Articles

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By Pat Hammond

We're Moving to Monday!

Sorry for the short notice, but Coffee Buzz Networking is moving to 9:00 AM the first Monday of the month.

And yes, that means we'll be meeting next Monday, May 1st.

There are a lot of reasons for the move, but the big one is because you asked.

A lot has changed since I started the monthly Coffee Buzz Networking group. In addition to a lot more (conflicting) activities on the events calendar, my own schedule has changed making a Tuesday morning meetup logistically challenging, so we're moving to the first Monday of the month at 9:00 AM.

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By Pat Hammond

Couple Key Events for May

Two new big business events popped up when I was updating the Queen City Buzz Events Calendar this week.

The annual Alpha Loft Startup Shindig on Tuesday, May 23rd, from 4:30 PM - 8:30 PM. The Startup Shindig is a big deal for the local business community. It's a chance to rub elbow and celebrate the thriving entrepreneurial spirit in the Granite State.

As little as three years ago, there wasn't a whole lot going on around New Hampshire. Many people and companies were struggling post-recession and there was a lot of concern about the graying of New Hampshire. But our business community did what communities do best. They put their heads together and came up with a plan to reignite the spark. The Shindig is a celebration of community and a nod to what has been accomplished. Check out the event page on Eventbrite and get it on your calendar.

The second event that needs to be on your May calendar is the John Flatley Company's Startup Pitch Night. If you are starting or building your business, this competition is worth your notice.

Prizes for the winners, who will be chosen by a panel of judges, are:

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By Pat Hammond

Overwhelmed by Social Media?

Has anyone else noticed that the only people who think using social media to market your business is easy are the people who don't actually have a business?

Don't get me wrong, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest are great options for a budget conscious business owner, but they're not easy.

They require careful planning, a commitment to regular posts, and a willingness to engage not only with the people who follow you, but in whatever group or conversation you find your target market. And this all has to be done without sounding like you're spouting a canned sales pitch.

As if that wasn't enough, you have to block off time away from running your business for each and every social media platform you use. It's not hard if you have the time and tools, but when you're a small business owner there is never enough time.

This month's Live from the Hive guests are Stephanie Edwards from Social Wize, LLC and Graham Gifford from the NH Telephone Museum.

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By Pat Hammond

Mix it Up!

Since I'm always saying "Networking doesn't have to be at a networking event" I thought I'd mix it up a little and share a couple non-business events that give you the perfect opportunity to meet people.

Out of the Box Tours offers a very popular Manchester Walking Ghost Tour on Wednesday, April 19th at 6:00 PM, though they request you arrive 15-minutes early. It's a great opportunity to meet some new people and find out about the spooky side of our Queen City.

The cost is $10. If you're paying by credit card you will need to pay online. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/walking-ghost-tour-of-manchester-nh-tickets-29962102455

Theatre Kapow hosts a monthly open training session from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM on the 3rd Saturday of the month. The next session is tomorrow, Saturday, April 15th. According to their website trainings include "acting, movement, improvisation, voice, speech, object work, viewpoints, and more." This is a great opportunity to meet new people and learn some techniques to help you feel more comfortable in your own skin.

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By Timothy Hirsch

Prepare for the unexpected

Almost everything in life is uncertain and we should always prepare our families for any unplanned situation that may arise. Why everyone needs a life insurance plan is quite simple and it’s obvious when we look around at our family. Life itself is uncertain, and we need to be prepared for the unexpected. In fact, one of the only certainties in life is death. While many things in life are predictable, death is not one of those situations that we can predict. We see all too often families posting “go fund me” pages on Facebook. These are instances in which families were not prepared, not only by the emotional devastation but the financials aspects as well.

Sickness and death are particularly frightening on their own. Death is a certainty in life that nobody can avoid. What’s really frightening though, is if we are not prepared when this happens. This is the reason why every person should have adequate life insurance coverage. After all, we do not get life insurance for ourselves, but rather for our loved ones. It is one of the most selfless purchases that we can make for our loved ones.

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By Pat Hammond

Would it help if I begged?

I'm going to start by saying that the most frustrating part about blogging is that nobody reads what you write.

It's okay because I know it's not personal.

There are hundreds of thousands of well-written articles on the web that never get read and I get enough feedback from people about the Weekly Roundup that I generally feel pretty good about the information I put out on Queen City Buzz, but in this case, I am asking for your help.

We all know that the number one question I get from people is "Where do I find networking events?" It's why I spend 6+ hours each week hunting down events, curating the calendar, writing and posting the Roundup. If I did nothing but the Weekly Roundup, people would be happy.

But you know me. Good enough feels like settling, and I'm always striving to create added value.

The second most popular question I hear is "Where can I find business help with (fill in the blank)?"

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By Pat Hammond

The SBA, It's Not Just Loans

I get a lot of questions from people about what resources are available for small business owners and where they can find help for basic, and not so basic, business questions so I decided it was past time for me to sit down and share the skinny on the big daddy of small business resources, the Small Business Administration.

The first thing most people think of when they hear Small Business Administration (SBA) is loans.

And yes, the SBA guarantees a variety of loan programs through local lenders, but that is a topic for another day. Today I am giving you an overview of who the SBA is and how the NH District of the SBA can help you.

If I had to sum it up with one line, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is your strategic partner for starting and growing a business in the United States.

Originally created as the result of the Small Business Act of 1953[1.], the goal of the SBA was to provide "aid, counsel, assistance, etc., to small business concerns" so they could compete with larger corporations.

The idea was that with a little help, regular people could live the American dream of starting and owning a business and today's SBA has evolved to include a vast network of people, programs, and resources right here in New Hampshire to help you take your business from your initial concept to startup, growth and every step in between.

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By Pat Hammond

Look who's at the top of the page on Eventbrite!

It's a new month and a new quarter and that means that Queen City Buzz has two events next week.

Our NH Business Partner Finders group has its second meeting 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM on Monday, April 3rd at Aroma Joe's, 2 S. Beech Street, Manchester.

The NH Business Partner Finder Group is a quarterly networking group created for the express purpose of connecting local entrepreneurs and freelancers with other entrepreneurs and freelancers interested in collaborating on projects and/or becoming working business partners. If you're looking for a project or a partner, why not stop by. RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nh-business-partner-finder-group-how-to-find-your-dream-team-tickets-33077941012?utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_term=viewmyevent_button

Then on Tuesday, we have the monthly Coffee Buzz Networking from 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM at Aroma Joe's Coffee, 2 S. Beech Street, Manchester. This is a casual, open networking group to network, share referrals & connect with other local freelancers and small business owners. For more information please visit http://queencity.buzz/articles/new-quarter-new-opportunity-succeed


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By Pat Hammond

You're Only as Strong as Your Network

At some point in your life, you probably heard that your reputation is a reflection of the company you keep. This is just as true as an adult as it was a teenager. People want to do business with people they know, and if they don't know you they're going to look at the people around you. Make sure your network is filled with people whose reputation mirrors your own values.

It doesn't matter if you're self-employed, just out of school, or work in a cubicle, the one truth that transcends your personal and professional world is that you are only as strong as your network, and when you build strong network on a foundation of meaningful relationships, you set yourself up for success.

Always remember that the value you provide your network partners is more important than what they give you.

  • be selfless → give more than you get
  • be the guy that's there in a pinch
  • give an attaboy for a job well done
  • celebrate and share other people's victories

Networking is about creating relationships and relationships are built one conversation at a time.

Join us Tuesday, April 4th from 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM at Aroma Joe's Coffee in Manchester.

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By Pat Hammond

It's Clydesdale Camera Day!

Next Saturday, April 1st is Clydesdale Camera Day at the Anheuser-Busch plant in Merrimack. (http://www.newhampshire.com/section/newhampshire04#/event/6086781-clydesdale-camera-day?location=03301-concord§ions=all&date=today)

I know what you're thinking. The events calendar is already full of business activities, why is she wasting space with pretty horses?

The short version is that I was doing my weekly rounds of the local events calendars the other day and when I came across Camera Day with the Clydesdales I thought this was genius. You could even say that it's elite brand management.

I mean what is more iconic than a Clydesdale?

Budweiser makes beer which is, of course, a product designed for adults. But their brand transcends the adult only demographic. It has a rich history and the images they present to the public are cuddly and family friendly. (Anyone remember the Budweiser frogs?)

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