their store for over 30 years.
Best Technology Solution – Crescent Solutions: With little budget left after an expensive corporate branding and identity redesign project, this Lake Worth, Fla. consulting firm found success using online professional network site LinkedIn as a cost-effective solution for marketing, advertising and attracting new employees.
Best Web Presence Solution – Berrien Metal Products: A manufacturing company based in Buchanan, Mich., Berrien found, purchased and seamlessly transitioned to a new domain name for the company web site without losing their existing search engine rankings.
North American businesses can now enter the 2009 What Works for Business contest by visiting http://whatworks.business.com and submitting any business challenge they’ve faced and how they solved it. Each month, a winner will be determined by popular vote and featured prominently on Business.com.
For more information on the 2008 What Works for Business contest winners and finalists, including solutions to business challenges, visit http://whatworks.business.com.
Business.com, a wholly owned subsidiary of R.H. Donnelley Corporation, (OTC: RHDC.PK), is the leading business search engine, directory and pay-per-click advertising network, serving more than 40 million business users and thousands of advertisers every month. Business.com helps business decision makers quickly find what they need to manage and grow their businesses, and enables business-to-business marketing professionals to reach these users wherever they are across the business Internet through premier partners, including Forbes, Hoovers, and Financial Times. Business.com has been named to the Inc. 500 as well as BtoB Magazine’s Media Power 50. The company was recently named to Los Angeles Business Journal’s List of Best Places to Work for the second consecutive year.