Saturday, February 26, 2011

Fox Business: In a New Economy, Small Businesses Must Adapt

Feb 25, 2011 3:22 PM EST
Profit is not a dirty word and any small business owner will attest that they don't have the luxury of speculation and haphazard risk taking with their funds. Free enterprise requires small businesses to adapt to new models and technologies or risk falling behind and maybe even eventually failing. And that's the way it should be.

Rewind a couple decades and you will find that entrepreneurs seeking more exposure relied on word of mouth and traditional print advertising. Flash forward to the 21st century and you find entrepreneurs still facing the same exposure battle, but they now have new tools with the Internet, e-commerce and social networking sites.

The modern consumer is in constant contact with family and friends, and small businesses need to become part of that loop. The small business owner who shows and tells the most new prospects about his or her product or service will end up moving the most volume, considering the entire infrastructure is in place to properly capture that business. - Make Thousands of Dollars Per Month Promoting ...
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Five companies move, expand in Palm Beach County

Date: Thursday, February 24, 2011, 12:52pm EST

The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County announced on Thursday that it helped five companies relocate or expand to its county.

The result should be 127 more jobs. The BDB aided the companies with real estate information, permitting, incentives and training programs.

Brenham, Texas-based Blue Bell Creameries plans to hire 28 people at its distribution facility in Delray Beach. In 2009, the company bought a 2.3-acre site at 9655 Atlantic Ave. for $1.4 million. The BDB said it recently started construction on a 13,000-square-foot facility there.

An additional 24 jobs came when Native Outfitters moved its headquarters and manufacturing center to West Palm Beach from Hobe Sound. The company, located at 411 Seventh St., has its own brand of outdoor lifestyle apparel.

Also in West Palm Beach, Mass Mutual DBS Financial Group and Richard S. Bernstein & Associates joined together to open a district office. They plan to recruit 25 workers in the financial service field over the next five years.

Mass Mutual DBS is a mutual life insurance provider, while Richard S. Bernstein & Associates does insurance advising and estate planning, mostly to wealthy clients.

“It is very exciting to form this strategic alliance where we can combine the synergies of two highly successful organizations,” Mass Mutual DBS CEO David Schulman said in a news release. “We will be jointly providing advisory services, retirement analysis, estate planning strategies, employee benefits and retention services, and business continuation consultation.”

Bernstein is on the BDB’s board of directors. The companies received assistance from the BDB in finding office space, but did not receive public funds.

Boca Raton-based 3Cinteractive, which plans to hire 25 people this year, received financing support from the Workforce Alliance for recruitment and training. The mobile communications technology firm is relocating to take up the 26,000-square-foot fourth floor of Boca Colonnade II by June.

Another Boca Raton company that moved to a larger facility was Clarity Diagnostics. It plans to add 10 workers after moving into 7,500 square feet at 33 S.E. Eighth St. The company manufactures and distributes diagnostic testing devices.

The BDB has several large prospects in the works that have yet to be finalized. In January, Palm Beach County commissioners approved a preliminary offer for job growth incentives to Garda Cash Logistics. The Canadian cash management and armored car firm was considering creating 100 jobs in Boca Raton. On Tuesday, the Palm Beach County Commission will vote on making a final offer to Garda – indicating that it is close to making a decision.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Finding the Right Credit Card for Your Business

No. 1: Look for cash-back or travel rewards.
From: Matt Mickiewicz of 99designs.
If you plan to pay off your card monthly and your business requires lots of travel; look into the highly-regarded SPG AMEX card to earn Starwood Points. Alternatively, Costco has some fantastic cash-back cards that can put money into your pocket as you are book-strapping your business and Capital One offers cards without foreign exchange fees. Check out for more info and comparisons.
No. 2: Does the card work where you need it to?
From: Ashley Bodi of Business Beware.
Find out if the credit card works when and where you will need it to. Emergencies can come up at anytime and anywhere with business especially when traveling. Make sure and ask others if they have ever had a problem with this or with a card you're looking at applying for.
No. 3: Know the lows and highs cold.
From: Nick Friedman of College Hunks Hauling Junk.
Look for the lowest interest rate and highest credit limit. Also look for cards with no annual fee and good rewards programs that accrue points you can use to buy things for your business. We started with a Chase business card that gave 1% cash back on all purchases and then obtained an American Express Card about one year into the business. We still use both cards to this day.
No. 4: If you do your own bookkeeping, then solve for easy user interface.
From: Eric Bahn of beat the gmat.
Points and travel perks can be great, but if you're a small business owner and you're managing your own bookkeeping, then solve for using a credit card service with an easy-to-review online user interface. You'll be surprised by how poor most bank Web sites are in presenting simple things like lists of transactions. Using a bank with a nice user interface does wonders to optimize your bookkeeping.
No. 5: Cash flow control.
From: Matt Wilson of Under 30 CEO.
Building credit for your business is important, but getting into something that you don't understand could mean bankruptcy. Make sure the cardholders within your company are extremely responsible. Credit cards can be vital to controlling your cash flow and while you may not plan on carrying a balance, find one with a conservative APR and forget the rewards.
No. 6: Have a 'what's in it for me' mindset.
From: Natalie MacNeil of Imaginarius.
Choose a credit card that rewards you. If you do a lot of business travel, select a card that gives you travel points towards free flights and hotels. Other cards give you up to 5% cash back on purchases which can help your growing business. Whichever card you choose though, use it responsibly and pay your balance off in full each month. You don't want to worry about debt as you grow your business.

How should I go about selecting the right credit card for my business? Rachel McDonough, NY
The following answers come from members of The Young Entrepreneur Council, a nonprofit founded in New York in 2010 that focuses on international initiatives that include entrepreneurship education, advocacy, mentorship programs and events, scholarships, and health-care for young entrepreneurs. E-mail your questions about best practices for starting up and/or managing a small business to

Friday, February 18, 2011

What is real cost of social networking?

 FEB 18. 2011

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn are rapidly becoming an everyday part of the business environment. These platforms are even viewed as essential business tools in many organizations. With the increased use of various social networking platforms, it is vital to control risk and quantify the real cost. Uncontrolled use across the company will lead to costs spiraling out of control and can open one up to unnecessary information security risk.

Information is a key driver and has become the lifeblood of every modern organization. With the ever-changing environment in which business is conducted, it is more important than ever to ensure that information is protected and risk is minimized. Preventing staff from accessing social networks is no longer an option, company executives merely have to apply sound security measures to ensure their information is protected and costs are controlled. It is critical for all companies to create the correct environment where all staff is empowered to be the guardians of information.

The entire continent has seen an explosion of bandwidth; this has brought about masses of new, naïve and uneducated Internet users. These 'new' users are more susceptible to the ever-changing risks and strategies being employed to get users to part with sensitive information, and it is essential that these risks be mitigated in a systematic manner. The objective must be to identify the challenges that organizations face and implement all possible solutions to mitigate the risk that the human factor poses in an organization’s information security strategy.

“We have been told by several clients that they had previously decided to block social networking sites, especially after noticing the extensive use of these sites. They soon discovered that since blocking these sites, users were finding ingenious but dangerous and risky ways of accessing these sites. This opened them up to very nasty network vulnerabilities and threats. In addition, at one of our clients quickly discovered that there was an average of well over 10 hours per week per employee spent on these sites. This amounted to just over 20% of their total work time being wasted. This essentially meant that a full time employee was working less than 80% of the time; owing to a single Web site. I am sure the staff would not be happy if they were only paid 80% of their salary.”

What do you think is the answer to the social network concerns that business face?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Small business confidence at three-year high in Jan

 REUTERS:  February 9, 2011 5:30 AM IST
Confidence among small U.S. business owners rose to a three year high in January, but concerns about sales saw owners remain cautious about hiring and spending plans, a survey showed on Tuesday.
Shannon Stapleton / REUTERS
Westpac survey says consumer confidence higher in February but households still cautious
The National Federation of Independent Business' optimism index rose 1.5 points to 94.1, the highest reading since December 2007 when the recession started. Despite the increase, the index still remained near low levels.
The downturn, which was the longest and deepest since the Great Depression of the 1930s, officially ended in June 2009.
"The average reading before the recession started was 100," NFIB said in a statement. "Expectations improved, but not spending and hiring plans, more hope than action."
The survey, which was conducted through January 31, showed respondents were concerned about sluggish sales, despite signs of strengthening in consumer spending, which grew at a 4.4 percent annual rate in the fourth quarter.
Many businesses continued to liquidate unwanted inventory, though the pace slowed down markedly.
"Reports of increased inventories have almost vanished while reported reductions indicate that the excesses are being eliminated," the NFIB said. "A very tentative picture, but it appears that the inventory reduction cycle is about over."
About 22 percent of the 2144 owners who participated in the survey said they were planning capital outlays in the future, an increase of one point from December.
About 11 percent reported increasing employment an average of 2.8 employees per firm and 15 percent reducing employment an average of 2.9 employees. The average increase in employment per firm was negative for 33 of the last 37 months.
Small businesses are seen critical to job creation, which disappointed in January. The government reported on Friday that employers added a mere 36,000 jobs last month.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekend Facts

What do the Names of the Week Mean?

For most Latin based languages the names of the days of the week are connected to seven planets of the ancient times, "Sun", "Moon", "Mercury", "Venus", "Mars", "Jupiter", and "Saturn", Thus in a language like Spanish the days are as follows

Monday Lunes Moon
Tuesday Martes Mars
Wednesday Miercoles Mercury
Thursday Jueves Jupiter
Friday Viernes Venus
Saturday Sabado Saturn
Sunday Domingo Sun

Although in Spanish, as in French and Italian the name for Sunday is not derived from Sun, however, traditionally in Latin this day has been referred to as 'dies solis' (day of the Sun). The English Language has maintained the original planet names for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, but has replaced the other four days with names of Anglo-Saxon or Nordic gods, Tiw (Tuesday), Woden (Wednesday), Thor (Thursday), Freya (Friday).

Interestingly some Asiatic languages such as Korean or Japanese also have similar relationships between the days of the week and the planets.

The Biblical calendar numbers its days of the week (i.e 1,2,3,4,5,6,7), with Sunday being the first day and the Jewish number each of the days of the week except the sabbath.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Free Analysis of your Current,Credit Card, Merchant Account

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Friday, February 11, 2011

Business community unites to raise funds for Haiti

Business community unites to raise funds for Haiti PDF Print E-mail
Written by TRANIKA FAGAN   
Special to South Florida Times

Who says you can’t mix business with pleasure? Shamarco Forbes, of South Florida Professionals, makes it possible to combine the two.

Forbes promotes the idea of the social charity mixer.
Such events encourage South Florida professionals—from all walks of life—to come together at some entertainment venue, network their individual services and raise funds for a collective cause.

Forbes usually chooses a particular cause or need and a few local organizations are selected to receive the proceeds from a charity function.

This year, members and supporters of local organizations gathered for the 2011 South Florida Professionals Social Charity at Pangaea in the  Hollywood Hard Rock Casino. The nightclub ambiance was a sophisticated setting for the business professional to mix entertainment with charitable contribution. Minimum $10 donations were taken as a cover fee for admission.

“We’re partying with a purpose,” said Norvel Bethel, president of Urban League of Broward County’s Young Professionals Network, quoting one of his fellow chapter members. “Considering what we usually pay for an evening out, $10 is a drop in the bucket when it’s for a good cause.”

Proceeds from this event benefited Urban League of Broward programs, 100 Black Men of Fort Lauderdale mentoring programs, and the James W. Bridges Medical Society Haiti Relief effort.

The organizations share the common objective of improving the quality of life in African-American and other minority communities, with emphasis on health, education and economic empowerment.

Initiated by Forbes, the Social Charity featured a fair representation from several professional organizations.

Bethel was among the hosts, along with James Green, president of Urban League of Palm Beach Young Professionals; Dennis Wright, president of 100 Black Men of Greater Fort Lauderdale; Dr. Cheryl Holder, president of James W. Bridges Medical Society; Eric Gillman, president of the National Association of Black Accountants; Catherine Minnis, president of National Black MBA’s of  South Florida; Ghenete Wright-Muir, president of the T.J. Riddick Bar Association; and Tinu Pena, president of the National Society of Black Engineers.

The charity, now in its second year, was started following the earthquake that devastated Haiti in January 2010. Forbes reached out to several organizations to raise funds to aid the country. Turnout exceeded expectations, he said.

“A little more than 200 people attended last year’s event, with considerable donations,” Forbes said. “All proceeds went to three organizations for aid to Haiti after the earthquake.”

This year, on the first anniversary of the earthquake, Forbes figured it was time for an encore, with a difference.

“What better way to start the new year than with a charity function?” said Forbes.
The 2011 Social Charity, however, was upgraded from last year’s edition.  Rather than a sole focus on aid to Haiti, this time local organizations were also beneficiaries.

“The purpose of this event is to raise funds for organizations within our community,” said Forbes, “while bringing South Florida professionals together to network.”

The networking element was an attractive bonus.

“It’s an opportunity to lift as you climb,” said Green. “It’s refreshing to see everyone having fun while building on business capital and intellectual capital.”

“It’s a wonderful thing to see so many professionals come together to help other non-profit organizations in the community,” added Holder.

“This year’s event was a success,” said Forbes. The event this year raised $2,475, compared with $2,030 last year.
Funds allotted to Haiti relief programs will provide resources to continue regular health care and education for Haitian orphans.

“Our objective is to rebuild the capacity within Haiti,” said Holder.

“Haitian physicians have suffered a lot of damages and we are just helping in the meantime until we raise enough dollars to help them get strong again.”
With the event behind him, Forbes is looking to the future.

“One of the projects in progress is Vision 2020, a series of fundraisers designed to heighten awareness and the importance of giving back,” said Forbes. “Vision 2020 is a concept which means where do we see ourselves in the year 2020.”

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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rep. Allen West Discusses Small Business Solutions

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Rep. Allen West released the following statement:
(Washington)— Congressman Allen West (FL-22) today met with the Administrator from the Small Business Administration, Karen G. Mills, to discuss the state of South Florida small businesses and explore solutions as to how to better grow these businesses in this difficult economic environment.
“I’ve spent the past month speaking with small business owners in the 22nd Congressional District,” West said. “From loans to the lack of government contract opportunity, I’ve learned from my constituents that there are many things the SBA could be doing differently to help small businesses.”
Of the top 100 employers in Palm Beach County, 61 are small businesses. 17 of the 21 fastest growing companies in Broward County are small businesses. Congressman West currently sits on the Small Business Committee in the United States House of Representatives.
Congressman West and SBA Administrator Mills discussed expanding credit cards and personally guaranteed loans to businesses. They also talked about how the local SBA can better help connect small businesses with government contracts.
“While providing access to capital is part of the SBA’s mission, small businesses need increased confidence through lower taxes and sound healthcare reform,” West said. “I look forward to working the SBA in the future to reach these goals.”

Sunday, February 6, 2011


BizConnect, a unique membership business support consortium, announces
New Website Launch-

BizConnect Benefit

BizConnect Local Restaurant Deals in South Florida and offers Gift Certificates to South Florida's favorite restaurants.


BizConnect Enterprises,
LLC is a countywide network of highly qualified business professionals. Our objective is to help your business or company be competitive and to save you money. When you become one of our qualified Network members, we make it our priority to help you grow your business by supplying you with social networking and relational network options and well as media
resources and interactive presence.

BizConnect is a discount business consortium network, an event and marketing  promotional resource and a social and relational business café. BizConnect provides companies a better way to connect. By taking advantage of the BizConnect Referral System, our talented Account Managers & Event Coordinators simplify the networking process for businesses and employees. Consumers can also utilize BizConnect as an invaluable resource to find businesses for their needs while mingling with business professionals.  

BizConnect’s talented representatives have been developing business in Palm Beach County since 1985. BizConnect was founded in West Palm Beach, FL and now services companies from Jupiter to Boca Raton. Expansion chapters are scheduled to include Miami, Dade, Broward and Martin counties. At BizConnect, our members know they are part of our team and understand that our strategies are formulated specifically to address their unique business challenges and concerns. The business climate is changing and we stand ready to bring positive change to your business. 

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In economic downturns, companies must be "change ready" in order to take advantage of emerging opportunities resulting from challenging economic times.


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