Showing posts from March, 2018

How Do Different Age Groups Consume Online Content?

Obtained From: MarketingProfs

When planning a website for your business, half the battle is won if you can successfully identify your target audience: You can better customize your website to meet your audience's needs when you have a clear idea of who your prospective consumers are.

But what do those visitors want, exactly, and how do those wants differ by age?
In its infographic on generational marketing, custom writing service Handmadewritings examines what online content different age groups prefer.

The graphic is based on several research reports and studies, and it offers insights that you might consider factoring into your marketing strategies and analysis as you plan efforts to reach the six major consumer generations in the US.

To learn more about the various generations and understand where you might need to tweak your website and content to attract more visitors and improve customer engagement, check out the graphic.

Small Business Success Story - Page Fitness

Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  Watertown SBDC appears in our 2016 Annual Report

Jamie Wood Page Fitness
Watertown SBDC Jamie Wood is the proud owner of Page Fitness, located in downtown Watertown. Page Fitness has been internationally recognized by Woman’s Fitness magazine as a World Fitness Elite Game Changer, and was named Fitness Business of the year for North America by Net Profit Explosion for providing exceptional results in Canada and the United States. The Page Fitness program is centered on individuals who are looking to lose 10-50 pounds and interested in living a healthier lifestyle.  Page Fitness was founded by Jessica and Christopher Page in 2009 and Jamie was hired as their first physical trainer. Jamie is certified in Hardstyle Kettlebell, Crossfit Gymnastics, Crossfit Olympic Lifting and LesMills. In 2015, when the Pages decided to sell the business, Jamie…

A New Tax Scam, and Tips on How to Deal With It

Obtained From:New York Times

If you weren’t expecting an income tax refund but discover a big deposit from the Internal Revenue Service in your bank account, don’t be quick to celebrate. You may have been the target of a clever new scam.

The latest twist in tax-time identity fraud involves thieves who pilfer personal and financial information, often from professional tax preparers. They then use those details to file fake tax returns and have refunds — sometimes as large as $20,000 — sent electronically to your account with plans to collect it later.

 The I.R.S. initially warned about the scam on Feb. 2, urging tax professionals to “step up security and beware of phishing emails that can secretly download malicious software that can help cybercriminals steal client data.”

Submit New FOIL Request

From Open FOIL NY

Open FOIL NY provides a convenient, centralized location to file a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to more than 50 New York State executive agencies and authorities.

You can easily select a specific agency and submit a FOIL request. If the entity you seek is not listed, please access the New York State All Agencies website for more information.

If you seek records from the following agencies, please visit their website before completing the web form, as certain records may be produced pursuant to a different statute, may require additional documentation or coordination, or have different fees:
Department of Financial Services
Department of Health
Department of Labor
Department of Motor Vehicles
Department of Taxation and Finance
Division of Military & Naval Affairs
Higher Education Services Corporation
Homes and Community Renewal
New York State Insurance Fund
New York State Police

For more information about FOIL, please visit the following lin…

FTC Action Halts a Large Deceptive Business Opportunity Scheme

Obtained From:Federal Trade Comission

The Federal Trade Commission has charged a business opportunity scheme with falsely claiming that people who buy the defendants’ expensive “Amazing Wealth System” will learn “secrets for making money on Amazon” and likely earn thousands of dollars a month. According to the FTC, the defendants, who have no affiliation with, have made false or unsubstantiated earnings claims, such as, “Get started on Amazon and Make $5,000-$10,000 in the next 30 days. . . even if you have never sold anything online before.”  They charge from $995 to more than $35,000 for a purported exclusive “plug-and-play system” that allows consumers to create a profitable online business selling products on Contrary to the defendants’ promises, most, if not virtually all, purchasers do not earn the advertised income. Many of the strategies and techniques included in the “system,” such as posting fake product reviews, are deceptive and violate’s …

The Brilliant Role Libraries Play in Supporting Entrepreneurs

From Medium

Dear budding entrepreneur:

Your local library is one of the most powerful tools you have to launch a successful business. As EveryLibrary writes, “Librarians can serve as an extension of your staff and will help you harness the power of these resources to grow your business.”

Sometimes misidentified as repositories for dusty books, today’s libraries are actually cutting edge information hubs designed to help people get the resources, materials and connections they need, whether for work, school, pleasure or all of the above.

Library staffers and resource librarians are some of the smartest folks around — and they’re on a mission to help you get information.

If you’re an entrepreneur, an established business owner, or just thinking about starting a business, head down to your local library. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the role the library staff and resources can play in helping you start and grow a business. Here are just a few ways libraries support entrepreneurs.

Online Buying Fraud on the Rise

Obtained from: eMarketer

If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Online buying scams were the biggest type of consumer fraud in 2017, according to the Better Business Bureau's (BBB's) annual scam-tracking report—up from fourth place a year earlier. The rise of digital shopping and growing comfort with sharing personal information online are factors in this growing category of fraud.

At its most basic, consumers pay for something they never receive, which according to the BBB involves pets and clothing more than other types of online purchases. Most cases involve credit card payments.

The report broke down susceptibility and loss by age, and very clear patterns emerged.

Google Drive How to Organize Files that are Shared with Me

We've recently moved to using Google Drive to share folders of research. For some of our advisors and clients, this may be quite different to how they've worked before. Maybe you've used Google Drive for your own folders and files but have not shared files before. This video can help you navigate Drive, move files and folders to your own library.

This is another video with tips on how to organize and search your folders.

Add files to "My Drive"

If you want to organize shared files, add them to "My Drive." Go to the left, click Shared with me.Click the files or folders you want to add to your drive.In the top right, click Add to my Drive .Click Organize.Choose the folder you want to add to.Click Move here.

To download files to your PC, there are 2 options:

Download as zip:  On, right-click the folder and choose "Download"... This will download one zip file with all files in it. You can then open them with the appli…

Small Business Success Story - Port of Egypt

Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  Stony Brook SBDC appears in our 2016 Annual Report

The Lieblein Family Port of Egypt
Stony Brook SBDC Port of Egypt, located on Southold Bay, is a full-service marina offering boaters a wide range of amenities including boat service, parts, storage, and dockage, and is well known for carrying the prestigious brand of Grady-White boats. Family owned and operated with 10 employees, the company was founded in 1946 by the Lieblein family. Katie Sepenoski, a member of the family, is the Operations Manager and has run the business since 2003. Katie worked tirelessly with the Stony Brook SBDC to submit an application to the New York Rising program after Super Storm Sandy. The business experienced flooding, wind damage and an extended power outage when the hurricane hit and there was substantial damage to the property, buildings and docks. The busi…

How to Put Employees First in the Customer Experience, and Why You Should

Obtained from:MarketingProfs

At many companies, the frontline of customer experience—the contact center—isn't meeting customer expectations. Although brands are adopting new technologies to better interact with customers and understand their wants and needs, the answer to delivering the right experience may be simpler than that. At the very core of customer experience is human interaction, so to truly see return on customer experience investments, brands should invest in their most valuable assets: agents in the contact center. According to new research from Calabrio, customer demands are increasingly complex, the number of inquiries are swelling to new levels, and agents feel ill-equipped to solve the ever-growing list of customer requests. There's a lot riding on agent interactions, and the lack of support has many representatives feeling stressed out, abandoned, and stuck in a pressure cooker of expectation. The effects of a burned out contact center workforce can be devastatin…

Credits vs. Deductions

Obtained from:IRS

Learning the A-Zs of taxes seems overwhelming. But with a little planning, research, and attention to detail, it can be easier than you think. Credits and deductions are an important part of the process—though sometimes it's difficult to tell them apart. 
You subtract tax credits from the amount of tax you owe. There are two types of tax credits: A nonrefundable tax credit means you get a refund only up to the amount you owe.A refundable tax credit means you get a refund, even if it's more than what you owe. An example is the Child Tax Credit.
You subtract tax deductions from your income before you figure the amount of tax you owe. Deductions, such as the Tuition and Fees Deduction for qualified education expenses, can help lower the amount of your taxable income

Peer-To-Peer Payment Apps Can Be Risky

From the Federal Trade Commission:

Online peer-to-peer, or P2P, payment systems let you send money to people quickly...

The use of these services is a growing trend... estimates [suggest] there will be more than $700 billion in peer-to-peer payments in the U.S. in 2018. There are several mobile peer-to-peer apps out there already and banks are also getting into the game. If you use a peer-to-peer payment system, here are some tips to keep in mind.

*In many apps, when you receive a payment, the money is added to your P2P system balance. It’ll remain there until you transfer it to your bank account or use it for another transaction within the system. If you transfer the balance to your bank account, confirm that the deposit went through. The transfer could take a few days or even longer if it’s flagged for additional review.

*Scammers try to get you to pay them in many different ways—including by sending money online—so make sure you know who you’re sending money to. If you use the ser…

US Consumers Shrug Off (Some) of Their Spending Worries

Obtained from:eMarketer

One of the most significant changes is that, as the global financial crisis recedes in memory, consumers tend to be less focused on saving. In 2010, 70% of respondents said they were increasingly looking for ways to save money. That number has gradually dwindled down to a low of 40%.  The McKinsey survey also probed attitudes among those who said their buying behavior changed last year. It found that there was a rough split between those who said they tended to have shifted toward purchasing private-label or less-expensive brands, and those who said they had tended to trade up to more expensive purchases. The results indicate more buoyant spending patterns than some other recent surveys. For instance, an IRI survey from Q3 2017 found that 65% of US internet users said they anticipated purchasing more private-label products in the future.

Small Business Success Story - Nunzio's Pizzeria & Restaurant

Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  Staten Island SBDC appears in our 2016 Annual Report

Robert Whiteaker Nunzio's Pizzeria & Restaurant
Staten Island SBDC Robert Whiteaker, owner of Nunzio’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, has been a Staten Island SBDC client since January 2013. The family owned restaurant known for its Italian cuisine began as a beachside concession in the 1940’s and moved to its current location in 1960. Nunzio’s Pizzeria has been a legacy in Robert’s family for four generations and was an inspiration for other small businesses in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The business was severely impacted by the storm with floods over four feet of water throughout the entire restaurant, but Robert and his family were determined to rebuild after the storm.  Working with Robert to secure an SBA disaster loan, SBDC Advisor George Telmany spent numerous sessions t…

Restaurant servers talk about the harassment they endure.

From the New York Times

The balancing act plays out every day in restaurants across America: Servers who rely on tips decide where to draw the line when a customer goes too far.

They ignore comments about their bodies, laugh off proposals for dates and deflect behavior that makes them uncomfortable or angry — all in pursuit of the $2 or $20 tip that will help buy groceries or pay the rent.

There was the young server at a burger joint in Georgia whose customer held her tip money in his hand and said, “So you gonna give me your number?” She wrote it down but changed one of the digits.

There was the waitress in Portland, Oregon who swallowed her anger when a man patted his lap and beckoned her to sit, saying, "I’m a great tipper."

"You can’t just say, 'No, don’t talk to me that way,' or else you won’t get a tip."

11 tax deductions and other ways to cut your 2017 tax bill

Obtained from:Pix11

With all the talk about the new federal tax law that went into effect in January, it’s easy to forget about the old one. But it’s the old tax code that governs the deductions, credits and other measures you can use to save money on your 2017 tax return due in April. In fact, it may be your last chance to use some of them since the new law eliminated many. [In the linked article] are 11 deductions and other tax-trimming measures you shouldn’t overlook:

Census Bureau Economic Surveys

Census Bureau Economic Surveys are a key source for official statistics companies can use:

Monthly and Quarterly are small sample surveys that provide the most TIMELY data available

Annual surveys have larger samples and provide the most up-to-date TREND data available

Every 5 years, the Economic Census measures all businesses and provides the most COMPREHENSIVE data available - Economic Census: Meet James (video)

The form for the Economic Census 2017 is coming this spring electronically

These surveys set the standard for U.S. economic statistics, and are fueled by the data provided by individual businesses

White House wades into SCOTUS online sales tax case

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Trump administration on Monday urged the Supreme Court to expand states’ authority to collect sales tax on internet transactions, joining a chorus of state officials seeking to overrule a 1992 precedent exempting many online retailers from having to add taxes to a consumer’s final price.

In 1992, the justices “did not and could not anticipate the development of modern e-commerce,” Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote in a friend-of the-court brief. “In light of internet retailers’ pervasive and continuous virtual presence in the states where their websites are accessible, the states have ample authority to require those retailers to collect state sales taxes owed by their customers.”

South Dakota is leading a charge to overrule 1992 case, Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, with arguments scheduled next month. Some 35 states and the District of Columbia, as well as organizations representing retailers from booksellers to shopping malls, have filed briefs …

Small Business Success Story - Infrastructure Unlimited, Inc.

Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  Rockland SBDC appears in our 2016 Annual Report

Gloria Lovece Infrastructure Unlimited, Inc.
Rockland SBDC Gloria Lovece is President of Infrastructure Unlimited Inc., the construction company, she started with her two brothers. The company specializes in the installation and remediation of public infrastructure - notably bridges, railroads and power lines. Her company is a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) in NY and NJ with certification pending in Ohio.  In a male dominated industry, she has worked very hard to overcome many obstacles, including the hydrocephalus that took her father. In addition to taking her father’s life, the disease caused the decline and eventual closure of the family’s construction business and all who worked there lost their jobs - Gloria and her brothers included. Rather than work for another firm, …

SBDC Day is Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

From America's SBDC:

SBDC Day is a national, collective proclamation of the success and the impact America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) have across the nation in economic development and the small businesses community. America’s SBDC Day will take place on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

SBDC Day will unite the nearly 1,000 SBDC centers across the country and the hundreds of thousands of clients they serve by sharing, in real time, the success stories and notable impacts SBDCs collectively have on the small business community at large. This special day will be celebrated with social media campaigns, public relations initiatives, online and in-person events and more. To learn more about what your local SBDC is doing to celebrate, click on Find your local SBDC.

America's SBDC has developed a national SBDC Day Ambassador program, so that all of America's SBDC partners, supporters and stakeholders can collectively show their support for SBDC Day. All national SBDC A…

Small Business Loans & Other Financing Options for Women

From Lendedu:

Being a female entrepreneur can come with its challenges.

On top of building a business, many women business owners juggle numerous responsibilities like family or caregiving commitments.

For these reasons, running a business as a woman can feel sometimes like you’re Ginger Rogers, who famously said that she had to do everything Fred Astaire did – except backwards and in heels.

Fortunately, some organizations have realized the added difficulties women entrepreneurs can face in finding funding and have set up grants and investment opportunities specifically for female business owners. There are also several traditional funding opportunities you can access.

This guide can help you navigate the different types of programs that want to give you money to help you grow your business.

Maria Contreras-Sweet, former SBA head, buys Weinstein Co

From the Huffington Post

A group of investors led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, who ran the Small Business Administration under President Barack Obama, reached a deal to buy The Weinstein Company, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman confirmed.

“Our office will support a deal that ensures victims will be adequately compensated, employees will be protected moving forward, and those who were responsible for misconduct at TWC will not be unjustly rewarded,” Schneidermann said in a statement.

Contreras-Sweet and her backers, including billionaire investor Ronald Burkle, bid $500 million on the film production company, which included assuming $225 million worth of debt, according to Variety. The deal, which Schneiderman said was reached Thursday, also features an $80-million compensation fund for victims of Weinstein’s harassment and abuse...

Contreras-Sweet, a Hollywood outsider and Mexican-American immigrant, reportedly plans to keep the studio’s employees, projects and assets. But …

Ways to Keep Your Website Relevant in 2018

Obtained from:MarketingProfs

Welcome to 2018, the year you need to update your website's look and functionality for two business-critical reasons: legal complianceanduser respect and trust.

The latter is probably long overdue and has been hindering conversions; the former, a long time coming, is looking to become an immediate concern. The problem? Businesses that set up a website many years ago and have done few, if any, modifications since. They may have updated to integrate new forms of payment or to manage inventory in a more timely manner, but that's usually the extent of it. If that describes your business, then your site is doing a disservice to your business and your customers—and, potentially, your bottom line, because they are non-compliant at a time of looming enforcement of standards and legislation. * * * These are all but the tip of the iceberg of changes that are coming to Web design in the very near future. Voice-command integration, engaging micro-interactions, and …

Will small businesses benefit from the new tax law?

From PBS:

Since President Donald Trump signed the American Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December, large corporations have made headlines by giving bonuses to employees and raising wages. But much less attention has been paid to small businesses, even though experts believe they stand to benefit significantly from the new tax law...

Three main changes to the tax law will likely help small businesses...: lower individual tax rates, an additional 20 percent deduction for companies filing as pass-through entities, and an expansion of Section 179 filing, which allows for expensing of business-related equipment.

Of course, not all aspects of the tax law will be advantageous to small businesses. For example, the law’s elimination of many deductions — including for certain business expenses like travel costs and membership dues for professional organizations — may incentivize employees to work for larger companies that can afford to absorb those costs.