May 2015: Small Business Success

Take some time to renew yourself

Columnist Sarah O'Connell

Columnist Sarah O’Connell

In my last column I talked about making resolutions in our personal and business lives to improve our productivity and organization; I wrote about de-cluttering and prioritizing. That’s still going really well. This month I said I’d tell you about my third resolution: trying new things. [Read more…]

May 2015: Business Tech Bytes

Vendor management made easy

Columnist Jill Van Hoesen

Columnist Jill Van Hoesen

Large, small or in-between, an increasingly common thread among all organizations is information technology vendor management. Vendor management finds most in the role of customer as your business navigates your numerous IT provider offerings, while trying to integrate the best functions and features from each so your business operates effortlessly. [Read more…]

May 2015: Agri-Business

A few ideas to ponder for our future

Columnist Jay Matteson

Columnist Jay Matteson

In March, a group of agencies and private businessmen participated in a “Big Ideas” session hosted by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. The purpose was to generate ideas that will allow us to compete with regions across the state for economic development money. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo proposed a competition in which a region could land $500 millon in taxpayer money to grow the local economy and create jobs. As I sat with other “big thinkers” I saw even more the potential for agriculture to help our region’s economy. Here are some “ideas” to ponder. [Read more…]

May 2015: Commerce Corner

Improve your best assets, quality

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” — Thomas Edison

Columnist Lynn Pietroski

Columnist Lynn Pietroski

Ever have that employee who has so much potential but puts forth little effort? Or do they fail to recognize their own abilities? [Read more…]

May 2015: Economically Speaking

North country is poised for growth

Columnist Michelle Capone

Columnist Michelle Capone

The north country is home to many successful businesses, and each day new businesses are born. They are born at the dinner table or in the college lab or on the back of a napkin. Several programs and services are available to assist start-up or existing businesses. [Read more…]

April 2015: Small Business Success

Set an effective marketing strategy

Columnist Jennifer McCluskey

Columnist Jennifer McCluskey

As spring dawns and businesses prepare for the summer season, it’s a good time to review your marketing strategies and evaluate their effectiveness. The goal of marketing is to get your name out there and have your brand become more recognizable in the marketplace. More importantly, you want to reach the right customers, make sales to them and help them turn into referral sources for future customers. As Andrew Klausner wrote in an April 2013 Forbes.com article, “developing awareness of your brand — who you are, what you do and why you are uniquely qualified — should in turn help you generate leads which will lead to more clients.” As you begin to lay out your marketing plan, be clear on specific goals and action steps, timing, your budget and message. [Read more…]

April 2015: Business Tech Bytes

Wait and see with Microsoft in ’15

Columnist Jill Van Hoesen

Columnist Jill Van Hoesen

Since, at times, my column’s subject seems to follow my day job, I’ve been spending a lot of time poking around Redmond lately. You know Redmond, Wash., the home base of software giant Microsoft. [Read more…]

April 2015: Agri-Business

Our region is one with the military

Columnist Jay Matteson

Columnist Jay Matteson

On March 20, we saw an enormous effort by the Northern New York community to demonstrate support for our men and women who serve at Fort Drum. Much is at risk for our community with potentially 16,000 soldiers being removed from the north country. Even if the Department of Defense cut 5,000 soldiers, our community would suffer devastating economic and social impacts. Before the March 20 public rally, someone asked me how a troop reduction would affect our agricultural industry. I explained that because we, unlike many military bases, are one community, agriculture would also feel a significant impact from a troop reduction. [Read more…]

April 2015: Commerce Corner

Family businesses need a solid plan

Columnist Lynn Pietroski

Columnist Lynn Pietroski

When many people think of businesses, they often ask if it’s a non-profit, a for-profit, or a corporation. We rarely really ask if it’s a family-run or owned business. Family-owned businesses are all around us, from small mom-and-pop stores to local restaurants such as Momma’s Kitchen or Shorty’s Diner, or larger ones like BMW, Walmart and Raymour and Flannigan.

But what does it mean to be a family-owned business? [Read more…]

April 2015: Business Law

Maintain clear shareholder pacts

Columnist Larry Covell

Columnist Larry Covell

In February’s column, I discussed options of an owner who wants to withdraw from a Limited Liability Company when there is a falling out between any of its members. If the LLC operating agreement has contract language on member withdrawal, the matter is easy since the method has been established. However, when an operating agreement fails to address it, the member who wishes to withdraw faces an uphill legal battle. [Read more…]