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Explaining some of the benefits offered to Chamber members, Aikins said, We are the largest business organization in the North country, we offer lots of networking opportunities, we have provided insurance for years to small businesses. In fact, we have expanded on that and we now have a licensed broker on staff.
The Chamber offers professional educational opportunities in conjunction with the Jefferson Leadership Institute and they are having a series of quarterly workshops that bring in speakers to talk about pertinent issues facing the North Country. Aikins ran her own business for years. In 1992 she moved to the North Country to be near family, then decided to change careers. She took a position working in tourism and fell in love with it. She had an opportunity to join the chamber and grabbed it. Aikins will mark her fifth year with the chamber in May.
Darling took his turn, explaining that Time Warner Cable has several sectors in its operations. He works in the advertising end and is responsible for media sales from Watertown to Rouses Point and Lake Placid. His region, the Central New York Division, serves 650,000 households. Darling said he got into the business 27 years ago when it was all about selling short 30-second commercials.
Today Time Warner is a technology company. Darling explained, As technology has changed, we have changed. We are internet-driven and we have interactive television. We have banners running on the bottom of commercials and you can actually download a video of a Ford F-150. Darling started 27 years ago at Channel 7 WWNY-TV as an account executive and rose through the organization to become its director of sales. He left Channel 7 to rebuild Channel 50, WWTI. There he was a partner and vice president/general manager. He joined Time Warner in 2001 as regional sales manager for the North Region.
Darling is a Watertown native, and after living in other areas of the country, returned here in the mid-70s. Next, Randozza shared his story, saying he began thinking about growing grapes several years ago. Trips to Sicily instilled the idea. He had purchased a farm in Clayton and decided that they should plant new cold-hardy plants, called Frontenac grapes, which led to the winery business. He said, The winery industry in Jefferson County really gave me something to sink my teeth into.
Interested in community development, Randazzo began thinking the winery business might be something that could extend the regions tourism season especially with the advent of new types of grapes that could stand northern winters. The new varieties Randazzo said, make absolutely Coyote Moon, Randazzos winery, is the fourth winery to open in the North Country. Two others will probably open next year with more in the planning stages. The region has now developed a Wine Trail and people are coming to the area to sample and purchase the wines from as far away as Pennsylvania.
The Internet is full of sites and blogs with… blogging advice. There are countless resources for those wishing to make a start in this field and promote themselves or a business they have. The downside is that not all these resources are really useful or effective. If they were, then every single blogger reading them would instantly become successful and draw traffic like never before. Here is the bad advice present ever so often on the web which you should never fall for.
One Post (or More!) a Day
This popular tip can quickly ruin your blog and this is how. Not all blog types are suitable for daily posting. In some cases, you will simply run out of topics really quickly. It will lead to a terrible blog burn-out. In addition, it will lower the quality of your writing. By making time to post every day, you won’t have as much time or patience left to proofread, to correct the weak parts and so on. Bad writing turns visitors away. You’ll be thinking that you’re doing something beneficial, but you will only be sabotaging yourself in the end. Turn the “blog every day” advice into “blog regularly”. Don’t force yourself to mark each day on the calendar.
There is one trending thought nowadays – that you have to shock people and to never fear to be original. Unfortunately, here is some blogger’s way of being original and striking in their posts: they expose views that oppose almost everyone’s, they are offending, rude and ultimately unpopular. Eventually it makes no sense to shock people through a radical view on things or through an offensive stance. While it could get you some great traffic at first (people do react to such posts), numbers won’t stay up for long. No one draws anything pleasant or helpful when reading controversial opinions that barely have anything to do with the reality. If you want to find popularity through controversy, make sure you can defend your views and reply with sound arguments to any opposing question. Otherwise, when readers comment and contradict you, you will just make a fool of yourself, like many ‘controversial’ bloggers have.
Limiting Posts to a Certain Length
Many will claim they have the perfect recipe when it comes to blog posts and that these have to be of a fixed length: 300, 500 words and so on. In fact, different topics and blog styles call for different types of posts. Even within the same blog, one may have posts that vary in length. Do not fall for such ‘absolutes’.
“Have your Say”
Too many blogging ‘gurus’ insist on publishing your opinion on everything. To tell the truth, people are not that interested in what is your attitude towards something. Nor do they care that much about your personal life, your inner values, feelings and such. They are looking for some sort of gratification. What can you offer them? Each post has to offer something to readers: a piece of information, a new perspective, a solution to a problem. When you make posts all about yourself and your blog gets to look like a diary, you are doing it wrong.
Opt for Real Training
If you are a total newbie and cannot afford making a wrong step and wasting time, you can certainly resort to How to Blog training. Expert bloggers are now offering their advice on their blogs, teaching others how to succeed. Blog Beast Network, for example, is rich in professional advice coming from the expert behind it, Troy Shanks. When you get professional training you can be sure you are receiving valid tips and not just the standard guess work you usually find in random “hoe to blog” articles.
Many small business owners tend to resort to multitasking, on the pretext that hiring employees to perform every single function of the company is not feasible and cost effective.
However, there are hidden costs associated with performing accounting services yourself, a major one being the opportunity cost of not investing the same time in inducing a greater number of sales and resultant revenues.
One of the major factors that many small business owners tend to overlook is that some degree of qualification and experience is required in order to manage the finances of any business effectively.
Accounting tasks are not as simple as they may seem, and there are a variety of complicated functions such as preparing detailed financial reports at the end of the year that can only be handled by professionals.
There are certain accounting tasks that you may even have ignored but are essential for the sustained growth of your company.
For this purpose, providers of small business accounting services ensure that your monthly and yearly financial reports are prepared to perfection so that you can identify the exact areas of strengths and weaknesses within the company’s operations.
When it comes to filing tax documents, accuracy is even more essential. Small business accounting services will ensure that your tax returns are filed in accordance with legal requirements, which will save you a lot of money and any possible legal implications.
The option of acquiring small business accounting services to perform financial tasks within your company is a much better option than availing the services of a personal accountant.
For one, your business will not be of any more importance to the accountant than the other clients he is currently dealing with. It does ensure accurate financial data, but these will not be delivered within a deadline of your choice.
Instead, the accountant will set his own deadlines, and may even delay essential data for your company due to his busy schedule. On the other hand, when you pay for small business accounting services, you are getting the expertise of a group of professionals at the same time who will guarantee timely preparation and delivery of financial data.
If you are managing the accounting aspects of your company yourself, you will probably be supervising all the minor particulars and just concentrating on the ones that seem to be important.
However, small business accounting services analyze all the financial data of your company, point out and correct any errors present. They will come up with recommendations on managing your funds most effectively.
At first, small business accounting services may seem expensive, but over the long run, you will realize the huge savings in costs.
You will be required to pay after the services have been completed, and you will not have to incur costs on purchasing software. You can spend your precious time in sales activities now.
Relationship management software is one of the best tools for any business to manage what is happening with both customers and potential customers. This is stand alone or enterprise software that can track every nuance from customer purchases, complaints, dollar amount of purchases, preferences and everything else in between.
As far as customer prospects are concerned, contacts, conversations, bids, quotes, meetings, literature sent, emails, and everything else pertaining to that prospective customer is recorded in the relationship management software.
All of this information is important both from an overall aspect, and in the micro realm as well. Statistics like this help to give a company needed information to help tell what tactics and strategies are effective in bringing customers into the fold.
In the micro aspect, if a sales team is involved it gives detailed information as to what type of effort is effective and perhaps what is not being effective in turning prospective customers into buyers.
Every thing in business starts with a sales call, an advertisement, an approach, an opening statement, and the whole process goes on from there. If you don’t keep track of the “from there” part of the formula, you will never know what really works. What really works is where you need to be most of the time in your sales and marketing efforts. The business who keeps track and can identify that will be miles ahead of its competition.
It is a nice feeling if you are a salesman and you can go back into your CRM system and “re-discover” the previous conversation that you had with a prospective customer, prior to your next meeting. You know that any information that you glean from a meeting with a client or a prospective client, can be stored and retrieved with a minimum of effort.
If you are the director of marketing of a company, you will always have all the data that you need to make projections based upon prior performance of your customer base, which can be extrapolated into a prospective customer base to do projections of future sales.
The old saying of, “If you don’t keep track, your sales will lack,” is very true. Having all the information at your fingertips about your customers buying habits, will help to tailor new marketing campaigns to them at any time.
A salesperson who has all the data from previous meetings and proposals, will be better able to bring the prospective customer back to the one need that is evident, and necessary to do business.