Well it's been a long year! We've seen a ton of activity internally and of course the country's seen a ton of activity from all angles. The new year is only a few days away. I for one am looking forward to many things in 2009 including a new administration to lead the country (hopefully in a much different direction) and a new outlook on the economy. I really don't see how we can do much worse.
On a great note: we officially released VeteranOwnedBusiness.com on Veteran's Day 2008 (read our PR on the release of VeteranOwnedBusiness.com). It's been a little over a month and we have already crossed the 500 mark for business listings. We have several thousand pre-registered listings (signed up before VeteranOwnedBusiness.com went live). We have been contacting these businesses to resubmit their information. It's been a slow process but day-by-day things are increasing.
Here is a list of some of the important pieces we've been able to implement in 2008:
1) Addition of over 500 veteran owned businesses
2) Set up of site-wide sponsor program
3) Dozens of enhanced listings
4) Site linked to by numerous veterans organizations, blogs, sites and government agencies
5) Set up of nearly 1,000 categories
6) Nearly 1,000 pages linked into Google, 750 in Yahoo and over 2,500 in MSN/Live
7) The addition of a "Why The Military Helped Me Become A Better Business Owner" quote area that runs throughout the site.
8) The addition of over 100 business quotes for the aforementioned quote area
9) Did our first trade show, though it was really small and only a local event, but an a trade show no less
As you can see, 2008 was a very productive year, especially if you take into consideration the site didn't go live (well it's still technically in Beta) until 11/11/2008. 2009 promises to be a spectacular year. Here is a short list of some of the many changes and additions we anticipate making in 2009 (most by the 1st quarter):
1) Have over 2,500 veteran owned businesses listed (End of Q1 2009)
2) Have at least 2 corporate sponsors
3) The addition of states to the directory (to search purely by state instead of categories)
4) 2,500 links to VeteranOwnedBusiness.com from other sites, organizations and directories
5) Creation of a starter package for businesses to include certificates and more
6) Printing and distribution of t-shirts, posters, and, most importantly, stickers and magnets for cars so consumers and fellow veterans can show their support
7) 20 articles written about VeteranOwnedBusiness.com and/or articles VeteranOwnedBusiness.com is referenced in
8) Creation of a Blog on VeteranOwnedBusiness.com in order to keep interested parties updated on the goings on of the directory
9) Get to 50,000 unique monthly visitors (End of Q1 2009)
10) Establish and run first web-based newsletter for VOBs and SDVOBs
11) Establish and run first web-based newsletter for site supporters and visitors
12) 5,000 links in from Google; 5,000 in from Yahoo and 5,000 in from MSN/Live respectively
13) Add a testimonial section for businesses that have bought from or plan to buy from VOBs and SDVOBs
14) Set up a lead generation form where visitors can send an email directly from the VeteranOwnedBusiness.com directory to a business listed
15) Admin panel for listed businesses working in order for each to access and edit their respective listings (End of Q2 2009)
16) 250 banner ads by sponsors running (End of Q1 2009)
17) Officially release from Beta into a fully functioning directory (End of Q1 2009)
18) Blow out release party (End of Q1 2009)
This is a very aggressive plan to try and get many features added and working properly by the end of the first quarter of 2009. Soon (hopefully) we'll have a blog working directly on VeteranOwnedBusiness.com. When we do, I will begin to make post directly there.
I hope and wish you all great success in 2009. Now more than ever is a time for fellow Americans to hope and pray for a better future. It's also imperative that we all search out and conduct business with other American owned businesses... or... as we have been working on: United States Military Vetearn Owned Businesses and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses.
Cheers and salutations in '09!