10,000 Small Businesses Makes Me Interesting at Parties (And Other Marketing Company Insights)

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Businesses Interview 2019 BigOrange Marketing

It has been an exciting journey for our small business marketing company BigOrange Marketing as we prepare to scale our firm in 2020. We are thrilled to have been invited by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) program to interview this December 19. It’s been exciting to learn about the access to business growth knowledge, capital and contacts that the program will bring. Plus, the practical business education program modules look amazing; from identifying opportunities for growth to actions for growth.

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses

But one side benefit has been that talking about the 10,000 Small Businesses program also makes us interesting at parties. 

In 2017, I started BigOrange Marketing

In 2017, I started BigOrange Marketing with a mission to do small business marketing differently and to provide real value every day for the companies that make America run. It’s sad to see that the reputation of the marketing industry has been damaged as of late by firms that overpromise, underdeliver and overcharge. This leaves small businesses skeptical of getting the help they need to reach their growth goals and scale.

But if you don’t invest in marketing, how are you going to grow? Our small business marketing firm, BigOrange Marketing, has been helping companies in the financial services, IT services and building industries to grow. We know the techniques of SEO optimized websites, blogging, email and how to connect marketing efforts with sales. 

Applying for the 10,000 Small Businesses Program

In October 2019, I received an email invitation to apply to the 10,000 Small Businesses program. Throughout the year, I’ve enjoyed attending affordable business support events through HCDC, Together Digital, 1819 Innovation Hub, Sharonville Chamber, Cincinnati USA Chamber and Score among other programs.

In Cincinnati, we have a rich and welcoming entrepreneur support system. Through attending these events, my small business must have made it on a list to receive an invitation to apply. The application seemed straightforward enough, asking to describe our products and services and what we hope to get out of the program.

For the latter question, I shared our tough struggles to win and close business. How competition is fierce and how prospects are slow to make decisions. How, now, we are re-focusing our small business marketing company to scale in 2020 by working in financial services marketing and IT services marketing. I explained how a firm like ours could benefit from general business knowledge, advisors and access to capital. About a week after the application process closed, I was delighted to learn BigOrange was tentatively invited to interview this December.

Thrilling! But, I also had to submit our balance sheets from 2017 and 2018. I appreciate QuickBooks and how it makes invoicing a breeze. But I also struggle with reconciling it consistently. So, before even being fully accepted in the program, I had my first educational moment. I came to clearly realize that I really don’t have a good handle on my business books. With help from my tax pro, I was able to recreate my balance sheets. 

Getting Excited to Talk About Small Businesses

The 10KSB associate with whom I talked was very encouraging. She mentioned that our books don’t have to be perfect and that helping businesses take action is what the program is all about.  

It was shortly after that that my hubby and I were at a swank neighborhood party. A friend and associate who is starting a business coaching company asked about my business. I mentioned that we have been invited to interview for the 10KSB program. He offered congratulations and we talked about preparing for the interview. Other friends who started a video production firm were excited to talk about it as well.

So if the program is meant to get small business people excited and talking about their businesses, well, the program is launching 10,000 small connections before we even know if we made the cut.


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I'm the CEO + Digital Marketing Strategist at BigOrange Marketing. I’m passionate about helping companies to clarify their messaging to get leads and grow.

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