Monday, December 07, 2009

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Industry Analysis - Internet Usage - Social Networking

These are links and information pertaining to the Internet and Social Networking Industry.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-11-05
Revised: 2009-11-05

Table of Contents
Industry Information - Main Page

Blog Reference: Marketing My Business - Advertising & Promotion

Internet - Social Networking Industry Research
Download 2009 Norton Online Living Report (PDF)

Other Internet and Social Networking Links and Information
Google Search: online living +social +networking

Friday, October 02, 2009

Customer Service For My Business - Main Page

These sources of information, links, programs, and resources for assisting small businesses with customer service issues.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-10-02
Revised: 2015-11-23

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Customer Service (Main Page)

Customer Service Point
Institute of Customer Service
Google Search: small business customer service

Other Articles and Information
Customer Service - The Lost Art: Christine Manning, September 2009, ezinearticles.com

Monday, August 31, 2009

Disadvantaged In Business - Veterans

Information, assistance, and links related to veterans in business.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Publish Date: 2009-08-31
Revised: 2012-02-27

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Veteran Business Assistance


Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers
PASBDC Veteran Business Assistance Tools
Find your local Veteran Business Outreach Center

United States Department of Veteran Affairs
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Staff Listing
Small Business Points of Contact Listing
Small Business Programs and Socioeconomic Goals
Veteran Entrepreneurs
Mentor-Protégé Program
Search for Loans, Grants & Financing
Small Business Assistance for Veterans (SBA)
OSDBU Document Library
OSDBU Resource Library
Small Business Advocate Newsletter

United States Small Business Administration (SBA)
Office of Veterans Business Development
Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative
Military Reservists Economic Injury Loans
Veterans Business Development Officers
Veterans Business Outreach Program

Other Veteran Owned Business Assistance Links
VeteranOwnedBusiness.com
VeteranOwnedBusiness.com Blog
vetfriends.com
Veteran-Owned Business Doing Business With Department of Defense (DOD)
giveavetachance.com
Wounded Warrior Directory: Small businesses owned by veterens wounded in the service to their country.
Google Search: veteran owned business assistance

Friday, August 21, 2009

Industry Analysis - Real Estate

This is information and web links pertaining to the Real Estate Industry.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Publish Date: 2009-08-20
Revised: 2009-08-20

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Industry Analysis - Main Page

Real Estate

Real Estate Outlook (Prudential Investment Management)

Google Search: US Real Estate Industry Outlook

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Government Regulation - Building Occupancy Permits

This is informationa and web links pertaining to Pennsylvania's Uniform Construction Code regulations (PA UCC) and Pennsylvania's building occupancy permits.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Publish Date: 2009-08-19
Revised: 2009-08-19

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PA UCC and Building Occupancy Permits

In the past before the passing of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code regulations (PA UCC) the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (PA Dept of L&I) was the government agency directly responsible for receiving applications, approving, assigning, and renewing building occupancy permits to businesses and organizations in Pennsylvania.

Recently, the PA Dept of L&I has given local Pennsylvania municipalities the option of taking the responsibility of inspection, permitting, and enforcement of Pennsylvania building occupancy permits. As a result of the PA UCC, most local municipalities have taken over the responsibility for the inspections and the permits. Many municipalities have a person on staff that does the inspection, permitting, and enforcement of the code or they may contract with a certified third party to do the inspection, permitting, and enforcement of the occupancy permits. Some municipalities have decided not to take on the responsibility from the PA Dept of L&I and chose to keep the PA Dept of L&I as the authority to enforce the codes and issue permits. A list of the municipalities that have either chosen to opt-in or opt-out are listed here by county: county listing.

PA Dept of L&I, UCC Plan Review and Inspection Requirements

For more information, contact:
Pennsylvania's Uniform Construction Code
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry
Phone: (717) 787-3806, Option 1, then Option 8
Fax: (717) 783-5002
Questions faxed over are answered quickly. The phones are at times swamped.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Industry Information - Retail

These are links, information, and resources pertaining to the retail industry.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-08-14
Revised: 2009-08-14

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Industry Analysis - Main Page

Retail Industry

General Retail Information, Articles, and Links
The National Trust Main Street Center
MainStreet News Article Database (MainStreet News)
Great American Main Street Awards

Friday, August 07, 2009

Computers For My Business - Avoid Being Blacklisted

These are links and information pertaining to mass emailing and the avoidance of being considered a spammer and avoiding being blacklisted.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-08-07
Revised: 2010-08-03

Table of Contents
Computers For My Business - Main Page

People using email sometimes send one email to multiple people or email accounts. If the number of people you send the email to is somewhat large, as many as only 30, the email servers receiving the emails can electronically label the sender of the "mass" emails as a spammer and may blacklist your email account and/or server that you are sending from.

When you are blacklisted your email and/or server or server ip address is blocked from many servers that are subscribed to the blacklist. Meaning the emails you send are not always delivered.

Avoid Being Labeled A Spammer And Avoid Being Blacklisted
The methods described here are not guaranteed to avoid getting blacklisted but have helped avoid blacklisting in the past.

Manual Method: If you have a list of say 100 classmates you want to email a class reunion invitation to: send in groups of 20, 15 minutes apart. This is the least safest way, but is cheap and easy.

Constant Contact: Web based software that manages your email lists and groups and provides the backbone that avoids blacklisting. You import your email addresses to online software database and send them from there. $15 per month for 0-500 addresses. This is a safer method, but costs money and there is a small learning curve.

madmimi: Competitor to Constant Contact. 100 or less email addresses is free. 100 to 500 is $8 per month.

mailchimp: Another web-based email marketing software and database. 100 or less email addresses 6 or less mailings a month is free. 100 to 500 is $10 per month.

listrak: Another web based software that is more robust and more expensive. The website has a nice information and resources center.

Other Related Articles, Information, and Links
Email Marketing Strategy and Tips

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Industry Information - Outside The US

These are links and information pertaining to various industry information and research outside the United States.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-07-29
Revised: 2009-07-29

Table of Contents

Industry Information - Outside The US

Canada
Canada Business
Industry Canada

France (To be published in the future)

Mexico (To be published in the future)

Russia (To be published in the future)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Problems With My Business - Debt Problems

This is the starting point for business that are having debt problems or issues with paying creditors.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-07-15
Revised: 2016-03-24

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Debt Problems
Corporate Turnaround (ASBDC)
How To Pay Business Debts You Can't Afford Guide

Problems With My Business - Main Page

This is the starting point for business that are having problems or various issues with their small busineses.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-07-15
Revised: 2016-03-24

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Problems With My Business
Bankruptcy
Debt Problems

Economic Analysis - Global

This is the starting point for entrepreneurs or anyone interested in starting, managing, or expanding a business in general to find economic data for their business industry and target market. The economic information in this post pertains to all countries and is global in nature.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-07-15
Revised: 2011-09-20

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Global Economic Analysis
World Fact Book (Central Intellgence Agency)
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
OECD Frequently Requested Statistics

By Country

Europe
eurostat

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Company Information - Main Page

These are links, information, and resources pertaining to company information.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-06-04
Revised: 2015-11-17

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Company Information

Bloomberg BusinessWeek: The Fifty Most Innovative Companies
glassdoor.com
Google Business Directory
Dun and Bradstreet Million Dollar Database (Subscription Fee)
Hoovers Company Database (Subscription Fee)
InfoUSA.com (Subscription Fee)
Manta
Motley Fool
MSN Money
ThomasNet: find manufacturers, distributors and service providers
Yahoo Company Info
SEC.gov Company Search
Google Search: Company Research

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Industry Analysis - Book Publishing

These are links, information, and resources pertaining to the book publishing industry.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-05-27
Revised: 2009-05-27

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Industry Analysis - Main Page

Book Publishing Industry SIC Code: 2731 NAICS Code: 511130

SBDCNet Book Publishing Industry Research (SBDCNet)

Google Search: "book publishing industry"

Monday, May 18, 2009

Economic Stimulus Package - Main Page

These are links, information, and resources pertaining to the United States Government Ecionomic Stimulus Package and how it may affect your small business.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-05-18
Revised: 2009-10-13

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Economic Stimulus Package

Economic Stimulus Package Website (SBA)
Economic Stimulus Oversite By State (stateline.org)
Recovery.com
2008 Economic Stimulus Act Provides Tax Benefits to Businesses (IRS)
Google Search: "economic stimulus package"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Business Legal Issues For My Business - Business Legal Issues

These are links, information, and resources pertaining legal issues pertaining to small businesses.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-05-12
Revised: 2013-05-06

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Small Business Legal Issues

Free online legal assistance: Nolo Website
Free online legal issue podcasts: Nolo Podcasts
Online Legal Blogs: Nolo Blogs
Avvo: is an online resource dedicated to providing information and guidance on legal matters. The site profiles lawyers, and includes information on each lawyer's experience, areas of practice, disciplinary history, and even client ratings. According to Avvo, "profile data comes from many sources, including state courts and bar associations, lawyer websites, and information provided by lawyers."

Google Search: free small business legal assistance

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Industry Analysis - Oil and Natural Gas

These are links, information, and resources pertaining to the oil and natural gas extraction/production industry.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-04-23
Revised: 2011-02-28

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Industry Analysis - Main Page

Oil and Natural Gas Extraction Industry SIC Code: 1311 NAICS Code: 221111

Agricultural Entrepreneurship Program (Univ Pitt SBDC)
Marcellus Shale And My Business - Main Page
Oil & Gas Journal

Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association (PIOGA)
Petroleum Marketing Annual 2009, August 2010 (Energy Information Administration, US Department of Energy)

Google Search: "united states oil and gas industry"
Google Search: +united +states "oil and gas industry" +forecast +outlook
Google Search: +"pennsylvania oil and gas industry"

Industry Analysis - Freight Brokerage

These are links, information, and resources pertaining to the freight/trucking brokering industry.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-04-23
Revised: 2009-04-23

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Industry Analysis - Main Page
Industry Analysis - Transportation

Freight/Trucking Brokering Industry SIC Code: 8742 NAICS Code: 541614
How to Start a Freight Brokerage Business (Entreprenuer Magazine)

Google Search: "starting freight brokerage"
Google Search: "freight brokerage industry"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Industry Analysis - Funeral Homes

These are links, information, and resources pertaining to the funeral home industry.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-04-22
Revised: 2009-04-22

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Industry Analysis - Main Page

Funeral Home Industry SIC Code: 7261 NAICS Code: 812210

Funeral Homes and Funeral Services (SBDCNet)
National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA)
International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association (ICCFA)
Funeral Ethics Organization (FEO)
Google Search: "Funeral Service Industry"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Accounting - Software

These are contacts, information, resources, and links that may help business's research, choose, and train on various accounting software packages.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-04-15
Revised: 2013-02-25

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Accounting Software

Find Accounting Software For Your Business

Software Packages
Quickbooks (Intuit)
Sage Peachtree

Other Information, Links, and Articles
Quickbooks and Quickbooks Training

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Industry Analysis - Transportation

These are links, information, and resources pertaining to the transportation industry.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-04-23
Revised: 2009-10-13

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Industry Analysis - Main Page

Transportation Industry

North American Transportation Statistics Database

Local Passenger Transportation
Motor Freight and Warehousing
Freight/Trucking Brokerage
Water Transportation
Air Transportation
Pipelines (Except Natural Gas)
Transportation Services
Communications
Electric, Gas, and Sanitary Services


Thursday, April 02, 2009

Independent Contractors/Freelance Workers - Main Page

These are links, information, and resources pertaining to Independent Contractors and Freelance Workers.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-04-02
Revised: 2015-06-18

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Independent Contractors/Freelance Workers

General Information & Assistance
Labor Union, Redefined, for Freelance Workers (NY Times)
Freelancers Union (Join and get group rates for insurance and benefits)
Independent Contractors Guide (pdf)
Using Independent Contractors & Freelancers (Nolo)
Google Search: Independent Contractors Freelance Workers

Friday, March 20, 2009

Industry Analysis - Solar Energy

These are links, information, and resources pertaining to the solar energy industry.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-03-20
Revised: 2010-04-15

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Industry Analysis - Main Page

Solar Energy Industry NAICS Code: 333414 SIC Code: 3433

Solar Energy/Solar Panels
Solar Energy Industry Analysis (SBDCNet)
US Department of Energy (DOE)
Solar Energy Technologies Program (DOE)
Solar Energy Association List
Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA)
American Solar Energy Society (ASES)
International Solar Energy Society (ISES)
Google Search: "solar energy industry analysis"
Google Search: "solar panel industry"
Google Search: "solar panel business"
Google Search: solar energy government regulation

Other Information and Related Sites
gstriatum.com Solar Energy Website

Friday, March 06, 2009

Marketing My Business - Nutritional Labeling

Information, topics, and links related to your business's nutritional labeling strategy.

Published By: Alan L. McConnell, Food Industry Specialist (PennTAP)
Publish Date: 2009-01-01
Revised By: Knowledgeman
Revision Date: 2014-07-10

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Marketing My Business - Main Page
Marketing My Business - Product/Service

Nutritional Labeling Facts Regulations

Nutrition Labeling Options
First, please understand that you are not required to have Nutrition Facts on your product until you produce more than 100,000 units of product (same recipe) in a year. If you produce less than 10,000 units in a year, you don’t need Nutrition Facts, and you don’t need to tell anyone that you aren’t putting it on. If you produce between 10,000 units and 100,000 units in a year, then you still are not required to have Nutrition Facts; but you must notify the FDA once per year stating that you are exempt and that you are not going to put nutrition information on your label. The annual exemption notification to the FDA may be completed online.

So, unless Nutrition Facts is important to your customers, you may decide to skip that for now. Or, you may simply want to put Nutrition Facts on your sales sheets or other promotional literature – it’s your choice. Note, however, that you cannot make any “nutrition-related” claims on the label or in your sales literature unless you include the full Nutrition Facts label on the product.

There are three ways to get a Nutrition Facts label for a food product; all three are totally acceptable to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA):

Laboratory Analysis
Receive an actual lab analysis of your finished product. This will cost between $450 and $650 per product, depending on the lab. You can find a listing of Pennsylvania testing laboratories and other states as well, here: http://www.pafoodventures.psu.edu/labs.html.

Database Analysis
The second way to get a label is by having someone do a “database analysis” from your recipe. Fees for that service range from about $50 to $350, again depending upon the company. Here is a link to a list of many food consultanting companies that will do database analysis: http://www.cooltoad.com/links/show.php?c=186126&PHPSESSID=4f. Below are three consultants that I have dealt with personally in the past:

Wendy Hess, R.D., C.D.E.
115 Charlotte Street
Burlington VT 05401
Phone: (802)-863-3033
Fax: (802)-658-6376
Email: info@nutrient-analysis.com
Website: http://www.nutrient-analysis.com/index.html
Client List
Sample Analysis
Fee Schedule

Wendy’s fee is about $80 per label. With that, she will give you a “photo ready” Nutrition Facts panel and/or the electronic file for printing from your computer or your label printer’s equipment. She will also provide alternative formats for the Nutrition Facts label if needed, at no extra charge. She will provide you with a “Non-Disclosure Agreement” stating that she will not use, share, or sell your recipe. Wendy also does nutrition consulting for an hourly, or project-based, fee.

Tom Lonczynski (pronounced lawn zin ski)
PO Box 1151
Conyngham PA 18219
Phone: (570) 233-0551
Fax: (570) 454-1399
Email: tclonczy@ptd.net

Tom’s fee is about $50 per label, and he may discount multiple labels at the same time, depending upon their complexity. Tom will give you a “photo ready” Nutrition Facts panel and/or the electronic file for printing from your computer or your label printer’s equipment. He will also provide alternative formats for the Nutrition Facts label if needed. Tom will provide you with a “Non-Disclosure Agreement” or will gladly sign one that you provide. Check with Tom about his turn-around time, he may not be able to meet your requirements depending upon how quickly you need the information.

Concept Nutrition, Inc.
Lauren Swann, RD
4201 Neshaminy Blvd. PMB #206
Bensalem PA 19020-1609
Phone: (215) 639-1203
Fax: (215) 604-0156
Email: laurenswann@comcast.net or info@foodfactswork.com
Website: http://www.foodfactswork.com

Lauren does a full range of nutrition labeling and consulting and will provide a properly formatted Nutrition Facts panel. Inquire for pricing.

Anyone developing a Nutrition label from database values will require the full recipe; the accuracy of the label depends upon you providing them with an accurate and complete recipe. Recipe quantities should, ideally, be in terms of weight (pounds, ounces or grams) rather than volumetric measurements like: cup, teaspoon, and gallon.

Do-It Yourself Database Analysis
A third way to complete your nutrition labels would be to purchase a Food Labeling database program for your own use. With that, you could create as many labels as you liked, when you wanted them. You could also see the immediate effect of recipe changes on the Nutrition Facts panel (such as changes in salt content affecting the sodium amount, etc.)

There is a fairly comprehensive list of nutrition analysis/nutrition labeling programs at: http://www.nutribase.com/. I reviewed all of the links on that site. Most of those programs are strictly recipe/diet analysis tools and don’t do labels. Several that can do labels are quite cumbersome and not user friendly (as I discovered after downloading their trial versions).

Three programs to consider:
Nutritionist Pro Food Labeling Software, http://www.nutritionistpro.com/foodlabeling.php, for $595. Annual updates for additional fee. Trial downloads.

Genesis R&D, http://www.esha.com/genesissql, for $5,000.00. Annual updates at $300 per year. Trial downloads.

Nutribase Clinical Edition, http://nutribase.com/, for $695. No-fee updates (within version). Trial version available.

The first two are well-recognized and respected in the food processing community. Nutribase is not as well known and may be best suited for dieticians as opposed to food processors.

Other Nutritional Labeling Information, Tools, and Links
Starting A Food Business (PA Food Ventures)
Nutrition Checklist (Wendy Hess RD, CDE)
Nutritional Analysis Worksheet (Wendy Hess RD, CDE)
Food Labeling News (Wendy Hess RD, CDE)

Google Search
: Nutrition Labeling

Marketing My Business - Product/Service

Information, topics, and links related to your business's product/service (branding, packaging, labeling, logo, etc) strategy.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-03-06
Revised: 2009-03-06

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Marketing My Business - Main Page

Product/Service Strategy

Branding
Packaging
Labeling
Nutritional Labeling
Logo

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Accounting - Uncollectible Accounts

These are information, documents, resources, links, and that will assist businesses with uncollectible accounts issues for accounting.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-02-25
Revised: 2015-11-16

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Uncollectible Accounts

Estimating Uncollectible Accounts (CRF)
Google Search: "uncollectible accounts"
Google Search: "estimating uncollectible accounts"

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Training For My Business - WEDnetPA

The Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania is a Pennsylvania state funded program that provides reimbursement of training funds to qualified Pennsylvania companies.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-02-19
Revised: 2009-10-13

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Workforce & Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA)

Western Pennsylvania WEDnetPA Coordinator:
Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Division of Continuing Education
Juanice Vega - Director
210 Still Hall
Clarion PA 16214
Phone: (814) 393-2227
Fax: (814) 393-2741
Email: continuinged@clarion.edu
Website: http://www.clarion.edu/267/

Clarion University of PA Division of Continuing Education WEDnetPA Information
Workforce and Economic Development Network of Pennsylvania (WEDnetPA)
WEDnetPA Guidelines
WEDnetPA Guaranteed Free Training Brochure
WEDnetPA Annual Report
WEDnetPA Newsletter
WEDnetPA 2009-2010 Year At A Glance


Monday, February 09, 2009

Advertising & Promotion - Twitter

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

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-02-09
Revised: 2009-10-13

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Marketing My Business - Advertising & Promotion

Twitter as a part of your Marketing Strategy

What is Twitter?

Twitter has grown into a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices.

Why do so many people seem to like Twitter?

Simplicity has played an important role in Twitter's success. People are eager to connect with other people and Twitter makes that simple. Twitter asks one question, "What are you doing?" Answers must be under 140 characters in length and can be sent via mobile texting, instant message, or the web.

Twitter's core technology is a device agnostic message routing system with rudimentary social networking features. By accepting messages from sms, web, mobile web, instant message, or from third party API projects, Twitter makes it easy for folks to stay connected.

Isn't Twitter just too much information?

No, in fact, Twitter solves information overload by changing expectations traditionally associated with online communication. At Twitter, we ask one question, "What are you doing?" The answers to this question are for the most part rhetorical. In other words, users do not expect a response when they send a message to Twitter. On the receiving end, Twitter is ambient--updates from your friends and relatives float to your phone, IM, or web site and you are only expected to pay as much or as little attention to them as you see fit. The result of using Twitter to stay connected with friends, relatives, and coworkers is that you have a sense of what folks are up to but you are not expected to respond to any updates unless you want to. This means you can step in and out of the flow of information as it suits you and it never queues up with increasing demand of your attention. Additionally, users are very much in control of whose updates they receive, when they receive them, and on what device. For example, we provide settings for scheduling Twitter to automatically turn off at dinnertime and users can switch off Twitter updates at any point.

Twitter uses in business:

Use Twitter to promote specific articles on your web sites, forums and blogs.

Twitter.com is one of many Web 2.0 technologies that allows you to let people know what you're currently busy with. It sounds a bit silly but it actually has a very real business use.

I use it to share interesting sites and articles with people who are "following" my updates. That means that people who have selected to be notified about what I'm doing will see a notice on their Twitter page about what web sites I'm visiting and so on.

The benefit is that I can build a reputation for myself by linking to interesting stuff out there and then use that reputation to get people to visit MY articles on the same topic.

It's not much in the beginning but, once you have a few thousand people following you (not hard to do if you're intesting), you have an on-top supply of traffic to your web site!

You can use it to promote affiliate products or whatever you like. Pretty neat!

How Can Twitter Help My Business?

A lot of people just don’t get Twitter, they don’t see any value in it. Now if you are using it from a purely personal perspective then really, it is nothing more than a time consuming distraction.

The value comes if you have some kind of business/service/organisation that you want to promote. For example, you might have a standard online or offline business, or perhaps you are an artist, musician etc and want to get your work out into the community… Maybe you work for a charity and would like to gain more public awareness of it. There are many reasons why you might want to go looking for an audience beyond just your own friends and family.

It is well known that the more contact you make with a customer, the more likely you are to make a sale. These days it is much more ‘in vogue’ to sell by not selling, rather than doing the hard-push sales pitch. Twitter is a way of doing that. With Twitter you can chat to people in a friendly way and give them nudges and hints about what you’re doing in your world. Look at the benefits:

It reminds them that you exist
It shows them that you are human
It allows you to mention new offers immediately
It allows you to form a more casual relationship

How to Get Twitter Followers:

When you first join Twitter you will have no followers. You can send updates but the only people likely to see them are the people who are currently surfing the public timeline on the Twitter homepage and that moves pretty fast. You aren’t going to get many followers from there! How then, should you get followers?

Ask For Them Directly
If you are creating a personal account just email your friends, tell them about Twitter and encourage them to sign up and then follow you. If you have a business and you have an email list then you could email the list and do a similar thing. If you have some kind of website, access to a forum etc then post a message about it - write a blog post etc.

One word of warning though - if you are approaching this from a purely business perspective then you need to have something to offer your customers. What I mean is, if you use your Twitter account to just pitch, pitch, pitch, you will not get many followers. Twitter is not something that can be effectively used as a direct selling medium without adding extra benefits.

Stalk Your Targets!
When you start following somebody on Twitter they will get an email telling them of the fact and in that email is a link to your profile. This notification can be turned off but it is on by default and most people leave it on because it is nice to know when somebody starts following you. Human curiosity will result in many of those people checking out your profile and possibly following you back.

This is rather like the strategy of linking to other bloggers if you want them to notice you. You link to them, they see it in their stats and they are curious as to who is talking about them so they check out the link. If they like what they see, they may turn into another reader. The principle is the same with Twitter but there is a caveat here - when they click on your profile, they will see a transcript of your most recent updates. If those updates don’t look interesting or there are none there then not many people will follow you.

This is a tricky situation to get around in the beginning because you have no followers so you feel as though you are talking to yourself. However I’ll show you how you can get your word out there even without followers!

Networking in Your Niche
Unless you are using Twitter just to hook up with your friends, you probably have some kind of niche that you relate to. So for me, that niche is Internet marketing. A musician would have his own niche within the music industry, a charity would also have some kind of niche. You get the picture.

The key is to get out there into your niche and network. To use myself as an example again, I gained most of my initial followers on Twitter via the Thirty Day Challenge. I was a frequent user of the forums (I still am, I am a moderator now) and in my signature I put a link to my Twitter account. When people read my posts on the forums they might click the links in my signature to check me out and maybe follow me.

I’m going to assume that you have some kind of online presence - whether that is a blog, some other website, an account on Facebook etc. If you don’t, then now is the time to create one! Wherever you present yourself on the Internet you should make your Twitter profile known. This also applies to other social networks.

The idea is to participate in the communities within your niche which naturally draws people to you. There is usually some kind of profile feature - whether its just a link in a blog comment, a forum signature of a fully blown profile such as that on Facebook. Everywhere you go online you have the opportunity to say who you are and when you do so, make sure you tell people where they can find you.

Useful Twitter Accounts to Follow
I’ve talked a lot about how you can get other people to follow you but of course let’s not forget the other side of Twitter - finding interesting people for you to follow. Obviously I don’t need to tell you to start following your friends and interesting people from your niche if you have one but these days there are more and more interesting Twitter accounts popping up.

Resources, Links, Articles, And Information
Twitter Website
Twitter Online Tutorial (The Red Recruiter)
Twitter Success Stories 2009/07/15
Twitter Demographics 2009/05/11 (Social Media Optimization)
A similar web application: LinkedIn
Google Search: "how can twitter help my business"





Friday, February 06, 2009

Industry Analysis - Travel/Tourism

These are links,information, and resorces pertaining to the Travel/Tourism industry.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-02-06
Revised: 2013-11-14

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Industry Analysis - Main Page

Travel/Tourism Industry

Pennsylvania Tourism Programs

Pennsylvania Wilds: The PA Wilds is a strategic effort by many people and organizations that aims to grow the nature and heritage tourism industry across 12 ½ counties of rural Pennsylvania known as the "Pennsylvania Wilds." Our goal is to create jobs, diversify local economies and improve quality of life while inspiring a stewardship ethic in residents and visitors. The counties include: Warren, McKean, Forest, Elk, Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Jefferson, Clinton, Lycoming, Potter, Tioga, and Centre.

What is the PA Wilds? (YouTube Video)
What is the PA Wilds Artisan Trail?
Pennsylvania Wilds Website
Pennsylvania Wilds Overview
What Can Pennsylvania Wilds Do For You
Print Pennsylvania Wilds Brochures/Guides
Contact Pennsylvania Wilds
Pennsylvania Wilds Three Year Report (Jan 2007) (PA Wilds)
Making An Impact: 2010 Update on the Pennsylvania Wilds Initiative
Research and Reports
Marketing Resources

Special PA Wilds Programs and Initiatives
Hunting Works For PA

Local Contact:
Ta Brant
Pennsylvania Wilds
Small Business Ombudsman
PO Box 285
Sugar Grove PA 16350-0285
Office Phone: (814) 757-9190
Email: tbrant@pawilds.com
Website: http://www.pawildsresources.org/

VisitPA.com
VisitPA.com Website
List Your Business On VisitPA.com
Contact VisitPA.com
VisitPA.com Tourism Industry Statistics
VisitPA.com Annual Reports
Pennsylvania Tourism Trends
PA Tourism Economic Impact Reports
PA Travel Profile Reports
511PA: Pennsylvania Travel Information Service: provides travelers with reliable up-to-the-minute traffic, transit and weather information they need to help them reach their destination in the most efficient manner when traveling in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania Travel/Tourism Industry Information
Google Search: Pennsylvania tourism data

Other Travel/Tourism Industry Links and Information
The State of the Cruise Industry in 2011 (Travel Industry Wire)
The Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism in Pennsylvania, Tourism Economics, February 2012


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Money For My Business - Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant

The Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program, administered by DEP's Office of the Small Business Ombudsman, provides a 25 percent reimbursement grant, up to a maximum of $25,000, to enable Pennsylvania small businesses (businesses with 100 employees or fewer) to acquire certain pieces of equipment or adopt certain processes that promote energy efficiency. Well-designed energy efficiency projects can help small businesses cut operating costs and increase competitiveness, while simultaneously reducing Pennsylvania's energy demand. The reimbursement grants can be applied toward the cost of purchasing and installing numerous energy efficient items and systems, including geothermal heat pumps; energy efficient HVAC, lighting, and refrigeration systems; insulation and air sealing projects; etc.

The Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program will begin accepting applications on January 12, 2009 through May 1, 2009 or until funds are exhausted, whichever occurs first.

Published By: Knowledgeman
Published: 2009-01-15
Revised: 2011-03-05

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Go Back to Grants

Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program
The funding for Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program is exhausted. Please click the link below to see if it has obtained additional funding. If the link is dead, the grant is CLOSED and is not currently excepting applications.
Small Business Energy Efficiency Grant Program Details (PADEP)

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