Valpak® Searches for North America’s Favorite Small Business

Valpak® Searches for North America’s Favorite Small Business

Selected company will win inaugural $10,000 Dough to Grow Award

In 2 years, 170,000 small businesses in North America  have fallen in recession. @ValpakCoupons is doing its part to fuel growth.

Valpak, a leader in print and digital coupons, is searching for North America’s favorite small business to win its Dough to Grow Award, a contest for small businesses across North America. The winning small business will receive a grand prize of $10,000 from Valpak – and will become the titleholder of the 2012 Dough to Grow Award.

Businesses may be nominated at from October 1 through November 30, 2012. During that time, nominees must receive at least 100 votes to win. Business owners and entrepreneurs are encouraged to get friends, family and supporters to vote for them. Anyone can cast votes for their favorite nominees.

“Valpak is committed to moving businesses forward, and with the Dough to Grow Award, we’re proving it. This embodies Valpak’s core mission of supporting local businesses to help them grow,” said Michael Vivio, president of Cox Target Media, providers of Valpak.

“We’re excited to hear from businesses  who are the backbone of communities across North America. We also encourage anyone who supports local business to show their support by voting for their favorite nominees, ” said Vivio.

Valpak launched the Dough to Grow Award because it is keenly aware of the obstacles small business owners must overcome to grow their business. Valpak franchises in more than 170 cities in 45 states and four Canadian provinces partner with tens of thousands of businesses to help them reach new customers and increase the bottom line through print and digital direct marketing products.

How to Get the Dough:
If you, or a business owner you know, think you are North America’s favorite small business and could use $10,000 to grow your business, nominate yourself now for a chance to win the cash.

The process is simple

You can find out more at this link

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link



>Transferable Skills


Today we have the first of a series of three guest posts from Ian Machan of Prepare4private Limited – “Levelling the playing field for Public Sector workers seeking jobs”. Ian has extensive experience in both the private and public sectors. He is a Mechanical Engineer who has worked for blue chip organisations across a range of sectors including Heinz and 3M. For the last 12 years Ian has offered consultancy services to a wide range of organisations.

When you look to move to the Private Sector you may find it hard to find a direct equivalent to the job you are leaving.  Job adverts may leave you feeling despondent, but don’t worry. 
What you have to do is consider in particular your transferable skills. These will be the skills that you have acquired over the years of your employment, and outside of employment that are relevant to a new employer. Sit down with a cup of coffee and you CV, and go through the document jotting down the skills that you used in each position, e.g.:
  • Leading a team of people
  • Setting up and delivering a project
  • Negotiating change
  • Setting up a new spreadsheet to analyse an area. 
Now also think about your hobbies, sports, or even how you run your house. I remember talking to someone who was working in fairly basic job, but who chaired the local cricket club. He was responsible for a project to demolish and re-build the clubhouse. He was controlling the contractors, managing the money etc.
This is no time to hide your capabilities, so summarise your skills, and make sure they come through on your CV.
Now go and look at those job adverts, or job descriptions through the lens of your skills, not the shades of your old jobs.

Ian Machan “Levelling the playing field for Public Sector workers seeking jobs:

>6 Networking Mistakes And How to Avoid Them


High Speed Business Networking Event (Paris, 2...Image via Wikipedia

I am going to be writing quite a lot about networking next week.  But in the mean time just to warm you up, here is an article  from the Harvard Business Review website. It is by Gill Corkindale who is a London Based Execuitve Coach. The link at the bottom will take you to the rest of the article. Incidentally, there is also a useful link in the first paragraph too!
“If you’ve been laid off in recent months, you’re in excellent company. Plenty of qualified and experienced managers are now having to develop strategies to find their next job.

But where to start? If you were my coaching client, I would simply say: network, network, network.

And yet among my clients, networking is often an underdeveloped skill. Take Jerry, a 40-year-old business development manager in a financial services firm. His role is to build the business in Europe, so he has to make industry contacts, speak at conferences and look for new client relationships. He is now at a point in his career where he has to build internal networks, but instead of recognising that he is already a master networker, the very mention of the word makes him shudder. Why? Because in his mind, networking is associated with self-promotion, politics and inappropriate favours.
In truth, networking is a critical skill for managers and leaders: your network supports and sustains you in the good times, but is the key to your survival in the bad times.
And yet networking is difficult, even daunting, for managers who have no problem simply chatting to people. It doesn’t need to be so stressful. Here are some common mistakes people make when networking — and how to avoid them:……”.
More at this link