Saturday, November 22, 2014

WEBINAR: SBA and the U.S. Postal Service Present: The Power of Direct Mail

Think that direct mail is dead? Think again: According to a 2012 study by Exact Target magazine, 65% of consumers have made a purchase as the result of a Direct Mail piece. Attend a presentation on Thursday, December 4 at 3 PM ET to learn about:
• Using Direct Mail to acquire new customers
• Using Direct Mail to retain existing customers
• The 40/40/20 rule and how it means more dollars for your company
• How Direct Mail amplifies your campaign by boosting your conversion rate

Register HERE

Friday, November 21, 2014

Small Farm Funding Resources



As the popular saying goes, No Farms No Food.  But small farms constantly face difficulty in competing with the big players and in order to compete they need assistance.  They need funding.  The National Agricultural Library of the United States Department of Agriculture has compiled a list of Small Farm Funding Resources.  There is assistance provided on how to write a business plan, financial and planning resources, funding and program assistance, useful organizations and websites, and more.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Complimentary Holiday Success Guide

For many businesses, the holidays bring in half of annual sales, and this crucial time of year can easily sneak up on them. The time to get ready is now, before getting wrapped up in the day-to-day holiday rush. To help businesses make 2014 their best holiday seasons yet, PlanningShop and Rhonda Abrams have assembled their 14 best tips of the season into a FREE downloadable e-Guide! The 2014 Holiday Success Guide is packed with actionable tips, 'Do this now' instructions and interactive worksheets.

You can use the guide to plan for the season no matter what type of business you are running. Rhonda has included tools for planning a social media calendar, capturing new customer names and contact information and even a guide on all the apps that Santa himself will be utilizing this holiday season. Please share this FREE guide with others via www.planningshop.com/HolidaySuccess or via social media utilizing the hashtag #HolidaySuccess.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Top five enterprise technology trends for 2015

What technological trends can we expect to shape the enterprise in 2015?

According to predictions released by US carrier Verizon, strategic network investments will be a top priority for chief information officers (CIOs) working in the corporate world next year, as more and more companies seek to make sense of Big Data, profit from the internet of ihings (IoT) and make the transition to the cloud.

In the coming year, now perhaps the worst of the recession is behind us, companies will also begin to adopt technologies that drive business innovation and provide a strong basis for future growth.

More from ZD Net

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marketers: It's time to own the sales funnel

Sales and marketing teams both have helped break down the sales process by perpetuating leads from poor-quality customers who will never buy anything.

Sales teams often dump erroneous information into the customer relationship management system without running it through marketing software to scrub the data for authenticity and other data problems. But marketers, too, have been known to pass leads on to sales departments without knowing whether they are prospects who are ready to buy...

"These leads are no good," a salesperson would say, and I would say, "What are you talking about? These are great names: Look at the titles, look at the companies." And she'd say, "Yeah, but you know what? They're not ready to buy."

More from Search CRM.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) conference call November 18

Online enrollment in the SHOP Marketplace began Saturday, November 15th.
Today, you can:
  1. See if you qualify for the SHOP Marketplace
  2. See if you qualify for the Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
  3. Browse plans and prices for 2015 SHOP coverage in your area
  4. Learn how to apply online or use an agent or broker
  5. If you offered SHOP coverage to your employees in 2014, learn how to renew or change your offer online.

Join representatives from Small Business Majority, the Small Business Administration, and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for a conference call and Q&A, where we'll discuss how the marketplace works and answer any specific questions you have about using it.
We'll also discuss the individual marketplace, which also begins open enrollment on November 15, where the self-employed, small business employees and others can shop for quality, affordable insurance online.
Register HERE.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Chinese Entrepreneurs and their four Silicon Valleys

On September 19th, 2014, Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company that provides consumer-to-consumer, business-to-consumer, and business-to-business sales service via web portals, broke records when at the end of the day of their Initial Public Offering, Alibaba's market value was measured at US $25 billion.

For a long time now, Westerners have viewed China as an inferior country when it comes to business.  But things have changed, and now China is making it's mark on the international business market, especially when it comes to technology.  China has four Silicon Valleys compared to one in the United States.  Read more about how "China Triumphs as Silicon Valley Primps" here.

Text from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alibaba_Group) used  under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

How to Create an Inspiring Home Page for Your Small Business

Now that you've decided to build a website for your small business (congratulations, BTW), there’s no room or reason for procrastination. Right now, your potential customers are on their smartphones, tablets and computers looking for products or services like yours. The facts don’t lie:

-- At least 85 percent of today’s consumers use the Internet to find local products and services.
-- More than one-third of U.S. smartphone owners use their phones to find store locations online.
-- And people used their phones, tablets and desktops to shop online to the tune of more than $70 billion in 2013.

Most likely, your competitors are already online. You’re losing out if you’re not.

Of course you’re busy.

More from America's SBDC

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The complete guide to DIY small business PR

Public relations, "free advertising," media coverage, TV and newspaper interviews—whatever you want to call it, PR is an exciting and powerful part of doing business. Good PR brings you more customers and higher sales, and great PR can completely transform your company into the kind of multi-million-dollar powerhouse you're dreaming of. Of course, that's exactly why PR firms are so expensive to hire, and so out of reach for most small business owners. But what if you had the tools to do great PR yourself?

More from Palo Alto Software

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

5 Reasons Why Veterans Make Excellent Entrepreneurs

According to the Small Business Administration, "Veteran business owners are responsible for nearly one out of every ten small businesses in America, employ nearly six million workers, generate over 1.5 trillion dollars in receipts each year and are 45 percent more likely to be self-employed than non-veterans". So what exactly makes veterans so well suited for entrepreneurship?

1. Work Ethic

See more at: the New Jersey SBDC for Monmouth and Ocean Counties

Monday, November 10, 2014

Wait, What? 5 Ways to Improve Your Attention

It happens to the best of us. You're sitting in class or in a meeting and you suddenly find yourself daydreaming, losing focus, and not paying attention. In one study of over 2,000 adults, people reported that their minds weren't really on the task at hand almost 50 percent of the time. Perhaps even more importantly, people report feeling less happy when they are distracted.

So what can you do to improve your attention, increase your focus, and prevent your mind from wandering? Researchers have discovered a few different things that might help.

More from About Education

Sunday, November 09, 2014

New York SBDC Client, Brazzlebox, Announces It's Going National

Brazzlebox, the exclusive social network for small and home based business, has announced it is launching nationally as of September 18, 2014. Small, at home, Veteran owned and start-up businesses will be able to go to http://www.brazzlebox.com/web/guest/home www.brazzlebox.com and sign up FREE. They can quickly develop their profile page and immediately start connecting with businesses in their community or industry.

Brazzlebox is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Glen Zinszer. Brazzlebox will be working to fill the current B2B and B2Community social networking void.

More from America's SBDC

Saturday, November 08, 2014

7 little household farms in big cities

It's possible to become a real farmer with 25 square feet of space, even if skyscrapers are your neighbors.

But it does take a bit of planning and innovation. Luckily, there is a core group of artists, designers and farmers leading the charge to help city-dwellers lower their food costs, eat local and turn their urban homes into homesteads.

With the "moderate cost" of food for the average 19 to 50-year-old man in the U.S. at $295.90 per-month, according to the USDA, why wouldn't you want to feed yourself from the land where you're already paying to live? Plus, filling an urban space full of leafy vegetables, fruit trees, roosting chickens and buzzing bees is a lot more beautiful than covering one in concrete.

More from CBS News.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Top 10 Reasons for Getting Fired

There are many reasons that companies fire employees. If you take a look at the stories about getting fired shared by About.com readers you'll find a variety of reasons people were fired from their job, including for posting on Facebook , for having a bad attitude , and for stealing , just to mention a few.

Unfortunately, for many fired workers, in most cases employers don't need a reason to fire you unless you are covered by a bargaining agreement or employment contract. It's called employment at will. Employment at will means that an employee can be terminated at any time without any reason and without notice.

That said, most employers won't fire an employee without cause. Most firings are termination for cause, which means the employee is fired for a specific reason.

More from About Careers.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Why permission-based marketing matters

Constant Contact has long been an advocate for permission-based marketing. [It is] the best route to developing the long-lasting customer relationships that small businesses work so hard to achieve —the relationships that can drive customer engagement, and encourage repeat sales and valuable word-of-mouth for your business.

Over the summer, this topic was brought to the fore in the world of email marketing, as Canada began enforcing a new Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). The legislation requires all those that market to Canada with commercial electronic messages (email, some forms of social media, etc.) regardless of where in the world they are located, to adhere to the some of the strictest anti-spam regulations in the world or risk serious penalties: up to $1 million for individuals and up to $10 million for businesses.

Even if CASL doesn’t affect your business, it serves as an essential reminder of how important it is to get your customers’ permission before adding them to your email marketing list.

More from America's SBDC.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Is Your Small Business Financially Prepared to Rebound After a Disaster?

Whether or not your company’s financial house is in order has a big impact on post-disaster recovery.  Having a plan in place to save your organization’s assets from business interruptions will ensure a quick recovery, satisfied clients and long term-economic stability.
Get tips on how to protect your core operations, revenue flow, and your company’s reputation at a free webinar on Thursday, Nov. 20, hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery.
The webinar will also cover essential planning strategies, with a discussion on how corporate preparedness can protect a company’s market value and establish financial resilience, regardless of whether the disaster comes in the form of a flood…or a lawsuit.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Median weekly earnings, 2004–2014

Median weekly earnings of the nation’s 106.9 million full-time wage and salary workers were $797 (seasonally adjusted) in the third quarter of 2014. Women who usually worked full time had median weekly earnings of $722, or 82 percent of the $880 median for men. After adjusting for inflation in consumer prices, women's earnings have changed little over the past decade and men's earnings have declined slightly.

More from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Monday, November 03, 2014

Veteran Entrepreneurs Honored During National Veterans Small Business Week Nov. 3-7

WASHINGTON – The accomplishments of Veteran small business owners around the country will be celebrated during National Veterans Small Business Week (NVSBW) November 3-7.     
U.S. Small Business Administration district offices and resource partners nationwide will host more than 100 local events, including entrepreneurship training such as Boots to Business: Reboot classes, veteran access to capital workshops, and government contracting roundtables.  
Veteran entrepreneurship workshops will also be held at U.S. military installations in Germany and Korea.  On Friday, Nov. 7, the ABC television network will host a special “Shark Tank” episode featuring veteran entrepreneurs

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Guide To Sales Tax in New York State

This publication is a comprehensive guide to New York State and local sales and use taxes for businesses that sell taxable tangible personal property, perform taxable services, receive admission charges, or operate a hotel or motel, and restaurants, taverns, or other establishments that sell food and drink.

For basic, easy-to-understand explanations of particular sales tax topics, see the sales tax bulletins, available on the Tax Department’s Web site at www.tax.ny.gov. The Tax Department has issued a number of these sales tax bulletins and continue to add new bulletins on a regular basis.

It is the department’s goal that all taxpayers meet their sales tax obligations and pay the correct amount of tax due. If your business makes sales of property or services that are subject to sales tax, it must register for sales tax purposes and obtain a Certificate of Authority. You should thoroughly read all the information contained in this publication so that you become aware of your obligations in regard to sales tax. If you fail to fulfill your obligations under the Sales Tax Law, you could be subject to penalties and/or charged with a crime. Some of these obligations include, but are not limited to:

• registering for sales tax purposes and displaying a Certificate of Authority (see How to obtain your Certificate of Authority) and Tax Bulletin How to Register for New York State Sales Tax (TB-ST-360);
• collecting the proper amount of sales tax from customers (see Calculating and stating the sales tax) and Tax Bulletin Taxable Receipts-How Discounts, Trade-ins and Additional Charges Affect Sales Tax (TB-ST-860);
• issuing and accepting properly-completed sales tax exemption certificates (see Exemption certificates) and Tax Bulletin Exemption Certificates for Sales Tax (TB-ST-240);
• maintaining records of sales and purchases in an orderly and adequate manner (see Record keeping) and Tax Bulletin Recordkeeping Requirements for Sales Tax Vendors (TB-ST-770);
• filing sales tax returns and remitting any sales tax due in a timely manner as a trustee for the state (see Filing your sales tax return) and Tax Bulletin Filing Requirements for Sales and Use Tax Returns (TB-ST-275);

Food Trucks are so last year...now there are Retail Clothing Trucks!

In today's fast-paced world, we want what we want when we want it.  And we want it where we are.  But there is barely enough time to do what we need to do, regardless what we want to do.  Food trucks have answered this demand with trucks for every type of food imaginable to satisfy every type of food craving imaginable.  But that is just food.  What about other wants, like clothing?  Well, that problem is also being solved, thanks in part to one woman in Washington, D.C.  Lia Lee sells trendy clothing and accessories out of a truck she calls Street Boutique.  Starting the fashion truck cost Lee a fraction of what a brick and mortar store would have cost, and now she can go to her clients instead of hoping they find the time to come to her.  

Read more about Lee and the trend here.

Want to find a Fashion Truck in your area?  Check out The Fashion Truck Finder!