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.
byVZSmallBiz09-17-201408:20 AM - edited 09-17-201408:23 AM
The following post is from Mary Yarbrough, Verizon's vice president of mass business marketing:
Why do we choose some businesses over others? For me, it’s all about reliability. Will the auto dealer have my car ready when he said he would? Will the local baker get my daughter’s birthday cake right?
Reliable communications services are critical to small businesses. A recent Verizon/Small Business Trends surveyof small businesses in Philadelphia found that 89 percent identified high-speed Internet as essential to their operations, and two-thirds of respondents identified landline phone service.
Verizon gets that, and our customers seem to agree.
[Photo of Doris J. Cammack-Spencer and Tony Randall, Verizon’s state government affairs team in Maryland.]
The Southern Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce just marked two years as a proponent for business growth, economic development and empowerment for African-American, community-based organizations and small businesses in Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties.
Since its inception, the chamber has recognized the importance of partnerships with companies like Verizon in helping small businesses understand how advanced technology solutions enable innovation in the marketplace to meet consumer demand and maximize the economic impact in our communities.
Verizon supported the chamber’s first event, which was a well-attended networking and recruitment reception where we announced our movement from dream, to concept, to action plan and then to reality. The company also assisted the chamber with our Regional Entrepreneurship and Procurement Expo at the College of Southern Maryland in LaPlata. At last year’s event, Verizon’s supplier diversity team informed attendees about how to do business with the company and met with individual chamber members to establish rapport, learn more of their capabilities and provide additional assistance.
byVZSmallBiz07-30-201410:34 AM - edited 07-30-201410:54 AM
Guest post by Jerry Rizzo, digital communications manager for Verizon.
Most women will agree that superwoman definitely exists. But these days, you won’t find her wearing a long, flowing cape and black, knee-high boots. Instead, she’s likely wearing a business suit with pumps. Or, she may even be more casually dressed, depending on the nature of her job. Sound like anyone you know?
Clearly, it’s not about what’s she wearing, but how she’s getting things done while balancing life that makes her great.
I asked some working women from different generations, “How do you define ‘superwoman?’”
Guest post by Terrie Howard Carter, Verizon’s small business marketing manager.
Verizon Small Business knows that having the right technology to run your business is critical to keeping your business operational. According to the US Small Business Administration, it is vital that small business owners understand and use advanced technologies, as it will help increase business efficiency and even expand operations.
Our small business customers, such as Make My Cake Bakery in Harlem, New York, shared with us that they realize that technology is a part of everyone’s life now and even though they fought against new technologies initially, it has provided them with a means to communicate with their customers.
How do you stay on top of your business? The most recent addition to the busy small business owner’s toolkit is the tablet. Tablets now provide thousands of business applications designed to simplify and automate many of your day-to-day tasks, such as schedule management, rich media presentations, account management, credit card payment acceptance, to name just a few. Tablets make doing business in the office and on-the-go more convenient and productive.
Verizon’s small business customers can get some great rewards and opportunities, in addition to innovative broadband and communications services.
For example, Verizon Small Business customers who are enrolled in Small Biz Rewards can enter an exclusive sweepstakes for the chance to win a trip for two to the seventh annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival, plus $10,000 of spending money on a reloadable Verizon Small Biz Rewards Prepaid MasterCard® .*
You can also earn additional sweepstakes entries just for completing easy activities listed on the Verizon Small Biz Rewards site. Verizon will award 10 prizes – such as gift cards to your favorite place for coffee and donuts – each week leading up to the grand prize announcement on August 4th.
byEllen_Yu06-27-201408:47 AM - edited 06-27-201408:48 AM
For those of you who keep track, June is Entrepreneurs Do-It-Yourself Marketing Month. Below are some marketing ideas you can quickly implement to help drive business and/or increase your company’s brand awareness. I suspect many of you have already done or are executing on some of these tactics. If not, get started now.
1. Update or get a website for your business. There are many low cost, no cost options. Believe me, some of the do-it-yourself ones are so easy. It’s as simple as picking a template, dropping in some text and publishing. Now you have a website and can be found online!
2. Communicate with your customers. Collect their contact information so you can send them regular (not spam) updates on new products or services or specials/discounts. If you already have a customer list, remind them you are still around and let them know what’s new. This can be done via email or snail mail.
3. Get online. If you don’t have a Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other online presence, consider starting one to connect with your current and potential customers. If you already are online, continue to engage with your fans and followers. Just be sure to have a plan in place to maintain that presence, keeping it relevant and fresh.
If you have a great idea that can help solve an issue in education, healthcare, sustainability and transportation enter the Verizon Powerful Answers Award, deadline next Monday.
The Powerful Answers Award is a multi-million dollar global challenge, launched last year with much success, designed to spark innovative thinking and problem solving across industries and to generate ideas, solutions and answers for some of the world’s biggest issues.
As demonstrated by last year’s winners, the Award encourages innovators, developers, entrepreneurs and others to submit ideas that leverage Verizon’s cutting-edge technology and help deliver groundbreaking solutions and social good.
Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2014, at www.powerfulanswersaward.com through YouNoodle’s competition platform. The submissions will be judged by panels of industry experts, and winners will be announced in early 2015. For more information click here or visit http://vz.to/1haquJM.
He shared strategies for how small-business owners can think differently and make radical changes to better market their business and brand for growth, as part of the Verizon Small Business Ready Webinar Series.
Gray was named as one of the most influential black men in America by the National Urban League. Ebony Magazine and Black Enterprise recognized him as an entrepreneurial icon and best-selling author. Raised in poverty on Chicago’s South Side, Gray began his entrepreneurial career at the age of six selling homemade lotion and hand-painted rocks door-to-door. He is the CEO of Farrah Gray Publishing.
The Verizon Small Business Ready Webinar Series is designed to keep small businesses informed to help them gain a competitive edge. All webinars are available for on-demand replay. To view past webinars visit www.verizon.com/webinar.
Guest post by Lee Gierczynski, media relations manager for Verizon.
Verizon and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce presented Greater Philadelphia’s second annual Small Business Week May 12-16, paying tribute to the region’s more than 150,000 small businesses and their key contributions to the regional economy. The event coincided with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s National Small Business Week.
The 2014 Small Business Week featured a series of events allowing small-business owners to gain insights to better run their business and opportunities to network. The week’s activities included a number of activities to celebrate small businesses an after-hours networking event/business expo Verizon hosted on May 14.
While this week is National Small Business Week designated by the U.S. Small Business Administration, here at Verizon we honor, celebrate and support small business owners every day.
We love to hear from our customers and learn how our services are helping them to run and grow their business and allowing them to quickly connect with their customers no matter where they are or while in transit.
Below is a recap of some of our small business customers and their story. All of these videos are located under the Small Business tab on Verizon’s Youtube Channel. You can share your story with us on Facebook and our next video could be about your business.
I recently visited one of Verizon’s small business customers, and it was a great experience. Jose Luis Hernandez and his wife Maria Medina operate Café Zona Sur, a restaurant in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn that’s focused on a fusion of fresh, simple and delicious food.
As co-owner and head chef, Luis shared that the dishes they serve represent their journey with food. And Verizon’s reliable voice and broadband services are helping Luis and Maria on their journey.
Luis came to the U.S. from Mexico as a teenager and started working in a restaurant, chopping vegetables and making salads. Over the years, Luis took on more responsibilities as his passion for food grew and he realized cooking is an art. He worked in many restaurants during this time– including some very well-known, four-star establishments. Eventually Luis became a sous-chef, overseeing a couple of dozen of chefs, and he gained experience in preparing many different types of cuisines.
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.