Tag Archives: SME

BABRT Presents Spotlight Award to Omar Benjamin, Port of Oakland Executive Director

On Thursday March 25th, the Bay Area Business RoundTable (BABRT) will present a Spotlight Award to Omar Benjamin, Port of Oakland Executive Director. The award will be presented during the BABRT’s monthly meeting held at the Homewood Suites Hotel in Oakland. Responsible for the administration and operations of the Port organization, Benjamin has shown exemplary leadership and commitment to the economic health and vitality of Bay Area businesses and communities.

As the Port continues to be the economic engine of Oakland, the BABRT recognizes several key achievements that are exemplary during the economic downturn, including:

· Oakland International Airport was rated No. 1 for on-time performance among U.S. airports during 2009.

· In May 2010 Southwest Airlines will begin offering 114 daily departures out of Oakland Airport, including restoration of non-stop service to Nashville, Tennessee and increased frequency of flights to the cities of Albuquerque, Denver and Seattle-Tacoma.

· Port of Oakland was one of six major US West Coast ports to collaborate at the World Shipping Summit held last November in Qingdao, China. The collaboration showcased the benefits of the US West Coast as the premier region for trans-Pacific trade.

· Port of Oakland has expanded capacity and improved transportation services to accommodate more cargo containers, increasing business by 10% from container shipping company APL Ltd., a subsidiary of NOL Group.

The BABRT meeting will convene at 10:00 a.m. and speakers will include Dr. Diana Wu, Dean U.C. of Berkeley Extension and Joe Haraburda, President of the Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

Via EPR Network
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Business Interruption Insurance Protects Against Lost Profits

The business industry these days is in need of some help. Businesses left and right are being forced into bankruptcy, regardless of whether they’re neighborhood staples or new up-and-comers. On top of having to worry about keeping their profits in the green, business owners also have to adequately protect their establishments against catastrophic disasters such as fires, tornados, floods, etc. A recently published article on InsuranceAgents.com reveals the importance of business owners purchasing a quality business interruption insurance policy.

The article, titled Business Interruption Insurance: When Disaster Strikes, emphasizes that a quality business interruption insurance policy can help prevent a business from stopping or slowing down production should a catastrophe strike. Most standard policies include compensation for profits the company would have earned had the property not been affected by a catastrophe. For example, if a business’s building burns down to the ground and the business is forced to relocate, all of the profits it loses are covered.

Any expenses the company pays for are also covered in a standard policy, particularly electricity and heat, which may occur even if a business’s operations are put on a temporary hiatus. There are some disclaimers, however, to a business interruption insurance policy.

“Keep in mind that a business interruption insurance policy is not your standard policy,” the article describes. “It is not sold by itself, but instead is most commonly added onto a property insurance policy or included in a separate package. More often than not, it takes longer to renovate a building than initially anticipated.”

So how affordable is quality coverage? The price of a business interruption insurance policy depends on a variety of factors, including the location of the establishment, premise of the business and how easily it adapts to operating at a temporary location. Business owners looking to obtain a business interruption insurance policy for their business should contact a business insurance agent today.

Go to InsuranceAgents.com for more information and to receive insurance quotes from up to five local agents.

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Chem-Dry Quality Care’s Investment – Promotes Healthier Indoor Air Quality And Helps To Provide Some Relief For Allergy Sufferers

With an estimated one in three people in Britain suffering from allergies at some point in their lives and a recent House of Lords report stating that 1 in 5 school children suffer from asthma, indoor air quality is very much a hot topic. It is also estimated that 80% of allergy problems are often caused by the airborne dust mite and they can double their numbers in ten hours. One ideal breeding ground for the dust mite is household carpets and furnishings. However, Trefeglwys based Chem-Dry Quality Care have recently invested in the revolutionary CTS 450 Truckmount cleaning system, which will help in the constant battle to eliminate dust mites, which is good news for allergy sufferers.

Chem-Dry Quality Care’s Investment

This revolutionary cleaning technology, is a fully self contained system which contains a power unit and pre-heated solution hoses which are fed into the home or business to undertake the cleaning operation.

Chem-Dry’s patented hot carbonating cleaning solution is cleverly warmed from the heat generated by the power unit.

The Carpet & Rug Institute based in the US, who are responsible for undertaking programs to test the effectiveness of carpet cleaning products and represents the carpet & rug industry, recently awarded the CTS 450 Truckmount a gold level ‘Seal of Approval’, the highest accolade for certified deep cleaning systems.

Chris Jones, Proprietor of Chem-Dry Quality Care, comments “If any member of your family is an allergy sufferer, you will understand just how important it is to maintain a good standard of indoor air quality and undertake regular cleaning to control allergies such as dust mites. As a local Chem-Dry commercial carpet cleaner operator I believe it is one of our responsibilities to improve indoor quality in our customer’s homes, neutralise the household dust mite and contribute towards providing a better standard of living for allergy sufferers. I believe truckmount cleaning technology will have a significant impact for our business, our customers and anyone who suffers from an allergy”.

The CTS 450 Truckmount cleaning system is at least five times more powerful than conventional cleaning devices and provides numerous health and safety benefits such as reduced hazards with less manual handling and fatigue placed on technicians as they no longer have to manoeuvre equipment from floor to floor and through customer’s homes to get professional carpet cleaning services.

Chris continues “This is a significant investment for the business and our local domestic & commercial customer base with benefit from improved efficiency savings, reduced downtime by enabling 2 rooms to be cleaned simultaneously and providing superior drying times.

As a local service provider to the North Powys and South Gwynedd communities, I believe it will secure our position in the domestic & commercial market for years to come and we look forward to many more years of raising the standards in our industry”.

Chem-Dry Quality Care became part of the Chem-Dry national network in 2008 and is an independently owned family based business operated by Chris & Vicky Jones. The domestic and commercial carpet and upholstery cleaning business is managed daily by Chris and has evolved through the provision of exceptional service to both their domestic and commercial customers from various parts of North Powys & South Gwynedd.

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29th Annual Manufacturing Awards Banquet Honoring Florida’s Volusia and Flagler County Manufacturers

Volusia Manufacturers Association is hosting the 2009 Annual Manufacturers Award Ceremony on October 22 to Award Volusia and Flagler County Manufacturers for Excellence in Manufacturing. Associate Member Awards will be presented to Non-Manufacturing Members who made large contributions to the VMA and Manufacturing.

Volusia Manufacturers Association (VMA) is hosting its Annual Awards Banquet this month. Each year the Volusia Manufacturers Association honors the best of the best of its Volusia and Flagler County Manufacturer and Associate Members. This year the event will be held on October 22, 2009, f r o m 5:30 – 8:00 P.M. at the Sun s e t Harbor Yacht Club in Daytona Beach, Florida. Music will be performed by A Family Affair.

Awards are presented each year for its Manufacturing Member that best represents Manufacturer of the Year. This year the Lou Fifer “Manufacturer of the Year” Award will be presented to AO Precision Manufacturing, LLC. AO Precision Manufacturing of Daytona Beach, FL, has been manufacturing products supporting M-16/ commercial and government firearms and kit programs, and various defense support parts related to firearms business. Its 42,000 square-foot facility is fully equipped and is capable of designing and constructing all varieties of special tooling, fixturing, and gauges needed for all degrees of complex products.

Awards are presented to the manufacturing members that have the “Best Practices” exemplifying exceptional practices in a particular business area and may involve any aspect of a manufacturer’s business endeavor. This year for the first time there will be two awards, two new categories, for this Best Practices award. Hudson Technologies is the winner of the Best Practices for Going Green, completing a two-year, $ 2 million conversion of its 115,000 square-foot facility promoting an environmentally-sound, aqueous cleaning system. They converted to greener lubricants as part of its new cleaning operation. Jayne Fifer, President/CEO of the VMA said, “Hudson Technologies worked hard to eliminate trichloroethylene which is an ozone depleting solvent, making strides to make their work environment safe for their employees, to make the community cleaner, and overall to make a better impact for our world.”

Second Award for “Best Practices” goes to Hudson Technologies for its Wellness Program. Hudson Technologies offers over 15,000 engineered medical, aerospace/aviation, and industrial/commercial products and employees 200 people. Hudson Technologies identified the need and benefits for wellness for its employees and worked hard to implement incentives to promote wellness. Hudson Technologies was committed to implementation and reviews their policy for effectiveness of process measures and outcome measures. VMA recognizes Hudson Technologies as “Best Practices” for ensuring that they not only make great product, but that they keep their employees healthy, too.

VMA recognizes f r o m its manufacturing members that company with the most expertise in the international market in its “Exporter of the Year” Award. For the second year, the Manufacturer Exporter of the Year Winner is Germfree Laboratories, Inc. of Ormond Beach, Florida. Germfree Laboratories specializes in the production of all-stainless steel unidirectional laminar flow equipment for hospital, pharmacy, and oncology use, manufacturing a full line of compliant barrier isolators, as well as horizontal and vertical laminar airflow hoods and chemo hoods for over 45 years. Germfree’s equipment has been purchased by more than 5000 institutions and companies in the US and 60 other countries worldwide, with some of their equipment even taking a trip into space. Germfree Laboratories’ stainless steel biological safety cabinets are located in more hospital pharmacies, home healthcare agencies, educational institutions, and oncology offices than those of any other hood manufacturer.

VMA’s “Lois Fifer Friend of Industry Award” is awarded to a non-manufacturing member who demonstrates high levels of excellence towards support of the VMA and the manufacturing industry in the Volusia and Flagler Counties. This year’s recipient of the Lois Fifer Friend of the Industry Award is Leslie Castillo-Solis of Kelly Services in Daytona Beach, Florida. Kelly Services, Inc. is a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Troy, Michigan, offering staffing solutions that include temporary staffing services, staff leasing, outsourcing, vendor on-site, and full-time placement. Ms. Castillo-Solis has been an active member of VMA since joining, participating in Committees and serving on the VMA Board, chairing the Sales and Marketing Committee f r o m 2007-2008. “Her passionate commitment to the VMA over the years has made a significant impact, and she truly deserves this award,” says Fifer.

Lastly, the “Manny” Award recognizes exceptional individuals for life-long achievements in manufacturing in Volusia and Flagler Counties. These individuals are entered into the VMA Hall of Fame. This year’s winner of the “Manny” Award is Joseph N. Scott of Florida Power and Light. Mr. Scott is the founder of the Volusia Manufacturers Association and had the original idea that there needed to be a singular voice for manufacturers in Volusia County back in 1980. Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) is the largest electric utility in Florida and one of the largest rate-regulated utilities in the United States. FPL serves 4.5 million customer accounts in Florida and is a leading employer in the state with nearly 11,000 employees. Mr. Scott currently heads one of the Northeast Florida FPL’s Retiree Chapters. For the VMA, Mr. Scott was one of the first Charter Directors who started the VMA, and in 1980 he served as the First Acting Chair. These Charter Directors put together the policies that are still active in the VMA today. The VMA was built to serve and promote the needs and aspirations of the manufacturing community, and it is only appropriate that Mr. Joe Scott receives the 2009 “Manny Award” for his extraordinary achievements in manufacturing in Volusia and Flagler counties.

The Volusia Manufacturers Association congratulates each and every winner of this year’s Manufacturing Awards and appreciates their commitment to the VMA and dedication to excellence in manufacturing. The Volusia Manufacturers Association also recognizes the 2009 Awards Banquet Sponsors as Magga Products, Volusia County Economic Development Department, Bank of America, Florida Health Care Plans, FloMet LLC, Florida MEP, University of Central Florida, The Center for Business Excellence, and Staed Hotels.

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Kids Salon Franchise Offers Great Back-To-School Hair Cuts And Hair Dos

Snip-its (www.snipits.com), the fastest growing franchise of children’s hair salons in the U.S., is pleased to assist families through one of the most important events of the new school year — picture day. By offering a professional, cost friendly haircut at Snip-its, provides a great, stress-free haircut for kids while assuring that parents are blamed for having to retake photos on “make up” picture day.

“Now that school is back in session, picture day is an important event for a child,” said Christine Mudd, director franchise development, Snip-its. “Because they serve as cherished keepsake, you want your favorite little guy or girl looking the best for school pictures. Unfortunately, every year, without fail, we see the same scenario: parents with the best intentions cutting their kids’ hair at home the day before school pictures! This year, why not trust the professionals at Snip-its to cut your child’s hair right the first time?”

While some salon prices might make parents reach for scissors or trimmers, Snip-its is dedicated to giving children a great haircut while providing value to parents. With a Snip-its haircut, mom and dad can feel confident that their children will look and feel their best so they can focus on making friends, learning and growing as a person instead of worrying about a botched haircut? In addition to piece-of-mind, Snip-it’s offers a friendly and comfortable environment utilizing games, animated videos and prizes.

Specially trained, in house Snip-its Party Directors can set up little girls’ parties, celebrating everything from birthdays to Bat Mitzvahs and Girl Scout/Brownie Troop meetings. Snip-its supplies all the essentials for a great party such as cake, juice and party favors that include take home make up and glitter, and even a special surprise for the birthday girl. To learn more about Snip-its parties, including special theme parties, visit http://www.snipits.com/parties/index.cfm.

About Snip-Its
The Snip-its Corporation, based in Natick, Massachusetts is designed to untangle the hair care challenges of children and their parents. It provides the best customer service and a guaranteed great time for both kids and parents. The salon franchise has served more than one million children annually in 65 locations. In 2007, Snip-its was named the 30th fastest growing franchise in the U.S. by Franchise Times Magazine. For more information or children’s franchise opportunities, visit www.snipits.com or call 877-SNIP-ITS.

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VMAONLINE.com – One-Of-Kind Online Community For Florida’s Volusia And Flagler County Manufacturers

Volusia Manufacturers Association (VMA) proudly offers more online features to its Volusia and Flagler County Manufacturers members with the launch of its newly modernized website, Vmaonline.com. Vmaonline.com was modified to meet the ever-changing needs of Florida Manufacturers in Volusia and Flagler Counties. Volusia Manufacturers Association’s new website allows Manufacturing and Associate members to learn about and register online for new upcoming events such as General Membership Meetings, Human Resources, Materials, or Manufacturing Excellence Division Meetings, or Plant Tours.

Manufacturing Members may utilize online tools such as Employment Exchange to post job openings or résumés; search Directory and Buyers Guide for Member contact information; access online Technical White Papers for reference and more. The new video section allows online viewing of Monthly Plant Tours if members were not able to attend. Members can use customized tools designed specifically for Central Florida Manufacturers such as Quick Take Surveys, where members share expertise on various manufacturing or human resource topics, or participate in the Web-based Wage and Benefit Survey to compare their benefits with other local companies.

Volusia Manufacturers Association is committed to helping Volusia and Flagler County Manufacturers stay current in Florida Employment Law, Local and Florida State Government Policies, Education, and Florida Economic Development with specific links to access these areas of information.

“Volusia Manufacturers Association is the perfect solution for Volusia and Flagler County Manufacturers looking to network and grow their business. Our new website allows members to quickly promote local skills and capabilities online, allowing them to connect and then outsource to local companies that have a need,” says Jayne Fifer, President/CEO of Volusia Manufacturers Association. “We are excited to upgrade the website to be more interactive for members, giving Members the opportunity to work together outside of VMA- sponsored meetings.”

About Volusia Manufacturers Association:
The Volusia Manufacturers Association was founded in 1980 in Ormond Beach, Florida by manufacturers for manufacturers. Volusia Manufacturers Association provides information, education and networking opportunities to help manufacturers grow and succeed. VMA are made up of companies that range in size from one employee to over 500. If you are interested in joining the Volusia Manufacturers Association, please visit http://www.vmaonline.com.

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Expert Edition Book On Amazon Kindle Helps Entrepreneurs Raise Capital For Their Start Ups

The Secrets of Wall Street – Raising Capital for Start-Up and Early Stage Companies”, Expert Edition, by Timothy Daniel Hogan was just published on AMAZON KINDLE by Commonwealth Capital Advisors.

Mr. Hogan has over 24 years experience in the Investment Banking and Securities Industry, held Six (6) NASD securities licenses and registrations primarily of “Principal” status. Mr. Hogan is a former Director of Compliance and Senior Trading Principal for North American Financial Group, Inc. a SEC Registered Investment Bank and Securities Broker. Chairman of the Investment Policy Committee for North American Capital Advisors, Inc. a SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm.

Mr. Hogan supervised the management of eight internal departments in relation to Federal and State(s) securities laws, as well as, overall firm productivity, operational systems design and technological implementation. Mr. Hogan has been a Founding Principal of seven entrepreneurial endeavors, including an eighteen-hole championship golf course and real estate development, a software development firm, other Internet related businesses, as well as, an investment banking company. He has held board and executive committee seats on various firms. His securities industry training started in 1984 with a few large securities brokerage and investment banking firms, such as, Merrill Lynch, E. F. Hutton and Shearson Lehman Brothers, now known as, Morgan Stanley/Smith Barney. Mr. Hogan holds a double major (Marketing & Finance) Bachelors of Business Administration from Grand Valley State University’s Seidman College of Business.

If you are determined to raise capital for your start-up or early stage company, this resource was made for you, and will open your eyes to the process that will get your company funded. It is the only resource available online that shows Entrepreneurs the whole process so they can successfully get the capital they need without wasting time or money where others fail. Get right to the source, and turn your dream into reality.

About Commonwealth Capital Advisors, LLC (CCA)
Commonwealth Capital Advisors (CCA) is comprised of former Wall Street Investment Bankers, Securities Attorneys and CPAs who invented Financial Architect®, a patent pending system designed to substantially reduce the cost (in time and money) of raising capital, through selling securities. The firm has provided conventional investment advisory services to public and private business since it was established in 1998.

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KRON-TV 4 To Feature Kids Haircut Salon On Monthly Segment

Snip-its (www.snipits.com), the fastest growing franchise of children’s hair salons in the U.S., announced today that KRON-TV 4, San Francisco’s NBC affiliate, will broadcast monthly “Best of The Bay” segments focusing on Snip-its’ Palo Alto, Calif. location. These broadcasts will reach over two million potential Northern California customers in eleven surrounding counties.

Kids Haircut Salon

“The Bay Area and its surrounding communities is one of the most culturally rich and diverse areas in the country,” said Christine Mudd, director of franchise development, Snip-its. “We have gotten a great response from the area, with the opening of our Palo Alto store. We are thrilled to be featured on “Best of The Bay” segments focusing on our new location, which will help us reach prospective franchisees and customers alike.”

The monthly television segments are set to focus on Snip-its as both a thriving recession-proof business in the local economy as well as a needed service. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the Bay Area, and in most major cities, the number of infants, toddlers and young children is growing faster than the overall population.

In addition to the Bay Area TV segments, Snip-its has received notable mentions in the media. Recent company profiles have been featured in publications such as Enterprise Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Go Magazine and the Patriot Ledger, to name a few. The Financial Times has called Snip-it’s a “Sharp idea for a start-up” and The Franchise Times named Snip-its one of the “Fast 55” successful franchise business models in America.

Snip-its, a growing kids franchise was founded in 1995 by California native, Joanna Meiseles, the daughter of Hollywood producer, Robert Blumofe credited with the movie, Yours, Mine and Ours and is the granddaughter of famed comedian Jack Benny. After a heartbreaking visit to an ‘adult’ salon with her then young son, the first-time entrepreneur established the entertainment-styled salon with the goal to make children’s hair care a positive fun-filled adventure for families. Snip-It’s utilizes such kid friendly elements as animated videos, salon-tailored educational video games, end of haircut prizes and even their own branded line of animated Snip-It’s characters to make give children, as well as their thankful parents, a no stress, quality haircut.

Via EPR Network
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China Mart, Los Angeles County, And Guangzhou China CCPIT To Present To Local Guangzhou Manufactures The Advantages Of Investing In The U.S. And Los Angeles County

China Mart(tm) Los Angeles (www.ChinaMartUSA.com) and Los Angeles County’s Investment Delegation join forces with Guangzhou China Council for Promotion of International Trade better known as CCPIT (http://english.ccpit.org) to present at CCPIT’s GuangZhou’s Headquarter to local Guangzhou manufactures / SMEs (Small to Medium Size Enterprises) the advantages of investing in the U.S. and Los Angeles County.

China Mart

China MartTM Los Angeles (CMLA) founded by Mr. Stephen Perl, CEO is a unique International Business platform in the U.S. dedicated to supporting Chinese manufactures (SMEs) investment and entry in to the U.S. Market. CMLA is located in high exposure area at the Los Angeles International Airport (close to all major Ports and Las Vegas Shows) and provides its own professional team to setup, provide marketing support, and financing for successful growth of its Chinese manufactures in the U.S. Financing is provided by CMLA’s Partner, 1st PMF Bancorp (www.PMFbancorp.com) that specializes in financing international trade and companies in the U.S. and China. 1st PMF Bancorp has had branches in China since 2003 and just opened its Shanghai branch. Mr. Stephen Perl states that “China MartTM Los Angeles is a good chance for Chinese SME’s to grow safely and quickly in the U.S. without spending years trying to setup and understand the U.S. business and marketing channels. It is a Win-Win because it removes the middleman/broker for the Chinese manufacture (SME) to sell directly and brings investment and jobs to the U.S. through creation of the Chinese manufactures’ North American Operations center.” Mr. Perl also states that “Traditionally, Los Angeles County, being the largest and most diverse local economy in the U.S., has been a very fertile business environment along with its many Asian and cultural benefits for living and quality of life as LA County is host to the largest Chinese population in the U.S.”

Los Angeles County is the most industrialized area in the U.S has a GDP equivalent to the 15th largest country in the world. The LAEDC is Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors organization to implement LA County’s economic development program through land development, project financing and marketing activities. During its history, the LAEDC has evolved from being a facilitator of the County’s industrial bond development program to being Southern California’s premier business leadership organization. The mission of the LAEDC is to attract, retain and grow businesses and jobs for the regions of LA County.

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To Help Businesses, Displaysense Has Launched A New Campaign, Sourced New Products And Developed A New Customer Retention Guide

With consumer confidence slowly recovering, Displaysense feels companies must start to target their existing customer audience in an effort to prevent them from defecting to rival brands.

Displaysense

Displaysense, a shop fittings and display cabinet supplier in Hertfordshire, has been busy trying to source new and professional display products that will help retailers create a unique in-store presence to not only encourage new customers, but also entice back existing customers.

With the new products in place, Displaysense has created a campaign titled “Driving Business Forward” and kick-started it with a useful top ten list of customer retention tactics. Displaysense plans to send out the guide with customer orders. Existing customers will also be directed to the website via e-mail to download the guide. Businesses will be encouraged to promote the guide on their website for every manager, store owner and company employee to see.

It is hoped that the mix of product range and customer retention knowledge at Displaysense will aid online and offline retailers alike and boost the economy on its road to recovery.

Steve Whittle, spokesperson for Displaysense, commented: “Customer retention management is very important for any size business, especially during testing times like these. We have seen a rise in the number of enquiries surrounding tools for obtaining customer feedback and attracting customer attention, such as our ballot box range and business card holders.”

After discussing the success of their product range, Steve highlighted the importance of their new customer retention guide, stating: “In an industry such as ours, we fully understand the importance of encouraging customers to return to us and with our mix of products and online retention guide. We hope that other businesses will put extra emphasis on their own strategies.”

Not only is the company highlighting the importance of good customer retention strategies with their guide, but they have also recently sent out an e-mail to their existing customers which gave business generating ideas if they used the company’s suggestion boxes and other related products for acquisition and retention purposes.

About Displaysense
Displaysense was established in September of 1978 as a manufacturer of quality point of sale displays. Displaysense has a wealth of experience in design and manufacturing and has been able to develop an ever growing standard range of more than 5,000 displays for retail, exhibitions, office and home. The range is now hugely diverse including literature displays, display cabinets, mannequins, office displays, exhibition stands, catering supplies and even items for the home.

Displaysense works with a large range of clients including, retailers (multiple and independent), blue chip corporate clients, cafés, bars, restaurants and night clubs, shop and office fitters, marketing and promotions companies, designers and architects, product distributors, exhibition contractors and exhibitors, printers, councils and NHS trusts, charities, schools and universities and even home consumers.

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A Third of Workers would use Redundancy to Start a Business

Britain could be about to see a boom in new business start-ups as redundancy rates grow, according to uSwitchforBusiness.com, the dedicated SME comparison and switching service. New research shows that almost a third (31%) of workers would start their own business if made redundant in the near future. But this number could grow even higher, as over three quarters of people (77%) like the idea of using redundancy as an opportunity to start-up on their own.

uswitchforbusiness

The research shows that most people would use redundancy to change their life. Apart from going into business, two in ten (21%) would change or train for a new career, while one in ten (10%) would relocate abroad. Less than a quarter (24%) would try to keep the status quo by looking for like-for-like employment.

However, of all the options open to those facing redundancy, setting up a business is the most popular. And for many it would mean realising a lifelong ambition. Only one in ten people (13%) have never harboured entrepreneurial dreams. Two thirds of Brits (61%) have dreamt of running their own business, but have never acted upon it. Most gave up on the idea because they couldn’t afford to give up their regular salary (40%). Only a quarter (25%) were not confident that they could make it work[4].

The main attraction for would-be business owners is the idea of doing something they love and earning money from it – this appeals to almost half (46%) of people, while almost a quarter (21%) like the idea of the challenge. An independent-minded one in ten (13%) would relish the freedom of not having to answer to a boss.

Over a quarter (26%) would base their business on a hobby or activity that they really enjoy, such as gardening, decorating or designing, while 28% would be prepared to try something completely different to exploit a gap or opportunity in the market. 22% would simply take their current job, but do it for themselves rather than for an employer.

Enterprising Brits also appear to be ready to put their money where their mouth is – 67% would be prepared to invest part or all of their redundancy into a new business, with two in ten (20%) prepared to invest it all. And getting a redundancy payout could be the launch pad many budding entrepreneurs need – 14% of those who have dreamt of starting a business were prevented from going ahead because of lack of finance.

But while there is an air of optimism about redundancy and what it could lead to, people are still realistic about what it takes to run a business. They are fully aware of the potential downside, with 38% most concerned about lack of security in the current economic environment and 30% turned-off by the prospect of the red tape, regulation and bureaucracy. Only a third (36%) think they could do a better job of running a company than their boss.

Jake Ridge, small business expert at uSwitchforBusiness.com, says: “Being made redundant can act as a catalyst, pushing people to make life changes they may have previously only dreamed about, whether starting a new business or a new life abroad. In these instances it can have a positive impact on people’s lives, lifting barriers that have prevented them from fulfilling long-held dreams.

“61% of us have dreamt of starting a business but haven’t done so, mainly because of the fear of giving up a regular salary and because of lack of finance. As well as impetus, redundancy can provide the cash needed to finance a start-up and 67% of people would be prepared to invest some or all of this into their dream business.

“With this level of commitment, it is vital that people go into business with their eyes wide open. Getting the right advice and support is key, which is why we are offering a dedicated SME service. This provides free information and advice as well as practical tools to keep running costs low. Getting the right help upfront could make the difference between flourishing or failing – it could help keep many more dream businesses on track.”

Via EPR Network
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Nuviderm Does It Work…?

Nuviderm works and it works so well that it was just recognized for the second consecutive year as one of the best in the field of tattoo removal by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA). The USLBA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional success in their business category. These are companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Nuviderm.com is an easy to use in home tattoo removal product that offers an effective, affordable alternative to laser tattoo removal. During the current recession it has proved to be a highly satisfactory substitute for people who would otherwise have relied on the more expensive Laser method for tattoo removal. At a time when many people are losing their job it is important to make a good first impression when interviewing for that new position. Nuviderm is proud to be able to offer an inexpensive tattoo removal technique for job hunters on a tight budget.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The USLBA Awards Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USLBA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA)
U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USLBA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USLBA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: AftaTat Net

Nuviderm is an easy to use home tattoo removal product that offers an effective and affordable substitute to laser tattoo removal. Twice recognized as one of the best companies in its field, Nuviderm continues to provide unsurpassed customer satisfaction.

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BT Business IT Support Manager Battles Printergeist

UK businesses clocked up a massive 22,000 calls to BT Business IT Support Manager between January and March 2009, and sales doubled over the period, as more small businesses look to down-the-line IT support rather than risk downtime during the recession.

BT Business IT Support

Over the three months, the bulk of calls were requests for network and mail assistance, with email help triggering more than a quarter. Virus and security issues alone prompted nearly 10 per cent of BT Business IT Support Manager help desk contact.

While most operating system, server and back-up issues are easily resolved, BT Business took a little longer to solve some of the stranger customer requests. One customer was convinced that a poltergeist was changing the print server settings, one didn’t plug in their router’s power because it was wireless, and another asked for help to cut a CD to fit a PC floppy drive.

Andy Dell, general manager, IT services, BT Business said: “Most IT problems will flummox the best of us, but there is a serious message behind these funny stories. In the current economic climate firms can’t be off line for any length of time so we’d advise customers to refer to a team of dedicated experts who are fully equipped to deal with the problem. We are experiencing new highs in the volume of requests for help, as more and more of our customers rely on PCs to run their business.”

A dedicated business service, BT Business IT Support Manager is a business service for personal computers running either MacOS or Windows. BT advisors provide straightforward, jargon free, advice and support over the phone. The team of BT computer experts provide a cost effective alternative or enhancement to an in-house IT support team, and can fix problems by accessing a computer remotely through the customer’s broadband connection – whether from BT or another ISP.

About BT
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications solutions and services operating in 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to customers for use at home, at work and on the move; web hostingbusiness broadband, internet products and services and converged fixed/mobile products and services. BT consists principally of four lines of business: BT Global Services, Openreach, BT Retail and BT Wholesale. In the year ended 31 March 2009, BT Group’s revenue was £21,390 million. British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

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USBSwiper.Com Allows Businesses To Affordably SWIPE And Process Credit Cards Out In The Field Using Only A Customer’s Laptop And An Internet Connection,

Newly-developed USBSwiper offers Customers the unique opportunity to simply, easily and securely process customer credit cards with true mobility. Customers can simplify their businesses by being able to swipe credit cards anywhere whether at their store location or out in the field using only the customers Laptop, Internet Connection, USBSwiper software interface and magnetic card reader and the PayPal merchant processing system.

Richard Freedkin was a small business owner with a big problem. As a Real Estate investor and consultant who traveled the country conducting seminars and selling his books, he was wasting time and losing business whenever he typed in customers’ credit card information into PayPal’s virtual terminal by hand at each of his workshops. He needed a simple way to swipe credit cards at any seminar or convention location with only his internet connection and laptop.

When he asked developers in an online forum about available credit card swipers that were compatible with PayPal, everyone said it couldn’t be done except for 25-year-old Drew Angell, a certified PayPal ACE developer. Just over 6 months later, the pair founded AngellFree, Inc., and officially unveiled the only PayPal compatible credit card swiping solution at the annual Ebay Live! event in Chicago.

“I needed a product like this for my business, and thousands of other business people also need and are looking for something like this too. Other Wireless or Mobile Credit Card Solutions are just too expensive,” said Freedkin. “It was a situation where necessity was the mother of invention. Because of USBSwiper, I can now process payments for 30 to 40 of my books in just a few minutes and I have all of my reports and records centralized in one place. The best part is that unlike other merchant credit card processors, the money is deposited into my account instantly.”

The USBSwiper software, along with USBSwiper’s compatible magnetic card reader, can be used on both Mac and PC platforms. Unlike applying for and using merchant credit card processors, using USBSwiper in conjunction with PayPal will save small business owners merchant credit card processor fees, paperwork, time, lost interest, and lost fees during refund transactions.

“All you need is a computer with an internet connection and you’re set to go,” said Freedkin. “We’ve seen USBSwiper utilized by kiosk owners, microbreweries, artists, airport curbside checkers, taxi cab companies, and flea market sellers. The applications are endless for the small business owner, especially if you sell products either online, from a storefront, or in person at a customer’s home such as a home improvement or HVAC company. There are virtually thousands of different applications that this will work for inexpensively. Now everyone can enjoy true affordable wireless credit card processing”

The Word is spreading said Angell. “Everyone is so excited about this product, and it makes me feel great to know how much it’s already helped people out and to hear the positive feedback. I’m looking forward to introducing it to so many sellers who could truly benefit from it and grow their business.”

The True Wireless Mobility that this product offers has now sparked Freedkin and Angell to create a national sales force of Independent USBSwiper Representatives who will market the product Nationwide. According to Freedkin, “In this economic climate of Job losses and layoffs, many people are opening up small businesses. This opens up a huge opportunity for many people to create financial freedom by marketing this phenomenal product and to create a great residual income while at the same time, helping those businesses who have wanted to, but could not afford to have wireless credit card processing in the field before.”

For those who would like to learn more, please visit www.usbswiper.com.

About AngellFree Inc.: 

Founded in 2008 and based out of Lake Zurich, Illinois, AngellFree, Inc., provides small business owners with web and application development solutions.

Contact Details: USBSwiper.com, 830 W. Rt. 22 #235, Lake Zurich, IL 60047 (224) 677-0283 Office, (847) 307-8464 Fax, Richard@USBSwiper.com, www.USBSwiper.com

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Salon Franchise Makes Kids Grooming A Treat Opening Its Eighth Location In Texas

Snip-its (www.snipits.com), the fastest growing franchise of children’s hair salons in the U.S., has opened its newest location in Pearland, Texas. The new 1500 sq. ft. salon at 2810 Business Center Drive marks the eighth Snip-its location in Texas. The salon offers a creative destination for children’s haircuts in a fun and animated cartoon environment with specially trained and friendly stylists. The salon will also feature a children’s party room for memorable birthday parties.

“A children’s haircut can be a stressful task for parents and kids,” said Alane Middleton, owner of the new Snip-its. “Snip-its of Pearland is designed to turn an ordinary and mundane experience into an enjoyable haircut visit that ends with a smile. Inside a dynamic environment, we offer a clean and safe salon so that everyone feels assured and happy.”

Snip-its, a growing kids franchise, offers children a no-tears haircut experience that’s weaved with vibrant colors and reminds many customers of a Saturday morning cartoon. The salon interior features a cast of Snip-its own branded animated cartoon characters: Snips, Jean Luc le Spritz, Curly Comb, Flyer Joe Dryer, the Clip-ette Sisters, and Maranga Mirror plus animated videos, salon-tailored educational computer games and “cushy” parents chairs so Moms can sit nearby. At the end of each visit, children receive a prize in exchange for a lock of hair from the “Magic Box.”

“Having served in the community with youth ministry, Alane brings a leadership mentality to the salon and an ear to local needs,” said James George, the CEO of Snip-its. “She and her husband Wesley will be great partners for Snip-its and I look forward to their success.”

About Snip-Its
The Snip-its Corporation, based in Natick, Massachusetts was designed to untangle the haircare challenges of children and their parents. Founded in 1995 by mom entrepreneur, Joanna Meiseles, Snip-its provides the best customer service and a guaranteed great time for both kids and parents. The salon franchise has served more than one million children annually in 65 locations. In 2007, Snip-its was named the 30th fastest growing franchise in the U.S. by Franchise Times Magazine. For more information or kids franchise opportunities, visit www.snipits.com or call 877-SNIP-ITS.

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How Companies Can Cash In on Innovations and Patents Revealed in New Book

Co-authored by a partner at a large, international law firm and a marketer with 23 years of experience working for companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500, Business Success Through Innovation explains how savvy entrepreneurs and businesses generate wealth through innovation and patents, rather than by manufacturing prowess. This book is a must for U.S. businesses facing an economic slowdown and increased foreign competition, and for entrepreneurs looking for a sustainable, competitive advantage.

Business Success Through Innovation shows which companies (U.S. and foreign) and universities are most active in obtaining U.S. patents, the technology categories in which most patent activity occurs, and how each of the 50 states ranks in terms of patent activity, education level, and median income.

Written from a business perspective, the book contains nearly 200 charts of valuable, competitive U.S. patent information and explains how to formulate your own game plan for success.

Although approximately 80% of the U.S. economy is now service based, it is still the world’s largest with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of approximately $14 trillion. That is about three times larger than Japan’s GDP (which ranks second) and about four times larger than Germany’s or China’s. Business Success Through Innovation explains how the United States maintains its edge: about 75% of the value of publicly traded U.S. companies is in intangible assets rather than plant or equipment. Innovation and the control of innovations through legal mechanisms, particularly patents, are imperative for companies and entrepreneurs hoping to succeed in today’s economy.

For further details and excerpts, please visit www.isopatent.com.
Business Success Through Innovation is available at isopatent.com and Amazon.com.
Business Success Through Innovation
Paperback, ISBN: 978-0-9819052-0-4, $28.95.

About the Authors
David E. Rogers is a patent attorney and partner with Squire, Sanders & Dempsey L.L.P., one of the world’s largest international law firms. David practices patent, trademark, trade dress and unfair competition law and has been a featured speaker on patent and trademark topics in the United States and abroad.

Amy L. Hartzer is the President of IsoPatent LLC. She has a BS in Marketing from Indiana University, an MBA from Michigan State University and more than 23 years of experience in both consumer and business marketing. She has worked in a variety of roles including Director of Brand Management, Director of Customer Retention, and Vice President of Marketing for companies ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500 including Southwestern Bell, General Motors OnStar, and Cooper Industries.

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Travel Certificates are proven sales tools that stimulate sales activity and generate interest and traffic. Travel incentives are an excellent high-value low-cost way to inspire and motivate customers

Increasebusinesssales.com offers full color certificates that will be imprinted with your business name for you to give to your customers to increase leads and create sales.

Your cost is just 35 cents each. No minimum purchase required. Next day shipping. We guarantee to honor every certificate! A phone number, website and address are on the back of each certificate. This is Not Timeshare!

You can get it at http://www.increasebusinesssales.com

How can you reach your sales goals, boost profits and ultimately build your business? Incentives, that’s how! Let Increase Business Sales put our experience and buying power to work for your business.

Using our gift certificate rewards, we are able to provide Freedom to your program participants and satisfy even the most difficult shopping tastes.

Our programs work the way they’re designed to work. Increased sales, higher profits and happy employees all created by programs that pay for themselves.

Gift certificates have become an increasingly popular option for all types of incentive programs: as add-ons to incentive awards, as premiums, and as corporate gifts. Companies that giveaway gift certificates for business purposes have experienced double-digit growth in recent years.

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A new website was launched this week to help the Virtual Assistant and SME market realize the benefits of owning a bespoke website for minimal cost

wannabe-a-va.com offers free hand built websites and domain names with its hosting and marketing package. Di Chapman of Iceni-it has partnered with Caroline Wiberg of Alternative Office to provide this service.

Visitors can visit wannabe-a-va.com to receive the firm’s free information which features downloads of marketing books by such writers as Napoleon Hill. Full members have a library of downloads.

The website also describes the company’s full ‘Small Business’ package and introduces the firm’s partners who have collectively more than 16 years of experience providing help and support to Small Businesses especially people who want to become Virtual Assistants. Di Chapman has won awards for this work in the UK and for her continued Pro Bono work in the VA/SME sector.

For more information, go to www.wannabe-a-va.com. Questions can be directed to http://www.wannabehelpdesk.info/support/

About Iceni-it
Founded in 2000 by Di Chapman, Iceni-it helps those who want to become Virtual Assistants on a totally free basis. The Awards that Di Chapman received were not from within the VA industry but from the UK Business Community for her ongoing work in helping others start their own businesses at no cost to them. Di Chapman can be contacted at va@iceni-it.co.uk.

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FoundLocally.com – Canada’s Local Search

FoundLocally.com Media Inc. has recently added detailed local coverage for Toronto with 5 new sites for Toronto, North York, Etobicoke, Scarborough, and the York Region. The 8-year-old company now has 31 sites across Canada from Victoria, BC to St John’s, Nfld which already attract 15 million visitors a year.

FoundLocally’s five separate sites provide community information based on the way people live, work, and play, without the traditional media focus on downtown business, sports, and arts. These complement sites launched over the past year for surrounding communities including Oshawa-Durham, Mississauga-Brampton, Oakville-Burlington, Hamilton, as well as Niagara Falls, Barrie-Muskoka and Kitchener-Waterloo.

NEW TORONTO SITES:

Toronto.FoundLocally.com
NorthYork.FoundLocally.com
Scarborough.FoundLocally.com
Etobicoke.FoundLocally.com
York.FoundLocally.com

CLOSE-BY COMMUNITIES:

Oshawa.FoundLocally.com
Mississauga.FoundLocally.com
Oakville.FoundLocally.com
Niagara.FoundLocally.com
Barrie.FoundLocally.com
Kitchener.FoundLocally.com

Each FoundLocally.com portal site provides comprehensive community information for locals and new residents, including travel, entertainment, shopping, neighborhoods, sports, education and government. There are typically about a thousand pages of information, pictures and maps, along with popular resources like weekly ski reports and one-click movie showtimes. FoundLocally has become excellent trip planning resource for business and leisure travelers.

Each FoundLocally.com site’s community directory allows visitors to search for businesses by name, category, or address. All businesses and community groups may add themselves to FoundLocally’s free community directory. Organizations adding and updating their listings to provide descriptions, contact details and web links. Especially welcome are small businesses, run from a home phone or cell phone and typically excluded from the phone company directory. Many FoundLocally listings are for businesses without a website, also ignored on global search engines. Once registered, businesses and organizations can freely post jobs, events, sales & coupons) and news. Toronto area businesses may add themselves at Toronto.FoundLocally.com by clicking on “Free Listings” to go to Toronto.FoundLocally.com/General/FreeListings.htm. FoundLocally earns its revenues from traditional web “banner advertising,” which supports the free community directory.

A new JUMP! Feature makes it easy for consumers to view matching information in adjoining communities. This works for editorial content, as well as for business searches.

ABOUT FOUNDLOCALLY.COM

FoundLocally.com is a Calgary-based company that creates community information portals, and provides web design and web marketing services. It also runs TransCanadaHighway.com (about travel along the world’s longest highway), and MovingInCanada.com (about relocations & real estate). The FoundLocally web sites are represented nationally by 24/7 Canada, the nation’s largest interactive ad agency. The company was recently (October, 2007) featured in an Alberta Venture magazine article “Battle of the Digital Directories”.

Communities now covered by FoundLocally.com include: Victoria, Greater Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Okanagan-Shuswap, Banff & The Rockies, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, Barrie-Muskoka, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara Falls, Hamilton, Oakville-Burlington, Mississauga- Brampton, Etobicoke, North York, Toronto, Scarborough, York Region, Oshawa- Durham, Ottawa-Gatineau, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax, and St John’s.

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Barclays Local Business report workplace “dreamers” of today make tomorrow’s entrepreneurs

Barclays Local Business research reveals untapped potential of today’s workforce. Workers caught staring into space at their desk or ‘away with the fairies’ during business meetings are a mass of untapped, entrepreneurial talent, according to research from Barclays Local Business.

The latest survey by Barclays Local Business reveals how employees showing signs of distraction are likely to get out and start their own business, as nearly half of today’s UK business bosses (44 per cent) admit to having plotted their entrepreneurial future whilst daydreaming in the work place of a previous employer.

Although an increasing number of bosses are paranoid about employees wasting time at work on social networking sites like Facebook, it appears they cannot stop employees from dreaming of a more productive and satisfying future in their working life.

John Davis, marketing director for Barclays Local Business said: “This survey highlights what many bosses have probably suspected for a long time – that for some employees, their current job is the last thing on their mind when they are at work. However, whilst they may be wasting their employer’s time they are not necessarily being idle; as they are planning for their own future. For budding entrepreneurs, the routine of their day-job can spark dreams of going onto bigger and better things.”

These dreamers turned entrepreneurs clearly know the value of downtime with only eight per cent interrupting their holidays to come up with a killer small business idea. Similarly, just six per cent were prepared to think about being their own boss in between pints down the pub. It’s also no surprise then that the survey also reveals that almost 40 per cent of UK business bosses view plain old common sense as the winning ingredient for ongoing success.

Davis added: “For employers there is nothing more frustrating than letting untapped talent slip through the net as staff showing entrepreneurial signs provide huge benefits and help small, medium or larger companies grow. Perhaps it will serve as a warning to any boss that they shouldn’t take their eye off the ball when it comes to keeping their staff interested and engaged and developing their people.”

The survey also uncovers the concerns keeping aspiring entrepreneurs awake at night; just under 40 per cent admit to feeling nervous about giving up the financial stability of a full time job, while nearly one in five (19 per cent) worry about getting into debt. Added pressure on their home life was also a worry for six per cent.

About Barclays Local Business
Barclays Local Business provide services and a comprehensive range of tailored business banking products to more than 600,000 businesses typically with a turn over less than £1 million.

Barclays Local Business supports businesses with:
– Named business manager, locally based allocated to the clients business. 1,600 Local Business Managers in 600 locations

– Barclays Trading Places’ Awards, recognising people who have overcome adversity to set up in business

– Give start-ups standard banking transactions free for up to 18 months. Wide range of free advice and information -Starting & Running Your Business CD-ROM; consultations with a panel of legal, accountancy & marketing experts; Business Opportunity Profiles & Business Information Factsheets; Legal & tax helpline

– Free ‘Mindleaders‘ online business skills training worth £1,000 and award winning software packages that will help save businesses time and money

– Individual solutions that offer support outside of the usual banking services e.g. unique award winning software packages that will help save businesses time and money

– The ability to speak to a qualified business Manager – out of hours or when their local business manager is engaged with customers. Flexibility to bank when and how they want – online and telephone banking and a full counter service at 1600 branches nationwide.

Figures taken from research carried out by YouGov on behalf of Barclays Local Business Banking. Total sample size was 2427 SME owner-managers from across the UK. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11-17 May 2007. The survey was carried out online. The figures have not been weighted.

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