Articles

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By Pat Hammond

Are you dreaming about starting a business? Do have a business problem with your existing business? Or maybe things are going great and you're thinking about breaking into new markets and expanding your business. The good folks at Merrimack Valley SCORE want you to know that no matter where you are on your business journey they are here to help.

For anyone who isn't familiar with SCORE, it is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to "Foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education." [1]

It is also one of the oldest partner programs under the Small Business Administration (SBA) umbrella, and probably the most misunderstood, so I thought I'd take a minute and share a few things you should know about this fabulous, underused resource.

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By Pat Hammond

Forget what you read on the internet.

If you build it, they will come is the biggest con of the 21st century.

Overnight success is an urban legend.

And the idea that a Facebook account is all you need to succeed is ridiculous.

If you feel like you're doing everything right and you're still struggling to succeed, I've got good news.

There are typically three reasons people aren't buying your products and services and they're easy to fix.

  1. Wrong Price
  2. Wrong Product
  3. Wrong Audience

 

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By Pat Hammond

Who remembers doing show-and-tell in kindergarten?

Everyone hated standing in front of the class, but we all had to do it and if you were really lucky, showing off your cool new toy gave you some serious street cred on the playground.

By the time first grade rolled around your were happy to bury the memories of show-and-tell hell and those memories stayed there until middle school when the teacher introduced a whole new level of torture know as the speech.

Instead of standing in front of a room full of six-year-olds who were generally interested in hearing about your new dog or the latest Pokemon card, you had to look cool and sound confident in front of a group of people whose judgment could seriously affect your social status for the next six years until you could escape to college. That's when the real stress began.

You realized that public speaking wasn't a one-and-done. You were suddenly facing the very real possibility that you would be doing speeches for the rest of your life. High school, college, and even in the working world. Presentations to clients and trade groups loomed in your future and you were horrified to discover that you would never be free from this dreaded task. But you know what? It doesn't have to be that way.

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By Pat Hammond

Lessons in Leadership

Monday morning started with me dragging my husband out of bed (it was his day off) to help me move the two feet of snow plowed up at the end of the driveway so I could go to Nashua.

One of my goals this year is to learn about leadership. I want to define what makes a person a good leader and what it takes for someone to become a good leader.

I'm not even sure it's something that can be taught, but I'd been invited to hear Rocky Romanella, former CEO of UniTek Global Services, present a talk called "Be A Great Leader: Inspiring & Empowering Others To Do Their Very Best" in advance of his upcoming book launch and it was going to take more than two feet of snow to stop me.

I'd done my research and knew that Romanella had worked his way up from a dock loader to the C-suite and I'd seen some of his videos and knew he was an engaging speaker who relied on stories and personal anecdotes rather than his slide deck to share his message, but I wasn't sure if his corporate experience could be packaged into a one-hour how-to session that people could take home and apply to their own lives.

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By Pat Hammond

Love it or hate it, the fact remains the same, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, typically referred to as Obamacare or ACA, has created a lot of headaches for sole proprietors, and with this year's tax penalty for not having ACA-compliant insurance at 2.5% of your household adjusted gross income[1], those headaches have gone from being a gentle throbbing in your temple to an ice pick in your brain.

  • Premiums
  • Out of pocket costs
  • What is covered?
  • What has to be covered to avoid tax penalties?
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By Pat Hammond

Bouncing off the walls like a 6-year old hepped up on chocolate

As we wrap up the first week of the new year all I can say is wow. Every day this week has been a networking adventure and it's only week 1.

I started the week with the new NH Business Partner Finders group on Monday, Coffee Buzz on Tuesday, Millyard Networking and the Spanish Conversation group on Wednesday and that was just the tip of the iceberg.

I met so many new people this week that I'm in overwhelm. My phone is ringing off the hook. People are texting, emailing, and connecting all over the place and I am bouncing off the walls like a 6-year old hepped up on chocolate.

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By Pat Hammond

Refer a friend, get a gift card...

We all know I don't take paid ads on Queen City Buzz, but I do share promotions and this offer from Island Breeze Virtual Assistants is too good to ignore.

Island Breeze Virtual Assistants are already a very affordable option for anyone on a tight budget, but they just sweetened the pot by offering Amazon gift cards when you refer a friend. (see http://islandbreezeva.com/referral.html for details)

  • $10 Amazon.com gift card when your friend signs up for a 5 hour monthly support plan
  • $20 Amazon.com gift card when your friend signs up for a 10 hour monthly support plan
  • $50 Amazon.com gift card when your friend signs up for a 1 hour daily support plan
  • $90 Amazon.com gift card when your friend signs up for a 2 hour daily support plan
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By Pat Hammond

Time to Get Organized

Do you have a favorite system or tool that keeps you organized and productive?

Maybe an online notebook like Evernote or a project management platform like Basecamp or Asana?

Or perhaps you're old school and stand by a classic Day Runner.

Whether you're a devoted Getting Things Done follower or someone who simply scribbles a list on a post-it, there is no getting around the fact that you can't be productive without some sort of organization.

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By Pat Hammond

Please Support Your Small Business Community

I shouldn't have to point this out, but these are your friends and neighbors, the people you meet at the supermarket, and on those cold January mornings when you're digging out the snow plowed up at the end of the driveway. Local small business owners are the people who sponsor Little League, provide the jobs and the services we need and they can't do that if we don't support them by buying their products and services.

Between now and December 25th Queen City Buzz is giving over the top half of the home page to promote local businesses.

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By Pat Hammond

Success Starts Here

Do you know the difference between people who fail and people who succeed?

It's mental fortitude.

The fast track to success starts with a can-do attitude coupled with a strong work ethic. That means no excuses and no putting things off until next week so you can lay on the couch and binge watch Game of Thrones.

The new year is traditionally a time for new beginnings and I am launching the new NH Business Partner Finder group on Monday, January 2nd, the first business day of the new year.

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