American Family Insurance Offering Business Accelerator Program

September 24, 2010

Madison, Wis.-based American Family Insurance has announced the availability of a free, Business Accelerator Program that offers small business owners the opportunity to learn from nationally recognized business experts and provides them valuable tools and strategies to implement in their business immediately.

“Entrepreneurs face new challenges every day: overdue payments, materials that don’t arrive on time, employees who don’t show up for work, etc. It’s easy to feel daunted and become paralyzed,” said Bob Wright, Wright Business Institute founder and Business Accelerator career coach. “Often, just taking one small step in the right direction will get things moving again. The Business Accelerator program is a great step that provides small businesses the tools to make those little changes.”

American Family Insurance and the Business Accelerator coaches developed tips small business owners can implement today.

Some of the tips include:

  • Target your Audience – It’s tempting to try a little bit of every type of advertising that’s offered to you. But with limited budgets, entrepreneurs end up with a tiny presence in each. Instead, select a few mediums that really reach your target audience. This approach gives small business owners a better opportunity to affordably establish a presence by increasing message frequency and using larger visuals.
  • Set Goals – What is your higher purpose for being a small business owner? What matters most to you? Write down your answers and keep them close at hand. Share them with your business partners, allies, and friends. Remind yourself of them when you pick up the phone, when you face rejection, when you squeeze in another sales dial on the way to pick up the kids.
  • Build your Network of Allies – Friends may support us when things are going well or when they completely agree with everything we are doing, but real allies stick with us through it all. Build your network of allies and surround yourself with those who make you continue to strive to be better.
  • Sell Hope First – Many sales professionals make the mistake of getting caught up in trying to sell the features and dimensions of their product first – rather than engaging with the customer around their hopes and dreams, about what they hope to accomplish. It’s important to understand the bigger picture in positioning yourself with a client and in the marketplace.
  • Believe in You – Whether you’re getting ready to make that first call to a prospective customer or going in to close the sale, your likelihood of success is much greater if you approach the customer and the task with self-confidence. How you view yourself can make all the difference.

In its second year, the Business Accelerator Program continues to expand its small business tutorial content and expertise. It has helped more than 1,000 small business owners take their business to the next level.

“What’s great about the Business Accelerator Program is that you can take the classes on your own time and customize the content to help you solve specific business problems,” said Angelika Coghlan, president and managing partner of Catwalk Consulting and former president of the National Association of Women Business Owners Chicago Chapter. “The information you learn and tools you have access to are easily implementable to your business.”

The Business Accelerator Program includes:

  • Symposiums—view and participate online or in person; experts in specialized disciplines cover issues that affect all small businesses. The next symposium is October 21 in Chicago.
  • Webinars—view and participate live, or view “on demand” coaches tips and tools for the small business owner
  • Online coaching forum—ask questions and get answers from coaches and fellow participants
  • E–tips—snippets, sent to participants weekly, that can be used right away to grow a business
  • Tips & Tools—videos, articles, and links available on the website that help small business owners run their company
  • Growth Challenge – a contest for the businesses that have seen the most growth called, ‘Step it Up.’ American Family will award the winning businesses a package of prizes including consulting/training sessions for their business from the program’s professional coaches, a $500 Staples gift certificate and a night on the town in Chicago (airfare and hotel included).

Source: American Family Insurance

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