Sanderson Place Salon & Spa Celebrates Grand Re-Opening

Congratulations to Heidi Palazzari, on the re-opening of her business Sanderson Place Salon & Spa, 1805 Sanderson Avenue, Scranton PA. Thanks for letting the #SBDC play a role in your new start!

Sanderson Place Salon and Spa held ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate grand re-opening of updated salon.

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Sanderson Place Salon and Spa of Scranton welcomed the community for a ribbon cutting ceremony for its newly renovated facility on Saturday, November 4, 2017. The grand re-opening event celebrated the salons updated facilities and modernization of a trusted name in the Scranton area.

After working as a stylist at Sanderson Place for 20 years, owner, Heidi Palazzari, decided to purchase the salon in January 2016.  Since then, Palazzari has renovated the salons interior to appear more trendy and up-to-date, all while retaining the excellent service the clients have seen for the salon’s 50 year history.

“I am happy to unveil our newly renovated salon for our customers and the public to see,” said Heidi Palazzari, Owner. “The ribbon cutting and grand re-opening ceremony for Sanderson Place marks a new beginning for our business in Scranton.”

This is only the third renovation the salon has undergone in its almost 50 year history. Since purchasing the business nearly two years ago, Palazzari has transformed the salon into a modern and trendy spot while keeping same neighborhood salon feel.  “I started working at Sanderson Place when I was 15 and always dreamed that one day I would own the salon. Now I have to opportunity to run the salon and transform it into my dream,” said Palazzari. “My amazing staff has allowed me to take a step back from styling and focus on growing the business.”

The salon is located at 1805 Sanderson Avenue, Scranton PA 18509 and is open Monday through Saturday.

Sanderson Place’s newly renovated facility is hoped to attract new customers. Customers can contact the salon at 570-961-0362 or visit their website at sandersonplace.com.

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Recognizing Women-Owned Small Businesses


If Sadie Hawkins Day has taught us anything, it is that women are powerful enough to take charge, which is evidenced by the ever-growing number of women-owned businesses. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), more than 9.4 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 7.9 million people, and generating $1.6 trillion in sales as of 2016.

Whether it was running a lemonade stand, babysitting the neighborhood kids, or giving dance lessons, running businesses as girls built confidence in these young entrepreneurs. This confidence comes from facing the unknown and feeling the success of running an operation, even if the profits were not always astronomical. These young women carry those feelings of success into adulthood, and are more likely to want to continue with their entrepreneurial ways.

Women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing types of small businesses, growing nearly 60 percent in the last 20 years. To encourage this growth, Entreprenuer.com offers a few tips including finding your passion, fitting your business to your personal goals, and forming genuine connections. Women owned businesses are an important part of the economy, and it is crucial that women are encouraged to start and continue with their business ideas.

Here are a few interesting statistics on women owned businesses:

  • Women-owned businesses produce employment for more than 23 million people in the United States, or nearly 16% of the workforce.
  • Approximately 8% of the total labor force work directly for a woman-owned firm.
  • Women-owned businesses have an economic impact of nearly $3 trillion.

The SBDC has a branch specifically for women entrepreneurs known as the Women’s Entrepreneurship Center (WEC). WEC offers various programs aimed towards helping women with their business ventures every step of the way. For more information regarding the Women’s Entrepreneurship Center please visit: http://scrantonsbdc.com/womens-entrepreneurship-center/.

Amy Simpson,
B.S. Business Administration 2018
Intern
The University of Scranton
Smal Business Development Center

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#BusinessTipTuesday -Observing #VeteransDay

For this week’s #BusinessTipTuesday we are observing #VeteransDay, which is to be celebrated on November 11.  This past week was National Veterans’ Small Business Week and this past month we made a trip to the Courthouse Square to celebrate Veterans Resource Day, sponsored by the Veterans Resource Coalition of NEPA. During the event we asked many people what kind of business they would start if they had the opportunity. We heard some amazing ideas! Here at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) we are looking to help everyone with any business needs that they may have through our educational programs and no cost, confidential consulting services. Whether you have a business idea already or know you want to start a business of your own, it is important that we take a look at all aspects of starting a business. Here are just a few things to think of at the very beginning of your business venture!

First, let’s take a step back and start with business ideas… it is time to brainstorm! Is there something that you are truly passionate about? Or have you come up with an idea to solve a problem? Or maybe you have found a gap in the marketplace that needs to be filled. No matter what it is, you have to feel confident and devoted to your business idea. After all, this is like the foundation to your home; a strong business idea sets the tone for a long lasting successful endeavor.

After you have your business idea, it is necessary to conduct an abundant amount of research. This ensures that you are extremely knowledgeable about everything that encompasses your business. Most importantly, you want to make sure your idea has not already been executed. Or if it has been done, make sure you have a spin on that idea so your business stands out to its competitors. Then you must do research on your industry, market, and financial needs to name a few. There are many more necessary pieces of information to research in order to form a solid basis of knowledge for your business. Additionally, as a business owner the research never really stops, as you constantly need to stay informed. Once your business is up and running you want to stay fresh and current with what is happening in your industry.

With your research underway, the next important step is starting your business plan. This could be a daunting task, but it is definitely necessary. Here at the SBDC, we have a guide that helps you with writing your business plan and some specific tools that make this process a little easier. Our guide and tools cover everything that needs to be included in your plan. As well, our consultants are available to help with every step along the way!

There are many more steps in starting a business, but these are just a few to start off with. Taking these few first steps can launch you in to your overall goal… becoming a business owner. Whether you need help with research, your business plan, or anything else the Small Business Development Center consultants are equipped to help take your desire to start a business and turn it into a reality. With that being said, if you could start a business today what would it be? Let us know, we would love to help make your dreams come true!

Danielle Guari
Business Consultant
The University of Scranton
Small Business Development Center

 

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#BusinessTipTuesday – “The Extra Mile” Day

This week’s #BusinessTipTuesday recognizes, “The Extra Mile” Day celebrated on November 1st! Here at the SBDC we want to help you go the extra mile to make sure your business is the absolute best it can be. Every once in a while, it would be beneficial to assess all aspects of your business to ensure that they are representing the most professional and valuable business image and presence. We want to make sure that everything is covered when it comes to your business, be it marketing, employee engagement, and location, amenities, and offerings; but also, that it exceeds the expectations of your customers. We have come up with a small checklist to use, to guarantee that you are going the extra mile!

  • Up-to-Date Information: VERY important information here… keep all of your data as current as possible for your business! Whether its business cards, handouts, price lists, websites, important statistics, store hours or many of the other aspects that make up a business, it is vital to have this information up-to-date. It could come across as unprofessional if you advertise or inform customers of one thing but then realize that it is not the most current information. Imagine this scenario… a store advertised being open on a Saturday afternoon and upon arrival it is closed. This would likely cause frustration and definitely has the possibility of leaving a bad impression on the customer.
  • Social Media Presence: Everyone is on social media nowadays; so keeping up with your networking platforms is key! Posting every so often just is not enough; you will have to try and stay online and active as much as possible. Throwing together some online contests or specific weekly posts will keep people interested in your page and your business. Social media is a free way to advertise and can really help your business so use it to your advantage! Click on the link to see a few reasons as to why social media is beneficial to your small business.

Why Go Social?

  • Website Appearance: Similarly with social media, everyone is online and expects businesses to have a website. So, it is extremely helpful for a business to first have a website and second that it includes the important, up-to-date information while also catching the eye of the viewer. Also it is good to keep in mind that your business website is smart-phone friendly, since people often look at your site on their phone. In the case of online businesses, the website serves as your main point of business, so having a fully functioning and current site is of the utmost importance! The link below offers some tips on “what not to do” when it comes to your business’s website.

The Big Problem with Social Media Sites

  • Curb Appeal: If your business includes a brick and mortar location that is quite literally the first thing a customer sees upon entering the business. The look of your building will have a lot to say about your business and how you conduct it. It is not all about the physical location or building your business is in that is important, but the way the building is presented and kept. Remember, your storefront to your business is the same as the cover to a book, and we do not want a customer to judge a book by its cover. Take a look at this infographic to help boost your curb appeal!

How to Improve your Business’s Curb Appeal

  • Employee Look & Behavior: The way employees present themselves overall also has a lot to say about your business. Both their look and behavior work together to present what your business has to offer to the customer. Starting with their look, the more put together they appear, the better the impression to the customers. A clean looking uniform, hair in place, and a smile go a long way by not only making you look professional but also the business look professional. Behavior is very important on behalf of employees. Understanding the business, being kind and friendly, and willingness to help are just some of the many ways to positively interact with customers. Check out these few tips on how to ensure your employees provide top-notch customer service and make the right first impression.Customer Service Skills for Employees

Danielle Guari
Business Consultant
The University of Scranton
Small Business Development Center

 

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#BusinessTipTuesday #NationalPizzaMonth

Northeast Pennsylvania has recently acquired the nickname “The Unofficial Pizza Capital of the World”, and for good reason. In this area, there is a pizza shop on nearly every corner, so October being National Pizza month is an exciting time! But with so much competition, how can companies stand out to their customers?

Provide Outstanding Customer Service: Perhaps the most essential piece of advice. Treat your customers like royalty, because they are the reason you are in business in the first place. Because customers expect good customer service to begin with, going above and beyond will help your business stand out. Look for extras you can add to your products or services that can instantly change them from normal to memorable. Changes such as restaurants adding an entertainment portion for customers waiting to be seated during a dinner rush, 24/7 availability via text or email, and making it as easy as possible to do business with your company will have customers coming back time after time.

Be honest with your customers: Honesty is the best policy; it sounds like a cliché, but it’s necessary. If you can’t deliver by a previously agreed upon time or if something goes wrong during the process, increasing the customer’s cost, let them know immediately. It’s a tough conversation, but lying to the customer will cause them to lose faith in you and even worse, possibly spread negative comments to other potential customers. In most situations, the faster you share bad news, the more likely it is that the customer will respect you, especially if you bring solutions to the table.

Be innovative: Continuing to improve your company will keep you competitive. If your competitors are advancing and you’re standing still, you will be left in their dust. Keeping up with technology, such as joining social media, and introducing new products and solutions to problems will keep your company competitive. Remember to think outside of the box and strive to create a product or a service that everyone would desire.

Create offers that are hard to ignore: Being creative with your offers can easily set you apart from the competition. Offering a money back guarantee or a free trial of a service will make new customers more comfortable giving your company their business. If you are a restaurant, offering a free appetizer or something similar will attract customers looking for the most bang for their buck.

When the market is flooded with competition, standing out is the key to your company’s survival. Keeping up with technological changes and keeping your products fresh and innovative is vital, but more importantly, putting your customer first will ensure they return to you rather than searching out an alternative in your competitors.

pizza month tuesday

Amy Simpson, B.S. Business Administration 2018
Intern

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Congratulations Meraki Skin Care

Congratulations to Deborah Webb, Licensed Esthetician and Reiki Master on the opening of her business Meraki Skin Care at 700 E. State Street #ClarksSummit. Thanks for letting the #SBDC play a role in your new start.

2017 10 10 Webb grand opening

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How to Create a Small Business Marketing Plan

For this week’s #BusinessTipTuesday we have some great information to share from our friend Lydia Roth at Nav.com.

You’ve created a business plan for your small business, in which you laid out your vision, strengths, resources and goals for the future. Now it’s time to think about a marketing plan. The two documents will work together in helping you realize your small business’s potential. In fact, your marketing plan will build on the goals you’ve already laid out in your business plan.

Creating a marketing plan doesn’t have to be hard. The fact that a large and established business’s marketing plan may run to hundreds of pages shouldn’t intimidate you. Your first marketing plan could fill a couple of pages in an old notebook and still be effective. The saying that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” applies to every successful venture—yours included.

Let’s look at some of the topics your marketing plan should cover. Keep in mind that not every marketing plan is the same, and that some will emphasize one thing over another depending on the strength and needs of your small business. Nevertheless, there are certain fundamentals that will always apply.

Target customers

Who are you marketing to? Be as specific as possible. You’ve already covered this question in a general way in your business plan, but this is where you get down to nuts and bolts. It’s the nuts and bolts that will keep your small business together, and paying insufficient attention to them in the beginning will lead to major problems down the road.

As mentioned in How to Write a Business Plan, you may want to consider creating “buyer personas” that will embody the type of customers you think will walk through your door. Identify them in your marketing plan and make them part of your regular conversation with all employees at your business.

Marketing Strategy

Your marketing strategy can be broken down into two separate parts:

    1. Your pricing strategy
    2. Your promotional strategy

Your pricing strategy will identify the optimal price at which to offer your products or services. This will require a good deal of research, including competitive analysis and market demand. Don’t just assume that if your price is the lowest of all your competitors, you’ll win the most business—consider getting out there and polling potential customers to determine optimal price.

Your promotional strategy will help you allocate resources amongst advertising, sales, public relations, etc. Maybe you’ve had luck going to trade shows to sell your product, or buying online ads to drive traffic to your website. Determine what your customers are likely to respond to and what marketing channels are best for you.

Marketing Budget

As is the case with all expenses of your business, your marketing plan needs a budget. Caron Beesley writes in her article for sba.gov: “As a general rule, small businesses with revenues less than $5 million should allocate 7-8 percent of their revenues to marketing. This budget should be split between 1) brand development costs (which includes all the channels you use to promote your brand such as your website, blogs, sales collateral, etc.), and 2) the costs of promoting your business (campaigns, advertising, events, etc.).”

Every small business is different—allocate a percentage of your revenues to marketing that you think is appropriate and go from there. Budgeting is a learning process, and as your business develops, you’ll be able to better hone your budget.

Accountability

At the end of the day, even the most effective committees don’t accomplish everything in their plan. The way to get things done is to a) assign individual committee members to specific goals; b) list the definite results that will decide if a goal is accomplished; and c) create an environment in which individuals are self-motivated to succeed. Success should be rewarding and fun, failure not so much. These basic components will keep your marketing team on its toes. If you’re running your small business on your own, strictly measuring the results of every task you take on and maintaining a ruthless account of your shortcomings and progress will keep you honest and on track.

Revise, revise, revise

Five-star general Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said that “in preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” The same wisdom applies to the business battlefield, which is busy, hectic and constantly changing. Creating a marketing plan should be just another way of saying planning creative marketing. Your marketing plan, just like your business plan, should be a living document, and something you revisit often as your small business grows and meets new challenges with greater potential for rewards.

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About the Author — Lydia Roth serves as Content Manager for Nav (www.nav.com) , which provides business owners with simple tools to build business credit and access to lending options based on their credit scores and needs.

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October is National Women’s Small Business Month !

The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center continues to celebrate women business owners by hosting a number of programs for women during National Women’s Small Business Month:

  • This 6-week program that started on October 5th is designed for women with lower incomes, those in transition or those trying to make a better life for themselves and their families, the program will offer women support and guidance in determining if entrepreneurship is an option for them. Facilitated by experienced SBDC consultants, the series is designed to give lower income women the step-by-step guidance needed to develop successful small businesses. Participants in this interactive program will learn start-up basics, legal and insurance considerations, marketing and social media essentials, business plan development, accounting and budget skills, financing options and requirements, and goal setting. Local women business owners will also visit the sessions to share their experiences.
  • Coffee and Confidence. A free information session being held on October 24th for women interested in exploring the idea of starting their own businesses. Participants will meet with guest Holly Pilcavage, director of business development at Coal Creative, Wilkes-Barre. Pilcavage will talk about the concepts of mindset/perception and how they lead to success covering the following ideas: It takes courage to let go of the familiar and embrace the new; Choose your attitude every morning; what would you do if you knew you could not fail; Life doesn’t happen to you – it happens for you.
  • Women in Philanthropy Loan Program. The SBDC staff continues to mentor women business owners looking to obtain financing through the Scranton Area Foundations Women in Philanthropy Loan Program. The Scranton Area Foundation has developed a program that enables women to receive micro-loans from $1,000 to $10,000 to start or grow their business venture. This program removes many of the barriers faced by low to moderate income women or women in transition. By providing this opportunity to women, WIP aims to create a path for women to obtain necessary funding and to develop their credit-worthiness so they can qualify for traditional funding in the future.
  • The First Step to Starting Your business. This workshop will help aspiring entrepreneurs to begin the process of successful business ownership including evaluating business ideas, developing a business plan, and exploring financing options. Attendees will learn unique lifestyle requirements involved in owning a business, how to assess the feasibility of a business idea, different types of business structure, business plan basics, financing options and how to prepare, basics of marketing a product or service and applications and licenses needed to start a business. 

For more information about the Scranton SBDC or any of these programs, please visit our website, www.scrantonsbdc.com or contact us at 570-941-7588.

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#BusinessTipTuesday: National Get Smart About #Credit Day

National Get Smart About #Credit Day is observed annually on the third Thursday in October, but staying on top of your spending, specifically credit, is an everyday task.

Here are a few tips and tricks:

Learn how to budget: Not having a budget can be a big reason that a lot of people overspend on things that are not necessary. If we don’t know how much we bring home each month versus how much needs to go toward rent/mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc., we will continue to overspend on things that we think we can afford, e.g. a trip to the beach, only to find out we can’t.

Don’t confuse your credit limit with your spending limit: Once you sit down and create a budget, you will know what you can afford to spend. If your budget allows for $200 in purchases, but your credit card has a limit of $500, don’t make the mistake of spending more than you can afford! Just because that $500 limit means you can make the purchase, it doesn’t mean you can afford it when it comes time for the bill to be paid.

Set up alerts: A large part of the time we overspend is simply because we lose track of how much we have already used our credit cards. Setting up account alerts ensures that you will know when you have reached that $200 limit that your budget allows for, rather than continuing to spend money you cannot afford. Some card issuers allow you to set up your account to receive notifications via text or email (but check with your issuer because some do not have this function).

Switch to cash: If all else fails, make the switch to carrying cash rather than plastic. This limits you to the tangible money in your pocket, so when it runs out, you’re done spending.

For additional assistance with credit visit: https://www.cccsnepa.org/

Amy Simpson, B.S. Business Administration 2018
Intern

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#CheckersDay Reminds Us to Plan Ahead

checkers day.jpg
Today’s #BusinessTipTuesday we look to #CheckerDay to remind small business owners the importance of planning your next move. Planning is important whether you are just starting your business or planning to grow your existing business. Here are a few simple tips to help you along the process.

• Manage your cash – It is always important to keep track of your cash flow, and make sure you have cash to keep the business running when times get slow.
• Keep up with latest trends – Make sure you stay current with things happening in your industry. Invest in training your employees.
• Be there – Many times small businesses fail because the owner spends too much time away from the day to day operation of the business. The time to golf will be after your business is well established.
• Listen to your customers – Seek feedback from your customers. Thank them for good feedback, and learn from bad feedback.
• Invest in word-of mouth-marketing – All time small business owners tell us their best marketing is word-of-mouth marketing, yet they never invest any money in that. Spend your marketing dollars by rewarding loyal customers who help spread the good things your business is doing.

If you need help in business planning or any other areas of small business, feel free to contact The University of Scranton SBDC at http://www.scrantonsbdc.com .

Keith D. Yurgosky
Business Consultant
The University of Scranton
Small Business Development Center

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