The Oakland County area has an abundance of opportunities for existing businesses and new ventures.
When the going gets rough, the entrepreneurial spirit gets creative and resourceful.
The Oakland Press has gathered upcoming events, news and links to help business owners and professionals succeed.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Can employees take their Twitter followers when they leave?

by Kathy Blake

A South Carolina company, PhoneDog LLC filed a lawsuit against a former employee,
Noah Kravitz, who took his 17,000 twitter followers with him when he left the company. The company says Kravitz owes $340,000 — 2.50 per twitter follower per month since he left the company 8 months ago. Forbes.com

It will be interesting to see how this develops.
 Since Twitter is a free service and employees can use it anywhere, not just at work, shouldn't they be able to take their contact list, (followers and following) with them?
Many companies want their workers to interact on Twitter and Facebook during work time. By interacting with clients and the public, it builds relationships, community connections and promotes the company.
Many employees spend hours outside of work, building their Twitter following and staying in touch, continuing to build relationships.
Many companies have policies in place regarding contact information which could probably be modified to include Twitter and other social media.
The way Twitter is designed is bound to bring about more of these types of claims. Having a large following, like 17,000 can be worth a great deal to advertisers who pay to have their messages tweeted. It takes a lot of time to build a following of that size.
When the employee leaves, (possibly to work for a competitor), should they be able to take their social media contacts with them?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Using social media networking to find a job

Social Media is a Party! “Using Social Media to Find Your Next Position/Employee” is Thursday, March 1 at Dino's Lounge, 22740 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. The panel discussion which begins at 7 p.m., features Matt Mosher, CEO of hiredMYway.com and David Phillips, co founder of DetroitNET.org. This is followed by a hands-on social media session with Twitter games and giveaways, concluding at 10 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and $20 at the door. Appetizers will be served, cash bar is available. For information, visit www.SocialMediaIsaParty.com.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Upcoming business events

Feb. 23: Oakland Job Hub
Oakland Job Hub 2012 Where Oakland Employers Meet SE Michigan Job Seekers is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23. The career fair has more than 25 employers scheduled for the event at Oakland University Student Center, 2200 N. Squirrel Road, Rochester. The following companies are registered for the 2012 Job Hub: AXA Equitable, Design Systems, Harman, Hewlett Packard, HiredMyWay.com, ImageSoft, iDashboards and PGK Engineering. There is a $125 registration for employers but no charge for job applicants. Registration is required for employers and job seekers at www.mijobhub.com. Job seekers should register by Feb. 16.

Feb. 23: Joint Cities Development
Joint Cities Development and Comerica Bank host “Creating Contracts, Not Just Contacts: Think and Stay In The Black,” 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.Thursday, Feb. 23 at the remodeled Comerica Bank, 201 W. Fort St., Detroit. To help attendees gain more potential clients, the free event features pre-matching of partners, rotating networking and an elevator speech contest with prizes. Financial specialists are scheduled to speak on financing, common mistakes that hurt revenue and strategic financial partnerships and how overall business practices affect the economy. A product and resource display area is available for participating businesses and (sponsor) service providers to exhibit their offerings. Pre-registration is required. For more information, visit www.jointcities.org/events or call 313-961-1141.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Can spouses stay in love AND stay in business?

Evidently, the answer is yes and here's some tips that might help.
Submitted by Laura Zanzal

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many Americans are ready to surprise their sweetie with chocolates and flowers, but 2.4 million Americans will be showering love and presents to their business partner. According to the National Federation of Independent Business, 1.2 million small businesses nationwide are owned by husband-and-wife teams. 

Randy Rubin, co-founder of West Bloomfield’s Crypton, a textile company that treats fabric to make stain, liquid and odor-causing bacteria resistant textiles, met her husband Craig in 1993.  Three months later, the couple married and started a business together.  Still in love and successfully operating after 19 years, Randy offers five tips for couples ready to take the plunge and start a business together:

1).  Split Your Roles: Randy focuses more on the legal, marketing and retail sales, while Craig is more focused on research and development, running the plant and accounting.  By splitting up responsibilities, Randy believes this allows her and Craig to continue to develop their professional careers in subjects they are interested in.  Furthermore, Randy appreciates that she is able to make decisions on her own in the areas in which she leads.

2). Share an Office: Despite splitting the roles in their company, Randy recommends sharing an office with your spouse.   No one in this world could ever understand how hard it has been to make your small business successful, according to Randy, and by sharing an office, it allows you to both know what’s going on and bounce ideas off each other, since you both are so invested in the business.

3). Don’t Be Scared on the Same Day: There always needs to be one co-founder confident and ready to take on the world, says Randy.  If both of you are scared, it’s easy to be reluctant to make big business decisions.  While one of you may be a little nervous and hesitant, having your spouse as a support system who can push you in the right direction is very helpful.

4). You Can Be Best Friends, But Have Other Friends Too: Make sure that you have other friends and interests with your spouse outside of work so your company doesn’t become your entire life.  Randy, for example, started a fun club with four other couples where each month they tackle one item on their bucket list – like visiting Niagara Falls or trying a new restaurant.

5). Don’t Be Embarrassed to Tell Potential Clients You are Together: Be proud of the fact you are partners – both in love and in business, says Randy.  Many of her potential clients find it charming that her and Craig were married at their initial meeting.  She believes from a selling perspective, it made it easier making follow up calls, as these prospects definitely remembered her and her husband.

Submitted by Laura Zanzal, senior account executive, Zeno Group, New York NY

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Business Calendar

AUBURN HILLS
Feb. 7: IMPACT 2012
Automation Alley’s IMPACT 2012 conference is 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7 at Centerpoint Marriott, 3600 Centerpoint Parkway, Auburn Hills. The day will begin with a keynote panel moderated by Carol Cain, columnist at the Detroit Free Press. Breakout sessions throughout the day will cover topics ranging from building a brand to cloud computing to the State Trade Export Promotion (STEP) program. The event will end with networking and a cash bar reception, with appetizers and raffle from 3 to 5 p.m. Admission is $89 for members and $119 for nonmembers. For information, visit automationalley.com or call 800-427-5100.

BIRMINGHAM
Feb. 8: Bulletproof success
The Community House presents: Bulletproof Your Success Business Lectures which offer tools and processes to improve personal business effectiveness. Monthly lectures run 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 8, and go through Sept. 12 at The Community House, 380 South Bates Street, Birmingham. Each lecture is $35, plus $10 for lunch. For more information, visit www.tchbulletproof.org or call 248-644-5832.

NOVI
Feb. 8: Negotiation
The Novi Oaks Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association hosts an interactive program “Negotiation: Getting What You’re Worth”: 6:15 to 8:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8 at the DoubleTree Hotel, 42100 Crescent Blvd, Novi. Dinner (salad, roll, entree, desert, coffee and tea)is included. Network with area professionals. The cost is $16 in advance. Visit www.abwa-novi.org.


MADISON HEIGHTS
Feb. 9: Real Estate meeting
Real Estate Investors Assoc. of Oakland regular meeting is 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 9 at Club Venetian, 29310 John R. Road, Madison Heights. The seminar is free to members, $20 for nonmembers. Visit www.REIAofOAKLAND.com or call 800-747-6742.

WATERFORD TWP.
Feb. 8: Pre-Business Research
Oakland County Business Center is hosting their Pre-Business Research workshop, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. For information, visit www.oakgov.com/peds/calendar.


HIGHLAND
Feb. 10: Highland-White Lake Business Association
The Highland-White Lake Business Association hosts a monthly networking coffee hour.
This month it is 8 to 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 10 at Huron Valley State Bank in Highland.

TROY
Feb. 16: Winter CPE MEGA Conference
Winter CPE MEGA Conference, presented by the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants is 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 at MSU Management Education Center, 811 West Square Lake Road, Troy. Registration and refreshments begin at 8 a.m. Recommended CPE Credit is eight hours (includes A&A and Ethics). The cost is $215 for MACPA members and $315 for registrants. For information, visit 855-594-4273 or michcpa.org .

ROCHESTER HILLS
Feb. 16: Career fair
Michigan Expo Experts is hosting a career fair Thursday, Feb. 16 at Concorde Inn Hotel Rochester Hills. For information, call 734-956-4550, ext. 1 or visit www.JobFairGiant.com.

For more events and to submit your business event, click on the Business Calendar listings in the right column of this page.