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Small Business
Finding winning solutions
December 14, 2000: 11:56 a.m. ET

Business owners take advantage of technology to move their firms ahead
By Jane Applegate
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Two East Coast women have been honored for their "Smart Solutions," one for providing online marketing jobs for work-at-home moms, the other for putting museum tour recordings into MP3 formats.

Their problems and solutions were presented in detail at recent invitation-only events sponsored by Aetna Financial Services in New York City and Washington, D.C., and I was one of the judges who helped select the winners in the competition.

Hollis Thomases, founder of Web Ad.Vantage Inc., based in Aberdeen, Md., hires home-based mothers to conduct Web research and marketing for clients. Prior to starting her own business two years ago, she was a marketing manager for a major food service company.

"Many of my extremely talented and intelligent colleagues were leaving the workforce to stay at home with their children," Thomases wrote in her contest application. "I made a mental note that should I ever fulfill my dream and start my own business, I would love to tap into this talent in a way that would still be conducive to their lifestyle choice."

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  The only way to know the future is to invent it yourself.  
     
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  Barbara Roberts
Acoustiguide Corp.
 
Thomases recruits her "mommies" online, seeking women with public relations or marketing experience. She developed online training modules for the women who work on a project-by-project basis for clients looking to build Web traffic.

"I'm proud to say this workforce solution was probably the best decision I ever made for my business," she said. "Not only do I have a well-trained, reliable and grateful workforce, but I also hear things like, 'you're the best boss I ever had.'"

Barbara Roberts, president and CEO of Acoustiguide Corp. in New York City, joined the 40-year-old firm about 18 months ago to guide it into the 21st century. The company, which supplies audio tours and cassette players to museums and historical sites, is taking advantage of digital audio technology to update its delivery systems.

"We have invented and launched three revolutionary digital MP3 Web-connected devices and developed award-winning documentary content," Roberts wrote in her "Smart Solutions" application.

"I also always remind myself that the only way to know the future is to invent it yourself," she wrote.

Roberts, an experienced executive who specializes in turning around ailing companies, said her goal is to drastically change companies and cultures. graphic


Jane Applegate, a syndicated columnist and author of 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business, is founder of sbtv.com, a video network for business owners.

  RELATED STORIES

Team up with a strong marketing partner - Dec. 12, 2000

Marketing on the cheap - Nov. 28, 2000

  RELATED SITES

Web Ad.Vantage Inc.

Acoustiguide

SBTV.com


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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.