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Displaying articles for: July 2011

Happy Friday!



I went through a large stack of business cards recently and noticed that many all looked alike, but a few stood out.  Here’s an article from Mashable with some tips to create a memorable business card.


To grow your business it may make sense to tell your prospects and customers why you are in business.  Check out this article from Escape From Cubicle Nation.


As a proponent for continuous learning, here is an article on whether an entrepreneur  should go back to school.


If you have a home office, check out these neat gadgets from Inc.  I love the green walls and the small card reader – allowing you to accept payment anywhere.  If you are shopping for a credit card payment solution, check out this offer from Verizon.


My hands are sensitive to all the typing so this article from Entrepreneur about the latest ergonomic solutions piqued my interest.


Now, I don’t mean to leave you with a downer story, but this is important so I saved it for last… do yourself – your business – a huge favor and get the right security to prevent online attacks, if you don’t have one in place.  This post from Symantec states that about 40 percent of targeted attacks are aimed at SMBs.  Many SMBs are vulnerable and you don’t have to be – a large majority of these cyber-attacks are preventable.  Check out this post from us which reference the 2011 Data Breach Investigation Report.


What articles caught your attention this week?

Guest post from Jennifer Prosek, CEO of CJP Communications and the author of Army of Entrepreneurs™: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth. July’s featured author in the Verizon Author Series.  You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


Thank you to those who joined my live webinar yesterday and for those who missed it, below is a recap… of course you can always watch the webinar on-demand, just click here.


While many big companies have been reporting record profits, most small businesses are still stuck in the economic downturn. Seventy percent have no plans to expand their staffs over the next 12 months, according to a recent U.S. Bancorp survey of 1,004 U.S. companies with annual revenue of $10 million or less. While there’s no easy fix, what this says to me is that every employee matters and needs to be an engine of growth for the company.


A little history: Several years before the Great Recession hit, I had begun developing the “Army of Entrepreneurs™” model, which seeks to instill an “owner’s mindset” in every employee. I recognized I could no longer singlehandedly run my growing PR firm. I needed an army of leaders, creative thinkers, rainmakers and problem solvers.


When the recession hit, the Army model literally saved my firm. We took a big hit, losing nearly half our business in the worst months of the recession. But my ‘army of entrepreneurs’ found new clients, developed new revenue sources, and expanded existing accounts. While 65 percent of public relations agencies nationwide reported revenue declines, CJP Communications grew.

While any company can develop its own ‘army of entrepreneurs’, there’s one essential element they need to get right and that is the culture. Culture empowers employees, flattens the management structure, democratizes decision making, encourages communication and motivates every member of the team. The four pillars below can help build that culture.


I shared these insights as well as other tips in my webinar yesterday presented by the Verizon Small Business Center.  To catch the replay click here.

Live the core values of your culture and model entrepreneurial behavior. Entrepreneurs work hard because they’re truly passionate. So get excited about the work you are doing, and your employees will too. Enthusiasm is infectious.


Also, with authenticity comes transparency and honesty. In my company, all information (with the exception of individual salaries) is fair game. Sharing information gives employees what entrepreneurs have as a matter of course — intimate knowledge of the business.


Commitment to People
A big factor in any cultural ecosystem is how people are treated. Are they respected and supported? Are they challenged? Do they have the resources and training they need to advance?


An entrepreneurial culture is based on the idea that each individual can be a powerful force for change in the organization. Investing in professional development is a clear indicator that every person is valuable.  


And don't forget to have fun. Celebrating exceptional work, big wins and milestones brings people together, reinforcing teamwork and giving them a chance to bond with one another.    


Commitment to the Business
Ultimately, it’s all about the business and its success. One way to strengthen that commitment is to align an individual's interests with those of the business. At my firm, we have a program called Commission for Life™, which encourages new-business generation.  Anyone who books a meeting that results in a new client gets 5 percent of the revenue for the life of the business.


Continuous Effort
The work of building a company’s culture never stops. There are always new ways to improve communications, boost training and provide new challenges. An employee once sent me an e-mail that summed up what a great company culture should strive for: "a living, breathing, adaptable, fun environment."


If you are interested in more insights, watch my webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center on-demand by clicking here or go to http://bit.ly/p2G7Hw.  


How do you build your company’s culture?

Employee ‎07-26-2011 08:42 AM

Guest post from Jennifer Prosek, CEO of CJP Communications and the author of Army of Entrepreneurs™: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth. July’s featured author in the Verizon Author Series.  You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.


In short, an ‘army of entrepreneurs’ is an internal force of committed, creative employees. It is also a management and leadership model that enables a business to grow and prosper in a fast-changing world.


Building an “army” entails empowering every employee to use his or her own resources and initiative to help the business succeed. Each person develops an “owner’s mindset” and becomes a powerful force for growth within the organization.


The timing for this strategy could not be more critical. The strongest force for growth in the coming years will be individual and collective intellectual capital and continuous innovation. In a fast-changing, competitive business world, employees must be looking around corners and anticipating change. To be successful, every employee must develop an “owner’s mindset” and treat the business like it’s their own.


In tomorrow’s live webcast I will teach business owners how to create their own “Army of Entrepreneurs.”


What You Will Learn in Tomorrow’s FREE LIVE Webinar


The good news is that entrepreneurial behavior is teachable. This program explains how to give your employees the tools, freedom and encouragement they need to be successful, to fully develop their talents and pursue their passions. It covers:


  • How to transform your employees from staff members to soldiers, from order takers to entrepreneurs;
  • How to create incentives that keep on giving across each employee’s career;
  • Ways to align an individual’s goals with the company’s bottom-line objectives;
  • Advice on recruiting, training, and retaining entrepreneurial employees;
  • How to measure success; and much more.


For more information or to register for this free live webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center please click here or visit http://bit.ly/p2G7Hw.  If you can’t make it, you’ll be able to watch the replay which will be available after my webinar.


The Verizon Author Series was designed to bring experts to offer insights and advice to small businesses.  All this month we gave away featured author, Jennifer Prosek’s book Army of Entrepreneurs™: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth. We will give away more of Jen’s book the rest of this week. 


Jennifer Prosek, is the CEO of CJP Communications and has developed a system to empower and motivate employees to help business owners grow their business.


This Wednesday, July 27th, at 2 p.m. ET Jen will host a live (free) webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center and then be available for a whole hour on Twitter on Thursday, July 28th at 10 a.m. ET to answer questions and offer more advice.

I urge all businesses to seize these two opportunities to get insights directly from Jen Prosek. Consider these as free consultations with a business expert; so, why not participate? 


During this Wednesday’s webinar Jen will not only share her system to build the right culture to instill an “owner’s mindset” in your employees; she will also share tips on maintaining a talent pipeline.  Just because you are not hiring today doesn’t mean you won’t hire tomorrow so it’s important to maintain a relationship with talents you can tap when you need to hire.


To register for this live free webinar click here (or go to http://bit.ly/p2G7Hw).  Towards the end of the webinar feel free to ask Jen your question(s) or save your question(s) and ask her on Twitter.  For more information about the Twitter chat and how to participate click here (or go to http://bit.ly/edjtQT).  To follow along the conversation search (http://search.twitter.com) for #bizbooks or follow @VzSmallBiz (www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz).

Of course, feel free to post your questions in the comments section below and we’ll make sure Jen answers it during the webinar or on Twitter.


The first 10 to ask Jen a question or post a comment below will get a copy of Jen’s book.

Hello, I’m Ellen!  It’s a hot Friday in most places across the country... I know I can sure use some ice cream.  While we all know how to introduce ourselves, it’s always good to get feedback, click here for some insights from BNET.  


Now I know we are all winners here, but every once in a while something may not work out in our favor and we lose a little of our self-confidence, so click here for a short read to give yourself a boost.


This article caught my eyes… five ways to improve your website.  Click here to get the tips from Entrepreneur magazine.  In this blog, we have stressed a number of times the importance for a small business to have a website.  If your business does not have a website, please set one up today.  Do not be one of the 40 percent of small businesses that do not have a website.  Verizon can help and offers Verizon Websites powered by Intuit, an easy do-it-yourself website building software… I say no more on this issue.


Onward and forward, for those of you who are social media savvy check out this article to see if Google+ is the ultimate content marketing platform.  Here’s another article where Google+ is compared to ‘boring’ Twitter.


Next week, I’ll host another free webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center featuring Jennifer Prosek, author of Army of Entrepreneurs.  Jen will give insights into how to motivate your employees and how to keep talent in the pipeline… just because you are not hiring today doesn’t mean you won’t hire tomorrow.  To register for this live free webinar click here or go to http://bit.ly/p2G7Hw.


In the event you are a horrible boss – which I’m sure you are not – there are ways to reform.  Click here to read this article from Fast Company.


As always, happy reading and stay cool! 

Employee ‎07-20-2011 07:19 AM

Guest post from Jennifer Prosek, CEO of CJP Communications and the author of Army of Entrepreneurs™: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth. July’s featured author in the Verizon Author Series.  You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.




It is never easy to find the right people at the right time. For a small business owner, the challenge to keep the talent pipeline filled and flowing is constant. I’ve found to maintain a steady supply of people at all levels of my firm, I’ve had to go beyond the traditional recruiting methods of headhunters and Internet job sites to create my own talent ecosystem.




Photo by Arnold Adler Photography


My tips:


Engage the staff. Make sure your staff understands that talent spotting is their job, too. Too often, staffers think recruiting is some mysterious process that happens behind closed doors in HR. Emphasize that you expect everyone to keep their eyes and ears open for great people who should be brought on board.

Be creative in job creation
. One way to build a pipeline is to create interesting jobs and internships for young people. Look for ways to use them that are interesting and give them a taste of what it’s like to work for your company. A summer spent slaving away over the copy machine is not very inspirational. If you hope that some of these young people will one day want to work for you, come up with ways to involve them in the real work of the firm. Also, don’t be constrained by old-fashioned job parameters – look for new ways you can make room in your company. For example, we don’t just offer a summer job; we also have 90-day internships during the school year.

Talent spot constantly.
Don’t just make this a process for “flush” times. Even when you are not expanding your staff, you should be on the lookout for great candidates. Get to know people. Understand their goals and what they might offer you. Then, when you have talent needs and your budget allows, you will be able to move quickly. One of the biggest mistakes business leaders make is to hire in a panic. Often, it may seem to the business leader that the situation can’t be helped – the new person is needed and speed is of the essence.


But my point is this: if you are constantly talent spotting, then when your business requires a “right now” hire, you can proceed without taking a big risk and bringing in someone in a hurry. Time invested when you don’t need the help will pay off later.

Measure your results
. It’s like the only saying goes: You get what you measure. If you do not measure your abilities to build a talent pipeline, you will probably never know for sure if you’re doing your best work and how your efforts could be improved. Keep track of the time and resources you spend on spotting and engaging potential talent and measure how well you’re doing in this process over time. You may be amazed to see places in the pipeline process where you can refine and improve your efforts. But without measurement, those opportunities may go unnoticed.


When you can make the talent pipeline a process rather than a pipe dream, that’s when the value really flows. How do you find talent for your business?  To read my other guest post on keeping employees click here.  


If you are interested in more insights, join my live webinar next Wednesday at 2 p.m. E.T.  It’s free and if you can join me live, you’ll have the chance to ask me your question(s) and get a copy of my book.  Click here to register for the webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center.


Since we launched this blog, we have had a number of wonderful posts from various guest contributors – most posts are from our webinar presenters.


This blog has proven to be very popular among the SMB crowd.  We’ve received emails from small- and medium-sized business owners and professionals with an expertise interested in submitting a guest post or two on the Verizon Small Biz Blog


We listened, and now we want to extend an invitation.


This blog’s focus is on sharing helpful content with small businesses everywhere.  We thought… why not post good content from more experts and small business owners interested in sharing their story, their experience with others? 


So… c’mon and get in touch with us if you have some insights you want to share with our community of small business owners.  We do have just a few guidelines:


1)    Your post must be an original and not published elsewhere.


2)    Your post can’t be promotional.  It must offer some insights, tips, or shortcuts into doing something that will help a small business owner.  Perhaps it’s sharing a case study of best practices.


3)    Your post must be engaging… make your topic fun to read for a broad audience… no technical insights please.


Do note, we cannot offer any compensation for your guest post; however, we can offer you exposure on Verizon’s various small business platforms.  Additionally, all of the content on our blog is highlighted in Alltop’s small business news page.  And yes, you’ll have the opportunity to tout your business and perhaps you’d consider offering our community of small business owners an exclusive discount?


Before you begin writing we recommend that you send us an email with your bio; your expertise and the topic of your post to vzsmallbiz@verizon.net.  If it meets our criteria and fits this blog, we’ll review your submission and will get back in touch with you as soon as we can. 



Happy writing!




Employee ‎07-22-2011 01:18 PM

Guest post from Paul Macchia, national PR manager - Enterprise and Government for Verizon Wireless. For the latest and greatest Verizon Wireless news, please follow us: @VZWnews.



I don’t have to tell you that today it’s all about mobility.  For businesses – particularly small- and medium-sized businesses – you want to be able to reach your customers and in turn have them reach you even if you are out – half way across the country.


Not all networks are created equally… depending on your mobile service provider you may or may not get service.  If you are pitching a customer your service via your cellphone, you do not want to drop that call or have bad reception where your voice is broken up. Period.  It’s a deal killer.


Verizon Wireless has been upgrading its network to the latest 4G LTE Technology.  More than 100 markets in the US have 4G LTE, and we are rolling out more markets at regular intervals.  Essentially, 4G is 10 times faster than 3G.  It is not about speeds but capability.  4G will let us work faster, smarter and more efficiently.


We are working as fast and as hard as we can to deliver smartphones and tablets that work on our 4G LTE network.  Click here to see some of these products.


Now, don’t take my word for it.  Verizon Wireless continues to get solid accolades for their 4G LTE Technology.  Sascha Segan of PC Magazine recently wrote an article, “The Fastest Mobile Networks 2011,” sharing the pluses of the 4G LTE Verizon Wireless network. Click here to read this article. 


Is your business mobile? 

Happy Friday!  Click here for five ways to tell your business story.  If you joined this Wednesday’s live webinar (click here for the replay) Anita Campbell provided some great marketing tactics you can do to generate some awareness and buzz for your business (and at little to no cost).


She also discussed the importance of sharing your story with your customers and potential customers.  It gives your business a human touch and helps to establish an immediate rapport.  Anita also mentioned the importance of a website and how it is very easy to design one yourself today.  If your business does not have a website, check out Verizon Websites powered by Intuit, it is an easy-do-it-yourself website building software.  Regardless of which provider you go with, please get your business a website if you don’t have one already. 


If you are looking to start-up another business, check out these top moonlighting businesses.  Here’s a quick read on how to turn customers into loyal, raving fans.


If you missed it, we announced the winners of the Verizon Hardest Working Small Biz Mom contest


Mark your calendars, our next live free webinar is Wednesday, July 27 and the topic is all about turning your employees into entrepreneurs helping you to take your business to the next level.  Click here to register.


As always, let us know how you like our articles, which topics you want more information on or ask us a question concerning your business… we’ll be happy to help if we can.


Have a great weekend!   


Employee ‎07-20-2011 07:07 AM

Guest post from Jennifer Prosek, CEO of CJP Communications and the author of Army of Entrepreneurs™: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth. July’s featured author in the Verizon Author Series.  You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.



One of the biggest challenges to a small business isn’t found on a balance sheet. Instead, it’s an issue of human capital. The process of keeping good people is an ongoing test for the small business owner.


As the founder and CEO of my own firm, a public relations and financial communications agency, I face this situation over and over again. Even as my company grows, I find my best people are often tempted by the bigger players in my field. What can I do to keep my best talent at home? I’ve found the most effective way to do this is to align my bottom line with their bottom line.


To do this, I initiated a Commission for Life™ compensation plan. Any of my employees who set up a successful new business meeting – that’s it, just simply sets up the first meeting with a potential client – gets 5% of the revenue from that account for the life of the business as long as they remain with the firm.


I created this system initially as a strategy to encourage the kind of behaviors I needed. I wanted my staff to constantly be on the hunt for new business, and so I created a compensation system that rewarded that work. But Commission for Life does more than just drum up new business. It’s also become a very successful retention strategy for my firm.

Why it works:


It’s democratic. Anyone in the company can participate. In fact, I want everybody in the company to participate. This sets Commission for Life apart from other reward plans such as those that only reward executives or only benefit outside sales reps.


It’s easy to understand. Transparency is an important part of my corporate architecture and Commission for Life underscores this commitment. There are no hidden ‘gotchas’, no hoops to jump through, no exceptions to the pay out. Set up the new business meeting and you’re up for the 5% - if we win the client (and in most cases we do).


It’s inspirational. One year a summer intern who is now an Account Supervisor with the firm, scored the biggest new business account of the quarter and had a commission check to prove it, and boy, did word get around. Everyone started to flip through their Rolodexes and scroll through LinkedIn and Facebook pages trying to think of who they could target for a new business meeting. And that’s just the kind of response I like to see: employees, motivated, out beating the bushes for new business. Not because I ordered them to do it, but because I motivated them to do it – for all of us.


While a pay strategy is important, I also make sure I focus on offering “psychic” compensation -- compensation that doesn’t come in monetary (or really any tangible) form. I offer my employees autonomy. I offer them complex and challenging work to keep them engaged and learning. I am generous with my praise and my appreciation. If you don’t have those elements that make people feel good about working for you, no pay strategy will hold them indefinitely.


How do you motivate your employees?


Photo by Arnold Adler Photography




The Winner of the Verizon Hardest Working Small Biz Mom Contest Winner Is…


Drum roll please (click here for sound effect)… we are excited to announce the winners of Verizon’s Hardest Working Small Biz Mom contest.  First, thank you to all the ladies who entered this contest.  We loved your stories and were in awe of the way you are able to care for your kids, family, your business and more.


Congratulations to Texas’ Nichole Bently who is Verizon’s Hardest Working Small Biz Mom Contest Winner.


Mary Yarbrough, vice president of business marketing for Verizon, said, “It certainly wasn’t easy choosing the ‘hardest working’ mom.  We congratulate the winners and commend all the women from across the country who entered the contest.  The best part of this contest was the feedback we got from our customers on how they use Verizon’s products and services to help grow their businesses. We were thrilled to recognize all ‘mompreneurs’ and provide them with the opportunity to share their story.”


Nichole Bently, owner of Bentley Business Consulting, in Coppell, TX, is the first-prize winner (watch her video) followed by Lisa Pelino, owner of Sweet Dawn Café in Rochester, NY (click here to read her submission); and Jennifer Manriquez, owner of Bilingual Fun in South Lyon, MI, is the third-prize winner (click here to watch Manriquez’s video submission in which she shares how she relies on her Verizon Wireless Blackberry smartphone daily.)


We will issue the news release tomorrow which will have more information on the winners.  Additionally, all of our winners will offer a guest blog post sharing some tips that might help your business…. so check here back soon.


Congratulations Nichole, Lisa and Jennifer!


Picture below of Nichole and her family.



Employee ‎07-13-2011 03:50 PM

This is a guest post by Anita Campbell, founder and editor of  Small Business Trends, who hosted a webinar brought to you by the Verizon Small Business Center.



From my webinar today, “Marketing on a Shoestring,” below you’ll find the links to the sites and resources I referred to, broken down by the three major marketing approaches I touched on.  To catch the replay of my webinar click here or go to http://bit.ly/pUmHUT.








Looking world-class on your website: Lisa Barone lists 5 “must haves” for your About page:



Content Management Systems:  Use a content management system (CMS) to allow easy updating without getting your Website developer involved all the time:


  • Intuit websites are updatable
  • WordPress.orgcan be used for uncomplicated, non-commerce sites
  • Large domain registrars offer updatable websites – Network Solutions, Verisign and GoDaddy
  • Services like Edit.com will convert your existing website
  • Drupal is another, although more technical, CMS
  • If you want a CMS that is more customized, check list at:




Trust seals:  Use them legitimately – don’t just grab them. Remember, they serve different purposes (business complaints, ecommerce, secure website, industry expertise, etc.).  Here are some examples of trust seals:


Search Engine Optimization (SEO):


Google offers a “Starter Guide” for SEO:

http://bit.ly/rfQuce (PDF file)


Great guide for bloggers to learn about basic SEO:




Local businesses:  to improve rankings, try to get citations to your site from the most important places.  David Mihm has a list from his recent survey: http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml#citations


  1. Yelp 
  2. Superpages 
  3. Citysearch 
  4. Yellowpages 
  5. Infogroup 
  6. Yahoo Local 
  7. Localeze 
  8. InsiderPages 
  9. Niche Industry Sites (including TripAdvisor, OpenTable, and DealerRater) 





John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing has an excellent book dedicated to developing referrals to grow your business:  “Referral Engine”.  There’s an accompanying website at http://referralenginebook.com.



Public Relations


Establish someone in your firm as an expert for speaking, articles, guest blogging:  Pick someone with business expertise in your industry and/or your CEO.


According to the Edelman 2011 Trust Barometer


Slide #19:


  • 64% trust a technical expert within a company – 2nd highest trusted source after an academic expert
  • 4th highest trusted source is the company CEO at 50%


Slide #21 – repetition matters, so the more you get your company people out to speak, in more places online and offline, the better:


  • 59% of people will believe something about a business if they hear it 3 to 5 times.  Increase the number of times, and even more people will believe it. 


Becoming an expert for PR purposes:  If you’re not an expert, how do you become one?  Read: How to Establish Yourself as an Expert



This is a guest post by Anita Campbell, founder and editor of  Small Business Trends, who will be delivering a webinar brought to you by the Verizon Small Business Center.



On July 13 at 2:00pm Eastern time, join me for a free one-hour webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center.  The topic is marketing on a shoestring budget.


When I first started my business some years ago, like many of you, I started from scratch, with no clients and no revenue.  During the time it took me to develop a clientele and start bringing money in the door (almost 6 months to see significant revenue), I had to market my business, of course.  At first I used my savings.  It can be discouraging, even frightening, to see your bank balance dwindling every month, with little coming in. 


Out of necessity, I had to get good at marketing by spending very little or nothing.  It’s times like those that tax you to be creative.  You realize that elbow grease, knowledge and creative ideas can go a long way to fill in the gaps in your marketing budget.


Luckily the business grew.  But for years afterward – even up to the present time – we have continued with our frugal marketing.  Deeply ingrained habits die hard.  Besides, I get a real charge out of seeing how much we can do and the new things we can try, that don’t involve spending a lot of money. Marketing on a shoestring has become a challenge my team and I enjoy – and a way of doing business.  Later I started teaching a class at the local university on marketing on a shoestring, to share my knowledge.


The techniques we learned out of necessity to grow Small Business Trendsare the same kinds of techniques I will be sharing with you in tomorrow’s webinar.


Marketing is a wide topic.  To narrow it down, we’re going to focus 80% on three key areas: online marketing; referrals; and public relations.  Why these three specific areas?  Because they are the lowest-cost forms of marketing, with the highest return on the dollar, for the majority of small businesses.


We will also spend a bit of time on how to hire and manage outside marketing agencies and service providers to help you with your marketing – and still stick within a budget.   We will also touch on other areas briefly, such as tradeshows, direct marketing, offline advertising and other forms of marketing.


At the end, I am going to allow 15 minutes for your questions.  So if you want to know the return on investment (ROI) for a certain marketing technique, or have detailed questions about the cheapest way to do something, bring them on!  My brain will be there to be picked.  It is my hope that you will leave the session with at least a couple of ideas and resources to market frugally.


As some of you know, I’ve done about ten webinars for the Verizon Small Business Center (and loved every one of them!).  This time we’re using a new (to Verizon) webinar platform, BrightTALK.  Be sure to allow a few extra minutes to register ahead of time if you’ve never used BrightTALK before.  And of course, the session will be archived if you can’t make it live.  With BrightTALK, my webinar will be available for replay in a matter of minutes! 


Of course, there is value to join the live webinar as you can ask me your questions.  Click here to register or go directly to http://bit.ly/pUmHUT.


Feel free to post your questions here too (below).  And for those who are Tweeting, please use #vzsmb if you’ll “tweet” during my webinar .


Happy reading!  How is your summer going?  Do you shut down your business for a few days so everyone can take a little vacation?  Or perhaps your business is at its height during the summer so your doors are opened 7 days a week?


No matter the business you are in; are your products and/or services priced right?  I referenced an article not too long ago on pricing and here’s a new one


I know in this blog we’ve talked about cloud computing or cloud services – how it can help your business.  Check out this article by InformationWeek SMB that focuses on how one company is leveraging cloud computing to run its business better.


If you are looking for a money, check out this video which gives you some tips to better position yourself and your company for a loan.


Click here for a shortlist of online resources that can help your business… also check out this site from Alltop -- it has quite an extensive list of online magazines and blogs that focus on topics relevant to SMBs.


Do you want more business?  Check out our next free webinar with Anita Campbell, she’ll give tips on how you can market on a shoestring.  Click here (or go to http://bit.ly/pUmHUT) to register.


This month, our featured author is Jennifer Prosek, who will share tips on how to motivate your employees – turn them into entrepreneurs.  We’ll be giving away copies of her book all this month so read our blog, follow us on Twitter or fan us on Facebook for more information.


Have a great weekend!

Employee ‎07-06-2011 09:10 AM

It’s July and we’re excited to introduce another expert in the Verizon Authors Series: Jennifer Prosek who wrote Army of Entrepreneurs: Create an Engaged and Empowered Workforce for Exceptional Business Growth.


Jen is the founder and CEO of CJP Communications, where she leads many of the firm’s key accounts. Under her leadership, the firm has become a leading international public relations and financial communications consultancy with offices in New York, Connecticut and London.


The secret to CJP's success has been Prosek's ability to develop, motivate and deploy her employees to be more entrepreneurial within their own positions. This strategy is the premise of her first book which is based on CJP’s unique business model and is now available from AMACOM, a division of the American Management Association.

CJP and Prosek have won numerous honors. CJP was named an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing company, has been recognized as one of the "Top Places to Work in PR" by PR News, and was named "Small Agency of the Year" by The Holmes Report and one of the tri-state area’s 2011 “Great Entrepreneurial Places to Work” by New York Enterprise Report.

Prosek lectures frequently at business schools including Columbia, and entrepreneurial and business groups, such as the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute, Forté Foundation, The Royal Bank of Scotland Marketing Summit and British-American Business, Inc. 

She is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio and the Columbia Business School.

You can follow Jen on Twitter and Facebook.


To get insights from Jen all this month, be sure to check back as she will share a couple of guest blog posts.  Also, join us for a live (free) webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Centerwhich will feature Jen as a guest presenter on Wednesday, July 27 at 2 p.m. ET.  Lastly, join the live Twitter chat with Jen on Thursday, July 28th at 10 a.m. ET to directly ask her your questions.


The best part of the Verizon Authors Seriesis that we’ll be giving away Jen’s book Army of Entrepreneurs all this month.


To win your copy of Army of Entrepreneurs, be one of the first 10 people to send an email to vzsmallbiz@verizon.net telling us you’d like a signed copy of Jen’s book.  Of course, in the email, do share with us how you are motivating your employees to be more entrepreneurial. 


Should you have any questions for Jen, don’t hesitate to post it below, we’ll do our best to get Jen to answer as many questions as possible.




Employee ‎07-01-2011 08:26 AM

Happy July !  I read a few stories about there being a surge in borrowing from U.S. small businesses.  It’s a sign that the economy is growing.  Is your business growing?  If yes, which industry are you in?  Here’s another article about it too – borrowing up by 26%!


If you are looking to borrow check out this article first, get some ‘insider’ insights into what some banks don’t want you to know.


Here’s some good news for retailers: there’s going to be a little relief as the Federal Reserve has capped the fee banks charge to process debit card transactions.  Click hereto read more.   If you are a Verizon small business customers check out our discount programs – we work with Chase Paymentech to save you money and speed up credit card transaction times.  To learn more click here.


If your business is in the New York City area, you’ll have the opportunity to get free consultation from experts in a program launched by UBS and Clinton Foundation.  Click here for more information.   Don’t forget Verizon brings small business experts to you regularly.  Get a free “consultation” with small business experts in our author series.  If you need some business advice join our free live webinars and ask your questions or take it to Twitter when these experts host their live Twitter chat.  For more information, read this blog we’ll let you know when our experts will be available. :smileyhappy:


Have a Happy 4th!



About Verizon Business Markets
Get news from Verizon about Business Markets services and market trends that affect your bottom line. Here, you'll find tips and commentary from the Verizon Business Markets group and other experts to help keep your business growing.


Contact the editor: tumara.r.jordan@verizon.com

About the Authors

Sandy Lee

Social Media Lead: Verizon Business Markets

Photo of Sandy Lee

Sandy is a member of Verizon Business Markets marketing team where she leads social media marketing.

Tumara Jordan

Senior Manager: Verizon Business Markets

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Tumara is a contributor to the Business Markets Marketing team and she currently manages Social Media marketing campaigns.


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