This is a post by Michelle Swittenberg, vice president of mass business and marketing sales for Verizon.
Small business owners are constantly looking for ways to keep their employees current and/or to serve their customers better. And they certainly want the best value for their investment. Verizon delivers on both with FiOS Custom TV. We developed FiOS Custom TV in response to customers who have told us they want more choice and control over their TV service.It’s an entirely new way to buy TV that gives their employees and/or customers the channels they want.
With FiOS Custom TV, a small business gets 34 featured base channels, plus local broadcast channels, and at least two genre-based packs of channels out of a choice of seven. Business customers can select additional channel packs for $10 more each per month (a Regional Sports Network fee applies if the Sports Plus genre pack is chosen or added). The genre-based packs include: Sports, Sports Plus, News and Info, Lifestyle, Kids, Entertainment and Pop Culture. Click here to read more.
byEllen_Yu03-26-201512:59 PM - edited 03-30-201507:20 AM
Will you do your small part to contribute to global environmental change by signing up for Earth Hour?
It’s simple, just turn off non-essential lights for one hour, on Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 PM. You can show your employees and your customers your business’ sustainability commitments.
The Earth Hour movement is led by the World Wildlife Fund to promote sustainable living, expand energy-efficiency awareness, and take a stand against climate change.
I know I always love learning about the good things businesses do and I do tend to favor those who are doing their part to make our community a little better. Click here to learn about the 500 Verizon buildings that will go dark this Saturday.
Check out the infographic to get some tips on how you can get your business involved.
Yesterday I shared the winners of the Verizon Small Biz Rewards Give and Give Back Holiday Sweepstakes.
Today I want to let you know of the latest Verizon Small Biz Rewards sweepstakes called the Verizon Million Point Grant Giveaway. It’s easy to enter and one lucky – random – Verizon small business customer will win 1 million points, which equates to $10,000.*
The Verizon Small Biz Rewards program (https://smallbizrewards.verizon.com/) is available to most small-business customers with phone, Internet, TV, or cloud services from Verizon. Being a member has lots of perks, but customers must sign up. It’s easy and free.
There are several ways to increase your chances of winning the grand prize in the Verizon Million Point Grant Giveaway. Log in and answer trivia questions to earn an entry for the chance to win the grand prize. Also, five Verizon small-business customers will win the first-place prize: 100,000 points redeemable for a $1,000 reloadable Verizon Small Biz Rewards Prepaid Master Card.
Now will you become a Verizon Small Biz Rewards member if you haven’t joined yet? If you are already a member log in and get your entry in by April 21.
The rewards program is just another benefit for being a Verizon small business customer in addition to the free webinars, the discounts, and more.
Do let me know how you’ll use $10K to grow your business. Good luck!
Late last year Verizon Small Biz Rewards program launched a holiday sweepstakes available to its members. Customers enrolled in this program could log-in and enter as well as click on a nonprofit they favored to help Verizon distribute $15,000 it pledged to further support their work.
I’m thrilled to share that Steven and Carla Smargon of Platinum Electrical in Stoughton, Massachusetts won the grand prize of $5,000 on a Reloadable Prepaid Mastercard.
As winners of the Verizon Small Biz Rewards Give and Give Back Holiday Sweeps, the Smargons were able to select their favorite nonprofit to also receive $5,000 on a Reloadable Prepaid Mastercard from Verizon. The Smargons selected House of Possibilities, an organization that provides support to families who have children, youth and adults living with developmental challenges.
“Thank you very much! We are both excited and honored to have been chosen as winners. It is a great feeling to receive this gift, but being able to give back is just as sweet,” said the Smargons.
The Verizon Give and Give Back Holiday Sweeps didn’t just end there. Verizon also donated $9,900 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; $2,850 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; and $2,250 to Juvenile Diabetes Research.
If you are a Verizon small business customer take a few minutes to enroll in the Small Biz Rewards program – it’s free.
The Verizon Small Biz Rewards program is running another sweepstakes which I’ll tell you about tomorrow or visit http://smallbizrewards.verizon.com.
byVZSmallBiz03-10-201507:30 AM - edited 03-10-201507:40 AM
Guest post by Justin Blaney, featured Verizon Small Business Webinar Series guest, entrepreneur and No. 1 best-selling author of six books including “Evan Burl and the Falling.”
Recently, I wrote about a new twist to marketing your business and/or yourself. If you missed it, click here.
There are a lot of misconceptions about marketing. I learned a lot of them from business people, business school and innumerable business books. Here are a few examples of the things I was taught that were proven by experience to be myths:
• Marketing is important, regardless of the outcome.
I’ve found that marketing is worthless if it isn't effective for lead generation and increasing your sales.
• Good marketing can increase sales for any company.
Marketing can cause a spike in interest for just about any business, but increasing sales is a multifaceted beast. The quality of your product, the service that supports it, how you use your sales tools and your business model are just a few of these facets. Marketing alone won't make the difference.
(Be sure to click "Read more.." below.)
If there isn’t a place on your company website for your customers to rate your business, there are third-party sites they can visit to provide feedback. Learn about the three main types of reviews and how to monitor and respond to customer feedback in an article featured on Verizon's Small Biz Resources site.
While you can't control what is posted, you definitely want a sense of what is said about your products and/or services. Feedback can also provide insights into how your company (products or services) is perceived and if any tweaks on your end need to be made. Among small business owners surveyed recently, word of mouth or referrals are still the best way to gain new customers.
My colleague, Bob Elek, recently met with Richie Alverio, owner of Eddie's Custom Cleaners in Tampa, FL. Richie gave Bob a tour of his facility and how his business handles the cleaning and pressing of clothes. I found it fascinating, but don't take my word for it - check out the video.
Have you heard about the Internet of Things (IoT)? I feel it’s been everywhere. In case you are not in the loop it’s just hooking up things – like printers, refrigerators, etc. – to sensors and/or video cameras so it can be monitored and controlled via the Internet... from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop... to provide meaningful insights that will help transform the way we live and work.
Adoption of IoT is growing rapidly, but IoT isn’t yet widespread. Whether you’re in the public sector or private; big or small — if you don’t have an IoT strategy, you should. Download for free this report to learn more about what IoT is, what organizations are doing with it, and get some recommendations on how to get the most out of it.
This new report includes new research commissioned by Verizon from ABI Research which forecasts massive growth broadly, with the number of business-to-business IoT connections -- more than quadrupling between 2014 and 2020 -- rising to an estimated 5.4 billion connections globally.
Click here to download the report or visit http://vz.to/17RPKlk.
byVZSmallBiz03-03-201510:35 AM - edited 03-10-201507:43 AM
Guest post by Justin Blaney, featured Verizon Small Business Webinar Series guest, entrepreneur and No. 1 best-selling author of six books including “Evan Burl and the Falling.”
Marketing is broken
Marketing has changed. Saturating the world with ads isn't enough. Making a superb product and hoping everyone finds us isn't enough either. We need a new method, a strategy better suited to the modern, oversaturated, mile-a-minute marketplace.
This may sound surprising, but the best method I’ve found for cutting through the enormous clutter of this busy world is pretty simple. It's being helpful. You may be thinking, “What? That's the big idea?” That’s it. I've seen this approach work so well that it can do more than advertise a product. I've seen it work with finding jobs, donors and customers.
Verizon's small business team is bringing you another special webinar guest next week on Wednesday, March 11. Join this live free webinar so you can ask Justin Blaney your questions about how to increase qualified leads on prospects. Justin is an entrepreneur and No. 1 best-selling author of six books.
Below you'll find the details to join this webinar and learn Justin's simple, but powerful steps to increase sales. If you can't join live, watch the replay.
byVZSmallBiz02-24-201511:37 AM - edited 02-24-201511:44 AM
Guest post by Verizon’s Bob Elek, who visited Urban Juice recently and had the Green Day (kale, spinach, cucumber, pomegranate, apple, kiwi, lemon) and The Beatnik (beet, apple, lemon, ginger).Check out how two attorneys launched a business focused on fresh-squeezed juices and how Verizon is their technology partner.
byEllen_Yu02-05-201503:11 PM - edited 02-06-201508:45 AM
As we celebrate Black History Month it may be a good time to assess your business. Do you have employees with diverse backgrounds and experiences?
This article featured on Verizon’s My Business site provides some good insights into some of the benefits – productivity, creativity, and loyalty – of having a diverse workforce. Let me know what you think.
After you are done reading that article check out Verizon’s “Potential Of Us” Black History Month campaign featuring students with the odds stacked against them and how a national contest helped them to realize their passion and unleash their potential for greatness. Please take a minute to share their video on Twitter using #PotentialOfUs. While you are at it, tell us what you are passionate about.
It’s a brand new year, and we have been working to secure some inspiring guests who will share their successes and how they achieved and built their businesses.
To kick-start our series of free, live webinars, next Wednesday, Feb. 4th at 2 p.m. ET, you’ll hear from Alex Blumberg, entrepreneur, radio journalist and producer. During the webinar, Blumberg will share how he became the CEO of his company and offer useful tips to fellow business owners and anyone considering starting up a business.
The best part of joining these webinars is the opportunity for you to ask our guests any questions you may have on how to grow your company. You can also send your questions on Twitter during the webinar, just use #vzsmb. For those not able to join our live webinar, a replay will always be available for you to watch at your convenience later that day.
byEllen_Yu01-21-201507:50 AM - edited 01-21-201507:55 AM
Business growth starts with goals—learn how to set better, more achievable goals to help launch your new year.
Successful small businesses turn each new year into a fresh start by setting smart goals. While everyone is promising to follow personal New Year's resolutions, you should also be outlining the goal(s) you want to achieve for your business during the coming year.
Consider these tips for setting better (more achievable) goals:
Brainstorm Better Goals
• Grab a huge whiteboard or chalkboard and spend time writing out all the ideas, dreams, wants, and needs that you have for your small business.
• Talk to your customers, and add their feedback to your brainstorming. Specifically, ask them what their needs are, and come up with better ways to serve them.
• Ask your employees to contribute, too. What ideas do they have for new opportunities or problem solving?
• Also, think about how technology can help your business. What new products and services are your suppliers and service providers offering that can help you get more customers, provide better service and increase efficiency?
This article is one of many developed especially for Verizon’s small business customers, offering helpful insights for business growth. For more goals setting tips (how to choose and refine your goals) click here (or visit http://vz.to/1CPrJ8k).
byVZSmallBiz12-29-201408:48 AM - edited 12-29-201408:49 AM
Is your business ready to roll into the New Year? As we’re now in the home stretch of 2014, everyone’s schedules overflow with holiday festivities, family, and friends. But this is also an important time of year for the small business owner to tie up any legal loose ends. By taking care of these five things now, you’ll be sure to get off the ground running come January.
1) Change your business structure
Did you start your business as a sole proprietorship or general partnership? If so, you’re not alone. But many small businesses outgrow these structures over time. If your business is not incorporated, consider filing your corporate formation paperwork (either for a corporation or Limited Liability Company, LLC) before the end of the year to establish your company as a separate business entity from you as an individual.
Incorporating or forming an LLC for your business will help protect your personal assets, and may also give you added flexibility and potential savings on your taxes. The ideal time to submit your paperwork is before the end of the year or early January.
byVZSmallBiz12-17-201411:49 AM - edited 12-17-201412:09 PM
As another year draws to a close, we here on the My Business Account team want to give you an update on improvements to your online account access and service:
• We recently implemented a two-page sign-in process to increase the security of your account. Safeguarding your account information and credentials is very important to us.
• We are adding articles to the new Small Biz Resources area. To complement our popular webinar series, we are providing tips and links on such topics as Internet security and online reputation management. This section will be expanded shortly and would be good holiday vacation reading.
• Two new discount partners were added to the Verizon Discount Program. With KMM, your business can save up to 20% on first aid supplies, tools, personal protective equipment, batteries, and much more. And, Verizon and Pronto, a nationwide leading supplier of automotive replacement parts, have teamed up to provide quality auto parts at 10% off wholesale prices to Verizon business customers. Look for more discount partner offers in the coming months.
Every B2B sale is ultimately an exercise in building relationships. When customers trust you and feel like you understand their problems and can be relied on to keep your promises, they will be more likely to buy from you. When customers feel pressured, or feel like you’re not really listening to them or not fully paying attention to their concerns, they will take their business elsewhere.
Even if a new prospective customer has come to you via referral and already has a good foundation of trust in what your company has to offer, your sales team still needs to demonstrate to this customer that you know how to solve their specific problems and win their confidence for a long-term business relationship.
Here are a few tips for how every B2B sales team can do a better job of building relationships with customers throughout the sales process:
The holiday season is just about to kick off. As you are searching for that special gift, don’t forget to do some of your shopping at a local small business.
Small businesses are the life blood of the American economy. According to the SBA small businesses provide 55 percent of all jobs and 66 percent of all net new jobs since the 1970s.
Verizon is proud to once again join national movement urging the public to support the local businesses that help to create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.
While the immediate focus is on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, we can all do our part to support a local business on a regular basis. Last night, I had dinner with friends, and we chose to gather at a local cozy tavern in Bernardsville, N.J.
Verizon serves businesses of all shapes and sizes, from Fortune 50 multinational companies to neighborhood cleaners and restaurants.
The latest free live webinar from Verizon's small business team on Nov. 12 will feature Daymond John, entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker and investor on ABC's "Shark Tank." John will be online to answer questions and provide tips, insights and best practices for webinar participants.
Over the last 20 years, John has evolved from one of the most successful fashion icons of his generation to a highly sought-after branding expert, consultant and speaker.
The Verizon Small Business Ready Webinar Series is designed to keep small businesses informed and ahead of the competition. All live webinars are recorded and available for on-demand replay. To view past webinars, visit www.verizon.com/webinar.
WHAT: Verizon Webinar Series: "Just Ask Daymond: Whatever You Wanted To Know About Starting Your Own Business."
WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT/12 p.m. MT/11 a.m. PT
WHERE: Admission to this live webinar is free, but please register at least one hour before the webinar's start to receive an "e-vite." Register here or visit http://vz.to/10OlDI2.
byVZSmallBiz11-11-201406:45 AM - edited 11-20-201406:36 AM
If you are on the Mall in Washington, D.C. on Veterans Day, you can witness in person an all-star concert tribute to our nation’s veterans. But if you can’t make that date in the capital, FiOS will bring you the next best thing.
HBO, Starbucks Coffee Company and Chase will present “The Concert of Valor” on November 11 starting at 7 p.m., featured on both HBO® and HBO Latino®. As a FiOS TV customer, you can enjoy the concert for free – and enjoy HBO free for 24 hours, from 6 a.m. November 11 to 6 a.m. November 12.
I enjoy meeting Verizon’s small business customers and learning about their business. I’m especially interested in how they got started, what sets them apart and how they are using Verizon’s small business services to help them run their business.
My visit to !melk, a landscape architecture and urban design practice, was delightful. Located in downtown Manhattan, the environment was open, bright and fun. Jerry Van Eyck, the owner, met me with a sparkle in his eyes and a friendly smile. His team of architects and designers were welcoming and eager to show off some of their latest designs.
They depend on the fast speed of FiOS Internet as they share their blue prints, 3-D models and files with their clients and prospects. Verizon’s speedy, reliable services enable the team at !melk to focus on being creative, and Jerry to focus on running his business.
Check out Jerry’s interview to learn about !melk’s projects in NYC, Las Vegas and around the world.
byEllen_Yu11-04-201408:04 PM - edited 01-21-201505:59 AM
Is there an area in your office where you don’t get the best Wi-Fi connection to the Internet? In just that area it can take a very long time to send or receive massive files from clients.
There may be a simple fix: a new router. And we have just the router for you.
We’re now offering small businesses the new FiOS Quantum Gateway, the fastest, most flexible router Verizon has ever offered.
If you’re wondering what the big deal is, it’s simple. Wireless access is increasingly important to small businesses, which want the ability to use their laptops or tablets anywhere on their property. The FiOS Quantum Gateway will help you run your business better because you can do more.
3 Things We Think You’ll Love About It:
• Delivers up to 800 Megabits per second with an unobstructed range of up to 325 feet*.
• The FiOS Quantum Gateway’s dual-band gateways can separate high-bandwidth activities (like HD video streaming) from regular data consumption (like web browsing and email). (5 GHZ for bandwidth-heavy activities and 2.4 GHZ for the lighter stuff). This creates the best experience for everyone online.
• The ability to block all Internet access, block and allow certain websites or to block by key word in a URL.
byEllen_Yu10-22-201407:56 AM - edited 10-30-201407:07 AM
Verizon’s small business team once again will be at the annual NYXPO, which takes place on Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Javits Center.
Events such as this conference are great for small business owners to hear from leading experts and gain new insights to increase their revenue and maximize growth. The NYXPO will also provide ample opportunities to network, check out competitors’ offerings or view demonstrations of new solutions that could help you run your business better.
Stop by Booth #226 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to learn about Verizon’s small business solutions, including FiOS Internet, voice and TV services; smartphones and tablets; security solutions and more.
While you’re visiting our booth, you can enter for a chance to win a Blackberry Z10, MP3 player, digital picture frame or Ion Air Copy Scanner that instantly converts paper documents into pdf files.
The start of a new work week is the best time to tackle some items that are usually put on the backburner. Specifically, I mean reviewing your communications services.
At least once a year, it’s good to assess if you have enough phone lines to handle all the incoming calls or a fast enough Internet connection that you don’t have to wait a long time to download or upload files. Additionally, it’s a good time to determine if any new tools or services, such as smartphones or security/backup applications, can help you run your business even more efficiently.
Now through Nov. 1, Verizon has a great offer for small businesses in markets where FiOS services are available: A two-year bundled package of Verizon FiOS Internet at 25 megabits per second upload/download and two phone lines for $94.99 per month plus taxes, fees and equipment charges. The activation fee is waived under this offer. Sign up by Nov. 1 to get a free LG G Pad 8.3 LTE tablet and a $300 Visa debit card.
This and other FiOS plans come with Verizon’s Worry-Free Guarantee which includes price guarantee, flexible scheduling, professional on-site installation, 24/7 tech support and more.
In addition, only Verizon offers its small business customers a generous rewards program that includes sweepstakes for trips to fun destinations and other prizes.
For more information, visit www.smallbizready.com or call 877.854.5791.
byEllen_Yu10-15-201410:13 AM - edited 10-15-201411:42 AM
Thanks to meetup.com, I learned it’s Women Entrepreneur Week in New Jersey and joined an Oct 14 women, power and leadership event hosted by the Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship at Montclair State University.
The event was inspirational and insightful. Led by Gloria Feldt, a renowned speaker, author and leadership expert, I learned that, while plenty of women start a business, most women don’t do it. Women certainly have intentions and big ideas, but it’s our lack of courage to act that keeps us stuck.
Later in the program, four other successful women, two at the helm of their businesses, joined Feldt to share how they got their start and when they had the power to act.
As someone who has a sweet tooth, I was eager to visit Make My Cake, a bakery in Harlem and a Verizon small business customer.
It was a beautiful morning when I walked in, and it only got better when I was met with the delicious smell of baked goods and a cheerful smile from owner JoAnn Baylor.
Small businesses’ appetite for fast, reliable Internet capability is increasing as they move larger files, images and video to and from their customers. A reliable, fast Internet connection can enable small-business owners to run their business more efficiently, saving them time and resources.
Yet, to date, most small businesses can receive information far more quickly than they can send it.
Get news from Verizon about small business services and market trends that affect your bottom line. Here, you'll find tips and commentary from the Verizon small business group and other experts to help keep your business growing.