Friday, December 19, 2008

Payment Methods For My Business - Credit Cards

These are links and information pertaining to setting up to your business for accepting credit cards for payment of your products and services.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-12-19
Revised: 2013-05-20

Table of Contents
Payments Methods For My Business - Main Page

Setting Up Your Business To Accept Credit Cards

Transparent Financial Services (TransFS)
Interchange Plus
What is Interchange
Largest Merchant Acquirers
Reading a Merchant Statement
Signature Debit vs. PIN Debit
Reading an Interchange Plus Merchant Statement
Payment Gateways
VISA Approved ISO List
Merchant Account Costs
Getting a Good Deal on your Merchant Account
Intuit Payment Solutions (Intuit.com)
Credit Card Processing Pricing Comparison (Intuit.com)

First Data: Association of Small Business Development Center Partner
Michael Gale
(215) 435-3491
Email: michael.gale@firstdata.com
Website: www.empsebiz.com/asbdc/

BestMerchantRates.com: a nationally recognized leader in the credit card processing industry, Large Corporate Pricing is universally recognized as the most fair, transparent and simplified pricing structure. Until recently, only the largest merchants have been able to obtain this pricing. We offer "Large Corporate Pricing for Everyone."
Mobile Smart Phone Credit Card Processing

Other Links and Information
Trends in Business Credit Cards for 2012 (CardPaymentOptioms.com)
Google Search: setting up my business to acccept credit card
Google Search: what will replace credit card

Payment Methods For My Business - Main Page

These are links and information pertaining to the various methods that business's can accept payments for their products and services.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-12-19
Revised: 2013-03-11

Table of Contents

Payment Methods

Cash
Currency:
Legal Tender Status (US Dept of Treasury)
Reporting Cash Payments of Over $10,000 (IRS.gov)
IRS Form 8300
Checks:
Accepting Cash and Checks (FindLaw)
Accepting Checks (entrepreneur.com)

Traditional Credit
Credit Accounts:
Why You Need a Credit Policy: By Michelle Dunn, August 06, 2009 (entrepreneur.com)

Electronic Credit
Credit Cards: Setting Up Your Business To Accept Credit Cards
Mobile Smart Phone Credit Card Processing

Electronic Cash
Debit Cards:
Should your Business Accept Debit Cards? (streetdirectory.com)
The RIGHT way to accept debit cards in your business
Electronic Check Processing:
Guide to Electronic Check Processing: By Lisa Hephner, PaySimple (business.com)
Electronic Payments:
Amazon Payments
Google Wallet
Paypal

Other Information and Links related to payment methods
Payments and Collections (entrepreneur.com)
Accepting Credit Cards: Positives vs Negatives, 2005 (Small Business Brief)
The Ultimate Guide to PayPal Alternatives: By Lela Davidson, June 1, 2009 (bizzia.com)

Google Search: payment methods for my business

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Business Ethics For My Business - Main Page

These are links and information pertaining to Business Ethics for small businesses.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-11-26
Revised: 2008-11-26

Table of Contents

Business Ethics

The Business Ethics Links Library (BELL)
Google Search: "business ethics"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Advertising & Promotion - Trade Shows

Information, topics, and links related to your business's trade show strategy.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-08-25
Revised: 2008-08-25

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Marketing My Business - Advertising & Promotion

Business Trade Show Strategy

Your Guide to Trade Shows, Exhibits & Conventions (TradeShowHandbook.com)
Trade Show Guides, Tutorials and Tips
Trade Show Directories and Listings
Convention and Event Centers Directory

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Planning For My Business - Main Page

Information, topics, and links related to strategic planning for your business. This topic covers strategy and planning topics to help your business compete and be profitable in the United States and the World.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-08-13
Revised: 2011-05-17

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Planning For My Business

Strategic Planning
The Strategic Planning Process (QuickMBA)
Build a Strategic Framework: Mission Statement, Visions, Values, and more (About.com)
Strategic Planning Resources (About.com)
How to Ensure your Strategic Plan Becomes a Valuable Tool (Brody,Weiser, & Burns)
The Ten-Step, One-Day Strategic Plan (About.com)
Anatomy of a IT Strategic Plan (CIO)
Annual Planning: Strategic Steps That Could Save Your Business (BNET)
Best Practices – Strategic Planning (Foundation for Community Association Research)
Resources: Lessons Learned: Table of Contents: (includes many good articles) (NEA)
Mistakes: Strategic Planning Don’t (and Do’s) (CIO)
Strategic Planning (in Non-profits or for-profit organization) (Free Management Library)
Strategic Plan Outline (Clarion University SBDC)
Intuit 2020 Report: Tweny trends that will shape the next decade, Intuit 2010

Strategic Business Risk
The top 10 risks for business (Ernst & Young)
Ernst & Young Article Database (Ernst & Young)
Ernst & Young Business Risk Services

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Taxes For My Business - S Corporation

Information, resources, and links related to your business's tax strategy for a S-Corporation.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-07-29
Revised: 2016-03-23

Table of Contents

S-Corporation Tax Considerations

Federal Taxes

Income Tax & Payroll Taxes
IRS Web Page For S Corporations (IRS)

Officers of an S-Corporation
Distributions and other payments by an S-Corporation to a corporate officer must be treated as wages to the extent the amounts are reasonable compensation for services to a corporation.

Income Tax Withholding
Federal Social Security Tax (FICA): 6.2%
Federal Medicare Tax: 1.45%

S-corporation companies with employees must pay their share of social security, plus match what the employee contributes. Therefore they would have to pay 12.4% on the first $113,700 of wages. They would also have to match the employee’s medicare tax. They would then have to pay 2.9% for medicare no matter how much the employee’s wages were.

Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA): 6.0 % on 1st $7,000 of wages
The FUTA tax is 6.0% of your employee’s FUTA wages. However, you may be able to take a credit of up to 5.4%, resulting in a 0.6% net of tax.

Pennsylvania Taxes

Pennsylvania Unemployment Tax (PAUTA)
S-corporation Employees: 3.4254% on 1st $8,500 of wages
S-corporation major shareholders and officers: 3.4254% on 1st $8,500 of wages (*see note below)
*(The business owner or S-corporation major shareholder) that receives a paycheck or salary from the S-corporation is required by Pennsylvania law to pay unemployment taxes the same as any other employee of the S-corporation. The business owner or S-corporation major shareholder that receives a paycheck or salary from the S-corporation is not eligible to receive unemployment benefits from the state of Pennsylvania if the S-corporation fails or closes.

PA Unemployment Compensation Information abd Documents (PA Dept Labor and Industry)

Pennsylvania Income Tax
An S-Corporation is taxed like a partnership or sole proprietorship, rather than a separate entity. Thus, the income is passed through to the shareholders for tax liability purposes. The shareholders individual tax returns will report the income or loss generated by an S-Corporation. The corporation is required to pay a 1% local tax for each employee in the company.

Calculating Your Estimated Tax Payments (Business Owners Toolkit)

Other facts:
An S-Corporation is limited to 75 shareholders.
The S-Corporation is not taxed on earnings because all income and losses are passed through to the shareholders.
A form K-1 must be distributed to all individuals.
Even if you receive a salary, you still have to make estimated tax payments if the amount being withheld is insufficient.

Many S-Corporations reduce compensation payments to shareholder employees in hope of limiting the amount of FICA and Medicare taxes.

Federal Social Security Tax (FICA) = 12.4% on $113,700 of wages (6.2% employer, 6.2% employee) per individual.

Federal Medicare Tax
= 2.9 % on all wages (1.45% employer, 1.45% employee) per individual. A company with employees must pay his or her share of social security, plus match what the employee contributes. Therefore they would have to pay 12.4% on the first $113,700 of wages. They would also have to match the employee’s medicare tax. They would then have to pay 2.9% for medicare no matter how much the employee’s wages were.

Compensation Issues For S-Corporations (IRS.gov)

It is attractive to limit compensation and allow more income to flow through the S-Corporation without payroll taxes (avoid self employment taxes). S-Corporations income passed through to stockholders is subject to state and federal income tax, but it is not subject to self employment tax when employee/stockholders receive adequate compensation (salaries) for their labor and management input to the business. Pay of corporation employees (salaries) are subject to payroll taxes in the same manner as is the case for employees in any other type of economic activity.

If a S-Corporation generates substantial cash (earnings) not used in the operation of the corporation, that cash can be distributed to a shareholder on the basis of his or her ownership interest and not as a taxable dividend distribution.

Google Search: s-corp compensation tips

Additional Information, Articles, and Links
Tax Tips & Audit Strategies for S-Corporation Shareholders (About.com)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Advertising & Promotion - Print Media

Information, topics, and links related to your business's print media marketing strategy. This includes advertising and promotion strategies involving newspapers, magazines, professional journals, sales flyers, coupons, brochures, and other print media vehicles.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-06-12
Revised: 2009-03-05

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Marketing My Business - Advertising & Promotion

Traditional Print Media Marketing Strategy

Google Search: "effective print media"

Brochures
How To Create Brochures That Get Action (Professional Advertising)
Pennsylvania On Display (PA's Official Broschure Distribution Program)
Google Search: "effective brochure"

Coupons
How To Put The Profit-Producing Power of Couponing To Work For You (BusinessKnowHow)
Google Search: effective sales coupons

Magazine
Magazines Available (Amazon.com)
Google Search: "effective magazine advertising"

Newspaper
Pennsylvania Online Newspapers (By County)
Pennsylvania Newspapers (NewsLink)
Press Release Grader
Web Windows Newspaper advertisement specialists
Google Search: "effective newspaper advertising"

Professional Journal
Business Trade Journals Directory (Yahoo)
Journals By Subject Area (Wikipedia)
Google Search: "advertising in trade journals"

Sales Flyers
Writing A Great Sales Flyer (EzineArticles)
Google Search: effective sales flyers

Yellow Pages
YellowPages.com
Google Search: "yellow pages"
Google Search: "effective yellow page advertising"

Monday, June 09, 2008

Business Legal Structure - Main Page

These are links, websites, and information sources that can help new and existing small businesses decide what form of legal structure is best for their business both as an individual and as a going concern.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-06-09
Revised: 2016-05-11

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Business Legal Structures

Summary Information
Quick Summary of Business Legal Structures (QuickMBA)
Choosing Business Entity, Laughlin Associates, October 2011
Choosing the Best Ownership Structure for Your Business (Nolo)
How Business Legal Structures Work (Howstuffworks)
Business Legal Organizational Structures (About.com)
PASBDC Business Legal Structures FAQ
Pennsylvania Department of State Corporation Bureau
A Guide To Business Registration In Pennsylvania (DOS Corporation Bureau)
DOS Corporation Bureau Forms
Corporations And Unincorporated Associations (Title 15)
A Guide To Forming Your Business (bizfilings.com)
Corporate Veil Protection, Laughlin Associates, October 2011
Google Search: business legal structure

Sole Proprietorship
Defined (wikipedia)
Sole Proprietorship Basics (Nolo)
Sole Proprietorship (PAOpen4Business)
Sole Proprietorship (IRS)
Google Search: +pennsylvania +"Sole Proprietorship"

General Partnership
Defined (wikipedia)
General Partnership Basics (Nolo)
Partnership Agreement Sample (Small Business Notes)
Partnership Agreement Books (Amazon.com)
General Partnership (PAOpen4Business)
General Partnership (IRS)
Google Search: +pennsylvania +"general partnerships"
Google Search: partnership agreement
Google Search: Steps To Draft A Partnership Agreement

Limited Partnership
Defined (wikipedia)
Limited Partnership (Nolo)
Limited Partnership (PAOpen4Business)
Google Search: +pennsylvania +"limited partnership"

Limited Liability Partnership
Defined (wikipedia)
Limited Liability Partnership (DOS)
Limited Liability Partnership (PAOpen4Business)
Limited Liability Partnership (BusinessOwnersToolKit)
Google Search: +pennsylvania +"limited liability partnership"

C-Corporation
Defined (wikipedia)
C-Corporation (DOS)
C-Corporation (PAOpen4Business)
C-Corporation (IRS)
Google Search: +pennsylvania +"C-Corporation"

S-Corporation
Defined (wikipedia)
S-Corporation (PAOpen4Business)
S-Corporation (IRS)
Google Search: +pennsylvania +"S-Corporation"

Non-Profit Corporations
Defined (wikipedia)
Non-Profit Corporations FAQ (Nolo)
Non-Profit Corporations Basics (Nolo)
Non-Profit Corporation (WorldLawDirect)
Tax Information for Charitable Organizations (IRS)
Starting Non-Profit Corporation In PA (Hurwit & Associates)
Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) (IRS)
Google Search: +pennsylvania +forming +"non-profit Corporation"


Professional Associations

Google Search: +forming +"professional association"

Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Defined (wikipedia)
How to Form a Limited Liability Company (Nolo)
Publication 3402, Tax Issues for Limited Liability Companies (IRS)
A Step by Step Guide to Forming a Limited Liability Company in Pennsylvania (PSU)
Google Search: "limited liability company" +pennsylvania

Business Trusts
Google Search: +forming +"business trusts"

Benefit Corporations
Defined (Wikipedia)
Google Search: benefit corporations
Benefit Corporation FAQ (BLab)
Professional Corporations
Defined (wikipedia)
Google Search: +forming +"professional corporation"

Other Articles and Information
Tax Considerations for Business Legal Structures

Advertising & Promotion - Direct Sales

Information, topics, and links related to your business's direct sales marketing strategy.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-06-09
Revised: 2009-09-10

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Marketing My Business - Advertising & Promotion

Direct Sales Marketing Strategy

Google Search: how do I develop a successful sales staff

Articles and Information
Relationship Marketers (Boring Marketers Have Skinny Kids) bizjournal 2008/04/28

Tools
gladhandle: Web-based software that helps salespeople communicate and followup with their clients.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Money For My Business - Securities

Businesses that are growing that have exhausted their ability to finance their growth through personal capital or bank loans may want to consider finding individuals to finance and invest in their company. These security offerings may be debt securities like corporate notes and bonds or equity securities like corporate stock. Below are websites, links and information pertaining to this type of capital acquisition.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-06-07
Revised: 2008-06-07

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Money For My Business - Main Page

Securities (Offering)

Pennsylvania Securities Commission (PSC)
PSC Entrepreneur Education Program
Entrepreneur Education Program Brochure
Raising Small-Business Capital Brochure

Other Securities Offering Assistance
US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Q&A: Small Business and the SEC
Small Company Offering Registration (SCOR) Information
North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)
NASAA SCOR Assistance and Information
SCOR Forms
U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy
Google Search: "Small Company Offering"


Money For My Business - Other Commercial Lenders

These are other commercial lenders other than banks that offer commercial loans, lines-of-credit, second mortgages, cash flow based loans, and home equity loans for people who want to start or expand their business. In some cases these lenders will finance your business when you get denied by traditional banks. These are the lenders that do business in the Clarion SBDC's 10 county area of operation.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-06-07
Revised: 2015-05-12

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Money For My Business - Main Page

Commercial Loans (Other)

Cashflow Based Loans
OnDeck

Phone: (888) 269-4246 Extention 2
Email: info@ondeck.com
Website: https://www.ondeck.com/

Financing Guidelines

Google Search: cash flow based financing +pennsylvania

Commercial Real Estate Loans
CommercialBanc
Janus Mortgage

Google Search: commercial real estate loans +pennsylvania

Equipment Collateralized Loans and Leases
At their basic level, equipment loans are not that different from car loans. Just as a car is the collateral in a car loan, the equipment is the collateral in an equipment loan. When equipment loans go into default, repossession can occur. The keys to getting affordable rates on equipment loans are good credit, reasonable debt ratio, and a solid operating history for your company.

If your credit rating is less than stellar or you don't have a very long operating history, you may want to consider equipment leasing as an option over loans. Equipment leasing is generally easier to get for new business owners, and it has the benefit of leaving the costs of obsolescence with the leasing company.

If your credit rating is good enough for you to qualify for both a equipment loan and a equipment lease, you will need to do some financial calcualtions to see which scenario is better for your situation. Some of the factors that will affect your decision will be the life of the asset, the interest rates of the loan/lease, the terms of the loan/lease, closing costs of the loan/lease, the cost of equipment obsolescence, cash flow maximization, and of course tax considerations.

Be careful with solicitations via telephone, mail, fax, and emails from various equipment collateralized lenders. Many of these are bad deals. When I find some legitimate trustworthy firms that provide this type of financing, I will add them to this post.

Other Loans

Three Sixty Financial: At ThreeSixty Financial, we believe there’s a loan for every situation – whether it’s personal or business. And it’s our job to find it for you, fast and without hassle.

ThreeSixty Financial makes the application process easy, so you can get multiple options for a personal or business loan. We partner with only the best lenders. Plus, the application is free and requesting options does not impact your credit score. Need a Business Loan? No Problem.

Loans help business get done. ThreeSixty Financial connects your business plan to the money it needs to get off the ground, or reach higher planes. We partner with proven business lenders, and vet the options for you.

In most cases, ThreeSixty Financial will connect you with an unsecured personal or business loan. An unsecured loan is granted based on the belief that you will repay as promised and have the means to do so. These loans tend to be the best vehicles to help move an individual toward better financing options.

Google Search: equipment collateralized loans

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Government Regulation and Compliance - PA I80 Toll

This is informationa and web links pertaining to Pennsylvania's proposal to convert Interstate 80 from a taxed based public highway to a toll road.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Publish Date: 2008-05-27
Revised: 2009-10-14

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Goto Government Regulation and Compliance - Main Page

Converting Pennsylvania Interstate 80 (I80) Into Toll Road

I80 Information and History (pahighways)
I80 Information and History (Wikipedia)
Pennsylvania General Assembly Act 44 Legislation
Bill Number: HB 1590
Scarnati: New Transportation Plan, Eliminates I-80 Tolls
Scarnati: Transportation Funding With Sound Fiscal Restraint (PDF)
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC)
Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell - Act 44 Legislation (PTC)
PTC I80 Toll Proposal Information
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Google Search: +Pennsylvania +"HB 1590"

Government Regulation and Compliance - Main Page

Information, topics, and links related to government regulations and compliance that affect your small business.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-05-27
Revised: 2010-04-23

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Government Regulation and Compliance

Globally
DoingBusiness.org: What's the impact of government rule-making on business activity, particularly with regard to small and medium-size companies? Find out with the annual Doing Business reports. Doing Business not only measures the impact of laws and regulations, it does so throughout the business lifecycle.

United States
Americans With Disabilities Compliance
Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008

Pennsylvania
Building Occupancy Permits
Lead, Renovation, Repair, and Painting Program: Pennsylvania rennovations and painting contractors as of April 2010 are required to be licensed for lead removal on buildings built before 1978
Uniform Construction Code (PA Dept L&I)
Converting Pennsylvania Interstate 80 (I80) Into Toll Road



Thursday, May 22, 2008

Business Information For My Business - Internet Searches

Information, topics, and links related to conducting business research via the internet and various search engines.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-05-22
Revised: 2009-10-14

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Search Engines
Major Search Engine List and Descriptions
Google
Yahoo
Ask
AllTheWeb
AOLSearch
HotBot
AltaVista
Gigablast
Bing
Lycos
Netscape Search
Open Directory
MSN

Other Global Search Engines
Community-Based Search Engines
Guides To Search Engines
Other Search Engines By Category

Conducting Internet Searches
Google - Basic Search
Google - Advanced Search
Google - Discussion Groups Search
Google - Image Search
Google - Video Search
Google - Map Search
Google - News Search
Google - Shopping Search
Google - Microsoft Site Search
Google - Other Searches and Products
Google Search: defining more efficient google search
Defining Search Phrase For Google
20 Tips for More Efficient Google Searches

Websites - Website Evaluator

Information, topics, and links related to your business's website evaluation strategy.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-05-22
Revised: 2015-11-23

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Marketing My Business - Websites

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Your Businesses Website

Published By: Martin Brill
International Trade Specialist
Kutztown University Small Business Development Center
2986 North Second Street
Harrisburg PA 17110
Telephone: (717) 720-4230
Fax: (717) 720-4262
Email: mbrill@paonline.com
Website: http://www.kutztownsbdc.org/
Publish Date: 2004-03-31
Updated: 2004-03-31

Just 5 years ago, a website made you the "talk of the town" and perhaps unique among your peers … but that's history. Today, it is commonplace and indeed expected that you have a web site just as you have an email address and a telephone! How good is your web site and is it effective in helping you achieve your business objectives? In this recessionary climate of careful spending and cut-throat competition, each business must maximize the benefit of its web site. After all, you invested scarce time and money to create the web site. Are you reaping the benefits?

Here is a quick test. The purpose of this evaluation tool is to provide you with a non-technical framework to judge the effectiveness of your web site. Like most other analytical tools, the value of the output will depend on the effort you expend. Why not take a few minutes and analyze your web site within the 9 categories below so that your e-business is "all that it can be."

A. Purpose - 10 Points

1. The company has a specific business reason for creating and maintaining the web site.
2. The web site meets this objective.

B. Message - 15 Points

1. The home page downloads reasonably fast, within 6 seconds of accessing the site.
2. Company name and logo are easily found and they are present on every page.
3. The business of the company is clearly stated even for non-technical people.
4. The message of the web site is consistent in design, color and content with the company's printed materials.
5. The web site address is easy to remember.
6. The web site appears on company letterhead, product literature, advertising and promotional items.

C. Design - 15 Points

1. Type size is large enough to read easily, even with background/side-light.
2. The web site is logically organized.
3. The English is grammatically correct, easy to understand and without idioms.
4. The background color provides a good contrast to the print, photos and symbols.
5. Print outs from the site are clear; photocopies and faxes of the same are readable.
6. The space is well utilized without waste or clutter.

D. Content - 15 Points

1. The web site adequately and accurately markets the key advantages of the company's products or services.
2. Photos, if used, contribute to conveying the company's message and they download quickly.
3. The web site is updated at least monthly and preferably weekly.
4. There are several ways to access the various pages and topics within the web site.
5. There are short biographical sketches of key personnel included in the text.
6. The web site is linked to other useful, non-competitive sites, such as a chamber of commerce, economic development agency, complementary products and/or trade association. Check these links bimonthly to make sure they are current.
7. Included in the web site is a company mission statement and brief corporate history. While this is not essential when marketing to other US businesses, foreign prospects want to understand the company and its philosophy prior to consider entering into business relationships with an oversea company. Once you have a web site, you are an international company!

E. Competition - 10 Points

1. The company benchmarks its web site against at least 3 competitors.
2. The company checks competitors' web sites at least once per month.

F. Ease of Contact - 10 Points

1. The address, telephone, fax and email of the company are easily found and readable.
2. The site includes a button to send email directly to you. Email inquiries from the web site are promptly answered.
3. Key divisions of the company are identified and can be contacted through the web site email window.
4. The web site has a button to access the site in Spanish. After all there are over 30 million Hispanics in the US alone. Are you willing to ignore this market?
5. The site is translated into other languages if the company sells in overseas markets.
6. The site contains a map and directions to your company. Remember to revise the map and directions for detours, changes in exit numbers or road repairs.

G. Sales - 10 Points

1. If the company is selling product online, terms (such as postage extra) are clear and consistent throughout the site. Does the company accept credit cards and which ones?
2. State approximate delivery dates.
3. The return policy and warranty periods are clear.
4. Terms for overseas sales are specified if different from domestic sales.
5. At least quarterly, a company employee purchases an item from the web site to test ease of purchase and promptness of fulfillment.
6. Web customers and prospects are contacted periodically about new products, sales and perhaps trade shows.

H. Search Capability – I5 Points

1. The company uses a metasearch engine, such as www.dogpile.com with various combinations of key words to see where the web site and those of its competitors appear within the search engine. Remember if you goal is to be found by buyers from Internet searches, your company must appear in the first 10 or 20 listings or you are likely invisible to the customer.
2. The company conducts a metasearch at least monthly to see how the company's ranking changes within the various search engines.

I. Bonus – I5 Points

1. Your site contains a search button so visitors may explore your site by the key words of interest to them.
2. You regularly gather and analyze statistics information from your host, especially, how long visitors spend at your site, which are the most popular pages and how they arrived at your site. The number of "hits" is meaningless.
3. You offer specials and coupons on your web site.
4. New or obsolete products are sold on your web site.
5. You have portions of your site accessible by code to suppliers or customers.
6. You have privacy policy and security information clearly stated.
7. You keep a listing of Internet customers that you use as a test market for new products and services.
8. You create an electronic newsletter for your Internet customers.
9. You successfully place your link on other relevant sites-such as non-competing products, non-profit organizations and perhaps product-related online "malls."

Rating

90-100 -- Your site is on the cutting edge and meeting your expectations. Or you are just very kind to yourself and the web master!

80-90 -- Hitting most of your objectives. Some fine-tuning will put you over the top.

70-80 -- You have all the basics. Some attention to details will help you achieve your goals.

60-70 -- This is an opportunity to redefine your e-cornmerce goals and examine how your web site can meet these goals. This may mean in practice a major redesign of the web site to improve effectiveness.

60 or below -- Well, at least you are honest! Use this reality test as a free wake up call to action. You must do better to stay on the cusp of competitiveness in your industry.

Other Website Evaluation Information, Links, Tools and Resources
Bartlett Website Evaluator (Bartlett Communications)

Your website visitors could be using any number of website browsers and your page will vary in look and function depending on the browser being used. BrowserShots is a website that allows you to evaluate how your website views and functions on various brands of web browsers.


Friday, May 09, 2008

Advertising & Promotion - Blogging

Information, topics, and links related to your business's internet blogging marketing strategy.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-05-09
Revised: 2008-05-09

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Marketing My Business - Advertising & Promotion

Blogging as a part of your Marketing Strategy

What are Blogs & How and Where Do I Set Up My Blog
What is a Blog? (Wikipedia)
Blog Software List and Information (Wikipedia)
Blogger Website (Free)
TypePad (Free Trial)
LiveJournal
Google Search: How can I start Blog?

Articles And Information
Should My Business Develop A Blog?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Industry Analysis - Agriculture

These are links and information pertaining to the Agriculture industry.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-05-05
Revised: 2013-05-23

Table of Contents
Industry Analysis - Main Page

Agriculture Industry
SIC Code: 01?? NAICS Code: 11????

Agricultural Entrepreneurship Program
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA)
University of Scranton SBDC Agribusiness and Food Specialty Center

Other Information and Links
Farm Subsidy Database

Business Assistance Programs & Organizations - Agricultural Entrepreneurship Program

The Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (IEE) has an Agricultural Entrepreneurship Program that addresses emerging trends such as agri-tourism, the buy-local movement, and organic and specialty products. They help maintain private farm ownership by teaching succession planning, facilitating young farmer entry into capital intensive industry, and coordinating educational opportunities for improved management skills and introduction to new technologies.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-05-05
Revised: 2013-05-23

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Goto Business Assistance Programs & Organizations

For more information and assistance contact:
Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence
University of Pittsburgh, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
230 South Bouquet Street
1800 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
Pittsburgh PA 15260
Phone: (412) 648-1544
Fax: (412) 648-1636
Webmail: http://katz.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_07cP9gZh8ivQCvq
Website: http://www.entrepreneur.pitt.edu/special-programs/agricultural-entrepreneurship

Agricultural programs available:
Miscellaneous Agricultural Entrepreneurship Services
Natural Gas Lease Assistance
Methane Production Assistance
Switchgrass Pellet Assistance
Dairy Farming Assistance

General Agriculture Assistance
Center For Dairy Excellence (CDE)
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture
Penn State Agricultural Cooperative Extension Agents
Penn State Ag Science Magazine
Pennsylvania Farm Bureau
Clarion-Forest-Venango Farm Bureau
Brady D. Kadunce, President
PO Box 8736
510 South 31st Street
Camp Hill PA 17001-8736
Clarion Phone: (814) 226-5405
Camp Hill Office: (717) 761.2740
Email: bradyk2@verizon.net
Website: http://www.pfb.com/
Penn State School of Agriculture

The Clarion-Venango-Forest County Farm Bureau meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7:30
pm at the Clarion VFW. Meetings are open to the membership. Directions

Developing business plan for an agricultural business: Click here

Farm and Land Owners Natural Gas, Oil, Timber, & Minerals
Goto Marcellus Shale Industry Main Page

Farm Methane Production
Biomass Energy Resource Center, Inc. (BERC)
PSU Search: Farm Methane Production
Should I Invest In Methane Production On My farm?

Switchgrass Pellet Production
PSU Search: Switchgrass Pellet

Other Information and Links

Farm Subsidy Database

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Money For My Business - SBAdvantage Grant

Small Business Advantage is a grant program providing 50% matching grants, up to a maximum of $7,500.00, to enable a Pennsylvania small business to adopt or acquire energy efficient or pollution prevention equipment or processes. Well-designed energy efficient or pollution prevention projects can help small businesses cut costs and reduce the risk of regulatory problems, while simultaneously protecting the environment.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-04-29
Revised: 2012-07-09

Goto Table of Contents
Go Back to Grants

Small Business Advantage Grant (SBAdvantage)

The Small Business Advantage Grant Program will REOPEN as of July 25, 2012. The 2012 Advantage Grant Program (AGP) will consider providing 50 percent reimbursement grants up to $9,500 to support eligible projects for eligible businesses. Each eligible business may only receive $9,500 per fiscal year (FY). The AGP provides reimbursement grant funding to promote the pollution prevention and energy efficiency practices of small businesses. Businesses must save 25 percent plus $7,500 annually as a direct result of implementing the grant supported project. All grant projects must be completed by June 30, 2013.

Additional information can be found on this link:
http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/financial_assistance/10495/advantage_grant/553249
Click on the following link: 2012/2013 Guidance Document and Application to view the grant programs guidelines and application.

Please contact the Clarion University SBDC EMAP Program for assistance with applying for this grant.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Money For My Business - Factoring

Information, topics, and links related to your business's financing and capital acquisition strategy via factoring or the acquisition of short-term working capital by selling your past and/or future accounts receivables at a discount to paper value.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-04-28
Revised: 2015-05-13

Goto Table of Contents
Money For My Business - Main Page

Factoring (Short-term financing of working capital)

Answers About Factoring
Factoring (How it works)
How to More Effectively Convert Your Accounts Receivable into Cash

Capital Alternatives, Inc.
Rob Wagner
1321 McLaughlin Run Road
Pittsburgh PA 15241
Phone: (412) 221-5320
Email: rowagner@verizon.net
Loans: $25,000 to $150,000

Diamond Business Credit: Diamond Business Credit is a privately owned, entrepreneurial lender providing asset-based loans to companies that can not secure traditional bank financing.
Merchant Advisors
Google Search: factoring receivables
Google Search: factoring inventory

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Marketing My Business - Distribution

Information, topics, and links related to your business's product and services distribution strategy.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-04-10
Revised: 2008-04-10

Goto Table of Contents
Marketing My Business - Main Page

Products and Services Distribution

Distribution Channels

Manufacturer
Barcoding
Direct Selling (Manufacturer Produces and Sells)
Agent (Manufacturer's Representative or Broker)
Distributor (Wholesaler)
Dealer/Reseller (Retailer)
Consumer (End User)

Friday, April 04, 2008

Computers For My Business - Main Page

These are links and information pertaining to computer hardware and software that can help you plan, develop, and maintain your small business computer systems.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2008-04-05
Revised: 2015-11-17

Table of Contents

Computers For My Business

Hardware

Computer Systems: Where to configure and purchase computer systems and accessories.
Computer Support
CS Technologies Plus
Dell
Gateway
HP/Compaq

Software

Computer Utilities: Free software that will help you avoid viruses, spyware, and popups. In addition there are various utilities that will help you clean your computer of old outdated files and registry entries, windows updates, defrag utilities, and other useful utilities.
Microsoft Windows Updates
Spybot - Search & Destroy
SuperAntiSpyware
Ad-Aware
CCleaner
EasyCleaner
Eusing Free Registry Cleaner
Auslogics Registry Defrag
AusLogics Disk Defrag
DirMS-S
avast! Antivirus
Google Toolbar
Norton Removal Tool Removes stubborn Norton AntiVirus program completely
Free Fonts Add new font styles to your computer (free fonts)
Free Software Training

Email Software and Tools
Gmail
Yahoo
Google Search: free email account
Mass emailing: Avoid getting accused of being a spammer and being blacklisted when sending one email to multiple legitimate email addresses.
Mass emailing: Email Mining The Web, Learn how you can use the Web to mine emails for your target customers for use in email campaigns.

Other Handy Tools
Convert File To Another Format: Somebody emails you a file in a software format that you do not have on your computer. Example: Someone sends you an OpenOffice document file and you want to open it in Word. Go to online-convert website and it will ask you for the file you have and you will browse and load it online and then it asks you for the file format you want to convert it to, and you choose Word 97/2000/xp and it converts it for you online. You then just save it to your hard drive and load it in Word.

Open Source Software Availability (Whats Out There)
Open Source Software For Windows
Open Source Software List From Wikipedia
Mohawke's Best of the Best Free and Open Source Software Collection

Business Applications: Open source or free word processors, spreadsheets, databases, presentation managers, and various other business productivity applications.
OpenOffice

Website and Blogger Applications: Open source or free website and blogging software applications and utilities.
Google Blogger

Other Software and Tools For Small Businesses
15 Free Web-based Applications To Start Your Business
The Freelancer’s Toolset: 100 Web Apps for Everything You Will Possibly Need (Codswallop)
Get assistance with developing a Website