From left to right: Catherine Mangan, Dustin Luther, Linda Hollander (host of WSBE 2012), Roger Hand, Amber Colley

Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp. had the pleasure of exhibiting and speaking at the 10th Annual Women’s Small Business Expo at the Ayres Hotel, Manhattan Beach last week. We soaked up a lot of sun and a lot of scoop. Here’s the top five takeaways.

5: Hire Rockstars

I may be preaching to the choir, but at your next event, start the morning off with a killer performance of Kelly Clarkson’s Stronger by a fellow American Idol Finalist (e.g. Season 9’s Michelle Delamor). This will guarantee attention, focus and charming little hum breakouts throughout the remainder of your event. Trust me – it’s endearing.

4: Join the Flock

Socially, the coolness of presence is not enough. It’s more about what you do when you’re there. The Ayres Hotels dominate new media outreach. Their social media team created a Twitter presence to welcome all attendees, sponsors and speakers even before we set foot in the vicinity. More people and businesses are beginning to use social channels in the customer service arena. Gone are the days when customers wait around for days. Join the flock.

3: Be Opinionated

Be opinionated. Have things to say. Stand out – but do it in alignment with what you’re doing. Cute don’t sell. Suzanne Evans tries to make a fool of herself every day. She cursed like a sailor, air-dried her dirty laundry and told it like it was. This works for her – and it works well. Do what works for you. If you’re not buying it – no one else is either

2: Follow Through

It’s not out of your reach. Stuart Smalley wasn’t completely off base. It’s just comes down to follow-through. Whether you have a powerful presence, a paramount personality or an out-of-this-world niche – you’ve just got to get it done.

Lethia Owens reminded us that there is indeed always a way to magnetically attract the opportunities and resources you need in order to create the success that you’ve always wanted (and it wasn’t just her bedazzled jacket that did the trick). She’s doing it. He’s doing it. I can do it. So what are we waiting for?

1: Don’t Stop Believin’ 

Sometimes things we build to fall. It doesn’t always work out. There’s a giant learning curve. Pick yourself up and dust yourself off…and that’s enough cliches for one post.

If someone says no to you, get to the bottom of it. Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp.’s very own Amber Colley, Senior Leader and Credit Specialist, told the room some very pertinent stories that we hear from our customers every day. It’s imperative to verify what people are saying about you and know what is or is not in your business credit profile.

Most importantly, don’t be shy and don’t wait around. Start gaining clarity on your business now, not when you have no other choice. Remember, this goes back to what Jodi Womack taught us at the Fierce Leadership Summit 2012, “A desperate person is not trustworthy”.

So – what are your keys to success? Can I borrow them?

Loved the WSBE? Check out other upcoming business events on our events page!