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Welcome to the WISE newsletter, a program of
The Falcone Center for Entrepreneurship at Syracuse University
 

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

What do you do when you receive someone's business card?

When someone hands us her business card, we may just tuck it way in a pocket, then file it in our Rolodex® when we get back to the office. However, you may to do the following so the business card reminds you more accurately of the person you met and is useful to long-term.
  • When the person hands you the business card, look at the business card and then at the person. (You might want to do this a couple of times.) This will help you associate the person's face with her card.
  • Write notes on the back of the card that will remind you of the conversation. This is especially useful if you have promised to follow-up with the person.
    • Yes, it is okay to do this while you're talking to the person.
  • Write on the face of the card -- perhaps in a corner -- the name of the event where you met her. For example, if you met her at the WISE conference, write "WISE" in the corner. This can also help you remember who the person is.
  • Write the date that you met the person on the face of the business card. We often hold onto business cards for a long time. Doing this will help you know how long that card has been in your Rolodex.
  • If you contact the person afterwards, you might want to somehow note that on the business card. In that way, you can begin to track if this new contact is a good one for you and your business.


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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

How do you hand someone your business card?

It might seem easy, but there are a few tips and techniques:
  • Be formal in handing out your business cards. "Present" you card to the person, don't just shove it at him.
  • Hand your card to the person so that the type faces them. This will prompt the person to look at it. This will help them associate you with the card and remember your name.
  • If you have a double-sided business card (printing on both sides), hand the card to the person with the back showing. This is important since we generally don't turn the card over to see if there is something on the back. By handing the card to the person in this way, they will see the writing on the back AND then will turn it over to see the front.
  • Don't hand the person multiple cards unless the person wants them. We can be tempted to automatically give the person cards "to pass along," but you may instead be wasting business cards. If the person wants more than one card, she or he will ask for it.
  • If something is incorrect on your card or needs to be updated, make the changes BEFORE you hand out the cards. Don't suddenly have to grab a pen to make the changes and delay giving the person your card. And if you find that you're doing this, have new business cards made soon.
  • Don't feel that you need to give you business card to everyone you meet. It doesn't matter how many business cards you give out, but rather that you gave it to people with whom you want to stay in contact.
  • Keep your business cards handy. Put a couple in your wallet, so that you always have one available. At a networking event, put your cards in your pocket so you can hand one out quickly. You don't want to have to "dig" to find a business card.
If you practice these tips, you be more effective at handing out business cards and a bit better at networking with others.


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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Event: Small Business Financing

The Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union (SCFCU) will be offering a two-session workshop called Small Business Financing at the Southwest Economic Business Resource Center, 706 W. Onondaga Ave., on Jan. 31 and Feb. 2 from 6 - 8 p.m. Greg Knipe, SCFCU Senior Loan Officer, will be presenting the course. The workshop is free and open to the public, however, space is limited. Please call Lori at (315) 471-2720 to sign up.

Useful Link: New York Online Virtual Electronic Library

New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVEL) gives ALL New York State residents free online access to the full-text of thousands of journals, newspapers and other references. You can:
  • Find articles from leading newspapers and magazines
  • Locate information on public and private companies
  • Access information on health and wellness issues
These databases are available to you through your local public library (for free) as well as through the NOVEL web site. At the NOVEL web site, you can access the databases using your NYS ID or driver's license number.

If you need assistance with the NOVEL databases, please contact your local library. Your local library is equipped to help to use these databases and understand their contents.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Event: How and Why to Certify Your Woman-Owned Business

How and Why to Certify Your Woman-Owned Business
Presented by Liz Cullen
Regional Director of Certification
Women Presidents’ Educational Organization

DATE: Wednesday, January 18, 2006
TIME: 8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Registration and Breakfast
8:30 - 10:30 a.m. Presentation
LOCATION: Corinthian Club, 930 James Street, Syracuse
RSVP: Tamara Calandrelli at 470-5083 or email Tamara_M_Calandrelli@keybank.com

Join us and find out how certifying as a Women Business Enteprise (WBE) can be a competitive advantage.


About the speaker

Liz Cullen, Regional Director of Certification for the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO), guides firms through the process of certification and helps provide links between women entrepreneurs and business opportunities in the private sector. Ms. Cullen oversees the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) certification process for women-owned businesses in the New York and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas.

Key4Women

Key4Women is an exclusive program for women-owned businesses. Through ongoing education, customized service, networking opportunities and access to capital, we can help with the success of your company. For more information about Key4Women, contact Teresa Bower, Key4Women
Relationship Manager at 470-5558.


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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Intellectual Property Rights Protection for Small Businesses

This was received from the Small Business Development Center at SUNY Oswego.

Scope of the Problem
  • The World Customs Organization estimates counterfeiting accounts for 5% to 7% of global merchandise trade; this is equivalent to lost sales of as much as $512 billion in 2004.

  • In 2004, the value of counterfeit and pirated goods seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) increased 47% over 2003.

  • Research conducted this Spring by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) indicates that only 15 percent of small businesses that do business overseas know that a U.S. patent or trademark provides protection only in the United States.

Importance for SMEs
  • Intellectual property rights (IPR) protection should be considered by all small companies – not just exporters.

  • Small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) products may be counterfeited or pirated overseas and found in the United States and other markets.

  • SMEs are particularly vulnerable because they often lack other product lines to fall back on, or the financial resources to withstand sudden, unfair competition caused by fake products.

  • Counterfeit parts can pose health and safety hazards in the finished product, and can potentially subject legitimate producers to legal liability.
Prevention
  • SBA clients need to know that protecting IPR should be carefully considered as a standard and essential part of any business plan.

  • Many SMEs experience difficulty protecting their IPR abroad, including in China, as they are not aware of how to obtain and enforce rights in foreign markets. Some basic, low-cost steps SMEs should consider include:

  • Working with legal counsel to develop an overall IPR protection strategy;

  • Developing detailed IPR language for licensing and subcontracting contracts;

  • Conducting due diligence of potential foreign partners;

  • Recording their U.S.-registered trademarks and copyrights with CBP to prevent infringing imports ($190); and

  • Securing and registering patents, trademarks, and copyrights in key foreign markets, including defensively in certain countries where IPR violations are common.
Resources

Under the Administration’s Strategy Targeting Organized Piracy (STOP) initiative, the Commerce Department has established several new services specifically for SMEs, including:
  • An IPR hotline –1-866-999-HALT – and a website – StopFakes.gov – that U.S. businesses can use to learn how to protect their IPR at home and overseas or to report IPR theft.

  • IPR Toolkits for China, Korea, Mexico, Russia, and Taiwan – developed in collaboration with the State Department, the toolkits provide detailed information on the IPR protection regime and resources of each country. The toolkits are available on StopFakes.gov.

  • NEW China IPR Advisory Program – SMEs can receive a free, one-hour consultation with a volunteer attorney experienced in both IPR and the Chinese market. To request a consultation or obtain additional information regarding this program, contact Christina Heid of the American Bar Association, preferably by email at introl@staff.abanet.org, with the subject line “SME China IPR Advisory Program-Request for Assistance,” or by telephone at (202) 662-1034.

  • Business roundtables, trade risk mitigation seminars, and IPR education workshops nationwide conducted by IPR experts from the International Trade Administration and the USPTO to inform SMEs about U.S. Government resources available to them to help secure and protect their IPR.




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Friday, January 06, 2006

Notes & Quotes: Jill Hurst-Wahl

On Jan. 4, Jill Hurst-Wahl was the speaker at the Women Business Owners Connection (WBOC) monthly meeting. Entitled "Looking Back, Looking Ahead", Hurst-Wahl talked about the importance of writing down what your business as accomplished, decisions made, and much more. Yes, as business owners we think about this stuff constantly, but it is important to write it down so that you remember what you did, what worked, what didn't work, and what plans you had put in place. She talked about doing this activity at least once a year if not more often.

Once this information is noted, then it can be used for planning the future. As Hurst-Wahl said:
We need to understand our pasts in order to build our futures.
The evening was full of questions and ideas to get people motivated to do this activity. The PowerPoint presentation that she used is available online and contains links to two of the printed examples she used.


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To do in 2006: CNY Edge

CNY Edge, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that was developed as a second tier to the Come Home to Syracuse campaign through the Metropolitan Development Association. We are a group of active, energetic professionals who have a clear vision of Central New York as a great place to live, work, and play. By organizing social, sports, and philanthropic events, we exist to create a positive and exciting environment for young professionals living and working in Central New York.

Events being planned include (see calendar for more information):
  • Gallery Openings
  • Monthly Happy Hours
  • Nature Hikes
  • Wine Tasting
  • Volunteer Activities
  • Sporting Events
  • Theater Outings
  • And Much More!
The web site lists events already scheduled for 2006, including a speed networking event.

To do in 2006: Center for Business & Community Development

The Center for Business & Community Development at SUNY Oswego is holding a series of workshops concerntrating on accounting issues and methods. These seminars are:
  • January 18 -- Human Resources, Business Entities and Employee Benefits
  • February 15 -- Employee vs. Independent Contractor and Intro to Business Ethics
  • March 15 -- Payroll Taxes for New Business Start-ups and Exempt vs. Non-exempt Employees
  • April 19 -- Workers Compensation Insurance and State Unemployment Insurance
  • May 17 -- Restaurant Payrolls and Fringe Benefits
Where: SUNY Oswego, 118 Rich Hall
Time: 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
Cost: $15 each or $60 for the series
Register: Call (315) 312-3492

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Event: SBA Business Matchmaker & Expo

SAVE THE DATE!

SBA Business Matchmaker & Expo

Presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE, and Business First of Buffalo, is hosting it’s 1st Annual Western New York event in Buffalo, New York on Wednesday, May 10, 2006. The event will combine education, training, counseling, networking, and face-to-face meetings between small businesses and procurement representatives from government agencies and major corporations.

This event promises to be a stimulating day of learning, discussion, and networking. Spread the word. Details to follow SOON!!

If you are interested in Participating in this exciting event, please contact either Kelly LoTempio, SBA at (716) 551-4301 Ext. 309 - Kelly.lotempio@sba.gov or Laura McCabe at (716) 551-4301 Ext. 310 – laura.mccabe@sba.gov in Buffalo or Joyce Spears in Rochester at (585) 263-6700 ext. 105 – joyce.spears@sba.gov

Event: Catastrophic Data Loss (PCA of CNY), Jan. 13, 7:30 a.m.

If you are interested in attending, call to find out the cost to attend. The meeting is free for PCA members.



Professional Consultants Association of Central New York, Inc.
Catastrophic Data Loss
Russ Ziskind, President
Gemini Technical Services
Friday, January 13, 2006
7:30 A.M.

Samuel Williams Business Incubator Center
1201 E. Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY
(Note the venue change)

What will you do when — not if — your hard drive doesn’t fire up? How will you recreate your records when you suddenly lose everything? What is your back-up plan? It’s a frightening thought but it will most likely happen to you some day — it has already happened to some people reading this notice. Russ Ziskind will give us a practical, step-by-step approach to protecting ourselves and our businesses from the grueling and expensive process of rebuilding our information files.

IF you are planning to stay in business and don’t have a safety net, you don’t want to miss this program.

7:30 - 8:00 Networking Breakfast Buffet

8:00 - 8:15 Introductions & Announcements

8:15 - 8:25 Critical Issue Discussion

8:30 - 9:30 Russ Ziskind

9:30 - 10:00 Networking

Note: Please call Linda at (315) 476-4229 or e-mail her at info@pcaofcny.com by 5 P.M. Tuesday, January 10, to make your reservation.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The IRS announces 2006 standard mileage rates

The IRS web site states:
The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2006 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2006, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
  • 44.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, other than activities related to Hurricane Katrina relief.
The new rate for business miles compares to a rate of 40.5 cents per mile for the first eight months of 2005. In September, the IRS made a special one-time adjustment for the last four months of 2005, raising the rate for business miles to 48.5 cents per mile in response to a sharp increase in gas prices, which topped $3 a gallon.
See the web site for additional information.

Monday, January 02, 2006

To do in 2006: Start blogging

Tim Bray at Sun Microsystems has said, "Blogs allow us to get our message out to the world in a direct, unmediated, and unfiltered way." What is a blog? A blog is a:
  • Way for businesses to connect and interact with their customers, suppliers and employees.
  • Tool for building market awareness for a business's products and services.
  • Vehicle for accessing new revenue streams.
There will be a workshop on blogging, Jan. 10 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. During the workshop -- "How to Create a Blog for Your Business" -- each participant will start his/her own blog, and think about how to market it, maintain it and much more to ensure that the new blogs are successful.

For more information contact Hurst Associates, Ltd. (315) 243-4403 or Hurst@Hurstassociates.com.


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To do in 2006: Workshops at SCFCU

Entrepreneurs quickly find themselves juggling time, money and work in "whole new" ways. This can lead to having to learn new things, especially about handling your finances. The Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union (SCFCU) offers workshops to help individuals learn more about dealing with their financial situations, including training on repairing bad credit. Information on the SCFCU workshops can be found online or by contacting SCFCU at (315) 471-1116.


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To do in 2006: Women Together Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success

Women Together Inspiring Entrepreneurial Success (Women TIES) holds events several times per month to help women entrepreneurs in the Syracuse region connect with each other while learning more about being entrepreneurs. Information on upcoming programs is posted on the web site. You can also contact Women TIES for information at (315) 471-1987 or info@WomenTIES.com.


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To do in 2006: Women Business Owner Connection

Looking to network with other women entrepreneurs? The Women Business Owners Connection (WBOC) has monthly meetings in Syracuse. The organization has well over 100 members and attracts 50+ to its meetings. The WBOC web site contains the meeting schedule and information on the topics to be presented. The dinner meetings cost $23/each for members and $28/each for non-members. At some meetings, people can attend the program only for $10/each.

For more information on the meetings, contact Brenda at (315) 446-3915 or
bgrady@a-znet.com.



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