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

Monday, March 27, 2006

Event: Legal Issues for Small Business

Legal Issues for Small Business: Partnership or Incorporation?
Thursday, April 20, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Southwest Economic Business Resource Center
506 W. Onondaga St.
Syracuse, NY 13204

This workshop will present the different business structures that are available to individuals who are starting small businesses. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of structure will be highlighted.

Registration: Free, but space is limited. Registration deadline is April 18.
For more information or to register contact Ayesha Ali at (315) 471-1116 ext. 223.

Hosted by the Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union in partnership with the Southwest Economic Business Resource Center and the Syracuse University Community Development Law Clinic.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Getting better at doing presentations

For business people, doing presentations can be a very important way of getting your point across. We can always learn more about doing presentations and how to do them better. One source for pointers and help is a blog entitled Presentation Zen. Postings there include:

This is a wonderful resource! Likely you'll pick up tips and techniques as well as find yourself being challenged to do presentations differently (and better).

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Accessing the State Library from your own PC

This article -- "Driver's license provides access to state library holdings" -- talks about a new feature implemented by the New York State Library which allows NYS residents to use their driver's license ID number to access the online resources provided by the NYS Library. These online resources are known as the New York Online Virtual Electronic Library (NOVEL). NOVEL is available to all NYS residents for free. The resources can also be accessed through many public and academic libraries in the State.

Most people will wonder if the system does any tracking of users and the answer is "no." Entering the driver's license ID number ensure that the person is a NYS resident. If you access the resources through your local library, you would use the number on your library card.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Do you know what the E-Myth is?

In 1981, Michael Gerber wrote a book on entrepreneurship and the myths that surround it. The book has been revised/updated several times and now you'll find The E-Myth Revisited:Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It in bookstores. If you haven't heard of this book or haven't read it, you'll find it inspiring and full of wisdom that will cause you to think differently about how to operate your business. You'll realize that standardizing how things are done is a positive step, no matter how big or small your business is. You'll realize that documenting your business will help you bring on-board more employees who will not be flying by the seat of their pants, but will work within the parameters that you expect.

The model that Gerber using is one of a franchise. In order to franchise a business, the processes must be documented and regimented. Although the customer may just think of everything as being good customer service (given by nice people) for example, it is the standardization of how things work that allows that to happen and happen consistently. Gerber recognizes that many people do not want to franchise their businesses, but he sees the standardization needed "to franchise" as being important for any business. He also sees this as a way of creating a system that allows the owner to step back and be able to allow other people to run the business, when necessary. (Owners do like to take vacations like everyone else and not work 80 hour weeks!)

Most business owners read E-Myth after they have been in business for a few years. It tends to be an ah-ha moment for them. If you need an ah-ha moment, pick up E-Myth Revisited at your local library or bookstore.

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Friday, March 10, 2006

Entrepreneurial Proverbs

Marc Hedlund, entrepreneur-in-residence at O'Reilly Media, gave a talk recently where he mentioned his set of entrepreneurial proverbs. The list is long and one worth reading. It includes:

  • Momentum builds on itself
  • Pay attention to the idea that won't leave you alone
  • Build what you know
  • Give people what they need, not what they say they need
  • Work only with people you like and believe in

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Notes & Quotes: Susan Neff

Susan Neff, from Lighthouse Marketing, spoke at the Women Business Owners Connection meeting on March 1. Neff's talked about "Embracing the Salesperson Within," and told stories about herself to illustrate important things that salespeople need to know. Her words of wisdom included:
  • The core of sales is to:
    • Not bore your audience
    • Not to over sell
  • We sell every day in everything that we do.
  • You can dictate your entire future if you are good at sales. If you don't have it (the ability to sell), then you need to hire it.
  • You have to get through so many 'No's" to get to the "Yes."
  • It's a numbers game. How many letters do you need to send out in order to get X-number of meetings with prospective clients? And how many clients will that yield?
  • Have a system.
  • You need to accept the sales outcome -- no matter what it is.
  • To be good at sales you need to have the following innate traits:
    • Want a challenge
    • Be persistent
    • Be enthusiastic
    • Be optimistic
    • Take initiative
    • Focus on self-improvement
    • Want to be influential
    • Outgoing (not gregarious)
    • Self-accepting
  • You also need to be a good listener -- a trait that can be learned.
  • Remember to ask lots of questions, so that you will listen.
  • Timing is everything -- the prospect needs to be ready for you.