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Sunday, November 23, 2014

7 Weeks of Business Tips...week 7



Handwrite the PS or circle parts of your literature that would be of special interest to a prospective client. Handwrite or underline important points in the letter. Reinforce the offer. Introduce a surprise benefit.


Show customer appreciation by mailing a Lottery Ticket with your Thank You note.


Spray a scent on your letter that will help sell your product. Cleaning service: spray a pine or lemon scent. Cosmetics: spray a perfume.


When a customer buys one product, give them a sample of another, or a gift certificate towards another product or service. A deli could put out samples of chips at the register; a computer repair service could give a customer a gift certificate for a free training session.


If you're in business for yourself it might be your personal resume. If you have a company with employees, you could create a company resume that highlights your clients, testimonials, years of experience, employees, and so on. This will help build the trust of your customers by demonstrating your competence

This is the last in the series. Hope you gain from it.

Marty Kahn, SCORE Mentor




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Behavior and Business

A friend approached me with this story recently:

It seems there is a “Bully” operating a store in a retail district. Prospective customers, Mr & Mrs. Smith (not their real names) went into a local gift shop. Inside they found a man yelling at an employee: “You see those sidewalks outside and all the adjacent shops…I own them you idiot!!” (Actually his parents owned only two shops in the area). The screamer then ran across the shop, shoving Mrs. Smith out of his way as he did so, and grabbed the store employee by the shoulders. Mr. & Mrs. Smith quickly left the shop. Later that day, Mr. Smith was addressing a large group meeting in a nearby hotel. His subject was “Doing retail business in this city”. What do you think he said?

What would you do if your business was adjacent to this one?

Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor



Sunday, November 16, 2014

7 Weeks of Business Tips...week 6



Guarantee your product or service in unique terms. "90-day-like-it-or-get-your-money-back-AND-a-pound-of-chocolates-guarantee" With the potential buyer considering two similiar products or serrvices, which one do you think they will choose?


If your allow your customers to use your bathroom facilities, keep them clean, well stocked, and smelling great. Have a rack with some business literature. At a time when they are most open to think about your business provide them with a pleasurable experience.


If customers or clients come to your place of business, greet them with signs that say Yes instead of No. "Yes, we do take checks", "Yes, we cheerfully refund within 30 days of purchase", Yes, you're why we're here".


Attach a brand new dollar bill in with your letter/brochure/literature. Than add a tag line, "Your time is worth money" or "Would tou like to see more of these? I can help". You will get a response!


Include a brochure and a business card when you send invoices to your customers. This will either get in the hands of the customer and encourage a repeat purchase, or it will be received by the accounting department, who often influence the company's purchases. And if your suppliers could be your customers, send THEM a brochure when you pay THEIR invoice.

Watch for the last is this series next week!

Marty Kahn, SCORE Mentor


Sunday, November 9, 2014

7 Weeks of Business Tips...Week 5



Number one: Be confident in who you are.  Wise people know that money can be easily lost and easily made. (Henry Ford). The only thing that really matters is learning how to create and offer value.


"If you want to succeed you should strike out on new paths, rather than travel worn paths of accepted success" (John D. Rockefeller). Success is achieved by those who choose to risk failure and even ridicule in order to create something completely new.


Know when to move on. (Donald Trump). "There is a big difference between perseverance and stubbornness. Stubbornness involves me forcing things to work, while perseverance requires me to work consistently with what's ALREADY working.


"Pursue excellence, not fame", (Jay Z). Many people do achieve quick success with a product or service, even as a startup, and that makes them feel special. They then ignore critical feedback from partners and clients. Once they stop learning it can spell the end of the business. Always remember, "Fame may be who you once were, Excellence is who you are".


Hand customers a SECOND business card to give to a friend. On the back of one card write the customer's name. Tell him/her if the person they hand that card to does business with you, you will give both of them 10% off their first/next order.

Marty Kahn, SCORE Mentor


Saturday, November 8, 2014

Tips for Self-Employeed Taxpayers

If you are an independent contractor or run your own business, there are a few basic things to know when it comes to your federal tax return. Here are six tips you should know about income from self-employment:

Self-employment income can include income you received for part-time work. This is in addition to income from your regular job.

You must file a Schedule C, Profit or Loss from Business, or Schedule C-EZ, Net Profit from Business, with your Form 1040.

You may have to pay self-employment tax as well as income tax if you made a profit. Self-employment tax includes Social Security and Medicare taxes. Use Schedule SE, Self-Employment Tax, to figure the tax. Make sure to file the schedule with your tax return.

You may need to make estimated tax payments. People typically make these payments on income that is not subject to withholding. You may be charged a penalty if you do not pay enough taxes throughout the year.

You can deduct some expenses you paid to run your trade or business. You can deduct most business expenses in full, but some must be 'capitalized.' This means you can deduct a portion of the expense each year over a period of years.

You can deduct business costs only if they are both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in your industry. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and proper for your trade or business.

Questions? We have answers. Give us a call

Barry Eisenberg, SCORE Counselor



Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Three Most Common Budgeting Errors

When it comes to creating a budget, it's essential to estimate your spending as realistically as possible. Here are three budget-related errors commonly made by small businesses and some tips for avoiding them.

Not Setting Goals. It's almost impossible to set spending priorities without clear goals for the coming year. It's important to identify, in detail, your business and financial goals and what you want or need to achieve in your business.

Underestimating Costs. Every business has ancillary or incidental costs that don't always make it into the budget--for whatever reason. A good example of this is buying a new piece of equipment or software. While you probably accounted for the cost of the equipment in your budget, you might not have remembered to budget time and money needed to train staff or for equipment maintenance.

Failing to Adjust Your Budget. Don't be afraid to update your forecasted expenditures whenever new circumstances affect your business. Several times a year you should set aside time to compare budget estimates against the amount you actually spent, and then adjust your budget accordingly.

Call our office if you want to discuss setting up a budget to meet your business financial goals. We're happy to help.

Barry Eisenberg, SCORE Counselor


Monday, November 3, 2014

Technologies to Watch

To help you look forward I am providing information presented by a technology industry leader:
Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi is an innovator, engineer, inventor and author. He joined AT&T Bell Laboratories, and rose to become Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Officer. He became President and CEO of AT&T Labs and President and AT&T Global Network Operations, and is currently Chairman and CEO of 2020 Venture Partners LLC and CyberFlow Analytics
He makes the following forecast about New Technologies to watch in 2015:
- Thumb Print Scanners
- Large Mobile Storage in smart phones
- Fuel cells with battery life exceeding 3-10 days on a single charge
- 3-D printing
- IPv6
- 100 Mbps broadband speed for consumers
- Autonomic computing
- Quantum computing in all types of verticals such as security, surgery and, robotics
- 50 billion end points including RFIF- and GPS-based devices
- 10:1 ratio of wireless devices to wire line
- Speech-to-speech translation in real time will finally become a reality
- Implantation of “nano computers,”
- Green technology will finally become real and affordable
- Wearable Networks: networks that, in case of failure, return to their original state
- Intelligent optical chip will finally become reality.
Some of these items can already be seen in the industry. Even if this forecast is only partially correct, we have a lot of change ahead.
Consider looking forward to determine how some of these could impact your business.
Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor

Sunday, November 2, 2014

7 Weeks of Business Tips...week 4



Follow a script! Have a well planned response. It will help you overcome the fears some business owners experience when making that initial call.


If you can just get prospects to chat with you a bit and resonate with them, they will often agree to an appointment. TIP #17: NEVER argue with an objection. Whatever the prospect says is all right. Just say, "I understand",  or "That's fine", or "I hear that from time to time", etc.


Ask permission to ask "Just a couple of quick questions". Remember this phrase! It's the sure-fire way to keep the prospect engaged. You say, "I totally understand. Before I let you go, may I just ask you a couple of quick questions about that?"


Now ask questions that get at the prospect's feelings or opinions. Don't ask questions that attempt to qualify the prospect for your product or sefvice. Make it about the prospect, NOT YOU. Let's pretend the prospect just said, "Just send me something in the mail and I'll look it over."  Don't argue with the prospect and say it's no trouble for you to stop by with it. Instead, simply say, "I'd be happy to send you some information. Now of course I want to make sure I send you material that's most relevant to your interests, so let me just ask you a couple of questions to narrow that down". Bingo! You're off to a great dialog.


Always remember only ONE brand can own a proposition. So take a look at how your competition positions themselves. Look at their tag lines. Read the "about us" on their websites. Palmolive positions itself as "the only soap that softens hands while you do dishes". So make sure your proposition is distinct.


Marty Kahn, SCORE Mentor