#BusinessTipTuesday – Check that off your list.

Take Note! #PencilDay on March 30, 2017

Pencil Day this month reminds me of an age old organizational technique that still withstands the technological age-making lists! After hours spent each day on the computer, to me there is something refreshing and exciting about touching a pencil to a piece of paper. A great excuse to unplug and pick up your writing utensil is to make a list.

List making can help you:

Create Order by visually organizing your thoughts and your responsibilities. Failure to plan is planning to fail!

Stay on top of things by listing all that needs to be done on as it pops into your head.

Provides accountability to make sure you achieve all that you intended to.

Prioritize… Figure out what tasks are most pressing and list them in order of importance. Create high priority, medium priority and low priority lists.

Monitor Your Progress by checking off your accomplishments as you go. Feel proud of all that you’ve done and let it motivate you to do more!

Slow Down… and hand write it. This allows you time to collect your thoughts, organize, and create a plan of action. For convenience, you can always transfer your lists to your devices later!

Our days can get busy, but sacrificing a moment to organize can be worth it in the long run. Whether it’s for the groceries, work, chores, or miscellaneous tasks… making lists can ensure you maximize your efficiency and effectiveness during the week!

Caitlin Slattery
B.S. Marketing/Entrepreneurship 2017
The University of Scranton
Intern at The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center

#sbdcday #sbdc #shopsmall #nepa #opportunity #nepa #March33 #scranton #sbdc #smallbiz #PencilDay #entrepreneur #namingyourbusiness #asbdc #business #boss #impact #goals #businessplanning #management #startup #startingyourbusiness #businesstiptuesday #tuesdaytip #organize #notes #pencil

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#BusinessTipTuesday – National #SBDCday

#BusinessTipTuesday – National #SBDCday

There are some great special days this week like #PecanDay, #PuppyDay and #PoultryDay, but I’m most excited to talk about the first National SBDC Day, Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

America’s SBDC has said, SBDC Day is a national, collective proclamation of the success and impact America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) have across the nation in economic development and the small business community at large. This special day will be celebrated with social media campaigns, public relations initiatives, online and in-person events and more. To learn more visit: http://americassbdc.org/SBDCday/
Here is how your business can get involved:

  • Pledge your social media support for #SBDCDay on ThunderClap
  • Post how the SBDC has helped your business on social media using hashtag #SBDCDay
  • Follow your local SBDC on social media

The University of Scranton has been hosting the SBDC for more than 30 years. In addition to our one-on-one consulting we offer special program efforts directed at women entrepreneurs, matching interns from 11 area Universities for a unique intern experience and much, much more. Our website has the information you need to succeed with your business.

Visit http://pasbdc.org to learn more about the services provided by the SBDC and to locate a center near you.

Donna Simpson
SBDC Consultant Manager

#sbdcday #sbdc #shopsmall #nepa #opportunity #nepa #March22 #scranton #sbdc #smallbiz #NameTagDay #entrepreneur #namingyourbusiness #asbdc #business #boss #impact #goals #businessplanning #management #startup #startingyourbusiness #businesstiptuesday #tuesdaytip

 

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#BusinessTipTuesday – Name Tag Day

Many clients look to The University of Scranton SBDC for guidance when trying to select a name for their small business.  This weeks #BusinessTipTuesday refers to Name Tag Day, which falls on Thursday, March 9th.  This is a good reminder to the importance of picking the right name for your business.

Some tips to remember are:

  • Avoid acronyms … you want something that people can easily pass on via word-of-mouth, as that still is the best way to market your business.
  • Try to think about the image you are trying to portray, and chose a name that reflects that.
  • Resist naming the business after yourself, especially if you have a name that is hard to pronounce or spell.
  • Think in terms of online marketing, use keywords or phrases that will help you get found online.
  • Ask for help. Share your business name ideas with friends and family and illicit feedback.

Remember, your local SBDC consultant is always a valuable resource when making any business decisions.  So contact your local SBDC for assistance in starting your small business.

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

 

 

#opportunity #nepa #March9 #scranton #sbdc #smallbiz #NameTagDay #entrepreneur #namingyourbusiness #asbdc #business #boss #impact #goals #businessplanning #management #startup #startingyourbusiness

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#BusinessTipTuesday – Do You Unplug from Your Business?

Happy #BusinessTipTuesday! This week we are focusing on the #DayOfUnplugging, this Friday, March 3rd. Although when you run your own business you never really have a day off, so it is important to use the days that your business is “unplugged”, or closed, wisely. These are days that you should value, as all the behind the scenes work happens on these days! Whether it’s stocking the shelves, ordering new inventory, calling employee meetings, working on your finances, or one of the many other things business owners need to do, it must be completed in order to keep your business running smoothly. Here are some tips for when you are somewhat “unplugged” from your business and how to make the days your business is closed as successful as they can be.

  • Stay organized: With free time being very limited as a business owner, it’s important to stay organized with everything that you need to do. Understand that organization will help you to keep things on track and allow for your time to be distributed equally. For example, keep organized files of each order you place so that you know when it’s time to order again.
  • Follow a schedule: It’s very important to keep a schedule for when there’s a lot to do but only a little time, as most businesses are open 5-6 days a week. By keeping a schedule you can plan out what needs to be accomplished for that day. This way you prioritize the things that need to be done on days with more time and make sure you don’t waste the day on something that could be done after work one night. Maybe there is a new item you would like for your store to sell and you plan to do research before buying; this would be something to do on your off day, as opposed to putting together the employee work schedule for the next week which you can complete before your business opens or after you close your business at night.
  • Take a minute to yourself: Often times, as business owners, things can be overwhelming, as you can only do so much in a day’s time. However, it is important to take care of yourself and let your brain relax, especially since for most people your business depends on you. A sick or stressed out owner is not something that will benefit the business. So every once in a while, on days that your business is “unplugged”, sleep for that extra hour, take the time to go for a walk outside or read a book, or have a few minutes of peace and quiet to recompose yourself to take on the next work week. It will benefit you and your business in the long run!

Hopefully these few tips will help with keeping your business on track for successful days when the business is closed! If your business needs any help, don’t forget we are here at the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center!

Danielle Guari, B.S. Entrepreneurship 2017
Intern
University of Scranton Small Business Development Center

unplug-tuesday

#opportunity #nepa #March3 #scranton #sbdc #smallbiz #DayOfUnpluging #entrepreneur #closed #organize #peace #asbdc #business #boss #impact #goals #businessplanning #management

Artwork adapted by Freepick.com

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Business Tip Tuesday #StickyBunDay

By: Donna Simpson

According to our Every Day’s a Holiday calendar, the week of February 20th includes chocolate mint day, national cherry pie day, sticky bun day, tortilla chip day and chocolate covered peanuts day. It’s a gastric festival for food lovers.

Many of us dream of starting a business and what easier way than cooking or baking our favorite recipes. Easy right??? No, not even close. In Pennsylvania the Department of Agriculture regulates food with the primary purpose of keeping consumers safe from foodborne illness.

Before you pull out your first recipe, visit the PA Department of Agriculture at http://www.agriculture.pa.gov/Protect/FoodSafety/Pages/default.aspx. You’ll find contacts for licenses and registrations, food safety information and much more.

Then check out http://extension.psu.edu/food/entrepreneurs , Penn State Extension office information related to all things food. You’ll find their Fact Sheets informative and very useful.

Finally, The University of Scranton SBDC offers services specific to our food clients. We’ll help you with your business plan as well as figure out how you can open the doors of your food related business.

Check our website http://www.scrantonsbdc.com for upcoming training programs including our First Step to Starting a Business and ServeSafe.

sticky-bun-day-tuesday

#opportunity #nepa #February21 #scranton #sbdc #smallbiz #stickybunday #entrepreneur #chocolatemintday #nationalcherrypieday #tortillachipday #chocolatecoveredpeanutsday #ServeSafe #food #PADepartmentofAgriculture

 

Artwork adapted by Freepick.com

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#BusinessTipTuesday – we’re talking GROUCHES

It’s #BusinessTipTuesday at The University of Scranton SBDC – and we’re talking GROUCHES. Do you know one? Work with one?…Work FOR one? This Thursday, February 16, is national Do A Grouch A Favor Day. We’ll charge you with an idea at the end of this post – find a grouch near you and lend a hand (or an ear)…

Often at the SBDC, we get to know our clients well-enough that sometimes we are graced with hearing some really personal opinions of people – either what the boss thinks of their employee, or what the manager thinks of their boss. From a management standpoint, we can listen to help them flush out whether it’s a core issue that will affect the business or just a personality conflict that needs repaired. But really, it may just come down to someone having a bad day. Or someone going through a rough personal issue.

My friend and SBDC client, Kate Sholonski, author, coach, and leadership trainer at Triumph Leadership Group @Kate4Joy #TiogaCountyPennsylvania always says we need to look at two things when we meet up with a grouch:

  1. What may be going on inside of them to cause them to act out; and,
  2. What they may be afraid of.

Kate says a grouch is almost always “out of alignment” and “out of sync” from being “their best self”. She notes: “Being patient with a grouch as well as compassionate will go much further in assisting them to slow down, assess what is truly happening so whatever issue that is being dealt with can be managed more easily without hurt feelings, resentments and anger that can prolong the discomfort”. Seems simple, right?

Let’s wrap up by remembering that doing a favor IS compassionate, and can, perhaps, change a grouch for the better. If you try, they may, too. It’s the glass is half full approach – worth trying…

Gretchen Kukuchka
Business Consultant, Bradford, Tioga, Lackawanna counties
Small Business Internship Initiative @SmallBizIntern
The University of Scranton SBDC

#opportunity #nepa #February16 #scranton #sbdc #smallbiz #DoAGrouchAFavorDay #entrepreneur 

grouch-day-tuesday

Artwork adapted by Freepick.com

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#BusinessTipTuesday – Plan ahead.

In our latest installment of #BusinessTipTuesday has us looking to #UmbrellaDay, February 10th, as a good reminder to our small business owners to be prepared for weather related or any other type of business disruptions.

The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) works with small businesses to create a business disruption plan that can assist the business owner in making sure they have planned ahead to offset disruptions of any sort.  Some of the more common business disruptions we see here at The University of Scranton SBDC that can have large impact on a small business are:

  • Computer Crashes
  • Loss of a key employee
  • Weather
  • Fire

Visit your local SBDC to help your business prepare for these or any other type of business disruption.

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

umbrella-day-tuesday

#BusinessTipTuesday, #TuesdayTips, New Business, #SBDC, #BusinessTipTuesday, #SmallBiz #UniversityofScranton, #NEPA, #Scranton

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#BusinessTipTuesday – Take steps to improve your business every day!

For many of us, the winter weather can bring our energy levels down. February is a good time to shake out of it and look toward the coming of Spring. If you’re looking to get your mojo back, we recommend you re-watch the classic 1993 movie, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray. Phil Connors (Murray) is a weatherman who gets stuck reliving the same day over, and over, and over again. Learn from the hard lessons he had to endure and do not let your business fall into a rut.

Here are some steps Quickbooks recommends you take to keep your business from falling into a Groundhog Day dynamic:

  1. Get everything in writing. This is especially important when it comes to collecting payments from clients. Invoices are a great way to ensure you get paid for your services.
  2. Don’t give your time away for less than you are worth. The idea is to work smarter and not harder.
  3. Don’t work with abusive, time-draining clients. This type of clients can become demotivating and take your time away from other clients that could be more beneficial to you.
  4. Don’t ignore your client base. You do not constantly have to sell them your services, focus on developing relationships. Your client base is not only the source of your repeat business but also the best source for referrals. Test out new ways to appreciate your customers.
  5. Don’t forget to pay your quarterly taxes. They add up quickly so make sure to stay on top of your taxes.
  6. Don’t sweat the small stuff. You will be more productive if you focus on one project at a time than if you let all the small things overwhelm you.

Remember that every day is a new opportunity to do things differently. Creativity can go a long way in business!

Celebrate the chance to change later this week on Thursday, Groundhog Day February 2!

groundhog-tip-tuesday

Andrea Saenz G’17
Intern
University of Scranton Small Business Development Center

Francene Pisano Dudziec
Special Projects
University of Scranton Small Business Development Center


Artwork adapted by Freepick.com

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#BusinessTipTuesday Have a good laugh!

Happy Belly Laugh Day!!!  This annual celebration on the fourth Tuesday of January reminds us to celebrate the benefits of laughter.

Owning a business can be stressful on the best of days. Why not indulge in a good hardy laugh and watch your stress melt away.

While researching the benefits of laughter, WebMD and Mayo Clinic offered the following:
Laughter relaxes the whole body.

A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.

Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.

Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.

Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Laughter burns calories. OK, so it’s no replacement for going to the gym, but one study found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes a day can burn about 40 calories—which could be enough to lose three or four pounds over the course of a year.

Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.

Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.

Boosts T-Cells. T-cells are specialized immune system cells just waiting in your body for activation. When you laugh, you activate T-cells that immediately begin to help you fight off sickness. Next time you feel a cold coming on, add chuckling to your illness prevention plan.

Blood flow. Researchers at the University of Maryland studied the effects on blood vessels when people were shown either comedies or dramas. After the screening, the blood vessels of the group who watched the comedy behaved normally — expanding and contracting easily. But the blood vessels in people who watched the drama tended to tense up, restricting blood flow.

Blood sugar levels. One study of 19 people with diabetes looked at the effects of laughter on blood sugar levels. After eating, the group attended a tedious lecture. On the next day, the group ate the same meal and then watched a comedy. After the comedy, the group had lower blood sugar levels than they did after the lecture.

Go ahead, have a good laugh!

Donna J. Simpson
Consultant Manager
University of Scranton Small Business Development Center

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#BusinessTipTuesday

Hello, #BusinessTipTuesday! A little late is better than never, right? So today’s tip is about testing new markets with new products in your business, and to celebrate #NationalPopcornDay this week, January 19.
According to popcorn.org, “”Popability” is popcorn lingo that refers to the percentage of kernels that pop.” In your business, what is your “Popability” when it comes to percentage of a customer base which buys from you? How do you grow your “Popability” in the market? Think of “Popability” as a success level.
Mr. John Seeley, of Mill Street Treats, Sylvania, Bradford County, notes that when they first tried to market their popcorn flavors through a school fundraiser model, it flopped. He noted, “We were so disappointed [that] months went by… then we had a fundraiser from another school and BAM! …the kids found it easy to sell because the people liked it. …As word is getting around we are getting more fundraising projects.”
As a business consultant, I think John and I would agree on something – “Popability” isn’t something that is immediately gained at a successful level. If you have a new product or service, we would suggest you test the same market, at least a few times!

And if you’d like to ‘test’ Mill Street Treats, visit them in the beautiful #NorthernTier, or at http://www.millstreettreats.com!
Gretchen Kukuchka, Business Consultant

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