Survey says readers support SBT focus


SBT Editor
A few weeks ago, SBT co-publisher Dan Meyer and I had the pleasure of sitting before a group of UW-Whitewater students who presented the findings of an in-depth survey they undertook for Small Business Times.
The presentation struck us on two fronts. First, we were pleased by the professionalism and maturity shown by the students. Second, we were strongly encouraged by the survey results which show an overwhelming support for SBT and its small business focus.
We learned that you love sales and marketing advice and profiles of successful business people and their operations.
The information, coupled with a “branding” project we’re going through, will be instrumental in setting SBT’s direction this year and beyond.
Thanks to all who took the time to respond to the survey.

  • Speaking of branding, for many Milwaukeeans, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is just there. Yes, it may be a good school and turn out good graduates. But there’s an excitement missing about the university – the only state university besides Madison to have a master’s program.
    That lack of excitement may be the result of a lack of focus, notes new UWM Chancellor Nancy Zimpher.
    Taking a cue from the “Wisconsin Idea” – a philosophy that the boundaries of the University of Wisconsin are the boundaries of the state, Zimpher is touting creation of “a brand” – the “Milwaukee Idea.” The exact definition of the Milwaukee Idea is yet to be determined. But its driving philosophy is that UWM needs to be a more integral and more visible part of the Milwaukee area.
    And, as mentioned above, visibility may be lacking. When asked at a recent gathering of the Milwaukee Press Club about how UWM might lend a hand to Milwaukee Public Schools, Zimpher noted that the university is already involved in more than 140 programs that in some way help MPS.
    If only people knew.
  • A giant message board at County Stadium advises passing motorists not to be chatting away on a mobile phone while they’re driving. [Ironically, at such a busy spot on I-94, motorists shouldn’t be reading such electronic messages, either.]
    But in any event, it’s not uncommon these days to see motorists with mobile phone in hand, yakking away and, it often seems, not paying enough attention to traffic. With the new SCH-2000 from Samsung, it’s become a lot easier to initiate such calls. The phone allows the user to program up to 20 telephone numbers that can be dialed by voice activation.
    Once the numbers are programed, you just have to power up the phone and flip it open. The phone then asks you whom you want to call. You respond by stating one of the names you’ve programed in, and the phone automatically dials that call.
    Sprint PCS loaned SBT one of the Samsung phones last month.
    Like a phone loaned to us the year before by PrimeCo, the Samsung phone has a lot of advanced features that old-style cellular phone users will either be amazed at or confused by. You don’t have to use all the features offered, but if you want to, expect to spend some time figuring them all out, or having your phone salesman take you through the processes.
    The only disadvantage we found with the Samsung phone is its sole-digital mode. With the current limited range of PCS services, phones which are not dual-mode won’t do you much good in parts of the state.
  • Many of you know I’m a proponent of consumer e-commerce, making purchases and doing banking online.
    This past Christmas, unable to find any stateside merchandise for the new British-produced children’s series “Noddy,” I made my first international e-commerce buy.
    In the small, seaside town of Lyme Regis, Character Warehouse [] is seeing Internet-based business becoming a fast-growing part of its operation, says Ashley Hall, who handles the Website for Character Warehouse.
    Note to retailers: Watch for Noddy items to be a big item on US store shelves for Christmas ’99, if the experience of the Teletubbies follows through. In 1997, there was a dearth of Tubbies merchandise. Christmas ’98 shoppers could find it anywhere. And Noddy beats the Tubbies hands down.

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