Last month, Nicole Valentine, founder of Winly Playbook, announced a new and improved Winly Playbook community platform that allows users to work on the growth of their businesses.
In an exclusive interview, Valentine told TNJ.com that the suite of online tools is designed for small business owners and entrepreneurs to grow their businesses through “playbooks,” which she describes as bite-sized, theme-based strategies that help you grow through various ways.
“With these playbooks, you can grow, for example, through creating an advisory board,” she says. “And it’s not just about creating an advisory board, but also activating it. It’s about engaging with the board members, and working with them on a continuous basis to help them fuel your business.”
“Everything we do is based upon the growth of your business; the tool helps you organize the growth but also activate it, engage with it and continue on with it,” she adds.
To use the tool, there’s a designated team captain who is responsible and accountable for the work; the user is able to keep track of best practices and things that are working; and a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threat) analysis from a particular playbook aids in providing valuable feedback.
According to Valentine, currently, the tools have garnered many users who are successfully using them to grow their businesses.
Valentine also owns Synergy Business Development, a B2B, management consultancy entity that works with corporations, associations, non-profits and government agencies on business development and business strategy. They are the go-to consultancy firm, for example, if a government agency is looking to create a training program for small businesses, or for corporations looking to be more innovative by creating small business content. Synergy, in that case, would be the firm to connect that corporation with the small business community as potential customers.
“Part of the reason our company has been received so well is because for eight years we’ve been a data-driven business diligent about developing insights into who the small business owner is,” notes Valentine. “If you wanted to talk to a small business owner about money and investing, for example, you have to know how to speak to a small business owner on his or her terms. Should you use the words finance, capital or money? That’s where we come in. That information is helpful to our corporate clients.”
Based on her company’s proven track record, Valentine often appears on tech panels and other events. In October, she was a panelist at a venture capital event presented by The Network Journal and Metallic Ventures, and last month she was one of the presenters at a breakfast celebrating female black founders. (The event was presented by TechFam, Black Women Talk Tech, Metallic Ventures and The Network Journal.)
Valentine says there is also a media component to her work in which she and her team create content for television. Their current project, ‘Empower Lunch,’ was developed last year to highlight entrepreneurs and business owners, whom they call ‘power players.’
“We interview them about their business and how they’re growing, but the twist is that we also interview their inner circle, which we call their ’empower circle,’” she says. “Most entrepreneurs don’t do it alone; we believe in partnership. So, we tap into who those partners are and, at the end of the day, we communicate to the viewer that the way to grow and get to the next level is to find the partners that complement you to grow your business.”