How-to LGBTQ Entrepreneur's Competitor Analysis - OutBuro - LGBT Corporate Equality Employer Ratings Reviews Monitoring Employees gay lesbian business owner

How-to: LGBTQ Entrepreneur’s Competitor Analysis with Worksheet

As an LGBTQ entrepreneur with startup business should a competitor analysis to help you launch, remain focused, grow, adapt and own your market.

There are an estimated 1.4 million LGBTQ businesses total in the United States, according to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.  As LGBTQ business owners we can face challenges others do not,  Some of these include disclosing their sexuality to their angel and venture capital investors, traditional loan officers, staff, co-workers and customers, landlords perhaps, and being a victim of harassment and discrimination based on who they are.  This could be an outright blatant, conscious yet not visible and simple unconscious bias of others.  

Why bother? I know what I’m doing.

There are many things a LGBTQ entrepreneur with startup business should have to help them launch, remain focused and grow including a business plan, a clear understanding of your target audience, a clear mission & vision, general marketing, great content marketing in all forms and clear understanding of the direct and indirect competition to become the front runner in the competitive landscape you are trying to grow your business in. 

Completing a competitive analysis will help you to better understand your industry market trends, identify your competitors, evaluate opportunities, analyze threats to your business or organization, adjust your go-to-market and positioning strategy accordingly.  Looking at our competitors analytically uncovers what works and doesn’t work. It helps you find that golden nugget of how to differentiate yourself in the market. Unknowingly they are essentially being a mentor to you and your startup.

So, let’s get growing your LGBTQ owned business so you can create job opportunities for others and grow your personal financial freedom and hopefully give support to the great LGBTQ non-profits supporting our community.

How Gay is This?

Now is creating such documents uniquely GAY?  Of course not.  Your sexual orientation does not play a role in the mechanics of creating a business plan or doing competitive analysis.  However, the individual(s) who are LGBTQ entrepreneurs can face challenges their heteronomative competitors may not.  There is little entrepreneur content out there that is LGBTQ centric – so we are helping to create it and OutBüro is a publishing platform for you to add to the collective knowledge and resources via posting your own articles.  It can be leveraged as marketing your knowledge, skills, products, and services targeting predominantly LGBTQ professionals and other entrepreneurs.

Perceived Competitor Maybe Synergy

I’d also like to add that we’d love to think that everyone in the LGBTQ community is open, welcoming and supportive of all other LGBTQ.  That sadly is not the case.  In business, it is the same.  You may have other LGBTQ businesses and even non-profits view your business as a competitor.  Maybe you are.  Maybe there’s some overlap of products and services yet the majority is different.  Unfortunately, even if another LGBTQ owned business or non-profit perceives you are in some way and scope encroaching on what they believe to be their domain – you are their competitor.  So you might as well do a competitive analysis on them to better understand their mindset.  Maybe you are a competitor.  Or maybe it’s an opportunity to partner.  After having done your homework, if they accept a call/meeting with you, you would be able to clearly articulate the synergies and joint opportunities and dispell their assumptions and maybe a partnership would improve both companies/organizations.

Get the OutBüro Competitive Analysis Worksheet

Get the OutBüro LGBTQ Business Owners Competitive Analysis Worksheet in Excel spreadsheet format. Click the image to download it now so you may reference it as you continue reading this resource article.

OutBüro - Resource - LGBTQ Business Owners Competitive Analysis Worksheet v 1-0 2020 Jan LGBT Entrepreneurs Business Owners Gay Lesbiann Queer

Competitive Strategy Benefits

Your competitors can come in many forms depending on the type of business you have. Maybe you are a dentist opening an office in an underserved community. It’s a potential that a medical non-profit serving that area could view you as a competitor since their funding may be based on numbers served.

Your competitors have likely been operating for a while. They have clients/customers and therefore making money. Those clients/customers to some degree like them, find value in them and respect them. No matter if you are opening a new local ice cream shop, bar, legal office, dentist office, or launching a potential industry disruptive technology, in all cases, you must understand your real and perceived competitors to ensure:

  • What they’re doing better than you right now so that you can strive to do it better?
  • What are their marketing strategies and tactics that seem to be working>?
  • What mistakes in your humble opinion or that’s been publically reported that you can strive to avoid and possibly capitalize on?
  • Don’t be modest here. What do you believe you are doing better? How are you different? Leverage these in your marketing.

Competitor as a Mentor

Well, most competitors won’t sit down over coffee and share their entrepreneur journey or provide business advice to help you not make the mistakes they have made. But they have achieved, to a level of success, what you strive for serving a similar target audience. Think like that, they’d make the great mentor. You still can learn a lot from what you can observe through completing a competitive analysis.

Even just one insight into how your competitor operates can give you great ideas. But after a full competitive analysis, all the gathered can drive your competitive strategy.

Who are your competitors?

There are two kinds of competitors to consider:

Companies/organizations who have similar products or services – i.e. McDonald’s and Wendy’s

Companies/organizations that have different products or services but who compete for the same dollar – i.e. McDonald’s and Papa John’s Pizza

Consider the example of Hulu. They don’t just compete with other streaming services, they compete with movie theaters, cable TV, YouTube. They are competing for your couch time. So the gym, social events, social media, and gaming could all be considered competition. Focus on your direct competitors first and then expand to consider indirect competitors too.

Questions while completing a competitor analysis

Starting off with the big questions like:

  • Who are the major players serving this market?
    • Use internet searches and other resources to locate them for the geographic area you intend to cover
  • How is the market split up between them?
    • If there aren’t reports, you might find their revenue reported on their website, or in articles and lastly, you might find the company tax reports.

Next go a little deeper, with more specific questions like:

  • How does the market think about these competitors?
    • Check out online reviews. Search for articles online.
  • What is their target demographic? Do they market to a target age group or income level? If B2B what size and kind of company is their ideal client/customer?
  • What sort of experience are they offering?
    • If a physical location, check out their office/store. Interact with employees. How is their customer service?
    • If they offer professional services such as consulting, check out their employee profiles on sites like LinkedIn. To be a real sleuth, create a temporary account so the competitor employees don’t see that it’s you checking them out.
  • How does their product or service look and feel? How does it work?
    • If local, check them out. If online and you’d like to sign up for their email marketing newsletters and maybe have a sales discussion including a product demo then again being a sleuth, use a pseudo name (i.e. John Smith), create a new Gmail email account, get a Google Voice phone number to use.
  • How are they delivering?
    • What do they charge? How do customers order? What reviews do they get?
  • Search, search and then search more.

Along the way keep asking if your business can differentiate itself in some way.

Identify competitor strengths and weaknesses

You’ll begin to see which ones will challenge you most as you learn more about your competitors. They might be in your region, or they might target the exact same market segment as you. List the strengths and weaknesses of these competitors.

Strengths might include things like:

  • huge brand awareness – they’ve been around forever and people trust them
  • great distribution – they’re in all kinds of shops, all over the place
  • really good networks – they’ve built lots of great relationships with buyers
  • low price point – It may be impossible for you to compete on the price. However, in many markets leading on price can be perceived as low quality.

Weaknesses might include things like:

  • Reputation – clients/customers don’t get a thrill buying from or interacting with them
  • Cheap packaging – their product packaging is not aligned with the target audience’s expectations
  • Lack of depth – the competitor has remained limited in service or scope that you may offer
  • Bad reviews/perception – clients/customers aren’t have left bad reviews online or you hear industry talk of clients/customers desiring an alternative
  • Poor client/customer service – consumers don’t feel valued which may tie into bad reviews
  • Lack of innovation – their product or service offering has not improved or evolved over time
  • Poor messaging – their online and offline marketing content is dated, stale and lacks excitement.

By understanding your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, you can figure out what differentiates you – and where you fit in the

Your advantages

When doing a competitor analysis, it’s important to consider your advantages. There may be things about your business that others can’t replicate, like:

  • Patents or licenses: Are you the only business that can produce a certain product?
  • Exclusive supply arrangements: You might be the only business in your area that can sell certain products.
  • Special processes: You might have a way of working that others don’t know about.
  • Innovation: Maybe your product or service is an industry disruptor.
  • Costs: Maybe you offer a wider service or better products at a similar cost. Again, don’t just try to be the lowest-priced offering.
  • Social reach: Maybe you are good at social media and content creation to attract the attention of clients/customers/members.
  • Customer Happiness: Maybe you provide such a great service/product and in all touchpoints, you and your team excel at customer service creating happy customers/clients.

It’s important to know where you have advantages like these. Leverage them in your online and offline marketing.

Do it again and again

Be sure to schedule at least every 6 months to update your competitor analysis and ask:

  • Have new competitors popped up?
    • How difficult would it be for a current competitor or a new company/organization to replicate you product/service and strategy? If easy, what can you do to make it more difficult?
  • Have current competitors made changes to their business/organization?
  • Have they improved on their weaknesses?
  • Have they added new products or services?
  • Have they updated their marketing?
  • Have these changes affected your own competitive advantage positively or negatively? If so, adjust to the evolving market in whatever manner is most effective to regain your competitive advantage.

Start your competitor analysis today

You don’t have to have an exhaustive competitor analysis to get started. It can take weeks to complete your first version working it into your business daily and weekly schedule. But, put it on your calendar so you are to be sure to get it done with as many competitors as possible at first, even if that is only 2-5. Fill in what you can find easily and then add to it as you go to learn more. It won’t complete itself and is a vital tool to understand your competitors and ensure your product/service and marketing is on target.

GO GET ‘EM

How to do great content marketing for lgbtq business owners - OutBuro - LGBT Corporate Equality Employer Ratings Reviews Monitoring Employees

How to do great content marketing for LGBT business owners

Do you want to create brilliant content? Not sure where to start? Whether you’re writing a web page, a blog or a tweet, the right words will attract and keep customers. So let’s look at the ways you can up your content marketing game this year.

Your writing needs to speak to your LGBT business target audience

If you want to communicate with people, you need to know who you’re speaking to. You need to focus on your target audience and put them first. Try to get inside their heads and understand what makes them tick. The tone of voice and the words you choose speaks volumes. So take time to make sure everything you publish is well thought through.

Everyone is a publisher these days, whether it’s a blog post, a video or an email. So it’s never been more important to ensure that the content you create is quality. Writing well is a skill, so in this guide we’ll look at what it takes to produce great written content.

If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, business will be much more fun. Connect with other LGBT entrepreneurs, startups, business leaders and professionals here on OutBüro – the LGBT business, entrepreneur, and professional global community.

LGBT Corporate Equality Employer Branding Reviews Ratings Monitoring OutBuro LGBTQ Professional Community Network Lesbian Networking GLBT Entrepreneurs Startup Queer Bisexual

Getting started – identify your target audience

As mentioned, you need to start by knowing who you are you writing for. Different audiences will respond well to different types of writing. Try to identify one or two audiences to target, as you can’t target everyone. Ask yourself:

  • Who will use your product?
  • What information do they need?
  • What language would they use when talking about your product?
  • Who is their tribe – who do they interact with?

Try to build up a mental image of the typical customer for your product or service. Use market research to help you create a clear picture of your target audience. Next, look at the actual words and what makes for content that surprises and delights people.

Eleven tips for creating content that rocks your LGBT business marketing

Business writing isn’t easy, and it takes practice to do it well. Your writing should be informative, helpful and authoritative, with a healthy dose of personality. And of course you need to also be able to get your message across. Here are some hot tips:

  1. Keep it real
    Write the way you would speak – be conversational and use the magical word ‘you’. What would you say to a customer’s face? Read your content out loud and pretend they are sitting across from you. Don’t be over-friendly or too familiar though, or you might lose some authority.
  2. Make your content bite-sized
    Little snippets of information are more likely to be retained in your readers’ minds. Aim for about 20 words per sentence and chunk your content into logical paragraphs and sections. The attention span of someone reading online is not that long. So you need to ensure you get your point across quickly.
  3. Focus on a theme
    Start with one or two related themes and stick to them. Focus will help you build up site authority, in the eyes of your readers and in search engine algorithms.
  4. Make it scannable
    Use short, punchy bullet points when it seems natural. Consider using numbered lists too. People love these because they’re easy to read and are memorable. Make sure you use easy-to-read design. It’s important you have enough white space around your text and avoid using distracting colors.
  5. Pitch at the right level
    Use language that’s suitable for your target audience. If your audience is large and diverse, use simple, familiar vocabulary and plain English. If your audience has a specific level of education you may be able to get away with more complex words.
  6. Use meaningful headings and subheadings
    Memorable headlines will encourage your readers to take note of what you have to say. For example ‘Bookkeeping’ is a pretty meaningless title. But ‘Basic bookkeeping to run your business’ tells the reader more about what they will be reading about.
  7. Build in keywords so your content can be found
    Know in advance which keywords to use to help with search engine optimization (SEO). Incorporate these into your writing as you go along – don’t try to add them later. Not sure what a keyword is? Read our guide on SEO writing for small business.
  8. Test your writing in a reading app
    Use online readability tests such as read-able.com to see whether your writing is pitched at the right level. If it’s not, shorten the sentences, simplify the vocabulary and try again.
  9. Don’t duplicate your content on other sites
    You run the risk of being penalized by Google in search rankings if you post the same content on another site.
  10. Make it trackable
    Use tools and link shorteners such as bit.ly or goo.gl to help track your readers. You’ll be able to find out where they come from, where they go, which articles are popular and which are not. This will help you create good content.
  11. Make it easy to share
    Use social media buttons to make it easy for readers to share your content. Target top social networks and actively try to spread the word about your business. Spend 15 minutes a day highlighting your content on social networks and let your work contacts know.
Resources for LGBTQ entrepreneurs - LGBT Corporate Equality Employer Branding Ratings Reviews Monitoring Professional Community

Resources for LGBT Entrepreneurs

Check out the listing of LGBT Chambers of Commerce who provide networking, advice, and resources for LGBT entrepreneurs.


OutBüro

OutBüro is a growing community of LGBTQ professionals of all types globally. That naturally includes current and aspiring entrepreneurs. On OutBüro complete your professional so others may find you and your business linking to your website. Similar to LinkedIn, your OutBüro profile is about you. Your skills. If a small business owner that often translates to be the skills of the company too.

Groups

If there is not yet an OutBüro online Group for your city/region or area of interest, such as Marketing, Finance, etc consider starting it. As others join, post questions for the group members to answer. Post links to great articles and more.

Mentors

On your OutBüro profile indicate if you would like to be a mentor for others or if you would like a mentor. That is searchable.

Employer Listing

Add your business to the OutBüro employer listings. It is not your typical business directory, but rather an employer branding platform. Take advantage of the opportunity to showcase what a great employer it is for it’s LGBTQ employees even if you are a company of one person.

Funding

On your personal profile and employer listing on OutBüro indicate if you are seeking funding for your business or if you have funding for others. Check out our listing of kown LGBTQ-friendly venture capital funds.

Showcase your company

On OutBüro you may submit articles to be included on the site’s main blog. It can be an article about your professional career and/or information, news and promotions about your company.

Start Out

With chapters in Austin, Tx, New York, NY, Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA and Chicago, IL.  StartOut is a nonprofit organization that supports LGBT entrepreneurs in the United States providing local events in their chapter cities and an online forum to engage everywhere with the ability to search and connects with other members.   StartOut conducts business incubators and has a network of private, institutional investors and fund managers.  Members can elect to participate in the mentorship program as a mentor or mentee.  As a mentor, you are passing your valuable knowledge to the next generation, empowering the individual and strengthing the LGBT community.  As a mentee, you open to learning from others and will strengthen the community and hopefully consider being a mentor in the future.  You may sign up for free with very limited site access and features.  Full site access, features, and networking requiring an annual membership donation of $125 a year.

Out Entrepreneurs

Based in San Diego, CA, we embrace LGBT entrepreneurship by providing entrepreneurs with tools and opportunities essentials to success.

Whether if you are established or still in your idea stage, we welcome you to connect with us and other like-minded entrepreneurs. Share your expertise and learn more from each other.

Allies and other underrepresented minority are also welcome to join us!  A good support system is important to every entrepreneur, let us motivate and inspire each other


Series Q

Based in London, we welcome members from all over the UK and beyond.

We commit to being inclusive of all peoples within the LGBTQ+ community and championing entrepreneurship across all industries.

Series Q is group of LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and their colleagues across the startup ecosystem. This includes entrepreneurs, investors, wannabe founders, those who work in high-growth startups, entrepreneurs who have had a successful exit, and new founders who have recently taken the plunge.

Bringing us together is a desire to learn, build new connections and get inspiration from like-minded individuals.

We enable startups, many of which are too small to sustain internal LGBTQ+ affinity groups, to provide a forum for their LGBTQ+ people to connect.


Intertech LGBT+ Diversity Forum

Founded in 2012, Intertech LGBT+ Diversity Forum (“Intertech”), is a community for LGBT+ individuals and their allies.

We encourage LGBT+ diversity and inclusion in the UK technology sector for the benefit of the individual, the organizations they represent and the industry overall.



Catch Me If I Fall… Gay Life in the Third Age

Catch Me If I Fall… Gay Life in the Third Age

Fifteen years of marriage have brought us happiness and contentment in our personal lives. After both working in the gay scene for 30 years (and therefore having no prospect of getting a pension) we decided it was time to leave the urban gay scene, move to the countryside and start a new life, more suited to our needs as we grew older. We slowly built up a new circle of friends and neighbours and started a new business selling antiques, growing herbs and giving workshops.

www.hogelandshoeve.be

Then, after 20 years of building a small but steady farm business in Holland, our landlord suddenly wanted us out! We were confronted with the choice of either downsizing or taking on a new challenge. We chose the latter and decided to move to Belgium where we could hope to rebuild a bigger and better business and support our modest lifestyle. Although it meant giving up all our savings, we were determined to build a new life in which we could continue to work into ‘old age’, and confident that we were strong enough to succeed.

Our Dutch friends told us how ‘brave’ we were! Our gay friends told us how ‘lucky’ we were! Our new neighbors told us how happy they were to welcome us to Belgium. And we kept in touch with everyone with regular newsletters and updates to our website.

After we landed, the paperwork took most of a year to organize. We scratched our way through immigration, health insurance, car registration, residency permits, work permits, and myriad other forms until we eventually felt that we were beginning to settle. We opened our new farm-shop and found slots at local markets where we could start to sell our produce. We made friends with other local farmers. We started to grow our business again and get support from the local community.

But we had still overlooked the snakes in the grass. Our new business started to grow and we sold well in the summer months. Then we learned that the Belgian government wants not only the Sales Tax for the summer, but six months of Sales Tax in advance(!) and, with our savings already gone, we face a cash crisis. The income we can generate at this point will not pay for both the advance taxes and the investment we need in equipment and to build up our stock. Retailers and restaurants want to buy our products in the future, but we still have a big investment to find before we are ready to supply them.

We’ve decided to try crowd-funding now, hoping that our friends and community will possibly step in to save us from going over the cliff, but we have no idea whether it will work. Does a lifetime of being responsible citizens, good, caring friends, and generous in helping others really bring us any ‘social capital’? We’re biting the bullet now and will shortly know the answer.

Two-Gay-Men-Start-Organic-Farm-Sharing-their-Story-as-Entrepreneurs-Seeking-Investors-Capital-Funding

If we were straight folks then we would perhaps have a better chance. But our social circle has been decimated by HIV, leaving lots of them sick and living on benefits. Others have moved away  and are no longer as close as we would like. And since we are no longer shopping around for casual sex, we seem to have little direct contact with the majority of the LGBT community. Of course, there are many others in a similar situation; couples living in the country with a few cats, but we haven’t yet found a way to meet the older rural gay community with whom we can build a network.

The business keeps us both busy for 16 hours a day, up to our elbows in jam and manure, with little time to work on anything else. That’s not unexpected with a new business, but makes us feel isolated, fearful, and sometimes overwhelmed by events around us. It’s hard to stay focused when the whole project has become precarious.

We don’t regret our decisions, nor would we consider moving back to the city life as two older gay men with their youthful excesses long gone. However it’s still hard to see what ‘community’ we can develop beyond it.

We’d love to hear from others who recognise themselves in this story. Perhaps you can help us find the way forward or just want to offer us a web-hug? And finally, of course, perhaps YOU are in a position to help us with our crowd-funding campaign?  gf.me/u/v24yri

Hogelandshoeve BV
Sint Annastraat, 29
3730 Hoeselt
Belgium

How to Make Your [Gay] Money Work as Hard as You Do - LGBTQ Personal Finance Education Debt Reduction - OutBuro - bisexual queer lesbian transgender

How to Make Your [Gay] Money Work as Hard as You Do

Do you all too often have more month left over at the end of your money? Do you work hard for your paycheck only to watch it go out faster than it comes in? Do you ever wonder how you’ll put your children through school?

You’re not alone. The truth is that even though “gays are fabulous” (and we are), most of our community is struggling financially.

And we can relate.

Learn more about the Debt Free Guys’ LGBTQ Personal Financial Freedom course and resources.

Who are we?

We are John and David. After dating for 18 months, we came out of the closet to each other about our money, and it wasn’t pretty. We were $51,000 in credit card debt. Ouch! Sure, everything looked good on the outside. But we were hurting on the inside.

We were the gay cliché of being fabulous but fabulously broke. Ever feel this way?

You see, coming from times and places when it wasn’t okay to be gay, we were both bullied, picked and treated differently because we were – well – different. We grew up feeling like we weren’t as good as the other kids. Can you relate?

Then, when we found the courage to come out of the closet and moved away from our families to find other people like us, we were so insecure and wanted so desperately to fit in with the other gays, that we thought we needed all the right things – clothes, home, travel, careers, partners, stuff – all the right outward appearances – so we wouldn’t be bothered by another community. Our community. Sound familiar?

We paid off that credit card debt in less than three years! It took a lot of soul-searching, and we attribute that success to figuring out what was most important to us. Sixteen years later, today, we’re helping other queer people achieve the same financial security.

Are you living fabulously broke - Learn to be debt free with the DebtFreeGuy

Is queer money different than straight money?

If you thought you (and now us) were alone in this struggle, did you know that:

  • same-sex couples with at least one child under the age of 18 have 20% more credit card debt than their straight peers and have almost 90% more student loan debt?
  • queer college graduates have 16% more student loan debt than non-queer graduates?
  • 57% of our community says their current financial condition harms their mental health?

So, no, you’re not alone. Yes, our community has systematic and personal struggles with money. Yes, there’s something we can do about it but knowing there’s a problem isn’t enough.

Seeking Sales Professional Job Career LGBTQ Corporate Equality Employer Branding Ratings Reviews Monitoring - OutBuro - Employee Recruiting Marketing

OutBüro Seeking Sales Professionals

OutBüro is seeking sales professionals ready to leverage your current contacts and expand them for unlimited income. Do you have contacts in Fortune 1000, large, and mid-sized companies? Or contacts in all levels of government, education institutions, non-profits or other?

Job brief

We’re looking for a results-driven sales representative to actively seek out and engage customer prospects.

Help us grow. Start out as an independent sales consultant. Potential for the right person to grow into a Sales Director role. Leveraging our transparent Ambassador program. Depending on your experience and contacts we can customize the OutBüro Ambassador program commissions.

Independent Sales Representative Responsibilities include:

  • Leverage current and actively expand company/organization decision making contacts.
  • Represent the OutBüro Employer Branding and Reviews Monitoring and any future solutions.
  • Work with OutBüro to hone our sales process and any gaps in needed collateral to make assist in the process.
  • Performing cost-benefit analyses of existing and potential customers
  • Maintaining positive business relationships to ensure future sales and retention of clients/customers.
  • Reach out to customer leads through cold calling leveraging tools and other resources.
  • Achieve agreed upon sales targets and outcomes within schedule
  • Coordinate sales effort with team members.
  • Analyze industry/territory potential, track sales, and status reports
  • Supply management with reports on customer needs, problems, interests, competitive activities, and potential for new products and services.
  • Expedite the resolution of customer problems and complaints to maximize satisfaction.
  • Providing constructive feedback on features based on prospect/client needs.
  • Continuously improve through feedback.

hummm... seems you've already submitted this form twice.. Appreciate your high interest, and we'll get to your submission shortly.

No recruiter contacts – No fees paid to recruiters.

This is an independent agent sales role. OutBüro is an equal employment opportunity company. However it is focused on the LGBTQ community and therefore any person applying regardless of sex, gender identity, religion, ethnic, race, sexual orientation, physical, mental, or veteran status or other must be 100% comfortable and confident in representing OutBüro and the LGBTQ community in a highly positive manner.

OutBuro Launches Ambassador Affiliate Program - Promote LGBTQ Workplace Equality Earn - GLBT LGBT Employer Reviews Company Ratings Branding Corporate Diversity Inclusion

OutBüro Launches Ambassador Program

Promote LGBTQ Workplace Equality and Earn

We would like LGBTQ workplace equality to spread like wildfire and we applaud entrepreneurs, so today OutBüro launches it’s OutBüro Ambassador program.

What is the OutBüro Ambassador Program

It is an affiliate marketing system that anyone may register for. It is a system that is transparent providing each Ambassador with a unique URL that is customizable to share with prospective employers to use when claiming or adding their OutBüro Employer Listing. Employer listings subscriptions fees are based on a sliding scale depending on the number of current employees worldwide. Therefore it’s cost effective for companies/organizations of any size from 3 – 300,000 or more.

See the OutBüro Ambassador program overview for more information on how it works and the management area just for Ambassadors to track your clicks and successful Employer Listing subscriptions.

Register Now OutBuro Ambassador Program Affiliate Marketing B2B Non-Profit Business Revenue New Career Work for self entreprenuer side income

Currently, the Ambassador program offers a 10% commission on successful Employer listings that are claimed or added. The commission is not only on this initial annual subscription yet continues annually for as long as that Employer listing remains active. Therefore you earn an initial plus residual income.

You share your unique link with prospective employers. When they click through your Ambassador account is attributed for up to 90 days. It is in all our best interest to have them sign up as quickly as possible. If another Ambassador shares their link with the same employer you run the risk of the 2nd Ambassador being attributed with the signup. See the Ambassador program description for more detail on this.

Believe you can pull lots or big fish?

Do you believe you can attract a significant number of employers and/or very large employers? OK – contact us to discuss the opportunity.

Who can be an OutBüro Ambassador?

Anyone or any entity really. But some ideal Ambassdors would be the following:

  • An individual who already markets to businesses of any size.
  • A company who already markets to businesses of any size.
  • A company/organization LGBTQ employee who would like to champion their employer to claim or add their Employer listing to OutBüro. Perhaps this is on behalf of an LGBTQ employee resource group.
  • Any for-profit or non-profit that advocates LGBTQ workplace equality.
  • Any non-profit with a membership base such as community centers, chambers of commerce and so forth.
  • Again, really anyone or any entity may become an OutBüro Ambassador.

Are there any restrictions on the the earned commission may be used?

OutBüro does not place any restrictions on how the funds you, your company, or your organization uses the funds earned but here are some ideas:

Diversity and Inclusion Consultants

Same as all below and a very pertinent offering to expand the outstanding services you are already doing. It’s one more thing you bring to the table and earn.

Individual person

  • Hey, use the funds any way you like. Pay bills, add to a vacation fund.
  • Pay your health insurance.
  • Pay other your debt down.
  • Pay for college tuition, book, rent, food, nights out.
  • Take that needed vacation.
  • Donate it to local LGBTQ non-profit charities.
  • It’s 100% up to you.

Small business – B2B marketing

  • Grow your business adding this as one more revenue stream.
  • Add needed hardware – buy a new laptop, etc
  • Pay company bills.
  • Throw a holiday party for staff and/or clients.
  • Invest in your business
  • Take a needed vacation.
  • Donate it to local LGBTQ community non-profits.
  • It’s 100% up to you.

Medium sized business B2B marketing

  • Same as Small Business
  • Support your internal LGBTQ workplace equality efforts
  • Launch an LGBTQ employee resource group
  • Expand your marketing and your exposure
  • It’s 100% up to you

LGBTQ Non-Profits

  • Promote OutBüro to your membership base. They’ll also then be supporting your organization now and every year they retain their membership.
  • Get that needed website update accomplished.
  • Invest in technology to improve internal operations, security and other needed areas.
  • Add paid positions.
  • Expand your service offerings
  • Allocate the funds to annual project goals
  • It’s 100% up to you

OutBüro Gives Back Program

As soon as OutBüro starts a positive revenue track, which with your help as an Ambassador we hope will be soon. We’ll be allocating a percentage of quarterly profits to be donated to global, national and local non-profits that support LGBTQ workplace equality, opportunities for career advancement and training and general LGBTQ community support organizations.

You’re being an Ambassador can do so much good for you, your organization an the community at large.

Review the following to get up to speed

Review the following article from OutBüro to expand your knowledge so that you are ready to talk with employers about the value of being an open and welcoming LGBTQ workplace. Naturally, seek out other resources too for general information on diversity and inclusion.

6 Steps to enhance LGBTQ workplace equality with OutBüro

Beyond the scope, depth and reach of the HRC Corporate Equality Index – OutBüro is an LGBTQ employee driven ratings/review platform for any employer, any size, anywhere in the world. Not just for US Fortune 1000 companies.

LGBTQ employees be a super hero – Your voice matters – rate/review your current and/or recent past employers to applaud them creating an amazing LGBTQ inclusive and welcoming workplace or shine light on areas they can improve.

According to many studies, employers who adopt LGBTQ workplace friendly policies, benefits, and business practices see significant improvement in productivity, creativity, problem-solving, employee happiness and customer loyalty.

Don’t stop there, check out the LGBT Studies area on the OutBüro blog for more great information to prepare you for your employer conversations.

OutBuro on LinkedIn Largest LGBTQ professional entrepreneur groupThe Gay Veteran Entrepreneur Behind LinkedIn’s Largest LGBT Professional Group - Dennis Velco - LGBT Employees Rate Employer Review Company Employee Branding - Corporate Workplace Equality Gay Lesbian Queer Diversity Inclusion

We are super duper excited

I am so excited to have you considering becoming an OutBüro Ambassador. I’ve built OutBüro and the OutBüro on LinkedIn group with currently over 46,000 global members 100% on my own. It’s been my own time, energy and money to try to build a global resource for the LGBTQ community.

I can no longer do this alone and need you and your business connections. Naturally, I hope you also make every LGBTQ working professional no matter what job they do aware of OutBüro so they come review/rate their employer(s). As the employers are added and employee submits ratings/review OutBüro will become a valuable resource for both the employers, their employees, and future job seekers.

I so much apprecite you.

Dennis Velco
OutBüro – Founder, CEO

Ratings 30 - LGBTQ Corporate Equality Workplace Employees Rate Employer Branding Reviews monitoring Company OutBuro - Diversity Inclusion Gay Lesbian Queer

The Gay Veteran Entrepreneur Behind LinkedIn’s Largest LGBT Professional Group

By Andy Smith – Updated May 14, 2019, for current accuracy by Dennis Velco.

First appearing on Edge Media Network

Since 2008, Dennis Velco founded and has nurtured  LinkedIn’s largest LGBTQ networking group from a concept to an international networking resource with over 46,000 global members – that grows daily.  Velco is a social entrepreneur with a passion for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer community. OutBuro on LinkedIn 46000 global members- Largest LGBT Professional Entrepreneur Networking Community Group Gay Lesbian Bisexual Queer Transgender Network

It was the driving force for Velco to launch the LGBT media crowd-sourced corporate social justice tech startup OutBüro.  Additionally, OutBüro is a growing site of LGBT related business news, information, resources, and stories of careers and business owners.

Dennis Velco - CEO Founder OutBuro LinkedIn Largest LGBT Professional Netoworking Group Gay Lesbian GLBT Queer Transgender Bisexual Social Entrepreneur Startup

Dennis Velco

Velco continues to moderate and grow the LinkedIn group yet now branded as and supported as a service of OutBüro.

For Dennis, creating, cultivating and growing the OutBüro on LinkedIn group has been a persistent and passionate endeavor.

OutBüro on LinkedIn welcomes gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT), queer, intersex and questioning professionals and entrepreneurs, along with friends, allies, recruiters and diversity professionals seeking to connect, network and communicate to advance their careers.

A Persistent Pioneer – How it began

“I’ve been on LinkedIn since way before people knew what it was, when I was living in New York City 16 years ago,” says Velco, now based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “Back then it wasn’t as prominent as it is today. I put it on the backburner for a couple of years. As more clients began to mention it in casual conversation in late in 2007, I got more involved and did what most people do-I filled it out like a resume and began to prospect on it.”

As he became more involved, Velco began noticing other features of the networking service, especially the preponderance of collegiate alumni association groups listed on people’s profiles.

“I scoured LinkedIn searching for an LGBT Group and looking up very prominent LGBT community members to see if their profiles had any LGBT group listed. I found nothing,” he says. After several patient inquiries and a few months of back and forth, it turned out the site wasn’t hosting an LGBTQ networking group.

Velco contacted LinkedIn providing a strong case for an LGBT group on the site. Eventually, LinkedIn gave the green light, and Velco agreed to be the group’s owner and moderator voluntarily donating his time and resources.

He approached the project with fervor and a sense of mission. “I felt and continue to feel it is vital to have a strong open and out LGBT presence on the world’s largest professional networking site,” he says. “People are much more likely to be out on Facebook yet still hesitant to be out on LinkedIn.” At Velco’s request, all groups on LinkedIn offer the option to hide a group’s membership on public profiles.

Adding Members & Content 

Once LinkedIn signed off, Velco jumped in with both feet, embracing the project, donating hours of time each day – including weekends – to building the group, taking a labor-intensive, trial-and-error approach.

“I would search LinkedIn and find profiles of people that had ‘LGBT, GLBT, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer and so forth’ in their listing and send them invitations to join the group. I’d have to be careful to weed out people who have ‘Gay’ in their names,” he says. “I then would send each person a personalized invitation to join the group.”

Building and maintaining this group has been a labor of love. “My past life partner thought I was crazy in the beginning of building it due to the amount of time and personal money I was investing in the group. The first several years I would spend anywhere from two to six hours a day combing the Internet for pertinent content to post,” Velco recalls.

“March 2018 will mark ten years that I’ve done this voluntarily,” he says.

In addition to writing pieces for the group, Velco searched international news sites to curate LGBTQ-focused, business-oriented pieces. “I would strive to stay non-political and avoid content that would alienate members,” he says. “I’d try to get global content because I didn’t want it to just be an echo chamber of U.S. and Canadian content. I can’t wait until LinkedIn gets automatic translations because I would like all members to be able to contribute, view and participate in their native language. I believe that being an English only site is a deterrent to many. Having such a feature I believe would increase member active participation.”

Nixing NSFW Content

Despite what a handful of aspiring members might think, LinkedIn is not an adjunct to Grindr or a Circuit Party Facebook page. Deflecting accusations of being sex-negative, Velco has spent a fair amount of time screening out applicants who submit genital images as their profile photos. As a business-oriented (rather than social) site, even shirtless pictures are typically verboten.

“Policing the group is important because while Facebook is typically banned at most businesses via the company internet, LinkedIn is not,” he emphasizes.  I want OutBüro main site and our channels such as OutBüro on LinkedIn to remain Fortune 1000 level office friendly.

“I hold to LinkedIn’s terms of service. I’ve had to moderate and get involved with spats and even had a stalker who ended up banned from LinkedIn for life. I’ve had blatant anti-LGBT content in profiles. Every single person’s profile in the group must be reviewed by me to a degree.”

Partnering with StartOut

In 2017, as StartOut investigated new channels for outreach, freelance Marketing Director John Graham reached out to Velco to see if the two groups could cultivate a mutually beneficial relationship, one that would boost StartOut’s member recruitment.

“I knew how large the LinkedIn group was and how it made sense to develop a partnership with him. It’s a large channel to find LGBTQ entrepreneurs and those who support them,” Graham says. “The OutBüro on LinkedIn group has been one of the most effective means to continue growing StartOut memberships/registrations. It has been nearly 11 times more effective than Facebook.”

Worthy Endeavors 

Today he’s exploring his new home town of Wilton Manors and the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area.

The group has from high school students through White House staff of both the Obama and Trump administration and every role in between. “Knowing that people at that level value the group enough to have an open LGBT or they are friendly representatives present makes me feel great.  My effort to date has been well spent.”

Nevertheless, Dennis and his passionate quest continue with OutBüro being part of the evolution.  He states, “I feel good because OutBüro is about helping people and companies/organization be better and make good decisions be being a resource and a tool of communication, growth, and change.”

Directly connect with Dennis Velco on LinkedIn.  Use the contact form to send a message or request a 30-minute phone or skype introduction call with him.

Join the LinkedIn LGBT group here.

New Jersey LGBT Chamber of Commerce Business Owner Access to Capital Event - LGBT Employees Rate Employer Review Company Employee Branding OutBuro - Corporate Workplace Equality Gay Lesbian Queer Diversity Inclusion

NJ LGBT Chamber: “Business Owner Access to Capital Event”

The New Jersey LGBT Chamber of Commerce and TD Bank Partner to Support LGBTQ+ and Allied Business Owners

The New Jersey LGBT Chamber of Commerce in partnership with TD Bank is proud to host an “Access to Capital” event to help support business owners throughout New Jersey.  Steven Garibell, Vice President of Business Development for the LGBTQ2+ Community at TD Bank will be hosting the workshop to help business owners identify their company’s financial status, future financial needs, and what financing options are available to them. Light refreshments will be served and time will be built in for attendees to network with fellow professionals.

The NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce serves to connect LGBTQ+ and allied business owners and professionals with the resources they need to succeed while also to connecting them with New Jersey’s LGBTQ+ community at large. For more information, visit njlgbtchamber.org/.

“TD Bank has a long-standing commitment to our small business community,” says Garibell. “By working with organizations such as the NJ LGBT Chamber, we are able to bring our Small Business WOW! Zone classes to small business owners in diverse communities. Our work will help LGBT Business Enterprises ® gain greater access to capital thereby strengthening the communities they serve.”

As an affiliate of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the NJ LGBT Chamber offers LGBT Business Enterprise Certification ® as benefit of membership with the organization. Certified LGBTBEs are routinely sought after by over 250 NGLCC Corporate Partners who are looking to increase their spend with the LGBT business community. Certified LGBTBEs are also eligible for scholarship programs, mentorship and leadership training, and other business development tools following one year.

“LBGT Business owners generate over $1.7 trillion in economic impact (per NGLCC’s groundbreaking America’s LGBT Economy Report), create jobs and innovate business solutions nationwide,” says NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce Board Member, Stephen Blazejewski. “We actively seek to work with corporate partners like TD Bank to host educational events that are critical in ensuring professional success for our Members and Future Members throughout the state of New Jersey.”

On May 1, the Business Owner Access to Capital event will take place at TD Bank’s Jersey City Branch;  125 18th St, Jersey City, NJ from 6-8 p.m.

Interested attendees should RSVP here. Questions related to the event can be emailed to [email protected]

About NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce: The NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce is New Jersey’s only LGBTQ business organization dedicated to strengthening LGBT businesses in the New Jersey tri-state area. The New Jersey LGBT Chamber of Commerce increases the economic staying-power of its members and allies and facilitates successful business collaboration. We are a platform for business visionaries, and the first stop for LGBT entrepreneurs and allies seeking to advance and access opportunity and resources. Join the New Jersey LGBT Chamber of Commerce to connect, collaborate & leverage business opportunities. For more information, please visit http://njlgbtchamber.org or connect with the NJ LGBT Chamber of Commerce on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

OutBuro Care Plan Medical health Savings Plan LGBT GLBT Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Queer Prenegotiated Healcare costs Cash Discounts

Healthcare Medical Savings Plans for the LGBT Community

March 15, 2019

Officially launched today, OutBüro Care+Plan is a pre-negotiated healthcare discount savings plan leveraging trusted national networks of service providers. It is unique in that it is specifically targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. Believed to be the first of it’s kind.

OutBüro Care+Plans are for individuals, couples, and families residing in the United States regardless of citizenship status. It has opportunities for independent entrepreneur, small business owners and non-profits with a member base. OutBüro Care+Plans is focused on the LGBTQ community, however it’s not exclusive – we aren’t meanies. We’d welcome anyone to the OutBüro Care+Plans who meet the general plan requirements.

OutBüro Care+Plan is a result of the partnership between OutBüro and Atlas Benefits.

Why focus on the LGBTQ community?

There are other similar plans out there that anyone may use. OutBüro’s focuses its content and service on the LGBTQ professional and entrepreneur community. It is difficult or impossible to be your best on the job or tending to your client as an LGBTQ entrepreneur when you have health concerns. Your sinuses may be killing you, or you met a hot guy and all you can think about is your erectile dysfunction.

“When AtlasCare management reached out to me, within our first call my interest was high. I had already written articles based on studies including lack of access and high health risk LGBTQ people face,” Velco states.

An LGBTQ person who has a fear of going to medical facilities due to past negative experiences, for many things may utilize the medicine doctor as part of the plan, stop by a lab if ordered, and have their prescription mailed or picked up locally. But anyone on the OutBüro Care+Plan can typically save time and money leveraging the Telemedicine option.

Discounted services through nationwide networks

  • Doctor Visits
  • Patent Advocacy
  • Hospitalization
  • Prescriptions
  • Laboratory
  • MRI & Imaging
  • Dermatology
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Hearing
  • Chiropractic
  • Diabetic
  • Telemedicine

For more information visit https://www.outburo.com/outburo-careplans-info-sign-up

Gay Male couple OutBuro Care Plan Medical Savings Plan Prenegotiated Healcare Costs Cash Discounts

Americans dropping health insurance

Recent reports indicate that a large number of persons residing in the United States don’t have health insurance or are considering dropping it in 2019. This is partially in part due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate repeal that removed penalizes Americans on federal taxes. LGBTQ persons are part of that group although we have not found any study quantifying that to date.

Health insurance as emergency only plan

Velco states, “I personally know many people who have health insurance but due to the every rising costs they can only afford a plan with a very high annual deductible, say $5,000. They treat their health insurance as an emergency only plan.

They could leverage the OutBüro Care+Plan for out of pocket cash payment discounts that can still count toward the health insurance annual deductible. Why pay full walk-in or insurance billing rates when you are trying to reach your high heath insurance annual deductible if under normal routine care you likely won’t reach it?

Undocumented immigrants

There are LGBTQ immigrants and likely some are undocumented too. For most in that status it can be challenging to impossible to even get health insurance no matter how much they are willing to pay. The OutBüro Care+Plan is not an insurance plan, but it can help reduce costs.

My own proof

Velco continues, “As I learned more I quickly added up my own health care cost I racked up over the past 3 months and found that had I had this plan, I would have used the exact same vendors and would have saved enough to have covered a full year of cost of the plan. I thought that if this makes no brainier sense to me it’s going to hit home with others.”