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Women Biz WEBINAR - REVISED.jpg

Please join us on Wednesday, October 7th at 2:00 pm ET for a free, online webinar featuring Susan L. Taylor, founder and CEO of the National CARES Mentoring Movement and Editor Emerita of Essence magazine.

 

Ms. Taylor will explain how to craft a vision for one's life and how to cultivate a leadership style that is both energizing and inspiring. 

 

Drawing on her three decades of visionary leadership, Ms. Taylor also will help you to take stock of your purpose and talents, and she'll demonstrate how even the most challenging business and management issues can be tackled and solved with enthusiasm, patience, and a positive attitude.

 

To register for Ms. Taylor's live webinar, brought to you exclusively by Verizon, please click here or visit: http://verizon.com/webinar

 

Visit here for more background information on Ms. Taylor's fascinating career and talents.

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎05-22-2015 07:47 AM
pinkett_headshot  - 25.pngGuest post by Dr. Randal Pinkett (@RandalPinkett), featured Verizon Small Business Webinar Series guest, Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners, serial entrepreneur, international speaker, and bestselling author of Campus CEO: The Student Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Multimillion-Dollar Business and No-Money Down CEO: How to Start Your Dream Business with Little or No Cash.

Individuals or Teams

What names come to mind when you think about entrepreneurial success?  I have asked this question of audiences on several occasions and the following names are frequently cited: Cathy Hughes of Radio One and TV One, Steve Jobs of Apple, Oprah Winfrey of Harpo Studios, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Anita Roddick of the Body Shop, to name a few.  I’ve noticed that almost always the responses I receive are the names of individuals.  It seems the perception of entrepreneurial success is that individuals drive it.  However, my experience has shown me that teams, not individuals, drive entrepreneurial success.

For example, Cathy Hughes and Alfred Liggins have been the forces behind Radio One and TV One’s accomplishments.  Steve Jobs teamed with Steve Wozniak to launch Apple.  Oprah Winfrey and Jeff Jacobs worked together to create the global multimedia empire known as Harpo Studios.  Microsoft was built upon the joint efforts of Bill Gates and Paul Allen.  And Anita Roddick co-founded the eco-conscious Body Shop alongside her husband Gordon Roddick.  History has shown that although we often focus on the individual entrepreneur, more often than not, they are not the sole driving force behind their company’s success. There is almost always a team that is the story behind a company’s story of success.VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpg

To read more click here.
Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎03-02-2015 01:37 PM
VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgVerizon'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.

J Blaney.pngWHAT: Verizon 2015 Webinar Series: "Double Your Business's Qualified Leads in 2015!"

WHEN: Wednesday, March 11, 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 it starts to receive a required "e-vite." Register here or visit http://vz.to/1E28oDM.

For more information click here.

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎01-30-2015 03:08 PM
VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgIt’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.

Over the years, we have featured some great guests who have offered key insights on: 
•	Finding customers on Twitter. 
•	Taking your business to the next level.
•	Enhancing your leadership skills so you can grow your business.
•	Financing your business. 

Learn more about past webinars at www.verizon.com/webinar.


 

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgThe 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.

 

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgThe latest free webinar from Verizon’s small business team features entrepreneur, best-selling author and philanthropist Farrah Gray. 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.
Farrah Gray.pngThe 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. Please click here to watch the replay or visit http://vz.to/1qlzyQ4.

Go to this link for Gray's PR Audit: https://apps.facebook.com/my-polls/farrahgray. 

 

 

 

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgThe latest free webinar from Verizon's small business team took place Wednesday, April 2, featuring award-winning broadcast journalist Dan Rather. He shared leadership principles from the world's most powerful leaders and explained how small businesses can benefit from those principles.

 

Rather, former CBS News anchor and 60 Minutes correspondent, has covered major stories all over the world for more than 50 years -- from the Kennedy assassination, where he was the first to break the news that the president had been killed, to the Indian Ocean tsunami. For his unparalleled devotion to his craft, he was named the 2012 recipient of the Edward R. Murrow Award for Lifetime Achievement. 

 

D Rather.jpgRather's latest journalistic venture is the hard-edged news show "Dan Rather Reports," broadcast on AXS TV, on which he is both host and managing editor.

 

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.

 

If you missed hearing Dan live, watch the replay.  Click here to watch the replay or visit http://vz.to/1sESLLh.

 

Guest post by E.J. Dealy is CEO of The Company Corporation, which helps entrepreneurs and small business owners with incorporating and forming business entities. The Company Corporation does not provide legal, financial, or tax advice.

 

 

It began with an idea, built upon a dream to spread messages to an eager audience, or to offer consumers certain products and services. Passionate and dedicated supporters – family members, loved ones, and business partners – fueled your ambition. Maybe this idea grew from a childhood memory, or evolved under the tutorage of a mentor. No matter how this seed was planted, you have probably spent years developing a solid business plan. So, what’s your next move?

 

Incorporating the brand should be top of mind prior to launching a privately owned business. It is an important step, adding security and legitimacy, no matter the organization’s size. Forming an LLC, or Limited Liability Company, comes with multiple advantages:

 

1. Protecting Brand Name and Personal Assets – Of all the assets you can protect legally by forming an LLC, both physical and monetary, that of your brand name is a key item to own. In most instances, another entity cannot file the same name as an existing corporation in that state. This protects the LLC on two fronts: The first is reputation management, keeping your company rep from being diminished or compared to an unscrupulous organization with a similar title. The second benefit: Recognition. This not only solidifies your image with a product or service, but helps with marketing and future branding strategy.

 

While a name is key to such strategy, you are nothing with the allocation of assets. With an LLC formed, you gain the advantage of personal asset protection. In the event of a negative financial impact, i.e.: lawsuits, personal assets are separated from those of the business. Owners with limited liability won’t have to see their personal assets taken away to recoup a business loss. This is seen as the absolute top benefit to consider before incorporating.

 

2. Legitimizing the Business – Credibility is another key advantage to forming an LLC. It may seem like a minor detail, but legally adding “LLC or “Inc.” to a title affords the business instant legitimacy. By including this level of protection, both partners and consumers will know your service is protected under legal guidelines, scrutinized in a way so they feel it is safe to proceed with an engagement.

 

3. Tax Benefits – Owning your own company means dealing with multiple forms of taxing. Luckily, incorporating a small business adds the additional benefit of tax flexibility. One can opt to have the organization taxed as a corporation. Special statues, such as Subchapter S, help to navigate around issues like double taxation of corporate profits. Keep in mind that a small business’s profit, as well as any loss, is typically reported on through personal income tax.

 

4. Deduct ALL THE THINGS! – Ever see coffee shop owners driving luxury SUVs as rolling billboards? Or a tiny shop, in business for 3 days, handing out t-shirts and stocking products wall-to-wall? This is, in part, thanks to deductions. Incorporated businesses are allowed to deduct anything considered “normal business expenses,” which may include register printer tape or car wraps used for marketing. Best of all, salaries can also be deducted.

 

5. Immortality, to an extent – Whether you remain sole proprietor or decide to sell the business, LLCs exist after management has changed. Incorporating means a company’s heritage will move forward, keeping employees and clients pleased.

 

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgFor more tips and insights join my colleague, John Meyer, this Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET as he and David Crocker with Chase Paymentech are featured guests on the Verizon Webinar Series. Click here to register (free) or visit http://vz.to/1aSbawT.

 

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgThe next free webinar from Verizon’s small business team will be held Wednesday, Oct. 30,  featuring Terry Jones, founder and former CEO of Travelocity.com, chairman of Kayak.com and CIO of Sabre, Inc. Jones, has a proven track record of leading companies whose innovations have changed an industry. In this one-hour webinar, Jones will offer insights into how to develop relationships online to both network and grow your business. 

 

The Verizon small business free 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.

 

WHAT:  Verizon Webinar Series: “Developing Digital Relationships.”

 

WHEN:  Wednesday, Oct. 30, 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 onehour before the webinar’s start to receive an “e-vite.”  Please click here to register or visit https://www.brighttalk.com/r/Kvs.

 

TJones.jpgWHO: Terry Jones, founder and former CEO of Travelocity.com, chairman of Kayak.com and CIO of Sabre, Inc.

 

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎09-23-2013 01:56 PM

Erika Martin.jpgThe latest free webinar fromVerizon’s small business team on Wednesday (Sept. 25) will feature Erika Martin, an entrepreneur and independent consultant with CAbi LLC, a social selling company specializing in women’s clothing, and previous owner of Options LLC, a personal concierge company.  During this one hour webinar, Martin will share tips and insights for how to start a business.

 

Martin worked at MCI Telecommunications for 14 years in various corporate management positions before becoming an entrepreneur.

The free webinar series presented by Verizon’s small business team keeps small businesses informed to help them gain a competitive edge.  All webinars are available for on-demand replay.  To view previous webinars, visit: http://verizon.com/webinar.

 

WHAT:  Verizon Webinar Series: “Yes You Can; Simple Ways to Start Your Own Business.

 

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT/12 p.m. MT/11 a.m. PT.  VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpg

 

WHERE: Admission to this online webinar is free, but please register at least onehour before the start of the

              live webinar to receive an “e-vite.”  Please click here to register or visit http://vz.to/15O3I3Q.

 

WHO:    Erika Martin, business executive-start and entrepreneur.

 

If you have any questions for Erika about how to start up your business, please post them below. 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎08-01-2013 07:43 AM

photo.jpgGuest post by Kristie Arslan, president of the National Association for the Self-Employed.

 

Health coverage is one of the most costly yet important purchases made by business owners and their employees.  So costly in fact, that many go without health coverage leaving them vulnerable to a financial disaster should they be faced with an illness or medical emergency. 

 

According to the Employee Benefits Research Institute, of the 45 million uninsured, roughly half were self-employed or worked for small businesses. This will soon change for better or for worse when the health reform law, known as the Affordable Care Act, is fully implemented come January 2014.

 

Beginning on January 14, 2014, all Americans will be required to obtain health coverage or pay a penalty including the self-employed.  If you are the owner of a small business with fifty or more full-time equivalent employees, beginning in 2015 you will be required to offer affordable health insurance coverage to all employees and their dependents.  [Learn more about the employer mandate.]

 

These new mandates will compel millions of Americans to shop for health coverage.  As a business owner, it is critical you get informed about the law to understand how it will affect you, your business and your employees.  A keystone of the law is the requirement that new health marketplaces, known as Exchanges, be set up in every state to offer health coverage options business owners, individuals and families.  You will be able to research, compare and purchase health insurance via your state Exchange’s online portal.  Enrollment in these new Exchanges begins on October 1, 2013. 

 

To prepare for health reform, visit the following resources:

 

You can also check out a webinar (or visit http://vz.to/15qJvy1) on this very topic presented by Verizon Small Business, featuring my colleague, Katie Vlietstra, director of government affairs for the National Association for the Self-Employed.

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎04-17-2013 01:39 PM

Jean.jpgGuest post by Jean Chatzky, a nationally known personal finance expert, author and frequent guest on The View, Morning Joe and The Oprah Winfrey Show.  In the latest free webinar presented by Verizon Small Business, Ms. Chatzky shared tips for small business owners to find the right financial balance.

 

Small Business Owners are among the most optimistic people on the planet – I think you have to be to do what you do. But according to recent research, you aren’t feeling particularly great right now. In March, the National Federation of Small Business Index of Small Business Optimism turned downward. That’s not good for the overall US economy (you and others like you are responsible for half of private GDP and half of private sector hiring), but it’s not particularly good for your own business or your own life. Because in my experience when you’re not feeling optimistic, you’re not doing enough to take control of your own financial lives – and your own financial futures. 

Having some Money Rules can help. Rules not only save us from societal chaos; they make our lives easier. Rules provide us with a filter. A means of looking at most of the money decisions we’re asked to make and enabling us to simply say: Yes. Or, just as importantly, no. Here are the ones I like best, and can help you make financial decisions for your business and for yourself:

 

Money Rule #1: Personal Finance Is More Personal Than Finance

When it comes to your money, you have to make the decisions that are right you, for your family and for your business. It may mean deciding, with your spouse, that one of you will hold onto a corporate job without a lot of potential for advancement because it’s the cheapest way to hold onto benefits. Whatever personal choices you make, make them thoughtfully and with a plan to get you from here to there. That’s key, because along the way, I guarantee there will be stops and starts. There will be emergencies and surprises.  And there will be people (sometimes people who care about you) who think you’re doing it all wrong.  

 

Money Rule #14: Financial plans don’t fail people.  People fail to plan.

According to the American College, more than 1/3 of you have never even tried to estimate how much money you’re going to need when you retire. And even among those who have run the numbers, the vast majority – about 75% have no written plan for retirement. In other words, even when you know what you need, you don’t exactly know how you’re going to get there. Even if in your mind your business is your retirement safety net, you still need an actual retirement plan. As small business owners, there are many you can choose from, including SIMPLE IRAs, SEP IRAs, and Individual 401(k)s. If you’re not sure which is right for you, talk to a financial adviser.

 

Money Rule #73: Hope is not an investment strategy.  

The American College stats also revealed that that’s what too many small business owners seem to be doing -- just hoping. Instead of crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, you need to plan. And the first step in the process is to ask yourself some important questions. Chief among those questions is this one:  How long are you going to work? About 80 percent of Americans now tell us they are going to work – for pay – in retirement. Among this number are many small business owners. The average retirement age for small business owners is 73, about 5 years later than that for employees. Many of you may not believe you’ll retire at all.  You need savings nonetheless, because your the industry might change around you – or your health might go. 

 

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgFor more insights watch the free webinar (http://vz.to/10QuIdt) or for more Money Rules and tips on managing your small business, your retirement, and your financial life, check out my blog at jeanchatzky.com

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎03-27-2013 02:49 PM

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgCheck out this webinar with entrepreneur Robby Hill, president and CEO of HiLLSouth, an information technology consulting firm.

 

In this webinar, Robby discussed how cloud applications apply to your small business and he explains some of the complexities and amazing features that the technology offers.

 

Robby discussed the shift from just selling PCs to focusing on the many cloud computing products that are flooding the marketplace and understand what to look for to meet your needs.

 

To view this free webinar go to: http://vz.to/ZZ5NoI.

 

 

 

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎01-28-2013 08:27 PM

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgIn the first live free webinar of 2013 presented by Verizon’s small business team you’ll hear from Damien and Derek Hoffman, co-founders of Wall Street Cheat Sheet, a leading financial media company, providing top insights specifically for investors, business professionals, and entrepreneurs.  The company was named the #1 Social Media Influencer on Wall Street according to Forbes, a finalist for Forbes List of America’s Most Promising Companies in 2011, as well as a top financial outlet according to the Wall Street Journal.

 

In this one hour live webinar learn secrets to their success from the Hoffman brothers. Learn how WallStCheatSheet.com launched during a recession yet it grew and flourished. 

 

Join the free live webinar to ask your question. Follow @VZSmallBiz on Twitter (or www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz) for tips during this live webinar, or search in Twitter for #vzsmb.  The free webinar series presented by Verizon’s small business team keeps small businesses informed to help you gain a competitive edge. 

 

If you can’t join us live this Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET, all of our webinars are available for on-demand replay (just go to www.verizon.com/webinar). 

 

We hope you'll join us for this live free webinar this Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET, to register: http://vz.to/14lyNdp.

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgThis post is by Mark Adams, director of Verizon's small business marketing team.

 

If you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably not a stranger to the Verizon Small Business team’s commitment to providing tips and information to help business owners grow their business.  We hope that through the years we’ve provided you with relevant tips or a link somewhere along the way that’s helped you out, or provided you with useful content that you didn’t find elsewhere.

 

One of the many ways that we try to do this is by providing periodic webinars on topics that are of interest to business owners.  We know that we’re not the only company conducting these types of webinars or podcasts, but we do feel that we’re able to attract some of the country’s brightest business experts, and that our efforts provide you with an array of topics that are bound to offer you help, guidance—and in some cases—a fresh perspective on how you approach the daily challenges associated with running a business!

 

That’s also why we’re so excited about our next webinar taking place tomorrow, November 7th.  Our guest presenter will be Chris Dessi, CEO of Silverback Social. 

 

Chris is an award winning digital thinker, television & radio commentator, author, blogger, and public speaker. Throughout his career in New York and London Chris has worked with Fortune 500 businesses and start-ups alike. He’s is a regular social media expert contributor on Fox Evening News, Good Day New York, and FOX BUSINESS Varney & Co. His first book “Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It”, shot to #1 on Amazon.com’s hot release in its first two weeks of publication.

 

We took the liberty of abbreviating his title for our webinar, “How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change with It.”  So if you haven’t had a chance to purchase or download a copy of Chris’ book, this is your chance to join us for some fascinating tips and Chris’ take on the impact that social media is having on business.

 

Chris recently blogged, “social media is dead because everything is social media now...we’re surrounded by social media every day in every way. Either proactively engage in this phenomenon – or become obsolete. You’ve been warned.”

 

Maybe you still don’t have a website for your company.  Maybe you’re still avoiding Facebook like the plague.  Maybe you’re still studying the actual features of your smart phone and you haven’t had time to learn how to start texting or tweeting with it.  And, maybe you’re still stuck in the old way of marketing—telling people about your product in a weekly newspaper ad—hoping they’re your target audience and hoping that they’ll buy from you.  (You should also be hoping that the newspaper’s circulation does not decrease, so it will be around next month or next year for you).

 

To Chris, social media has changed everything.  Today’s successful brands, businesses and sales forces understand that social media enables them to find out how people engage around or connect with others regarding products and services.  How?  By listening to them.  By finding new or innovative ways to service them.  By using the input from social media channels to actually change products or services to make them better.

 

Whether you like it or not, you’re surrounded by the effects of social media.  Whether you choose to understand and harness its powers for your business or not, social media will impact your business’ growth and success.  And, with the busiest buying season of the year fast approaching, why wouldn’t you want to want your products and services to be listed in places where people actively search (by the 1 billion registered users on Facebook or 1.6 billion search queries every day on Twitter)?

 

We encourage you to register right now for tomorrow’s live webinar. Click here or go to http://vz.to/SV2VoRYou’ll learn from one of our country’s foremost and respected experts on social media and you’ll be able to start developing meaningful and actionable strategies that tap into this new way of marketing for your business, products and services.  We’d be happy to reserve you a seat!

 

By joining live you’ll get the chance to ask Chris your questions.  Of course if the time doesn’t work for you, our webinars will be available for on-demand replay.

 

 

WHAT:  Verizon Webinar Series: “How Social Media Is Changing Everything and How Your Need To Change With It.”

 

WHEN:  Wednesday, November 6 at 2 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. CT/12 p.m. MT/ 11 a.m. PT 

 

WHERE: Online: Admission is always free, but please register at least onehour before the start of the live webinar to receive an “evite.” Please click here to register or visit http://vz.to/SV2VoR.

 

WHO: Chris Dessi, CEO of Silverback Social.           

 

               

 

 

IMG_Melinda_headshot.jpgWe’re excited and honored to have the brilliant Melinda Emerson be part of theVerizon Webinar Series this coming Wednesday, October 10. Click here (or go to http://vz.to/PJOzoC) to register today for our live free webinar featuring Melinda on Oct. 10th as she shares tips on, “How to Become a Twitter Ninja.”

 

As the final installment of our celebration of National Women in Small Business Month, Melinda (@SmallBizLady) will walk us through some advanced techniques for using Twitter to grow your brand.

 

Recently, Forbes named Melinda the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts a weekly live Twitter chat at #Smallbizchat and is the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months.

 

Melinda (ME) agreed to answer some mostly Twitter-related questions in advance of her presentation next week.

 

1.   What are your thoughts on organic growth versus paid follows?

 

ME: Organic growth is authentic growth. If you pay for followers or fans your will never be able to monetize your online influence. Take the time to build a real following; that’s the only way to build a lasting brand.

 

2.   What can someone expect as a reasonable time commitment to do it right, that is to employ all the tips and tricks effectively while building a presence and a following?

ME: It took me 18 months of steady work sharing valuable content online before I was noticed and taken seriously as a small business authority. Many of the other big names in social media have shared similar time frames. Social media marketing is a long-tail strategy. It is not going to start raining money in your business the minute you start using Twitter.

 

3.   What are your thoughts on scheduling tweets – usually sales offers or upcoming deadlines/events – to repeat at intervals?

ME: I am a firm believer in scheduling tweets. I even wrote a recent blog post about it in my New York Times column, “How Many Times Can You Tweet the Same Tweet?”

 

You can build a social media empire by using twitter one hour each day. The trick is checking in on your account several times a day to respond to people and build personal relationships. Engagement is the key to really leveraging Twitter. People love to be acknowledged.

 

4.   What are your top three favorite tweet management tools?

ME: In terms of managing my social media marketing, I love Hootsuite and Sprout Social, and I use TweetGrid to manage my live tweetchat #Smallbizchat each week.

 

5. Where did the idea for #Smallbizchat come from? How long have you been doing it? What topic has gotten you your highest attendance?

 

ME: When I first started using Twitter I noticed @PRSarahEvans was doing #journchat for PR professionals and journalist to share ideas. I thought the idea could work well for small business owners. There were a few other chats that targeted small business owners, but they were not run very well. My background is a TV producer so creating a structured conversation that would help small businesses with their biggest challenges was pretty easy.

 

I treat #Smallbizchat like a TV show that I do live on Twitter each Wednesday from 8-9pm ET. I book a guest expert and interview them live, and the audience jumps in with follow-up questions. It is basically a peer to peer mentoring program. I also publish the full Q&A session every Thursday morning on my blog, so that anyone who missed can still get the information. I’ve been doing #Smallbizchat for three and a half years. The biggest guests that I’ve hosted were Guy Kawasaki, Michael Gerber, and Alexis Maybank, co-founder of the Gilt Groupe.

 

6.   What’s the funniest, most interesting, or rewarding experience you’ve had when engaging your Twitter followers?

ME: One of the funniest experiences I ever had on Twitter happened when I saw some people talking about the top rappers of all time. I am a huge hip-hop and old school rap music enthusiast, so I decided to chime in on the conversation with my picks. It really caught people off guard. About a dozen people started tweeting, “Wait a minute @SmallBizLady likes hip-hop??” Apparently my followers were surprised to learn this and had a good time joking with me about it. I told them they might not want to challenge me in karaoke hip-hop battle either.

 

I regularly have rewarding experiences on Twitter from fans who read my blog or have read my book, telling me how much my writing has helped them. Some even accused me of reading their minds as I select blog topics. Twitter is such a wonderful community to be a part of online.

 

Want even more insights from Melinda?  Click here (or go to http://vz.to/PJOzoC) to register today for our live free webinar featuring Melinda on Oct. 10th as she shares tips on, “How to Become a Twitter Ninja.” Visit IMG_Melinda_with_book.jpghttp://succeedasyourownboss.com/ to learn more about Melinda and about how to start your own business.

 

Feel free to post any questions about Twitter that you may have for Melinda.  Is your business on Twitter?  If yes, send us a shout out (@VZSmallBiz)!  If you’re not using Twitter to engage with your customers, why not?

 

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgThis post is from Mark Adams, director of marketing for Verizon's small business team.

 

 

October is nearly upon us, and we look forward to celebrating this month as “National Women in Small Business” month.   Rudyard Kipling once said, “A woman's guess is much more accurate than a man's certainty.”  When I think back about all the dinner table discussions between my parents, Kipling’s quote seems accurate.  I recall that my mother won the vast majority of their debates—at least the ones that could be quantified.

 

The contributions of women are enormous and in this modern era, we are able to quantify more clearly the enormity of the impact of women in business.  Since World War II, as men left for the frontlines of Europe and the Pacific, women left their doorsteps in droves and headed to America’s factories.  There, they became the unsung heroes of the war machine, churning out everything that America needed in defense of freedom and democracy.

 

After the war, many of them never went “home” again.  Fueled by their newfound freedom, they helped to evolve America’s postwar economy into the envy of the world.  Many of them also finished high school for the first time, and many became college graduates—so many in fact that in just a couple of generations, more women are now attending and graduating from American universities than men.

 

It’s been a long and tough haul, but American women have even broken through the glass ceiling.  Women are now the presidents of some of our most prestigious universities.   They’re our doctors and nurses.  They’re the CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies.  They’re some of our most promising politicians. 

 

They’re role models, they’re troop leaders, they’re teachers, and they’re caregivers.  And, many are somebody’s moms!

 

Women are also Small Business owners.  In fact, according to U.S. Census data, women-owned small businesses have become the fastest growing segment within the small business community.  And, we all know how important the small business community is to our American economy.

 

That’s why my team, the Verizon Small Business team, thought it was important to showcase women in small business as we approach October.  We want to celebrate the successes and contributions of women-owned businesses with the larger small business community. And, we want to share their stories.

 

We hope you’ll join us later, Wednesday, September 26th to hear all three of their stories LIVE. 

 

Joining us for a panel discussion will be Linda Hollander, Debbie Sardone and Elizabeth Heins.  Each is a small business owner and entrepreneur.  Each paved her own path to success.  And each has her own story to tell, tips and insights to share with other small business owners. 

 

Register now at www.Verizon.com/webinar and join us live and ask your questions.  Then visit our Facebook page and share your story with us too.

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎09-11-2012 10:36 AM

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgThis post is by  Mark Adams, director of Verizon's small business marketing team.

 

 

Do you remember when you made that big decision to finally start your own business?  The excitement?  The venture into the great unknown?  But, above all else, it was that feeling that you just had to try it!

 

It all began with a dream, right?  I mean, no one starts a business without the power of a dream.  And once you get going, it's so much work, you have to know that underneath all the tough times, uncertainty and challenges, that the dream still lives inside of you.  But sometimes it just gets lost...

 

"Big Dreams for Small Business" is the theme behind tomorrow’s (Wednesday, September 12th) live, free webinar.  Our guest presenter, Deborah Franco, co-founder of Destiny Entertainment will discuss how important it is for small business owners to reconnect with their dreams. 

 

During the webinar Deborah will help you to discover ways to build the dream daily.  And, she will give you some tips on how you can turn your daily involvement into something even bigger.  This webinar will be full of tips on how to stay inspired, and become fearless in making your dream come true.

 

Deb.pngDeborah will share how she keeps her dream alive, but it takes constant nurturing.  She likes to get her inspiration from others who’ve dreamt before her, and from present day entrepreneurs.  

 

One of my favorite inspirational quotes is Ralph Waldo Emerson.  He said, “Don’t be pushed by your problems.  Be led by your dreams.”  How true is that?  If you can keep that in mind, and a basis for your actions, you can’t help but be more successful!

 

And what would a salute to women in small business be if I didn’t include something inspirational from a very strong female role model?  Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”  I think she was on to something big with that idea.  The most successful entrepreneurs that we always read about tend to have one thing in common:  they had a big idea or dream, and they believed in it enough to take a chance and make it happen!

 

You’re in business because you had a dream.  I hope tomorrow’s webinar will get you back in touch with that dream!

 

Joining our free live webinar (Sept. 12 at 2 p.m. ET) gives you the opportunity to ask our guest presenter your question(s); click here or go to http://vz.to/Q7LJwt to register.

 

Until next time, won’t you share what keeps you inspired every day?

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎08-15-2012 10:28 AM

www.jpgThis post is by Mark Adams, director of  Verizon's small business marketing team.

 

We want to extend our sincere thanks to Gary Kaber, product specialist at Intuit, for leading an information-packed webinar, Get the Internet Presence Your Business Needs.” Gary’s valuable insights are too numerous to include here, so please check out the webinar recording to learn from this online master who knows how to get traffic to your website.

 

Gary shared that 92% of Internet users research products or services online. Also, 82% of users search specifically for local businesses. If you’re a small business owner, you need a website. It truly is the 21st century business card.

 

According to Gary, best practices for managing your site include:

  1. Keeping content fresh and relevant
  2. Displaying contact information on each page
  3. Securing an intuitive, descriptive domain name
  4. Updating the site content roughly twice per month
  5. Keeping the site simple for ease of use

 

Verizon Websites powered by Intuit offers a variety of customizable templates, click-and-drag functionality for quick and easy set up, and an extensive library of free images to add color and flavor to your site.  What’s best about a do-it-yourself website is that you are in control – able to change and update your website when it needs to be done… for instance update daily or weekly specials or seasonal ones.

 

Whether you have a website or not, Gary explains in detail the importance of getting your business listed as well as numerous tactics for improving your ranking in search results for sites like Google Maps, the online Yellow Pages, Bing, and Yahoo! Local.

 

Intuit Weblistings is a monthly service available to any business for getting listed on more than 120 major search engines. Simply fill out a form with your company’s information, a photo (is best!), contact details, and relevant keywords – updating the form as often as you like – and Intuit Weblistings will update these popular search engines once per month.

 

Now through November 3, you can sign up for the Gold or Platinum website plans from Verizon at 50% off! Take a look at the many solutions Verizon has for your business at www.Verizon.com/HighSpeedforBiz or call 1-888-743-0166 to get started today.

 

If you found this post helpful, check out this guest post on how to capture sales with local online marketing.  While the book promotion is over, the tips are still invaluable (go to http://bit.ly/PZm05l)!

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎08-07-2012 07:18 AM

T4220-Terminal.jpgGuest post by Chase Paymentech, providing thousands of Verizon customers’ best-in-class debit and credit card processing through Verizon Merchant Services. Get the insight you need into how payment processing really works and how to use it to your advantage with our series: The Skinny Behind the Swipe.

 

Now that you know the types of equipment required to process payments, and exactly what you need to process payments, you are ready to find out more.

 

What exactly will accepting more than cash and check cost you? You already know that accepting debit and credit is much more convenient for your customers, but is it worth it? The answer is yes.  In 2011, roughly 60% of the total share of retail point-of-sale dollarvolume was purchased with a credit or debit card* and that percentage is steadily rising.  So you know you need to accept credit and debit cards, but, how do you know if you’re paying too much to accept them?  Below you’ll find some basics of what makes up payment processing pricing.

 

Total Cost Of Acceptance

What you’re really paying – your total cost of acceptance – is a combination of the rates you are charged to accept credit cards and access the various payment networks, which are regulated by the payment brands (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, JCB) and the fees you pay your credit card processor. Here’s a high-level breakdown:

 

Interchange rate:  Interchange rates make up by far the largest portion of your total cost of acceptance. The rate, which is based on many factors, including the type of card used, whether the card is present or not present at the time of the transaction, and the merchant’s overall type of business, covers the cost incurred by issuing banks for offering lines of credit and fraud mitigation. You will pay interchange rates regardless of which payment processor you choose.

 

Assessment fees: In addition to interchange rates, the individual payment brands, such as Visa and MasterCard, may charge separate assessment fees which cover the operating costs of managing their payment network. These are also mandated by the individual payment brands and not your payment processor.

 

The Processor fees: These are the fees you pay to your particular processor for accepting and processing credit and debit cards. Each processor is different and many factors go into calculating their fees: number of locations, equipment, connectivity, third-party gateways, reporting needs, etc.  Processor fees may also include any monthly minimums, annual, start up fees and more. 

 

The total cost of accepting cards includes all of your monthly fees and how they apply to the number of transactions and types of transactions your business processes. This is the amount that you really need to know.

 

 

A Payment Processor With Nothing To Hide

It is critical to work with a company that you know will disclose all fees and patiently explain the fee structure so you know what to expect. A properly trained merchant services professional will calculate your anticipated effective rate and help you understand everything.  It is most important to know your overall cost of acceptance and not be drawn in by seemingly low teaser rates that may not pertain to the types of payments that your customers will be using. So, arm yourself with this knowledge when a payment processor throws a really low rate out there. Don’t bite until you have a clear understanding of all the details.

 

But How Do I Know If I’m Really Getting A Good Deal?

Ask your payment processor to do a comparison! If you already accept payments, ask your prospective processor to compare statements. They should be able to show you what you’re paying with your current processor and what the difference could be with them.

 

Get the skinny behind how much accepting debit and credit will cost your business. Give your Verizon Merchant Services representative a call 800.600.8351 today for more information or click here.

 

To get insights on how new research, technologies and regulations in debit and credit card payment processing can help grow any small business in this sluggish economy, watch this free webinar, presented by Verizon

 

 

*2012‐2017: RETAIL POINT OF SALE FORECAST by Javelin Strategy and Research

This post is by Mark Adams, director of Verizon's small business marketing team.

 

Our friends from Chase Paymentech stopped by recently and conducted a webinar for our community of small business owners:  5 Ways to Grow Your Business, 1 Payment at a Time. 

 

During this webcast, Miriam Blasé and Andy Goh provided several tips in five key areas of payment processing.  Their presentation included helpful graphics depicting “how” the credit and debit card transactional process works, descriptions of the key players, and steps on how to make your POS (point of sale) or eCommerce transactions more safe and PCI compliant.

 

The five areas they covered are: 

  • understanding the payment mix--and industry trends
  • the most common price drivers for payment transactions
  • the best practices to lower your transaction fees and charges
  • ways to strengthen your security and protect your business from data breeches
  • methods and tools to help your business attract new customers 

 

cut costs.jpgIn each of these areas, Chase Paymentech discusses what you need to know with graphics and charts that are easy to understand.  They take the mystery out of payment processing!  After viewing the webinar you’ll walk away with a much clearer idea of how the payment processing industry works—as well as learning ways to safeguard your business’ data and customer information.  You’ll even learn how to reduce many of your processing fees --and strategies to actually make more money.

 

Also included in Chase Paymentech’s presentation is a look at 2013 and beyond—the emerging tools and technologies in this age of expanding purchase mobility.   If your customers or your company is on the move, you’ll want to watch this webinar to make certain your business is poised for growth.  To watch this free webinar click here or go to http://bit.ly/LybD7x.

 

As an added value to Verizon’s webinar guests and on-demand viewers, Chase Paymentech is offering small business owners a special upgrade offer to their newest, state-of-the-art processing terminal.   Call  800-600-8351 to take advantage of this offer, be sure to tell them that the Verizon Small Business team sent you there!  To receive a free cost comparison of your existing service compared to Verizon Merchant Services click here or go to http://bit.ly/JRgejd.

 

What other webinars of ours have you watched?  We have over 50 lead by leading small business experts to watch more click here or go to http://bit.ly/sfYIJq.

 

T4220-Terminal.jpgWe will have a new live free webinar presented by Verizon tomorrow and our guests will share new research, technologies and regulations in debit and credit card payment processing to grow any small business in this sluggish economy. 

 

Miriam Blasé, director of partnerships, and Andy Goh, lead, information risk and compliance, both from Chase Paymentech will demystify the technology and regulations around understanding credit and debit card payments.

 

Follow @VZSmallBiz on Twitter (or www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz) for tips and insights during this live webinar, or search in Twitter for #vzsmb.  The free webinar series presented by Verizon’s small business team keeps small businesses informed to help them gain a competitive edge. 

 

WHAT:                        Verizon Webinar Series: “5 Ways to Grow your Business…1 Payment At a Time.”

 

WHEN:                       Wednesday, July 25, at 2 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. CT/

                                    12 p.m. MT/ 11 a.m. PT 

 

WHERE:                    Online, please register at least one hour before the start of the live free webinar to receive an “evite” and call-in information. Please click here to register or visit http://bit.ly/LybD7x.

 

 

WHO:                          Miriam Blasé, director of partnerships, and Andy Goh, lead, information risk and compliance, both at Chase Paymentech.                 

                                                            

As always, when you join us live you get to ask our guest speaker(s) questions that directly affects your business and get their insights to help you take your business to the next level.

 

If you can’t join us live tomorrow, catch the replay (or go to http://bit.ly/LybD7x) which will be available a few minutes after 3 p.m. ET. 

 

For more informtion about the credit and debit card solutions offered by Verizon called  Verizon Merchant Services call 800.600.8351 or click here.

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎07-20-2012 12:23 PM

Guy Kawasaki.png

This post is by Mark Adams, director of Verizon's small business marketing team.

 

Verizon’s Small Business team hosted Guy Kawasaki who shared with the audience many lessons learned while working with Steve Jobs.  Being the author of more than ten business-related books himself, Guy is such an accomplished individual that we could have spent an hour listening to him talk about his entrepreneurial spirit and accomplishments.  But this time around, Guy chose to share his real-life experiences and insights working alongside an individual whom many would regard as the most successful businessman of all time—Mr. Steve Jobs!

 

As a result of his tenure at Apple, Guy has formulated 12 lessons he attributes to working alongside Steve Jobs.  Here are three of his lessons:

 

#1:  A players hire A+ players.  Find out why Steve Jobs insists this is a “must”!

 

#2:  Changing your mind is a real sign of intelligence.  Guy learned from Steve that it’s okay to change your mind, tune in to the webinar to find out some real life examples of how Steve changed his mind—and how Apple benefited from his change of heart!

 

#3:  Experts are clueless.  That’s one lesson you’ll want to know more about… and let us know if you agree. 

 

Of course, we could share all 12 points with you here, but you really need to treat yourself to Guy’s webinar.  As he provides each lesson learned—he backs each up with real examples, anecdotal information about Steve Jobs, Apple’s culture, and himself. 

 

Guy Kawasaki is always entertaining, always refreshing and always insightful.  Plus, he’s a great friend to America’s small business community.  Click here (or go to http://bit.ly/O3vgID) and give Guy a listen.   If want more insights from Guy click here (http://bit.ly/vxIh4i) as he shares tips to be enchanting (to grow your business).

 

The Verizon Small business team strives to support America’s small business owners with a wide variety of tools aimed at helping you to grow your business by offering you the best Internet and Phone service available.  With our Worry Free Guarantee, we make it easy to switch.   And with our No Term Contract, we give you the flexibility you need to grow and expand your business.  Then, we add value in ways that cable can’t—or won’t.  Check us out at www.Verizon.com/highspeedforbiz or give us a call at 1-888-743-0166.

 

Let us know how you like our webinars.

 

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎07-18-2012 11:45 AM

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgIt’s almost time for a new live free webinar presented by Verizon and I can’t wait to hear from our guest, Guy Kawasaki as he shares lessons he learned from Steve Jobs.  For those not in the know Guy was one of the creative geniuses behind Steve Jobs.  Guy is an author, co-founder of Alltop and managing director of Garage Technology Ventures.

 

This webinar will be part motivational, part inspirational, and 100% meant to get small businesses to think outside of the box--and outside of how you normally think about your small business challenges.

 

Follow @VZSmallBiz on Twitter (or www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz) for tips and insights during this live webinar, or search in Twitter for #vzsmb.  The free webinar series presented by Verizon’s small business team keeps small businesses informed to help them gain a competitive edge. 

 

 

WHAT:                     Verizon Small Business Webinar: “Lessons Learned From Steve Jobs

 

WHEN:                     Thursday, July 19, at 2 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. CT/12 p.m. MT/ 11 a.m. PT 

 

WHERE:                   Online - Please register at least one hour before the start of the live free webinar to                                  receive an “evite.” Click here to register or visit http://bit.ly/Q60nXF.

 

WHO:                       Guy Kawasaki co-founder of Alltop and managing director of Garage Technology Ventures.

                                                            

 

As always, when you join us live you get to ask our guest speaker questions that directly affects your business and get their insights to help you solve your issue.

 

If you can’t join us live catch the replay (or go to http://bit.ly/Q60nXF) which will be available a few minutes after 3 p.m. ET. 

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎06-27-2012 01:01 PM

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgCheck out this free webinar presented by Verizon and learn more about the art of bartering.  While this webinar will provide insights to help any small business owner, I bet it’ll be useful for a shopaholic like me. Smiley Happy  I wouldn’t mind giving some strategic PR advice for some new shoes… is that possible?  Or write something for a business owner to get something new and sparkly… imagine all the money I can save!   

 

I digress, this is about you: small business owners!  Our webinar features Debbie Sardone, small business owner, speaker and author of “Barternomics.”

 

In this one-hour live webinar discussion get tips, insights and learn the skills of bartering to get the things you need for your business – without paying a dime!  A tried-and-true barter advocate, Debbie is known as a ‘barter-preneur’ because of her ability to barter for the goods and services she needs for her business and life.

 

Follow @VZSmallBiz on Twitter (or www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz) for tips and insights during this live webinar, or search in Twitter for #vzsmb.  The free webinar series presented by Verizon’s small business team keeps small businesses informed to help them gain a competitive edge. 

 

WHAT:                      Verizon Small Business Webinar: “The Art of Bartering: Use Your Resources, Not Your Cash!

 

WHEN:                     Whenever you are free; available on-demand 

 

WHERE:                   Online; please click here to register or visit http://bit.ly/LnCsuA.

 

WHO:                       Debbie Sardone, small business owner, speaker and author of “Barternomics.”

                                   

So go on and list the items your business needs and feel free to share them with us below or better yet, sign up on our free platform called WeCommerce (http://on.fb.me/OobfOu) that gives you the ability find many opportunities.

 

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎06-14-2012 11:03 AM

This post is by Verizon’s small business team working hard every day to bring small businesses relevant, useful and helpful information which we hope will help you run your business better.  We know you are busy and we are here to help with many of our free resources.

 

 

add to cart.jpgYou’ve got a great product or service and you’ve got a website, so of course the next logical thing to do would be to sell it online. Unfortunately, the world of ecommerce can be a tricky one. That’s why we’ve organized a couple of “Dos” and “Don’ts” to help you navigate the business of selling on the Internet.

 

 

Do

 

Take Some Time to Sort Out the User Experience

User experience is perhaps the most important characteristic about a website. Is it easy to find what you’re looking for? Is it easy to navigate around the site? Will your shopping cart be lost if you click the wrong button? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, find a friend or two – who will give you honest feedback – and ask them to go through the process of purchasing something on your site.

 

Don’t guide them through the process. Just tell them to get to the point where they enter their payment information and then report back to you. You’ll be sure to get a lot of useful feedback from the experience. Be sure to try it with different people, especially with people who aren’t the most tech savvy. That’ll be the true test that your website is user friendly; and it needs to be for you to easily sell your products or services online.

 

 

Make Purchasing Easy and Safe

You need to provide a safe online experience to your online visitors, because the Internet can be a dangerous place.  You’ve heard about identity theft and this can be a huge barrier for some online shoppers—especially when dealing with unknown merchants.  One way that you can make your customers feel like your website is a safe place is by offering an easy payment service option.  One example is PayPal with an account an individual doesn’t need to provide you with their credit card information directly or worry about how many sites or merchants have their detailed credit information.  They just shop--then log into their PayPal account—and the purchase is made, with a few clicks. 

 

 

Don’t

 

Leave Your Customers in the Dark

A prospective customer has found your site amongst thousands of others. They’ve searched through it and found a product or service that they might want to buy from you. This is not the time to leave them with questions. Be sure to include all of the product specifications you can think of, and include in your descriptions: size, weight, color, durability, what it does, what it doesn’t do, etc. You really can’t include enough product information and photographs of the product. All these helpful information will give your shopper a real view of what they will get and making them comfortable to click “purchase!”  And consider including a phone number to answer questions or provide help with their shopping experience if your website doesn’t offer the online chat capability.

 

One of the most annoying things a customer can experience is buying something online only to find out it’s nothing like you thought it would be (e.g. too big, too small, wrong color). You are much better off not selling it than having someone buy it and tell all their friends about the bad experience…how misleading your website is and how disappointing the product was.  Even if you have a return policy, the customer will usually have to pay for returning the merchandise.  So provide them with accurate information upfront to ensure a pleasant online experience.

 

 

Use Existing eCommerce Sites

For quite a while, if you had goods that you wanted to sell on the Internet, the best way to sell them was to piggyback on existing ecommerce websites like eBay. Now that small business sites can be easily found on search engines, it is much easier for smaller, local businesses to be found by prospective customers.  There are even social shopping sites like ShopSocially and Kaboodle that are designed to help people share good buys with their friends.

 

That’s why you need to be involved in social networks like Facebook, possibly Google+ and Twitter – to make sure there’s a positive conversation going on about your company. (If you need help with how to build your business on these platforms check out our library of on-demand webinars available for free!  Click here or go to http://bit.ly/MDfJuB.)

 

While you’re on Facebook, be sure to check out WeCommerce on the Verizon Small Business Facebook page. It’s a business-to-business free online community we created to allow small business owners to work together three ways:  buying, selling and partnering.  No matter what your need, this free online community will allow you to connect with businesses in your area and around the country to find the deals, opportunities and partnerships that work for you and your business.

 

We hope these were good pointers about selling your products and/or services online.  And if you are one of the 40% of small business who still don’t have a website, please get one!  In our fast paced world, your business is not competitive if it does not have an online presence.  There are many software that allows you to create your own website and we here at Verizon we offer such a service too… starting at $4.99 per month.   We do recommend that you take some time and do your homework to find the best option to get a website up for your business.  No matter what you decide… do-it-yourself or hire someone to do it for you, your business’ website needs to be designed with your customers in mind.  If you build it right—they will come!

 

Please share your tips with our community.

VZ Webinar Series ICON.jpgThe Verizon Small Business Center will present another free webinar tomorrow (June 13), featuring Dylan Tweney, executive editor of VentureBeat, to offer tips on how small business owners can use LinkedIn to not just make connections, but to grow their business.

 

Why find opportunities on LinkedIn you ask? From 2010 to 2011, LinkedIn grew at a rate of 115% higher than Facebook and Google. And, last December LinkedIn was the 36th most visited website on the planet. 

 

During this live free webinar, Dylan will offer some new ways and strategies for you to harness the power of LinkedIn and promote your business.  It is much more than a networking site!  Please click here to register or visit http://bit.ly/KZWTBK.

 

Follow @VZSmallBiz on Twitter (or www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz) for tips and insights during this live webinar, or search in Twitter for #vzsmb.  The free webinar series presented by the Verizon Small Business Center keeps small businesses informed to help them gain a competitive edge. 

 

It’s always best to join the live webinar as we’ll take your questions, but we know you are busy so if you can’t join us tomorrow at 2 p.m. ET, the replay of the webinar will be available shortly after we wrap-up.

 

 

WHAT:                        Verizon Small Business Webinar: “Unlocking the Power of LinkedIn for Small Business”

 

WHEN:                       Wednesday, June 13, at 2 p.m. ET/ 1 p.m. CT/

                                    12 p.m. MT/ 11 a.m. PT 

 

WHERE:                    Verizon Small Business Center 

Please register at least one hour before the start of the live free webinar to receive an “evite” and call-in information. Please click here to register or visit http://bit.ly/KZWTBK.

 

WHO:                          Dylan Tweney, Executive Editor of VentureBeat                 

                   

           

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎05-25-2012 12:10 PM

Twitter bird.pngThis post is from the Verizon Small Business team.

 

The Verizon Small Business team is pleased to sponsor Melinda Emerson or @SmallBizLady’s live Twitter chat this evening, Wednesday, May 23 at 8 p.m. ET.  In observance of National Small Business Week we’ll give away free copies of books by some of America’s greatest small business minds - many have been guests speakers at the Verizon Small Business Center's free webinar series.  All you have to do is to be one of the first 200 to participate in the chat!

 

@SmallBizLady will chat with @SalesLounge or Jennifer Abernethy, author, guest speaker, and small business mentor.  Jennifer authored The Complete **bleep**'s Guide to Social Media Marketing.  Jenn grew her small business by using Facebook for business beginning in January, 2007, and is now a global brand.

 

During this live Twitter chat @SalesLounge will share tips on the power and potential of Pinterest for small businesses. Learn:

 

  • Why is Pinterest so popular?
  • What types of businesses are using it?
  • How can small business best use Pinterest?
  • How you can develop a strategy for Pinterest
  • How you can find and engage customers and potential customers

 

To join this Twitter chat which gives you the opportunity to ask this expert your question(s) just search for #smallbizchat (go to www.twitter.com/search).  Or go to www.tweetchat.com and  enter hashtag #smallbizchat. You can direct your question directly to @SalesLounge and/or @SmallBizLady, but definitely be sure to include #smallbizchat in your Tweet so it will be picked up.  For more help with joining a Twitter chat go to http://bit.ly/K902xc and be one of the first to participate to get that free book from us.

 

Verizon takes pride in supporting small businesses across the country.  We provide the broadband, voice services and support that small business owners like you need to grow your business (http://bit.ly/KamkzX).

 

We also offer information and support to America’s 27 million small businesses via a multitude of social media and online options—including access to industry experts via our free webinar series presented by the Verizon Small Business Center (be sure to join at 2 p.m. ET click here for more information or go http://bit.ly/MDpX3g).

 

Most recently, we launched WeCommerce (http://on.fb.me/JNDUvH) a site where all small business owners can create FREE business profiles, browse other profiles for the goods and services their small businesses need, and create networking opportunities with other SMB owners. What’s the connection, you ask? We know that our business doesn’t grow if our small business customers don’t succeed and grow. Our success depends on the success of America’s Small Business owners, like you!

 

We hope to “see” you later this evening on Twitter and feel free to contact us anytime on Twitter (www.twitter.com/vzsmallbiz), Facebook (www.facebook.com/verizonsmallbiz) or via email (vzsmallbiz@verizon.net); we love to hear from you.

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎08-28-2012 08:08 AM

firestorm.jpgGuest post from Jim Satterfield, President, Chief Operating Officer and Founder of Firestorm, a national leader in crisis management, vulnerability analysis/threat assessment, and business continuity. Firestorm’s Predict; Plan; and Perform process leverages next-generation consulting services, tools and software creating resilient organizations.

 

Most businesses think they can survive a disruption or crisis, until one occurs. The time to test preparedness and resiliency is before something happens. The Red Cross identifies over 70,000 US disasters annually in the U.S. FEMA and the US Department of Labor have identified that 40% of businesses struck by disaster never reopen, and 25% of those that do reopen fail within two years. 

 

Almost all disasters and crises are preceded by warning signals. Acknowledging these signals and developing a framework for a business continuity program and developing plans to manage the events and the steps to follow should something happens, dramatically improves the outcome.  Proper disaster planning requires that an organization Predict the vulnerability, Plan the response, and Perform when the event occurs. 

 

This free webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center is available for on-demand replay and my colleague and I will offer tips to help prepare your business in the event of a sudden disruption.

 

We’ll give you steps to help you create a plan to respond to any incident or event that threatens to disrupt the day-to-day operations of your company, threatens the safety of employees, or impacts the reputation of the company, requires the coordination of efforts across multiple disciplines, including:

 

  • Emergency Response
  • Incident Management
  • Crisis Management
  • Business Recovery

 

Here at Firestorm, we empowers people to manage risk and crises. Watch the free webinar presented by the Verizon Small Business Center any time by clicking here or go to http://bit.ly/MDpX3g.  

 

So, is your business prepared for a disaster?

 

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus ‎05-22-2012 01:09 PM

During National Small Business Week, I remind you – small-business owners – of Verizon’s  many free resources, which can give you an edge over your competition.

 

 

smallbizweek FINAL.png

 

 

Tomorrow, Wednesday (May 23) at 2 p.m. ET, the Verizon Small Business Center (http://business.verizon.net/) will present another free webinar, offering tips to protect your business in the event of a disaster. The webinar will feature two executives from Firestorm, a leader in business continuity planning vulnerability analysis, risk mitigation and crisis management: Jim Satterfield, co-founder, and Oz Hill, principal.  No worries if you can’t catch the live webinar, all of our webinars are available for on-demand replay(to see the full list go to http://bit.ly/vinvUO).

 

In addition, the Verizon Small Business team has sponsored Melinda Emerson’s weekly live Twitter chat (@SmallBizLady) held tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. ET  All participants will receive a free book from Verizon, so join the chat -- #smallbizchat. Emerson will chat with Jennifer Abernethy (@SalesLounge), who will share tips for using Pinterest to promote small businesses.

 

For those new to the Verizon Small Biz Blog (www.verizon.com/smallbusinessblog) do subscribe to get tips and insights from leading experts.  And if you haven’t created a profile yet, please do at WeCommerce (http://on.fb.me/JNDUvH), a free community for small business owners to network, find partners, new opportunities, and more.

 

If you are on Twitter please follow @VZSmallBiz (or www.twitter.com/VZSmallBiz) for news and insights (and if you are not on Twitter, you should consider getting your business here to engage with your existing and potential customers.  We have a webinar on how to search in  Twitter for new business!)  Same with Facebook, please “fan” Verizon Small Biz (www.facebook.com/VerizonSmallBiz) then upload a photo of your company to get the chance for us to promote your business on Verizon’s various platforms.

 

It’s your week, how will you celebrate your business?  What change will you make to give your business an edge?  What other topics would you be interested in a future webinar?  How can we help your business?

 

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

Tumara Jordan

Senior Manager: Verizon Business Markets

Photo of Tumara Jordan

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


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