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Is your business actually a ‘small’ business?

All businesses face the dilemma - when starting out every business is actually a very small business. At this stage, they could use the greatest amount of support and assistance available from local, state, and the federal government, particularly when dealing with a situation like the pandemic. This grouping is also the largest sector in terms of the number of active businesses. And then, hopefully they grow up, but many will choose to remain the same size as to number of employees. A term is being adopted, although sporadically referring to these 1 – 10 employee businesses as “Micro” businesses. They need to be separated from Small because their needs are drastically different than a larger Small business like a bank, with tens of employees. Micros is the business segment that CI Works has focused on since our inception.

CI Works has focused on these size businesses and providing space for them in a manufacturing building and working with each to determine their revenue sweet spot in identifying their affordability for space. We work with each to help them grow their revenues and our lease rates increase proportionately with each company’s revenue success. It is a mutual success strategy known as ‘win / win’. We currently have 40 tenants at CI Works on Chestnut St., some doing amazing things. A gap in our model, however, has to do with the inability for us to actually find prospects and contact these Micro businesses ourselves, but that is true for any business searching out successful start up companies as customers, particularly those customers already generating revenues and profits. They have always had to find CI Works – which is not good marketing and sales techniques.

So, we have developed CI MicroFind, initially for our own use. CI MicroFind is a ‘software as a service’ product that identifies successful small businesses in a very specific location utilizing a combination of public domain data sources and presented as a structured record – in both query view and spreadsheet formats. CI Works operates from a fixed address, so proximity to that address is a good starting point – somewhere within 5 or 10 miles, as an example. We have always considered risk mitigation through a diverse tenant base as to what companies do (or industries). Many companies are entrepreneurs and innovators effectively creating new products and industries through their successes. They are also companies at a stage where government support would be extremely helpful to them, but too hard to get for a 1-5 person business and the money if received is intermittent at best – not a business success metric. MicroFind provides a user the ability to conduct a query to find all businesses within that radius from the starting point, or address. He / she can also qualify then determine specific types of businesses – such as stores, specialty markets, home goods, electricians, or other trades, as examples in that area. The industry types available are all inclusive across businesses.

MicroFind can be used from any address in the United States. The data begins with that available for businesses having Google accounts, connects to web site domain registries, other public domain information like physical addresses, data from web sites such as phone numbers and e-mails as included by owners into a concise record that can be accessed via users. Did I mention that we also identify both FaceBook and Linked In account information and include as a live link. The user can initially evaluate a business record, decide whether of interest, and dig deeper into this business' details via the hot link. It is really research made easier.

The potential uses could be vast and below are a couple of examples:

o Find any company, trade, profession, or entity nearby easily

o Develop a supply chain of various types on trades people, stores to acquire equipment, professions to provide needed services, even other similar businesses nearby worth collaborating with

o Sales opportunities to directly connect to these companies as customers

o Product companies can find outlets / stores and specialties to expand sales

o Grow your customer base to include more small, successful companies in areas you choose

If you would be interested in finding out more about MicroFind and availability, please contact Bob Obrien at either or by phone at 978.609.3053.

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