Articles

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By Pat Hammond

Does your small business have a marketing strategy? Did you actually sit down and think about how your company is going to attract new business or are you playing it by ear? What about the competition?

If you're like most people, you probably hate the idea of writing a marketing plan almost as much as you hate marketing. The problem is that a lot of business owners think that they can put up a website or place a few newspaper ads and call it marketing, but it's not.

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By Pat Hammond

Week 3 Notes

If your goal for 2015 is to increase your networking and improve your online presence then this is a great week to get a head start.

Between three separate Gold Star events, the monthly NH WordPress Users and Developers meeting, the NH Email Marketing & Social Media group, Makers in Manchester and a host of other breakfast and lunch events there is a lot going on in Manchester this week.

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By John Rolfe

It’s always so hard to know your first step. “What direction should I go in? What if I make mistakes? Can I get advice that won’t bankrupt my company before I even get started?”

I own Silver Chain Games, a little retail board game seller in New Hampshire. We don’t have a store front. We don’t have employees. I wouldn’t even call it a small business, it’s a micro-business. I do game parties in interested people's homes. And believe me, doubts are there.

The only people that don’t have doubts are those people that have nothing to lose or so much money that they don’t care if they lose a little. If you're reading this article then you are probably neither of those. Don’t worry, I’ve got some advice for you that may help.

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By Pat Hammond

Week 2 Notes

It's really weird, but Tuesday is the only day with meetups this week. I understand that a lot of groups suspend December meetings but why aren't Tuesday meetings affected?

Even stranger is the fact that the Gold Star meeting didn't show up in the meetup.com calendar of events, though it is posted on their meetup page, the link to RSVP for the Chamber of Commerce event is on the meetup.com calendar but isn't mentioned on the Chamber's website and the Hometown Business Alliance meeting has two listings on meetup.com. I guess we can add disorganization as another reason why it's so hard to find local business events.

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By Pat Hammond

Have you compared electric rates lately? How about cell phone or long distance providers?

Whether you manufacture widgets in a factory or work from a home office, utilities are one of the basic expenses that every business owner has to deal with.

  • electricity
  • internet
  • local & long distance service

Over the last several years, utility deregulation has given New Hampshire consumers a lot of new options when it comes to choosing a utility provider, unfortunately those options are not always equal.

Per the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission[1] the Granite State now boasts 25 electric power suppliers and 95 electric power aggregators.

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By Pat Hammond

Week 4 Notes

Between Thanksgiving and Black Friday it's an understandably light week with only one networking and one tech meetup, and they're both on Tuesday.

For anyone who is off and wants to avoid the malls there are an incredible number of free and budget friendly activities including traditional concerts, craft fairs, art exhibitions, ski swaps, bowling, yoga and meditation. (see NH365.org for details)

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By Pat Hammond

Have You Ever Used a Business Model Canvas?

We all know the importance of planning when it comes to starting a business, but why would you want to waste your time writing a fifty page business plan when a one page snapshot will do?

Originally developed by Alexander Osterwalder, the business model canvas was designed to cut the fluff and drill down to the details.

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By Pat Hammond

Week 3 Notes

It looks like a nice mix of business and tech events next week.

The 603 Networking Group from LinkedIn is hosting their last networking event for the year, Makers in Manchester is doing a Show and Tell, the Information Security Systems Association is featuring a presentation on DDOS and Gold Star has their Tuesday morning meeting. (Highly Recommend!)

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By Pat Hammond

SEO is Like Chess...

Players always start with the same pieces, but strategy and skill determine the winner.

I've been getting a lot of people asking about how to improve their website's page rank the last few weeks so I thought I'd put together a quick infographic.

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By Pat Hammond

Gold Star - Mill City Referral Group

Location: Airport Diner, 2280 Brown Ave., Manchester 03103
Date: Tuesdays 8:30 AM (check their meetup.com page for details)

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