Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Selling Your Services Pop quiz: How do you sell something you can’t touch? We've got a few answers
August 28, 2000
By Danielle Kennedy
Ten Myths about Selling Intangible Services
By Charles H. Green
Trusted Advisor Associates
SWOT Team: Selling the Intangible
By Meryl K. Evans and Hank Stroll
October 26, 2004
Selling the Intangible: The Value of Perceived Security
IMAGE SUBSTATION Corporate Identity Consultants
By Hamish Chadwick
Carolina Entrepreneurship Club
Business Resource Center
How to Understand Your Customers
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Monday, April 24, 2006
Amelia graduated from the SUNY at Albany library program last December, and interned with both Empire State Development (where Mary Beth interned several years ago), as well as with the NYS DEC library. She had been working part-time at a local public library, but she now eagerly enters the world of specialized business librarianship. She comes highly recommended by those who've worked with her in the recent past, and we (Al Scher, Josee & myself) were very impressed with the answers given during her interview.
We're all certain that you, too, will be impressed with the answers she'll be providing as a member of our library team.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
This book grew out of a series of articles on climate change Kolbert wrote for the New Yorker that hoped to get the full story on climate change or global warming. Kolbert described her experiences in Alaska and Greenland, noting the dramatic changes that have already occurred. She also discussed the disconnect between the scientific community and the lay community. Apparently the majority of the scientific community not doing research sponsored by energy companies, agree that we are in a dire situation that needs immediate attention. The damage we do now will have a knock-on effect that will severely affect our children.
From the point of view of small business, I wondered what if anything was happening. While big business is usually the focus, because of the local nature of small businesses, belonging to communities, they are ideally placed to take non-bureaucratic steps to respond to local environmental issues.
I am listing a few sites that are trying to raise the awareness and support of small business to preserve the planet.
Center for Small Business and the Environment
As such, small business consumes one-half of all energy used for commercial and industrial purposes. One-third to one-half of all the energy consumed by small business is wasted through inefficiency. Small businesses can profit immensely by making investments in energy efficiency.
Climate Biz: The Business Resource for Climate Management
This site points small businesses to what steps they can take to be part of the solution. As they say, it is difficult for small businesses to see how they can make a difference in efforts to control climate change but small businesses together have a fair sized effect.
Ceres Investors and Environmentalists for Sustainable Prosperity
"Conventional wisdom posits environmentalists and small businesspeople as mortal enemies or, at best, the opposite ends of the political spectrum. In reality, in today's entrepreneurial, high tech, innovative economy, small businesspeople are emerging as effective advocates of environmental protection, pollution prevention, energy efficiency, and resource conservation. For these people, the Center for Small Business and the Environment provides a strong, effective voice." -- Richard C. Herring, President, former Chair National Small Business United
A coalition of over 80 organizations, joined to “advance corporate responsibility”
“Ceres’ mission is to move businesses, capital, and markets to advance lasting prosperity valuing the health of the planet and its people.”They look at emerging opportunities for businesses, something entrepreneurs should care about. They also offer a Corporate Governance Checklist that ranks the performance of 100 top companies on their efforts to address issues affecting climate change.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Last May, at Staff Training in Lake Placid, we had some special visitors from the province of Zhejiang, China at Staff Training this year. Mary Hoffman send out an e-mail to alert staff about the sensitivities of hosting international dignitaries, a message that may have future applicability:
The following notes are excerpts from several sources regarding protocol for interactions with visitors from other countries.
The cardinal rule that should guide your thoughts as you plan to receive international guests or travel abroad is: "When in doubt, err on the side of excess." One doesn't have to apologize for being too kind and respectful - but one cannot recover from an affront and disrespect. Often what Americans might view as appropriate would be seen as minimal in many other cultures. As members of the global community, a sensitivity and understanding of cross-cultural protocol is vitally important.
It is very important to ensure that neither your actions, nor your appearance nor your posture could possibly be interpreted as in any way lacking in respect.
Complete attention should always be paid to the person with whom you are dealing. Avoid yawning, stretching or anything that might suggest distraction, boredom or disrespect. Do not slouch or stand with hands in pockets, hands on hips or arms folded. Do not look around to see whether there are other people with whom you wish to make contact. If, after first encounter, conversation is continued while seated, sit up straight: and keep both feet on the ground.
A handshake, coupled with a smile, is generally the best form of greeting, introduction and farewell. It is not likely to be taken amiss even if not common in a particular culture. However
Other forms of bodily contact - particularly backslapping or hugging - should not be initiated.
It's important to introduce visitors to all with whom they come in contact. Degrees and titles carry more prestige in other cultures than they do in the U.S. American modesty should be replaced with formality; titles should be included in the introduction. Handshakes are generally exchanged more frequently in other cultures usually upon greeting and leave-taking. Exchange of business cards is usually expected.
In addition, especially while one of our visitors is at the podium during the sessions:
If you have any questions, consult our expert on international activities, Jinshui Zhang.
Monday, April 17, 2006
I know that there've been several clients with bad experiences with NGC and similar types of organizations. In fact, go here to read about other people & their dealings with NGC. They're an aggressive organization, relying on people not to do their homework. This site will give your clients all the ammunition they need to stay far, far away from this group.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
SRDS The Lifestyle Market Analyst 2006
Federal Yellow Book: Who's Who in Federal Departments and Agencies
Congressional Yellow Book: Who's Who in Congress, Including Committees and Key staff
2005 New York State Staistical Yearbook
The Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government
Don't Make me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
Constructing Accessible Web Sites
Jim Thatcher, Paul Bohman, Michael Burks, Shawn Lawton Henry, Bob Regan, Srah Swierenga, Mark D. Urban, Cynthia D. Waddell
You Need to be a Little Crazy
The Truth about Starting and Growing Your Business
Barry J. Moltz
Staying With It: Role Models of Perserverence
Entrepreneurs in History
Success vs. Failure - Entrepreneurial Role Models
No More Frogs to Kiss:
99 Ways to Give Economic Power to Girls
The Young Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting and Running a Business
Special Report: Protecting and Patenting Your Idea
Special Report: How to Prevent Invention Companies from Taking Your Money
Special Report: The Complete Guide to Marketing and Launching a New Product
Special Libraries Association Annual Salary Survey 2004
Special Libraries Association
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
This is a useful business blog. Actually, it's three blogs: the Balancing Act that a business person must face (Rules About Blogging, Working At Home Not For Everyone); MyTech (virus protection, mobile speech to text); and Thinking Big (patents, preparation).
The main page of this site also has helpful information on finance, growth, management, marketing, sales, technology and more.
Monday, April 10, 2006
However, there is a site that your clients might consider visiting in these circumstances. It's www.marketresearch.com. This site makes available for sale reports from many market research firms. Of course, they'd rather your clients buy the whole report. However, they also allow them to buy "by the slice".
When there, your client can search for a given report. If it's in their database, they can then search within the report for a given word or phrase. They'll then get results that show them the context of the report in which that word or phrase is used. If only one or two instances fit your client's needs, then they can buy just that chapter. It still won't be super cheap, but they'll likely be paying only hundreds of dollars, instead of many thousands for the whole report.
Something to consider . . .
Friday, April 07, 2006
Well, that turned out to be correct; she is a fine librarian. She has the dogged determination and the requisite curiosity of a good researcher. She also is in charge of the SBDC web page, which is more than a design task; it’s asking, sometimes cajoling, newspapers to provide rights to display stories about the NYS SBDC on the site.
It’s probably because of the varied experience she had before coming to the SBDC – she had worked at ASCAP, the New York Assembly and Empire State Development.
Mary Beth is currently the president of a local branch of a national library association. In fact, it was attending a library conference meeting where MB came up with the idea of the Research Network doing a blog, which we have been doing for nearly a year now.
She attended the University at Albany library school, where she met her husband. They now live in one of the Albany County hill towns with their cat and two birds.
Perhaps you didn’t know MB plays piano and organ, occasionally for her church. She’s an avid reader of The New Yorker magazine, and non-fiction books. MB was in an award-winning ad as a voiceover performer for the New York State Thruway radio broadcast.
Beyond all of that, though, she’s a very fine person. I think I speak for all of the librarians, and undoubtedly others in the office who have appreciated her attentive listening and helpful suggestions, whether the issue be reference, technical or personal.
Mary Beth is moving on to the state library, after nearly five years at the SBDC. Certainly, we'll all miss her, but are comforted by the fact that she’s moving not too far away.
I was looking for a visual to accompany this story, so I typed in MB in a database, and came up with Mercedes-Benz. Seems somehow appropriate. It’s not that she drives one – or would even aspire to drive one. Rather, it is that she is a class act.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Some examples are:
Native American Gaming and Tribal Economic Development: Myths and Realities
By Amy Fann
DIGEST Number 05-11
Entrepreneurial Opportunities Serving Aging Adults
By Jennifer Paek
DIGEST Number 05-03
Women in Agriculture
CELCEE Clearinghouse on Entrepreneurship Education
EDINFO Number 04-07
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Beginning Saturday, April 1, a year-round exemption from the four percent New York State sales and use taxes went into effect on the purchase of clothing, footwear, and items to make or repair exempt clothing, costing less than $110 per item or pair.
The exemption does not apply to locally imposed sales and use taxes unless the county or city imposing those taxes elected the exemption.
To find the local sales tax, if any, on these products, go here.
Monday, April 03, 2006
Ideally, this woman would like small business owners to take a brief survey, so that they can add their "voice" on the issue. It's only 17 questions, and most of them are a matter of selecting a rating on a scale. Participants are entitled to an advance copy of the book.
The client would be grateful if you could ask your existing small business clients to take the survey. It can be found here.