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Showing posts from September, 2005

Tapping into the Hispanic Market

By the year 2020 the Hispanic population is projected to reach 53 million, with buying power projected to surpass the $1 trillion mark by the year 2010.
The median income of Hispanic households rose by 20% from $27,977…to $33,565...between 1996 and 2001 while the median for all households increased...6%.
Of all ethnic groups, Hispanics frequent the mall the most (10.1 times per three-week period) and stay the longest (91.5 minutes).These factoids and more can be found at HispanSource, a web site devoted to Hispanic market info. This site is a one-stop resource for locating marketing and research findings, reports, and references related to marketing to the Hispanic community. HispanSource is a joint creation of several parties—the City of St. Paul, Minn.; the James J. Hill Reference Library; Aguilar Productions; and Latinocreative.com. All are located in the St. Paul/Minneapolis (Minn.) area. Note: HispanSource is free but requires registration.

On Burnout:

“Burnout is spiritual, physical, emotional and/or mental exhaustion, usually resulting from one or more long-term, unsatisfying efforts. Burnout seems to be on the rise in organizations, resulting in poor health, poor performance and conflicts in the workplace (internal conflicts and conflicts with others).” by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD http://www.managementhelp.org/prsn_wll/burnout.htm

With the pressures of finances and looming deadlines, it is easy for companies to forget that their biggest asset is the people who keep the business going. When negative attitudes are not kept in check, they spread, morale falters and productivity suffers. Managers need to spot and fix problems before they contribute to an overall negative atmosphere.
For a very complete explanation of burnout and it’s symptoms and effects, visit http://www.fmi.uni-passau.de/worterklaerungen/burnout.html

Negativity in the Workplace
Brian Norris

Brian Norris is selling something. Seminars and training programs - but he doe…

File it for later

One of the SBDC regional centers actually reproduces much of the information it receives from the Research Network and puts in into a vertical file, by category.

Now, I’m not suggesting that YOUR center do that, but you might consider making copies of frequently requested data, information that many clients, and the center itself, could make good use of. Most of what we send out does not change on a weekly or monthly basis. Some of this includes:

Traffic patterns
Demographic information, especially from the print sources:
-Community Sourcebook of County Demographics
-Community Sourcebook of ZIP Code Demographics
-Lifestyle Market Analyst
Industry data specific to the region

A new center director came up to Central and visited the library. He indicated that the demographic information we pulled for him will be of use for several of his clients.

Also, a center may have a number of requests for the same type of general information, the type included in the DOL packets. Maybe there are lots of…

Small Business Blogs

Now that you're accustomed to reading the Research Network blog, you may want to branch out to read other blogs. For example, do a search in Google for "small business blogs" and the results show a plethora from which to choose. Here are a few worth noting:
The Small Business Blog from AllBusiness.comSmall Business TrendsFresh Inc., the Inc.com WeblogEntrepreneur.comThe Entrepreneurial MindOnce you start reading, it's hard to stop. Let us know what your favorite blogs are.

The Business of Art

Visual Artists and Craftspeople

The New York Foundation for the Artstops my list for information on the business of art. They offer articles on all the key topics for any working artist – money, legal issues, marketing, mental health, and also include interviews and profiles on working artists. They also include a classified section and lots of information on grants, fellowships and residencies.

Arts Marketing.org
A walk through the steps an arts organization (in the broad sense of the word) needs travel to reach their marketing goals. Includes case studies like a look at a successful direct marketing campaign completed by an arts museum, rebranding and attracting the family audience.

The Graphic Arts Guild
An essential resource for graphic artists, they publish the GAG Pricing & Ethical Guidelines Handbook that every graphic designer should already know but also have a good website that has one immediately useful feature: Ask Mark, a tip sheet with intelligent answers to common issues…

Census business data

I went to a workshop on Census data this summer, and I foiund some things that may not be clear to you or your clients:

Census does economic surveys on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis, depending on the survey. These tend to be of limited detail, and mostly national.
Census conducts the Economic Census every 5 years, the years ending with 2 and 7. The data are industry specific and addresses a detailed geography, often down to the county level. While the Economic Census does get sent out to businesses, the Census Bureau also relies on administrative records, such as filings of federal tax schedules relating to businesses.
The Economic Census does NOT cover Agriculture or Government. The Census of Agriculture is run by the USDA. while the Census Bureau does a separate Census of Governments.

A reminder: Census Bureau surveys are CONFIDENTIAL, which means that it does not give individual or business data to the IRS, or USCIS (the former INS). This allows more effective gathering so …

Small Business Fax Transmissions

In 2003, the FCC was proposing a revision to Federal law that would mandate all for-profit businesses to have express written permission from a recipient before sending them a commercial fax. Small business owners complained that faxes were an established marketing tool for many of them. The proposed rule change would have made it illegal to send unsolicited faxes to even long-time customers.

However, the FCC relented. In July 2005, the Junk Fax Prevention Act was signed into law. Among other things, the Act recognizes the "established business relationship" rule. Now, unsolicited faxes can be sent if 1) the sender can prove an established business relationship with the recipient, and 2) the fax contains a conspicuous notice on its first page enabling the recipient to opt out of any future faxes. Businesses must obtain fax numbers directly from the recipient, or from published sources such as phone directories, company advertisements, or the company Web site.

The phrase …

Business Insurance

Looking for basic information on insurance coverage for businesses? Check out the following links:You are not required by law to have liability, property damage or other types of business insurance, but very few businesses can realistically operate without some form of optional coverage. Read more on the different types from Empire State Development.
The Insurance Information Institute has launched an online edition of Commercial Insurance to help businesses better understand the basics of commercial insurance -- what it is and how it works. The site, which will be updated as new data comes in, can be accessed at http://www.commercialinsurancefacts.org.
A business owner's policy protects against economic losses caused by damage to the owner's property and by legal liability to others for bodily injury and property damage involving the business. This page begins a section covering the three basic types: liability, special business forms and property insurance: http://www.finance.…

Web Site Design

I’ve seen a number of articles on good web design but I sometimes wonder if anyone reads them. Maybe it looks so straight forward – like a page in Word, but really it is a unique venue and some guidelines are needed for a business to put their best foot forward.

Issues to face are the overall impression of a site, the actual content, including language usage and grammar, the speed of access to your information, the design of the site, text that one can actually read organization, navigation and privacy.

These books take various approaches:


Don’t make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steven Krug
A quick low-down on what web users are looking for and how to evaluate sites and all doe with a sense of humor.

Web Pages That Suck: Learn Good Design by Looking at Bad Design by Vincent Flanders, Michael Willis. Vincent Flanders also maintains a blog highlighting more examples of what not to do on http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com/

Creating Killer Web Sites 2nd ed. By David Siegal

Hurricane Katrina

The Census Bureau has some statistics on the number of folks affected by Hurricane Katrina here and here.

A PDF report on the construction and real estate implications in New Orleans

Unfortunately, the Red Cross and FEMAhad been working different systems while trying to find the missing, but appear to be working more closely now.

Another sad occurrence: as with every disaster of late, there are unscupulous people operating in the alleged name of Katrina victims.

The National Restaurant Association has planned a Dine for America event to help hurricane victims on October 5.

After Katrina, and also after 9/11/01, there has been a greater emphasis on anticipating the possibility of fire, flood and other natural and human-made disasters at home and at the office. FEMA has a 204-page document about citizen preparedness. Generaslly speaking, FEMA's plan expects that individuals should have a 2- to 3-day supply of food, water and other necessities before expecting to be rescued. Also, the…

Lists of Events

Recently, I answered a request for a client who wished to retail her products at fairs and festivals. She wanted a list of such events in a given region of the state.

During research, I came across a site called EventsCrazy.com. It's managed by Events Media Network, Inc., who, among other things, publish selected events directories. The site can be reached at www.eventcrazy.com, and it had the answers I needed for this client.

If you've clients with similar needs, I recommend going there. On your first visit, you (or your client) will have to register. It's free, but you can't search until doing so.

The site allows you to search for events and attractions in three different ways:
1) those within a given radius around a ZIP code that you provide, within dates that you specify; or
2) those by a city & state that you provide, within dates that you specify; or
3) by clicking among a list of states (say, New York), and then clicking on a given city.

Results…

Small Business Directory Scam

Recently, I read about this scam in TVC Alert, an e-newsletter I receive daily. Thought this might be of interest to you and your clients.

The Federal Trade Commission put a stop to a small business directory scam. The Montreal-based businesses, Datatech Communications Inc. and 9102-3127 Quebec, Inc. (doing business as I-Point Media), and 3 businessmen contacted small businesses in the U.S. about renewing a company directory listing when no prior relationship existed. "The defendants routinely denied requests to cancel the directory listings and harassed customers who refused to pay." The settlement and default judgment against one of the businessmen bans them from the business directory industry and from assisting others involved in the industry.

SEE: FTC v. Datatech Communications
FTC Filed Documents, Civil No. 03 C 6249, 25 August 2005 (Amended complaint, stipulated order, default judgment, order of dismissal, news release) <http://www.ftc.gov/os/caselist/datatech/datatec…

Read All About It : Newspapers

For current events, I like to check a few international papers to see their take on the news. There are a number of aites that make short work of listing international papers and sometimes magazines in one place. Here are a few.


http://newslink.org/
NewsLink Associates is an academic and professional research and consulting firm studying electronic publishing and visual journalism.

http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/
“Thousands of world newspapers at your fingertips”
Simple drop menus arranged by region, the site does not list the total number of papers. Like many other sites, once you find the list of papers by region or city, unless you are familiar with the papers there is no way of knowing which are the major papers.

All You Can Read.com http://www.allyoucanread.com/
Described as “the largest database of magazines and newspapers on the Internet, with listings for about 22,800 magazines and newspapers from all over the world. AllYouCanRead.com is a complete guide to world media sources where…

Back to School

The sight of crossing guards and bright yellow buses mean the "dog days of summer" and the traditional summer break have come to a close — our nation’s schools have reopened! This edition of Facts for Features highlights the many interesting statistics evolving from students and teachers returning to the classrooms.

>Back-to-School Shopping
$6.0 billion
The amount of money spent at family clothing stores in August 2004. Only in October, November and December — the holiday shopping season — were sales higher. Similarly, bookstore sales in August 2004 totaled $2.0 billion, an amount equaled in 2004 only by sales in December and January. (The dollar volume estimates have not been adjusted for seasonal variations, holiday or trading day differences or price changes.)


If you’re not sure >where to do your back-to-school shopping, choices of retail establishments abound: In 2003, there were 24,065 family clothing stores; 6,457 children’s and infants’ clothing stores; 27,352 shoe…

The Dream Factory

For those inventors looking to develop a prototype, the eMachineShop may be one way to produce it. A recent article at Wired.com, The Dream Factory, describes how it's done. Read on."Boot up your computer and design whatever object you can imagine, press a button to send the CAD file to Lewis' headquarters in New Jersey, and two or three weeks later he'll FedEx you the physical object. Lewis launched eMachineShop a year and a half ago, and customers are using his service to create engine-block parts for hot rods, gears for home-brew robots, telescope mounts - even special soles for tap dance shoes. 'Designing stuff used to be just for experts,' Lewis says. 'We're bringing it to the masses.'The eMachineShop software, he explains, includes artificial intelligence that operates like a 'virtual machinist.' In the background - invisible to the user - it runs a precise emulation of the real-world machines that fabricate parts, to determine whethe…