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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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

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

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
Netscape Search
Open Directory

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."


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)
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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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