Category: Business Development

Moving Beyond Cold Calling
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Authored by , re: Business Development, on .

At a recent Around the Horn session, we were presented with a question from the principal of a new company. He told us about his cold-calling efforts, which were largely successful—but he was curious if there was another way to get his venture off the ground. The group came up with several ideas. Targeted Seminars  One attendee suggested hosting or producing seminars for targeted groups. Seminars for targeted groups generally produce great conversion rates upwards of 30%. Someone else suggested that he do a Network!Network! forum.

Click here to read Dave Bresler's full article...

The Importance of Carefully Worded Independent Contractor Agreements
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The Importance of Carefully Worded Independent Contractor Agreements | Alan Krystal

{4:54 minutes to read} In past articles, I have discussed the increasing trend in the courts and government agencies in which the majority of the determinations held that workers classified as independent contractors were, in fact, employees and therefore entitled to minimum wage and all other statutory protections afforded workers. The New York State Court of Appeals was confronted with this issue on appeal of a decision by the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board which stated that a yoga studio was responsible for unpaid unemployment contributions for certain yoga instructors whom the studio has classified as independent contractors.

Click here to read Alan Krystal's full article...

What Is in an AIA Agreement? Part 1
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What Is in an AIA Agreement? Part 1 | Aaron Pierce

Only takes 5 minutes to read! The AIA A101 is the standard form of agreement furnished by the American Institute of Architects which is used in generating well-defined business relationships between a Pand a contractor. These contracts have been crafted, published, and promoted by a very influential and nationally renowned industry group. Consequently, the standardized version is designed to protect the interests of the contractor and can be protective of a contractor to the sometimes-costly detriment of the rights and flexibilities of the owner.

Click here to read Aaron Pierce's full article...

When Is Late Rude?
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Authored by , re: Business Development, on .

We’ve all heard the old saw about how it’s de rigueur to be fashionably late. We once, many years ago, arrived very late (I won’t say how late) to a dinner party and were mortified to find everybody else already seated at the dinner table. So, the next time we were invited to dinner (somewhere else, I hasten to add), I pushed my wife to get there on the dot only to be greeted at the door by the host and hostess in their bath robes.

Click here to read Dave Bresler's full article...

Website Map for Sallie Mullins Thompson
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Authored by , re: Accounting & Bookkeeping, Business Development, on .

In this announcement of my new website at www.smtcpapllc.com, I want to let you know what’s available and how to navigate! Please spend some time browsing through the new website, as I think you will find it to be a comprehensive resource for gaining knowledge about various aspects of your financial life.

Click here to read Sallie Mullins Thompson's full article ...

Reaching Deep Into Your Goldmine: Shifting From Reactive to Proactive Referrals
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Reaching Deep Into Your Goldmine: Shifting From Reactive to Proactive Referrals | Cynthia Greenawalt

{4:00 minutes} Referrals can be grouped into two categories: Proactive and Reactive. The value of categorizing referrals is so we can study them to become more masterful. In my experience, 90% of referrals that people receive are reactive in nature. Consider this example: Karen is a residential realtor with 20 raving fans—referral sources who are willing to risk their reputation by bringing her into their network. If Karen could put a camera on the shoulder of each of her fans for one week, and witness conversations that her fans are having with friends, clients, neighbors, etc, she would be shocked at what she saw.

Click here to read Cynthia Greenawalt's full article...

MWBEs, Let’s Work Closer Together to Achieve Success!
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MWBEs, Let’s Work Closer Together to Achieve Success! | Jean Kristensen

{3:10 minutes to read} I was recently at a meeting where there was a lot of pushback from MWBE firms that preferred to self-perform and take credit for MWBE goals; they wished to do this instead of subcontracting the work to other MWBEs. I was a little taken aback by this, and thought I’d share my thoughts on the importance of MWBEs 1. working with, 2. outsourcing to, and 3. sharing resources among other MWBEs.

Click here to read Jean Kristensen's full article...

Hidden Figures: When the Numbers Tell You Something You Don’t Want to Hear
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Hidden Figures: When the Numbers Tell You Something You Don’t Want to Hear | Fabienne Swartz

{3:30 minutes to read} A friend of mine has a problem. She is in the middle of a divorce, yet she remains wedded to a lifestyle she can no longer afford. The bulk of the expenses she is claiming are what I would consider unnecessary, like:

  • Retaining a full-time housekeeper;
  • Outfitting her children with designer clothes;
  • Driving a high-end, German car;
  • Grocery shopping at Whole Foods; and
  • Monthly clothing budget in excess of what many people earn in a month.

Click here to read Fabienne Swartz's full article...

Is Your Website/Blog Missing the Nuts and Bolts Your Visitors Expect to See?
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Is Your Website/Blog Missing the Nuts and Bolts Your Visitors Expect to See? | Mark Bullock

{5:55 minutes to read} As I’ve mentioned before, if a visitor comes to your website who’s a potential client, and they don’t find the information they’re looking for, they’re likely going to go searching the Internet for somewhere else to find it. You can just assume that.

Don’t send visitors away from your website! Asking them to contact you for basic information about a specific topic that is included in your profession is paramount to sending them away—if they can’t find what they are looking for on your website.

Click here to read Mark Bullock's full article...

The Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule
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The Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule | Alan Krystal

{3:06 minutes to read} In my November article, Update on Overtime Rules, I had mentioned that a federal court judge in Texas had issued a nationwide injunction blocking the Department of Labor’s rule requiring overtime pay for more than 4 million new workers, which was to have taken effect on December 1, 2016. This ruling arose out of a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas challenging the overtime rule, arguing that the Department of Labor exceeded its statutory authority in issuing the regulation.

Click here to read Alan Krystal's full article...

Multilevel Marketing: A Viable Option for Busy Moms and Dads
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Multilevel Marketing: A Viable Option for Busy Moms and Dads | Fabienne Swartz

{3:29 minutes to read} Network marketing, or multilevel marketing (MLM), is a type of direct-to-consumer business that relies on a decentralized network of sales representatives to market a product. MLM companies generally have no fixed hours like a traditional 9-5 job, which presents a viable income source for families with young children—as well as retirees living on a fixed income.

Unfortunately, when some people hear about MLM they immediately think of so-called “pyramid schemes,” wherein the main goal is not to sell products, but recruit distributors who work under you in the “pyramid.”

Click here to read Fabienne Swartz's full article...

Ghana: A Top Choice for Businesses Entering the African Marketplace
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Ghana: A Top Choice for Businesses Entering the African Marketplace | Tatenda Aloy Musewe

Entering an African marketplace requires rigorous strategic planning that incorporates the business’ goals and the market’s suitability to those goals. Naturally, access to accurate information is critical to the success of the business.

In African jurisdictions, practice often differs greatly from expectations created by statutes, regulations, case law (where it exists), and government-originating communications. In addition, clients usually have concerns about political and economic stability in their regions of interest. These concerns have merit.

However, there are several examples of successful returns on foreign investment in African regimes even during periods of political or economic volatility.

MWBE Success: 5 Tips for Improving Outcomes in 2017
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MWBE Success: 5 Tips for Improving Outcomes in 2017 | Jean Kristensen

{3:25 minutes to read} 2016 was an amazing year for my business! We’ve experienced significant growth over the previous year, allowing us to expand our client base and add employees. Here are some of the things that helped us arrive at the next level: 1. Clearly defined mission and purpose: Our mission is simple: We want to help MWBEs increase wealth through government contracting, certification, and innovative business strategies. Our purpose is about the opportunity that increased wealth creates within our communities. We believe that entrepreneurship is a pathway to opportunity.

Click here to read Jean Kristensen's full article...

Miscategorizing Employees as Independent Contractors Carries Serious Consequences
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Miscategorizing Employees as Independent Contractors Carries Serious Consequences | Aaron Pierce

Only takes 5 minutes to read! It is vital that all employers understand how seriously both the IRS and state agencies take the issue of miscategorizing employees as independent contractors. Any appearance of impropriety is assumed to be the case. It’s understandable when you consider how much money a business can save by classifying an employee as a contractor: employer contributions to Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and worker’s compensation are non-existent in an independent contractor relationship.

Click here to read Aaron Pierce's full article...

Compensating Sales Staff: To Be (in the Office) or Not to Be
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Authored by , re: Business Development, MARKETING, on .
Compensating Sales Staff: To Be (in the Office) or Not to Be

At a recent Around the Horn session, we fielded a question from a gentleman who was a successful franchisee of a fast-growing business that had a strong sales component. He and his management team created a leadership structure, new mission statement, and are now considering an adjustment to their compensation plan to make it “salary plus.” That means providing a higher base salary while reducing commissions at the same time.

  • The first comment warned that there may be some resistance and attrition, due to the loss of autonomy the sales staff would experience.

Click here to read Dave Bresler's full article...

Are You Making Premature Withdrawals from Your Relationship Accounts?
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Authored by , re: Business Development, on .
Are You Making Premature Withdrawals from Your Relationship Accounts? | Cynthia Greenawalt

{4:02 minutes to read} Using a farming analogy, there are three stages before a harvest is ready: planting, fertilizing, and fruit bearing. In terms of networking relationships, the three stages are Know You, Like You, Trust You. It’s in Stage 3 – Trust You – that we can expect a return from these relationships in the form of referrals, favorable introductions, or favors (e.g., supporting our non-profit cause). Until a networking relationship is in Stage 3, it is our responsibility and duty to be the farmer who waters and nurtures that relationship. Before we promote ourselves and bring our needs into the equation, the focus is always on the other person.

Click here to read Cynthia Greenawalt's full article...

Attention MWBEs: The Procurement Department Can’t Find You!
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Authored by , re: Business Development, on .
Attention MWBEs: The Procurement Department Can’t Find You! | Jean Kristensen

{3:25 minutes to read} Yesterday, I spent the entire day chasing down an opportunity for a professional service that I found on a prime contractor’s website that I thought would be a good fit for one of my clients. The problem was that the date had already passed to apply for pre-qualification. This job has a 30% minority- or women-owned business enterprises (MWBE) participation goal on it, so I was frustrated and wanted to know why I was not informed about it sooner. Here is what I found out:

Click here to read Jean Kristensen's full article...

Harnessing Your Raving Fans Through the Taster Model
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Harnessing Your Raving Fans Through the Taster Model |

{3:06 minutes to read} Once you’ve developed a base of referral partners, choose the top 10-15 that are in a deep state of trust with you. They understand what you do and perhaps refer you to others several times per year. They are Connectors who are willing to put their reputation on the line and open up their networks to you. These influencers are your Raving Fans. With your Raving Fans in mind, create an event such as a workshop or other type of experience using the Taster Model™.

Click here to read Cynthia Greenawalt's full article...

Forming a Corporation: Legal Documents You Can’t Do Without – Part 2
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Forming a Corporation: Legal Documents You Can’t Do Without – Part 2 | Aaron Pierce

Only takes 5 minutes to read! In our last article, we discussed the formative documents that all startups must have. Our intent now is to provide some suggestions as to their substance. In getting your corporation up and running, you’ll want to create restrictions on the freedom of shareholders to dispose of their shares in the company. You can control the valuation of the shares, for instance, by drafting it into the shareholders’ agreement.

Click here to read Aaron Pierce's full article...

Business Owner Checklist – Part II: And, Further
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Authored by , re: Business Development, on .

Business Part II of my Business Owner Checklist describes 7-10, along with a P.S. of the components that I believe are essential for business owners to have in place to be positioned for success and growth. I wrote about the first 6 last time (click here to read it). Part II also incorporates references to professionals that I trust.

Click here to read Sallie Mullins Thompson's full article...

MWBE Success Strategy: Effective Time Management – Part 2
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MWBE Success Strategy: Effective Time Management – Part 2 | Jean Kristensen

{3:25 minutes to read} In Part 1, I shared the first 3 tips to help more effectively manage your time. Below are 3 more tips on successful time management. 4. Set boundaries. Set boundaries for yourself and your clients, and stick to them. I’ve recently found that creating boundaries for myself has had a liberating effect on me. I used to be the person who responded to all kinds of client requests at all hours of the day. With hindsight, I now see that overextending myself made me less effective and caused confusion for clients.

Click here to read Jean Kristensen's full article...

Update on Overtime Rules
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Authored by , re: Business Development, on .
Update on Overtime Rules | Alan Krystal

{2:30 minutes to read} In a recent two-part article, I discussed the upcoming changes that will go into effect December 1, 2016, with respect to overtime eligibility and exemptions and the significance of those changes. In recent weeks, there have been two events—one at the courthouse, the other at the ballot box—that could potentially have a major effect on these changes. On September 20, 2016, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with more than 50 business groups, filed a lawsuit in the US District Court, Eastern District of Texas challenging the overtime rule.

Click here to read Alan Krystal's full article...

Apps to Make Social Media Less Time-Consuming
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Apps to Make Social Media Less Time-Consuming | Vikram Rajan

{4:05 minutes to read} It’s hard to keep up with all of the emails you get from clients and other VIPs. It’s also hard to keep up with the marketing outreach you have to do. It’s equally hard to find time to keep up with all the social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter in your day-to-day work.

phoneBlogger.net can help you with the blogging. But there are also phone apps that you can use to keep up with others and market yourself in an authentic way.

Click here to read Vikram Rajan's full article....

Business Owner Checklist – Part I: Some Basics
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Authored by , re: Business Development, FINANCIAL ARTICLES, on .

Business What components are essential for business owners to be positioned for success and growth? Part I highlights the first 6 of ten such items that I have found to be fundamental, during my 20+ years of working with business owners. I have also incorporated references to professionals that I trust to assist my clients with these key areas.

Click here to read Sallie Mullins Thompson's full article...

Hiring: Give It the Attention You Deserve
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Hiring: Give It the Attention You Deserve | Dave Bresler

At a recent Around the Horn Session, the group was introduced to someone who needed to hire, but he wasn’t sure about how to go about getting it all organized. The new employee’s responsibilities were to be developing relationships. Someone who does business development, and is an excellent networker, recommended that the new employee should have the right level of experience, like knowing sales and budgeting—because if the new hire is going to do networking (which is generally considered the best way to develop relationships), they would need a budget.

Click here to read Dave Bresler's full article...

MWBE Success Strategy: Effective Time Management – Part 1
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Authored by , re: Business Development, on .
MWBE Success Strategy: Effective Time Management – Part 1 | Jean Kristensen

{2:50 minutes to read} Not effectively managing your time is one of the reasons why small businesses can’t get to the next level. I want to share a couple of tips that have worked really well for me, and which I’ve shared with my clients, with proven results. 1. First things first. The first tip is to focus on the most important things first:

•Things that are going to drive your business forward;

•Things that have tight timelines and due dates; and

•Things that are directly related to either clients’ work or business development.

Click here to read Jean Kristensen's full article...

Salaried or Hourly? Part 2
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Salaried or Hourly? Part 2 | Alan Krystal

{3:00 minutes to read} In Part 1 on how to designate whether an employee is salaried or hourly, I discussed the upcoming changes that will go into effect December 1, 2016, and the significance of those changes. I also began listing the five stated exemptions into which an employee must fall in order to be considered exempt. This article covers the 4th and 5th exemptions listed in the new rule. 4. Sales exemption •The employee must have the primary duty to make and be making sales or obtaining orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities for which a consideration will be paid by the client or customer.

Click here to read Alan Krystal's full article...

Forming a Corporation: Legal Documents You Can’t Do Without – Part 1
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Authored by , re: Business Development, on .

Only takes 5 minutes to read! Forming a corporation is a bit like entering into marriage: all the parties need to agree beforehand on how the corporation will work, i.e. what rules the entity will generally function under. Taking the time early on in the formation of the corporation to discuss and implement corporate operating documents will help avoid disruption and additional costs, especially legal fees, later on when disputes almost inevitably arise.

Click here to read Aaron Pierce's full article...

2 Ways to Nurture Networking During the Holidays
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Authored by , re: Business Development, on .

{2:04 minutes to read} One of the most powerful ways to leverage the holidays is to look at the events on your end-of-the-year calendar and find out which ones are open to you bringing guests. Make a list of your VIPs (from current referral partners to those you would be interested in trading referrals with) — the longer the list, the better. Once your list is complete, there are two ways to go about nurturing and cultivating the garden of your relationships:

Click here to read Cynthia Greenawalt's full article...

3 Ways to Increase Your Twitter Followers
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3 Ways to Increase Your Twitter Followers | Vikram Rajan

{4:09 minutes to read} Twitter is best for anyone who wants to be seen on a stage. This includes the obvious people who are usually on stage, including performers, entertainers, and celebrities, but also government officials and politicians, authors, and subject matter experts. If you are looking for more speaking engagements and more opportunities to be behind a microphone and literally, if not figuratively, on a stage, then Twitter is the right platform for you.

Click here to read Vikram Rajan's full article....