May 2016: Small Business Success

Are you ready to open for business?

Sarah O'Connell

Sarah O’Connell

It’s very challenging to operate a seasonal business that’s open only part of the year, but it’s a financial necessity when your business depends on the weather and tourism. At the Small Business Development Center, our new clients often state that they are going to operate their weather- or visitor-dependent business year-round, but after the first year they often realize that it’s not financially viable to maintain payroll, utility and other expenses when the sales are just not there. [Read more…]

February 2016: Small Business Success

Maximize your SEO and boost business

Jennifer McCluskey

Jennifer McCluskey

Getting your website onto the first page of a customer’s online search results through Google, Bing, or another search engine is an important part of any online marketing campaign. This is called “Search Engine Optimization”, and is the best way to reach customers who are searching for your product or service online. You can pay for ad space, above and to the right of the main (organic) search page, but there are also things that you or your Web developer can do to make your website rank well in the middle of the page. Whether you do your website yourself or you have someone do it for you, it can be helpful to know about these concepts to make sure your website is performing optimally. [Read more…]

September 2015: Small Business Success

Pick the right kind of wave to ride

Columnist Sarah O'Connell

Columnist Sarah O’Connell

I had a chance to visit Melbourne Beach, Fla., a few years ago and learned that it was one of the top surfing spots in the eastern United States. It was fascinating to watch the line of surfers floating on their boards, letting wave after wave pass by until all at once they’d start paddling furiously toward shore, standing, and then riding the curl until they either fell or it ran out. I wondered how surfers knew that a certain wave was going to be “the one.” [Read more…]

June 2015: Small Business Success

Business networking with Facebook

Columnist Jennifer McCluskey

Columnist Jennifer McCluskey

One of the benefits of running a business in the North Country is being able to build strong face-to-face networking connections with others living in your small town. I often attend business networking groups, chamber of commerce events, shows, and the like where business owners interact together to build both their businesses and the communities. After one of these groups approached me recently to create a presentation about networking with each other through Facebook, I realized that this is an area that may be lacking in our business community. How can these businesses who have formed strong relationships with each other in-person continue to build on their networking with social media? [Read more…]

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…]

March 2015: Business Tech Bytes

Recognize the women around you

Columnist Jill Van Hoesen

Columnist Jill Van Hoesen

Today’s business world is very different from 50 or even 25 years ago. Advancing technology and evolving work and family roles of women have contributed to the modern business environment. The expanded role of the working woman has caused changes in many different aspects of life. According to a study by White & Rogers, “women constitute approximately 47 percent of the total labor force with most women remaining in the workforce for at least 30 years.” [Read more…]

March 2015 Women in Business Feature Story: Independent Medical Evaluation Company

A seal of approval

Amy McEathron, president and owner of Independent Medical Evaluation Company, Carthage, has more than 20 years experience in the industry. Her business was recently certified as a New York State Minority Women-Owned Business Enterprise. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

Amy McEathron, president and owner of Independent Medical Evaluation Company, Carthage, has more than 20 years experience in the industry. Her business was recently certified as a New York State Minority Women-Owned Business Enterprise. Photo by Amanda Morrison, NNY Business.

Certification as Minority Women-Owned Business Enterprise a long path

By Lorna Oppedisano, NNY Business

Being a woman or minority in business can be a struggle. Thanks to efforts to promote equality, the playing field is beginning to level off. [Read more…]

February 2015: Small Business Success

Develop the right social media mix

Columnist, Jennifer McCluskey

Columnist, Jennifer McCluskey

It can be difficult to decide which social media outlet you should use to get the message out to your customers. You may feel overwhelmed by the different options, especially if you are not someone who regularly uses social media. This brief overview may help you pick which ones are most likely to reach your target audience. Trying out a new social media platform could be a good way to expand your marketing during a slow winter season. [Read more…]

Small Business Success: Trust me, it’s not me, it’s really you

With the rise of social media marketing in the past few years, advertising is much, much different from how it was back when I was a small-business owner. The big buzz words now are “customer engagement.” So when I say, “It’s not me, it’s you,” I mean that my marketing campaign needs to concentrate on you, the customer, not me, the business owner. We business owners have to grab your attention and get you to spread the word for us far and wide. This is one viral situation that you should desire. [Read more…]

Registration open for SBDC fall entrepreneurial training courses

The New York State Small Business Development Center will offer its entrepreneurial training course in classroom and online formats this fall.

The classroom course will be held Thursday nights over seven weeks from Sept. 5 to Oct. 17 at Jefferson Community College.

The 14-week online course will run from Sept. 9 to Dec. 9. The online course will cover the same materials in seven modules, but students will have two weeks to finish each section.

Students will be guided through numerous aspects of starting and running a small business.

The fee for the course is $195. Pre-registration with payment is required for the classroom course by Aug. 30, and for the online course Sept. 3. Students can pay by cash, check or credit card made payable to SBDC/JCC.

Call the SBDC at 782-9262 to register by phone, or send registration forms to SBDC/JCC, 1220 Coffeen St., Watertown, N.Y. 13601.

-Watertown Daily Times