Articles

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By Pat Hammond

I admit it, I used to be a shareware junkie. There's something about finding all the features I love about those uber expensive programs in a free alternative. Sometimes you get what you pay for, but if you're persistent you might just find an awesome open source program that meets or even exceeds your needs.

Here is a list of my Top 10 Favorite Free Tools:

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By Pat Hammond

It's no secret that I love a good plan and while I'm not a fan of New Year's resolutions, the start of a new year is a great time to review last year's business goals, specifically what worked and what you can do better.

With that in mind this week's motto is Define Your Goals.

Don't drive yourself nuts, just take a look at your overall business plan and break it down into manageable SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) Setting quarterly benchmarks with monthly action steps.seems to work best for me, just remember to leave a little flexibility for the unexpected, like breaking both of your hands. (You can't make this stuff up...)

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By Pat Hammond

Alpha Loft StartUp Meetup

Location: 844 Elm Street, Suite 100, Manchester
Date: first Wednesday of the month, 12:00 PM
Website: www.meetup.com/startupmht/

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By Pat Hammond

Week 2 Notes

It's a new year which means that it's time to stop thinking about networking and start doing it!

There are tons of free events to suit almost everybody's schedule and even I, the queen of video calls, managed to brave the cold and get to a networking event this week.

No excuses!

Just do it!

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By John Rolfe

Square - The POS When Your Business is On the Road

The Facts:

  • price: fees comparable to PayPal and other popular POS, card reader & software free
  • tools/amenities: free card reader & software, secure online storefront, send customer receipts, dashboard with sales stats
    ease of use:
    very easy -- just plug it into your phone
  • value: great!
  • overall recommendation: great option, highly recommend

The Details:

My first exposure to Square occurred when I was supporting my significant other, Cathy Clement, at the farmers market on the main street bridge in Nashua. I was sitting and watching her doing chair massage while La Belle Winery was right next to us selling wine.

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By Pat Hammond

A new year traditionally means new beginnings and after our soft start last September the team at Queen City Buzz is looking to hit the ground running in 2015.

To start things off I am posting a weekly one-liner. No, I don't mean jokes. In this instance a one liner is a quick bit of wisdom to help you (and me) find balance and inspiration, both in business and at home.

This week's motto is simply one word: BALANCE.

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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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