Articles

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By Pat Hammond

For anyone who has ever worked in an office, working from home is the ultimate cube dweller fantasy.

No more hyena-laughing coffee-slurping co-workers. No more nerve-wracking snow day commutes. And no more worrying about whether you have a clean shirt for tomorrow.  People who work from home wear sweats or pajamas all day, right?

In honor of National Coworking Day we are taking a look at the state of coworking in southern New Hampshire and why it’s the perfect solution for anyone who works from home

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By Pat Hammond

MANCHESTER, NH – You may know Chef Joe Grella from the cake pops and over-the-top cake designs at Custom Eats & Sweets, but this local chef is on a mission to bring the magic of the traditional Italian family dinner to your family’s table.

Grella says the idea came from being embarrassed by how often he bought frozen meals or fast food for his own family’s dinners. At work, he can easily make hundreds of meals during lunch or dinner service, but like so many other families, he and his wife work long hours and don’t always have time cook for their kids when they get home.

He says his favorite memories growing up were the Sunday pasta dinners with risotto, his grandmother’s famous chicken legs and thighs with lemon and rosemary, fresh bread from his grandfather’s bakery, salads, and pasta with homemade sauces. The weekly family dinner was a time to relax and enjoy the comforts of home and family, but as delicious as it was, it took all day to cook.

So he came up with Presto Pasta.

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By Pat Hammond

Whether you’re taming the wave, fighting the frizz, or just frazzled by out-of-control curls, Erica Sowa, owner of Tower of Curls & Beyond, is here to show you how to tame your wild locks, no matter how hazy, hot and humid it gets.

Tucked away on the 6th floor of the Wall Street Tower, this boutique salon at 555 Canal St. is a hidden gem in the heart of downtown Manchester.

And when I say hidden, I mean it literally.

They are open six days a week, but hours are by appointment only and while parking is free, you can’t just walk up to the door.

Don’t worry, you don’t need a secret knock or password, but you do have to book ahead and visit the ground level concierge to access the elevator which adds a layer of exclusivity and mystique to the experience.

And have no doubt, a visit to Tower of Curls is almost a spa experience.

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By Pat Hammond

Last week I shared my three recent SCORE experiences as an explanation for why I was dropping SCORE Merrimack Valley from my suggested list of business resources. This week, I'm talking about a few easy fixes that could help alleviate some of the frustration felt by SCORE Merrimack Valley's mentors and clients. 

Here are my simple, low-cost, low effort suggestions to address the most pressing issues I've seen with the local SCORE chapter's mentoring program. 

1. Vet clients before they get in the door

One of the mentors complained that it felt like they were wasting a lot of time with clients who either had no idea how a business operates or simply didn't have a business yet. 

The easiest way to separate the people who are still in the idea phase or just starting out would be to ask them to complete a one-page business canvas snapshot as part of the application process.

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By Pat Hammond

I regret to say that I am no longer recommending SCORE as a resource for people looking for one-on-one mentoring to start or grow their business.

Between my own bad experiences, yes that is plural, and reports from many other people, I've come to the conclusion our local chapter, SCORE Merrimack Valley, is not a good fit as a business resource for most people. 

I don't know what the problem is. 

The national SCORE organization provides a large variety of useful information in the form of webinars, online classes, and downloads through their website, but somehow, the mentoring services offered through the local SCORE chapter are singularly lacking in usefulness. 

I know several individuals who work/volunteer with SCORE Merrimack Valley and they are friendly, knowledgeable people who genuinely want to help. But in spite of the available tools and their collective experience, the mentoring program continues to fall short.

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By Pat Hammond

Another super program from Sandler Training

Sandler Training is presenting a free 1-hour webinar called The Art & Skills of Sales Psychology on Tuesday, May 21st at 2:00 PM ET. 

I'm a big fan of Sandler's programs because they are designed to be effective for everyone. 

Their sales training programs are designed to help you target the right buyer who is in-market for your products and services now. 

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By Pat Hammond

MANCHESTER, NH — His shoot-from-the-hip style may betray his working-class roots, but have no doubt that Maryland Congressman John Delaney is in the game to win.

During his 17th visit to the Granite State, Delaney on May 10 hosted an entrepreneurial round table discussion with local small business owners in the Black Brimmer conference room of WBC Office Suites’ Elm Street co-working space.

Delaney’s experience as a business leader was evident as he deftly deflected off-topic questions and facilitated discussion around issues that tie directly to his platform.

 

 

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By Pat Hammond

I need your help. Last week I announced a new format for the Weekly Roundup. After taking a couple of months off from the blog, I've come to the conclusion that I can no longer commit a day and a half each week tracking down event listings.

Starting this week the new format will be limited to my top picks and any events you share with me through the event submission form.

The new format is also going to include more community events. 

After attending a lot of roundtables, symposiums, and other similar discussion events, it's become abundantly clear that many of the challenges faced by local businesses stem from the fact that a lot of people feel disconnected from the world around them. 

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By Pat Hammond

Changes to Weekly Roundup

There is no doubt that the Weekly Roundup is Queen City Buzz's most popular resource. The problem is that even when I limit it to just the Manchester metro area it takes me an entire day, sometimes a day and a half, to research and write. 

Imagine losing almost a quarter of your work week to something that doesn't generate revenue. It's not sustainable. 

I had already talked with Manchester Ink Link about doing a monthly roundup featuring two or three key events, but that leaves a lot of networking opportunities on the table. 

So starting next week I'm going to try a new format. Instead of me spending an entire day trying to find events, I'm asking you to share your events with me. 

The deadline is 5:00 PM every Wednesday and all you need to do is email me at buzz@queencity.buzz or fill out this event form

This is very much a work in progress.

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By Pat Hammond

It took a few months longer than I expected, but I think I finally wrapped my head around where Queen City Buzz is going...

Before I say anything else I want to thank you for your patience. I know I haven't done a great job with keeping people informed about what was happening at Queen City Buzz.  There are a lot of valid reasons and a few believable excuses, but as my grandmother used to say, it only takes five minutes to pick up the phone and check in. And I didn't. 

Which brings me to the evolution. 

Queen City Buzz originally started as a platform for my web design clients and other local business people to share their expertise and information about their business.  We had five contributors, weekly and monthly podcasts, events, and links to essential business resources. 

Over the years Queen City Buzz adapted to a changing market. I dropped the podcasts and extended coverage to Concord and Nashua. I included arts and the tech sector, and added tools and features to the point where it became an unpaid full-time job. 

I was knee deep in production and oblivious until someone pointed out that Queen City Buzz had lost its focus.

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