I work as a Logistics and IT Officer for GearCONNECT LLC, a small business located in New York that specializes in online retail (e-commerce) and related research services.
If this is something you`re going into, I`d be glad to give a few tips to a potential competitor. While I`m mainly retired from it, I also help build web sites and do light tech support from time to time.
As this BusinessWeek snippet shows, many libraries around the United States are expanding the resources they offer. The Brooklyn/New York Public Library offers online databases for free to its patrons, for example. While others offer free or inexpensive workshops and other research stops.
Check it out here
It`s often hard to tell because so many Chinese firms don`t hire good translators and often just mangle translations. Other times, it can be any number of Chinese scammers. The line is so blurred right now due to lack of regulation that it`s hard to tell.It`s safer to assume they`re scammers. If you`re serious about expanding your business overseas, there are plenty of import/export channels you can tap that do not send spam e-mails. Responding even to unsolicited e-mail from a legitamate business only validates their method of spamming businesses, something I`m sure most managers, employees, and entrepreneurs can do without.
Marketing is a lot simpler than you think. The references on SuN are a terrific help in getting started. First you`ll need a message. Keep it simple and play to your strengths such as personal attention and cheaper rates. Then budget yourself. Advertising is one of the costs that can really balloon out of control without control and oversight.After that, it`s all about choosing the proper channels. Since you`re staying as a local business, choose newspapers. There can even be neighborhood or county newspapers that are cheaper than the daily ones. I also recommend that you target your audience. Try to get your flyer slipped in at the post office (legally, of course). Work with anyone you know in real estate, local festivals, parties and so on where your business` name gets to the most people.
In perhaps the biggest indicator of how blogging has changed business, a company`s internal problems between senior employees has boiled over into the much more public blogosphere.Jason Miller from WebProNews covers the issue fairly well here.This is definitely an issue that most of the people here would find interesting. Is it right to complain about another founder of your firm on your private blog? Should disagreements be aired out in hopes of outside validation or discussion? Can blogging help attract potential investors, customers, or equity?Sam Wyman`s personal blog can be found here.Personally, I think most of the people here can take heart that they`d never let things degrade so far as to drag complete strangers into it or be tempted to go on a mini-vacation while they`re the CEO of a company in crisis. But it can still happen to anyone. Free speech guarantees as much, despite non-disclosure agreements. At the least, it`s a good cautionary tale of how getting along can solve serious problems in a company.
You should keep in mind that everyone`s personality is different, which is something you probably already know. What many business managers fail to realize that every personality has a use. It just means they do one thing better than everything else. A leader with charisma is good for a public face for your business and dealing with clients. You may want a more detail-oriented albeit less friendly person to keep an eye on your employees. And obviously, you want someone frugal to watch your books to keep costs down. For advertising, assuming you`re not handling it yourself, the best personality is that choatic and creative person who will propose all kinds of risky costly ad campaigns.Always take experience over education. Make sure they`re okay with you calling their previous references and getting a second opinion on a potential partner or employee. A old but effective HR trick is to fall out of your chair and see how the other person responds. If they help you or deduce your ploy, that should definitely tell you this person`s on the ball. But follow it up with poignant questions about what they plan to do for your business. If all you get is politeness and vague talk about optimism and success, it`s time to send them to the door.