As the proud owner of Design Theory, I am thrilled to share a significant milestone in our journey. We have recently been certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) by Orange County Government | Business Development Division. This achievement is opens up our business opportunities not just to Orange County Government, but also to GOAA, Orange County Public Schools, Orange County Library, and several more agencies.
The Business Development Division of Orange County’s initiative is to increase the utilization of minority and woman-owned businesses (M/WBE) in the County’s procurement process. Our certification as an MBE is a step forward in this direction, enabling us to contribute more significantly to our Central Florida economy. I recently attended a couple of meetings where I learned in great detail from the results of a 5 year Disparity Study, how to search through upcoming expiring contracts, and currently available/open contracts. There’s still more work I am responsible for like identifying closed contracts that our agency may have qualified for, terms, and how much the bids were awarded for. And this is managed through OpenGov.com, also allows you to see other MBEs who are interested in open bids as well as save and favorite agencies (to name a few features). There’s also an eBook OpenGov published called “The 2023 State of Local Government Report” and I would highly recommend that everyone reading this downloads a copy.
As our journey continues we’ll continue to share what we’ve learned and opportunities for other business owners to take advantage and participate. The goal for us is to expand our business through this sector and reach new levels of success and growth.
There’s several people that I’ve personally met and worked with and will continue to work with as we grow in this program. Shout out to Kesi, Patrice, and VaSantha! Knowing that we can stay connected If you’d like more information from the Business Development Division, below is their contact information:
Business Development Division
Internal Operations Centre II, 2nd Floor
400 E South Street
Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: (407) 836-7317
Hey everyone, I want to share with you a story about how we transformed our business in just two months.
It all started at the end of 2022. My husband Jean and I were sitting around the kitchen table, reflecting on the past year and wondering what we could do to make 2023 even better. We had a lot of ideas, but we decided to focus on three key things:
- Reinvesting in our business. We had been so focused on growth that we hadn’t taken the time to invest in new software and tools, or to improve our processes. We realized that this was a mistake. So, we made a commitment to reinvesting in our business, so that we could be more efficient and better equipped to take on new challenges.
- Changing our annual routine. Instead of waiting until the end of the year to start planning for the next year, we decided to start planning now. We wanted to be proactive and make sure that we were making the best investments possible. So, we sat down and mapped out our goals for 2023. We also identified the key areas where we needed to improve.
- Dreaming bigger. We wanted to define a new version of “success” for Design Theory. We didn’t want to just keep doing the same things the same way. We wanted to push ourselves and see what we were really capable of. So, we set some ambitious goals for ourselves, and we started to develop a plan to achieve them.
I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy. There were definitely some challenges along the way. But we stayed focused on our goals, and we never gave up. And in the end, it all paid off.
In just two months, we completely transformed our business. We invested in new software and tools, we improved our processes, and we developed a clear plan for achieving our goals. We also hired a new team member and expanded our services. As a result, we were able to increase our revenue by 152% so far this year.
I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished in the past year. But I know that this is just the beginning. We’re excited to continue growing our business and helping our clients achieve their goals.
If you’re an entrepreneur, I encourage you to take the time to reflect on your business and identify areas where you can improve. Don’t be afraid to make changes, and don’t be afraid to dream big. Anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
If you’re interested in the exact process we took to increase our revenue, join the waitlist for our Holiday Sales Training here – http://www.heroacademy.co/smash
There’s a guy that I know here in Orlando that goes by the nickname Nemo. He’s got his hands in a lot of cookie jars and making use of each of them in ways that all come together under the idea of “Dreamers”. Alex Hanse is that thought leader behind the Foolies Limited Clothing. Chances are you’ve seen his inspirational t-shirts all around social media from Orlando, to New York, and on Hollywood Celebrities. It’s true, check it out on Instagram.
For Black History Month, Foolies is featuring a different Dreamer for each day of the month. I encourage you to follow them and see who else they’re featured and hopefully find some inspiration by their short bios and stories. I know I am inspired!
I’m super excited to say that I have been featured in Gotta Get Blogging’s Blogger of the Month for December. Bess Auer heads up that organization that helps out bloggers whether beginner to professional to get exposure, grow their reach, and more.
I was asked a few questions about blogging. Check out my responses along with an upcoming event Florida Blog Con Forum on March 2016.
Click the image below to read the article:
Most of the web design industry may be on WordPress overload but majority of us still can’t get enough. The WordPress, “I’m Lovin’ It” faithful-following understand that it has quickly become one of the fastest growing, most popular content management systems (CMS) for blogging, if not the most popular CMS overall. It’s extremely quick to install as well as easy to navigate and master. And they are consistently evolving across all platforms with simplistic, internal update features and plugins that are only a few clicks away in the backend. Often, there are no external file downloads even necessary! One of the best parts is that it allows both web design companies and individuals alike to produce dynamic websites without extensive knowledge of web development or code writing. Unlike traditional HTML sites, WordPress is extremely cost-effective and easy to change over when you tire of the layout look. If you want a fast turnaround with minimal time invested, look to web design firms such as Design Theory to supply you with a customized, stunning website with lightning fast turnaround at a start-up budget price.
If there’s a WordPress for Dummies TM (yeah, there really is) you have to know there’s some industry staying power and it is more than just a flash in the pan or temporarily trending on Twitter. They’ve definitely invested in their place at the table of content management systems. Some skeptics may wonder, well is it really that easy? As a non-code writing web content designer, I can say yes it is. And as I’ve quickly learned, if there’s something you don’t understand, there is a TREMENDOUS amount of help and documentation online you can find on nearly every aspect of customizing your WordPress website. If you can dream it, chances are it’s already been done with WordPress and documented somewhere tangible and therefore learnable.
WordPress also has one of the widest varieties of plugins and themes to choose from giving a seemingly endless realm of design possibilities. Let’s look at some of the recently added & most popular layouts. Looking for a simple way to showcase your photos? Check out this Free Photo WordPress Theme. Have a blossoming political career or want to blog about and propel your choice candidates’ ratings? Political Blogging WordPress Website gives you sound bites right on the homepage and yes that is our current Prez Obama on the 4th slide. If those don’t titillate your visual & artistic senses, feel free to peruse these Top 100 Most Beautiful WordPress Themes highlighted by TopDesignMag.com.
While these great themes are indicative of the WP developer bug bite, WP and its growing community of contributing developers do their best not to skimp on flash or fun. How creatively, fun are widgets! A Widget? For those who don’t know, it’s an on-screen device/application that can be installed and executed within a web page by an end user such as a clock, calendar, image, daily weather, etc. This allows putting your own style & spin to most WordPress themes/layouts. And speaking of spin…a great example of having more WordPress amusement can be the Flash Image Carousel plugin, which circulates a variety of images/photos in a cool, circular motion versus the typical, right to left slide show. WordPress Plugins are great tools that extend the functionality of your WordPress website and currently there are 21,820 plugins available directly on WordPress’s website (as of today that is).
Another feature that we all love is the ease of Drag and Drop content editing which makes content placement a cinch with 2 clicks. Oh and the list goes on and on…With WordPress it seems that if you can conceive it someone creates it and that’s the best part of being WordPress user and fan. So if you’re already an enthusiast or are curious about becoming one, check out some of the latest WordPress innovations via WordPress TV. What, their own online TV station – what’ll they think of next? Apparel? Say it isn’t so…sorry we can’t because you can wear it loud and proud via WP Apparel. Needless to say they’ve proven that the sky’s the limit and I’ll be tuning in to find out what’s hot from these tried, true and trendy website theme makers.
Lastly, to the Big W…if you couldn’t already tell –
Aw shucks, we love you guys!
~ Content Writing Inspiration ~
“A hunch is creativity trying to tell you something.” Frank Capra
Last week Design Theory allowed the outside world an inside look at our audience numbers for our weekly blog postings via Peeking Underneath the Hood at Your Blog #’s. It was great to get feedback by email and comments on the blog as to what people thought of our exposure and how that helped them to consider the importance of analytics. Most companies should know that tracking their visitors through a source like Google Analytics includes hits from search engines, pay-per-click networks, email marketing, displayed advertising and the like. Off-site analytics, like the ones I’ve demonstrated here, are to measure not just the website’s current audience but also it’s potential audience and what we at Design Theory can do to create more opportunities, exposure and buzz (aka comments) about our services. So, the analysis of our web data helps to improve the website and our blog content for Design Theory and it’s visitors.
During the last week of September
887 Page Views vs. preceding week’s 994 Page Views
As opposed to last week, this week we see a significant increase in readership directly from www.jpdesigntheory.com. Additionally, the top referring website is still Google but there seems to be a little less traffic via Google UK than the week preceding and Google.com jumped 46 more than last week as well. Last week there were very few unique readers on Monday & Tuesday (how readers are tagged via a persistent cookie that stores and returns a unique id value so that Client V is always the same Client V whenever he/she comes back to the website) but this week, there are definitely more than its predecessor (361 vs. 221). That’s great because that tells us we are reaching new people and therefore more potential clientele. As far as the blogs go, Daphne & I are still neck & neck, which once again confirms that our blogs and tags are working well for us. Lastly, as ironic as it is, our top view location moved from Ulaanbaatar, New Mexico last week to Meriden, CT this week. I can’t explain that one at all! But at least it reflects the diversity of our readers and confirms that Design Theory has a worldwide presence.
During the first week of October
717 Page Views
What I also notice right off the bat is that Tuesdays readership fell drastically and I know exactly why. I was on vacation and didn’t blog. Yes that’s right, I did it…I took a vacation and I’m not sorry about it. And although I’m not happy the numbers dipped, it did provide us with some solid intel. It shows that I have a reading audience and there is value in the content I create weekly for the blog. So Daphne metaphorically DUNKED on me HARD but that’s ok. Despite having different titles and talents, we have the same goal. And that ultimate goal is increasing the ROI that those talents provide via the blogs and the work we do for our clients.
As detailed in the Audience Stats, our number of visits/readers let us know that people are accessing our website and whether or not we are capturing new audiences. However, something this particular report doesn’t reflect (but should definitely be considered) is the bounce rate. The bounce rate tells us how many people come to our site and quickly left it. Now there are plenty of reasons that happens. Maybe someone had to answer their door or walk their dog…but most often it reflects that they didn’t find what they needed or became bored with the content. There’s no room for ego when looking at these numbers I must tell you. Because what it does is identify areas that we could improve on like imagery, written content and the ease of navigation throughout the website.
So once again we learn, we grow and do better. I’m encouraged by our numbers while knowing there’s ALWAYS room for improvement and I look forward to continue to write and put out great content & tidbits to our readers and clients.
~ Content Writing Inspiration ~
The beginning is easy; what happens next is much harder. ~ Anonymous