Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Balance of Social Networking and Ethics

Social Networking and Ethics
Social Networking has gone into a tailspin within the last year or so. This is the time for business owners, especially small business owners to pay close attention their sites, links and online
connections.
More importantly, business owners should manage the person managing their networks.

So let’s look at the ethics of Social Networking. What are people doing? Employees are making nasty and disparaging comments about their employers. Employees are spending an inordinate amount of time on sites like Facebook and event posting comments during work hours. There can be serious damage when an employee exposes his or her workplace in social media. Connecting with friends online through chat rooms and other media contacts unrelated to work during work hours can expose the company to severe risks. According to the Business Ethics website, as of 2010 software developer Cisco Systems Inc. has a program, Cisco SocialMiner, designed to help employers monitor their employees' social network site status updates, forum posts and blog posts in real time. The line between an employer's right to monitor employees and an employee's right to privacy can easily blur in this climate.

According to Jason Lunday of Corporate Compliance Insights, "To begin assessing social media’s potential corporate impact, it is important to understand its various forms and tools. According to one of the most prolific social media sites, Wikipedia, social media’s predominant uses are for:
  • Communication, such as blogs, micro-blogs, social networking and events.
  • Collaboration, like wikis, social news and bookmarking/tagging.
  • Multimedia, including video, photography, music/audio sharing and presentation sharing and livecasting.
  • Entertainment, for example, media platforms, virtual worlds and game sharing. 
Company management may be familiar with some of the most prevalent applications – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Myspace – but how many know about Open Diary, Tumblr, BigTent, Wetpaint, Mixx, Vimeo, meetup.com, ccMixter, MouthShut.com, or Forterra?
Chances are that a company’s younger employees know about many of these applications and more – and are actively using them. Further, as smartphones become more ubiquitous in the workplace, employees’ access to the Internet and its social media applications will speed up the media’s adoption – and create more difficulty for a company to monitor workplace use."

SUMMARY

Generally, it boils down to the integrity of the individual employee. Lunday summarizes, “As many companies are now experiencing, social media’s use in the workplace poses numerous risks because it crosses so many different ethics and compliance topics and because its applications and use are rapidly and constantly changing. But as with all business topics, a company can successfully manage its own and its employees’ personal use of it by employing a common framework applied to most other ethics and compliance topics, albeit with some modifications specific to social media.  The sooner that a company gets its arms around use of social media the better it will fare as the fast rate of change in social media going forward is expected; a delinquent company will have further to catch up the later it responds to the challenge.”

Source: Corporate Compliance Insights.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Mobilizing Small Business Entrepreneurship

Recently, I was asked to talk on this subject MOBILIZING SMALL BUSINESS ENTREPRENEURSHIP at the Antigua and Barbuda Studies Association conference in Antigua. It was quite an interesting occasion since it marked the 10th anniversary of the association's conference.

The event was held at the Antigua and Barbuda Youth Enlightenment Academy at Longfords, Antigua at the old BBC/German Radio site. In researching the topic, I realized that the move to entrepreneurship (or the lack of) is a subject that needs to be addressed and discussed at several different levels. The thinker, the explorer, the innovator, the entrepreneur, the investor and the retired. All of these people need to play a role in the development of communities, cities and towns. Building an entrepreneurship base and encouraging entrepreneurship is a sure way to sustainable economic development. Citizens have to take control of their community and environment by investing time and resources to make it relevant.

In addressing the audience, I made mention of the natural resources in Antigua that have gone to waste such as coconut shells and husks, bottles and cans and even the special white stones that can be easily carved into various salable items. Antiguans like other indigenous people around the world need to take pride in their natural resources utilize them through manufacturing and creativity. Despite the drought conditions, agriculture even from the local farmer perspective is so important. Sewing, tailoring, dyeing and patchwork, all these things that are currently imported, should be made in Antigua, sold and exported.


The dependency on foreign investment is a waste of resources and precious time. Foreign investment has its place but when governments get lazy and fail to utilize its own resources, the plans are destined for failure. Govermnents need to send its best and brightest to learn from best practices around the world so they can be successfully replicated. There is no need to reinvent anything, because most of the ideas have already been tried and tested.

Building relationships through small meetings and networking is enough to start the conversation.


To sustain Antiguan and Barbudan businesses – Here are a few Tips:
·        Start Relationship building – peer to peer networking and engagement
·        Businesses must engage the services of advisory bodies
·        Engage in community driven strategies
·        Innovate, innovate
·        Fix the Intellectual Property office

Friday, May 01, 2015

Harland Henry Heads To Washington

I am excited to have made the list of 100 Business Advocates in the country to join the Small Business Majority Leadership Summit in Washington in May. Meetings include the National Press Club and the White House.



For immediate release: May 1, 2015
CONTACT:
Kelsey Bye | Media and Communications Associate
(202) 289-0957 | kbye@smallbusinessmajority.org
SunBiz Showcase Alliance Heads to the Nation’s Capitol to Tackle Top Issues Facing Small Employers at Small Business Leadership Summit
SunBiz Showcase Alliance selected to be one of 100 small business leaders from across the country to attend Small Business Leadership Summit in Washington D.C. to discuss most pressing issues facing small businesses; opportunity to talk with elected officials and members of the Obama Administration about policies to bolster small business
Tampa, Florida – SunBiz Showcase Alliance, a Florida business consulting and Relationship Company, will be among 100 small businesses attending this year’s Small Business Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. from May 11-13, 2015. The Summit, hosted by small business advocacy organization Small Business Majority, will provide a unique opportunity for SunBiz Showcase Alliance and other small businesses to interact with key policymakers, including SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), senior members of the Obama Administration and issue experts to identify policy recommendations to help move the needle on important small business issues.
“Being chosen as one of the 100 small business owners to attend this year’s Summit allows me a unique opportunity to discuss important issues facing my small business and other entrepreneurs today,” said Harland Henry, CEO of SunBiz Showcase Alliance. “Voicing our needs and concerns directly to policymakers and other experts is a critical step in getting Washington to pay attention to the small business community. I am honored to attend this year’s Summit and will proudly bring Tampa’s small business concerns to the table to advocate on behalf of our hardworking entrepreneurs and innovators.”

With its theme “Shaping the Future of the American Economy,” the Summit will feature panel discussions, keynote speeches, interactive workshops and presentations by industry experts and successful entrepreneurs. A private evening reception hosted by Google at its Washington, D.C. headquarters will feature presentations of the “2015 Small Business Awards.” The Summit concludes with a half-day visit to the White House during which small business owners will have an opportunity to engage directly with senior members of the Obama Administration. The day will be capped off with a technology training program at Google.
Following the Summit, policy recommendations identified will be incorporated into Small Business Majority’s policy platform—the Small Business Economic Agenda for 2015-16—and will be shared with decision makers to elevate issues of importance to small business owners.
“This Summit will allow small business owners to engage directly with policymakers in D.C. to discuss the issues shaping our economy and identify pragmatic policy recommendations to help them thrive,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO of Small Business Majority. “We’ll hear from real entrepreneurs—from all walks of life and all areas of the country—about the issues affecting their business and their bottom lines, and work with policymakers to advance legislation that will bolster small business and remove their barriers to success.”
The Summit will focus on topline issues of importance to small business, including but not limited to:
·         Access to capital and how to ensure small businesses obtain capital necessary to grow and strengthen their firms in a responsible and sustainable manner
·         Tax policy to spur small business/economic growth while leveling the playing field and ensuring fairness
·         Critical workforce issues impacting small businesses today such as healthcare, minimum wage family medical leave and retirement savings
·         Technology and how small businesses can adopt and learn new solutions to old challenges
·         The impact of freelancers on the economy and how the U.S. can update policies that address the needs of this new workforce
For more information about the Summit, please visit: www.sbmleadershipsummit.com
For media interviews with Small Business Majority please contact Kelsey Bye at (202) 289-0957 or kbye@smallbusinessmajority.org.
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SunBiz Showcase Alliance is an economic and community development advocacy organization that supports the small business community in building capacity by providing outreach and relationship tools to increase business potential.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Another Successful Homebrew Hillsborough

Few would have thought that a Homebrew Coffee bar would have been nestled in a quaint furniture store on Dale Mabry in Tampa.  However, it was exactly in the rear of the RareHues, a unique vintage and antique store on 10005 N. Dale Mabry that Zeal Coffee Roasters co-hosted Homebrew Hillsborough on Friday, March 27, 2015.
Program Manager of EDI2 Jennifer Whelihan introductions

The Homebrew Hillsborough meetups, a monthly morning networking event is held at various coffee bars in Hillsborough county for techies and advocates to celebrate and collaborate on current projects as well as discuss upcoming events and strategies. This Homebrew Hillsborough was hosted by the energetic Jennifer Whelihan, Project Manager of the Hillsborough County Economic Development program EDI2.

I was among several attendees as many sipped coffee and hot chocolate while networking. Jennifer Whelihan who hosted the event gathered the group together to share their stories. After expressing her appreciation to those in attendance, she went around the room as each person gave a synopsis of what they were doing or planning to do. Terri Willingham of Eureka! Factory and Bill Shaw of Tampa Hackerspace
Bill Shaw and Terri Willingham (standing)
both expressed enthusiasm and gratitude for the EDI2 program keeping their projects alive that supports many participants across the county. Among the attendees were former Commissioner Mark Sharpe and Bob Francis, Advisor to the EDI2 program.
The event ended by Bill Shaw reminding attendees of the Laser Cutter expo which he hosts on Saturday, March 28th downtown Tampa.

Harland Henry, Small Business Advocate and EDI2 Advisor.

Harland Henry with attentive attendees in background


Monday, February 23, 2015

The Value Proposition of Networking


Time is "Value" so when Networking, make short conversations that are of value to your listeners. Make the conversation about them and not you. If you wish to get into the details of a contract, the Networking environment is not the place to do it. Schedule a time with the person. Image result for networking images
Too many times, people get turned off by one party or the other speaking about themselves or some private matter to the extent that they forget there are others in the conversation. In your conversation, if you can provide valuable tips and share ideas, you can be a hero. However, you can also be the one who people turn away from when they see you at a Networking event. Smile, shake hands firmly, look your responder in the eye while giving a friendly greeting.

Confused about Networking? Networking is one of the most engaging and effective methods of bringing professionals together. As an added element to marketing, professionals would gather together in a room to share coffee, a meal or just to simply listen to an engaging topic that is of common interest or value to them. Following the formal presentation, professionals gather for up to 90 minutes exchanging ideas and meeting each other.

Professionals value time! Time is especially important to entrepreneurs since the time they spend Networking needs to be added value to their business. It is therefore no accident that Networking events are usually well planned and targeted.

One of the best and easiest ways to find and talk with busy individuals is to meet them at a Networking event. Good Networking events are usually short, with a specific team and specific in environment of peers. In an earlier blog post, About a year ago, I wrote about the Do's and Don'ts of Networking. It is a process and one that every professional should take seriously. Connecting with someone you wish to converse with a Networking event can be a deal winner. It is important to know when to break into a conversation or interrupt when a group is in a deep conversation. Colleen Debaise outlines 7 Tips for networking which touch on many of the points I raise. Be respectful, don't try to sell, and be friendly.

To start hosting a formal Networking event will take some planning. An example is to plan the event at 7:00 am to  8:15 pm in a professional office, a hotel lobby or in the sponsors' premises. Here, the patrons arrive on time and leave in time to get to their own work places.  Since the Networking is early in the day, the food is centered around breakfast. Usually, food is sponsored by a supplier, restaurant or host or a combination of both. It is always important to acknowledge all sponsors and give them the floor for  a few minutes (not more than five).

The format of the gathering is that the host introduces the sponsor. Elected officials and other hosts are introduced and then the attendees. A speaker may or may not be invited to address a particular subject. Following a 15 minute overview and the presentations, attendees are left to have breakfast and network among themselves.

A similar format takes place at an evening Networking event. The time however, may be a bit longer (possibly 90 minutes). The same applies in terms of the protocol.

SunBiz Showcase Alliance has been hosting small (10 or less), medium (10-40) and large (40 plus) networking events since 2000 from Connecticut to Florida. Business Networking events as they are more commonly referred to provide incentives for dialog and communication  among them that normally comment with each other.


Friday, October 10, 2014

TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL TRADE SHOW

Making Your Trade Show Display Stand Out

By Janice Byer
excerpted from About.com

Trade shows are very popular for many industries. Obviously, they wouldn't be so popular if the people in the booths weren't selling well as a result. But just setting up a booth with some nice graphics and free samples isn't enough to get you a successful trade show.

First, you need to have a plan and a goal. Your plan should be based on the trade show schedule and whatever you know about the other vendors. For example, if you know that competitors X and Y will have booths but competitor Z will not, you can use that information in your planning. Once you've roughed out a plan, decide on your goal or goals. For example, you might set a goal of speaking with 100 people before lunch. Or if there are certain prospects you've been trying to reach and you know will be attending, you might make it a goal to connect with them.

Second, get to the show as early as you can. If you're coming from a long distance away, it's a good idea to arrive the night before so that you can get a good night's sleep and still be at the show bright and early.
This will enable you to get your booth set up in time for the earliest visitors, and with luck, you will also have a chance to stroll around and get a look at the other booths.

Third, have a good elevator speech memorized. Everyone is usually in a hurry at these events because they're trying to meet as many people as possible. So you need to be able to make an impression in just a few seconds, because after that the other party will probably stop listening.

Fourth, have a system that will help you to remember who you spoke with and what you talked about. You may think now that there's no way you'll forget that conversation with a hot prospect, but if you spend the day talking with hundreds of people, the details are likely to get blurry. One approach is to get a prospect's business card and jot down a few notes on the back of the card as soon as the conversation ends. A smartphone or tablet can also be an extremely helpful tool for tracking such information.

Fifth, keep in mind that your mission at a trade show is not to close sales. Consider it another way of cold calling – and just like cold calling, your goal is to quickly inspire some interest and, with luck, get an appointment for later. In fact, if all you do is introduce yourself, learn a couple of facts about the prospect, and exchange business cards, you're doing quite well. Trying to sell at this point will classify you in the prospect's mind as just another salesperson.

Sixth, remember that you are at this trade show for business purposes. Hopefully it goes without saying that you should not drink large quantities of alcohol. A subtler trap is falling into the mindset that you're there to have fun. Trade shows can indeed be quite a lot of fun, but the purpose is always to make contacts, meet prospects, and feed the pipeline – in other words, make sales.

Finally, once the trade show is over and you've returned to your office, you can start putting to use all the information and contacts you acquired. It's fatally easy to stuff all those business cards in a drawer and focus on the many urgent things that came up while you were away.
However, once those cards hit the drawer, you may never actually remember to do anything with them. If you can't immediately start working on them, at least put the cards somewhere right in front of you where you can't possibly miss them.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Why Exhibit at an Expo?

Business Expos, Trade Shows, Business Showcases, Business Displays are all basically the same opportunity for your business to market itself to the public or a specific demographic. Why are trade shows so popular with big businesses? It is the same reason that it should be popular with small businesses. The Expo provides the ability to display, demo and show off your product or service to the world in a few hours or days for a fraction of the cost and effort of traditional advertising, promotion, cold calls and mail dropping. 


I am always amazed at how apprehensive small business owners become whenever they are invited to participate in an expo. To help you understand the benefits of being in an expo, I will share some thoughts from business experts.

Susan Freidman writes, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression. It's a saying so true that it has become cliché - a phrase used by suit salesmen and purveyors of shampoo - but it's a saying that should serve as a motto for your trade show booth staff.

A trade show is a non-stop series of beginnings. Every moment - from the second the doors open until they blink the lights signalling the end of the day - is a moment where you could be meeting customers for the very first time.


If all goes well, these crucial first moments will launch a mutually profitable relationship that will last for years. On the other hand, if the impression you create is not so positive, you've kissed a lifetime's worth of business goodbye.

Beginning well means you're half done. Once you've established a rapport with the client, once that positive foundation has been laid, the hard work of negotiating a deal and closing a sale becomes so much easier. Here's what you need to know to create a favorable first impression time and time again, over the long hours and days that you'll be at the trade show.

What's for sale here?
Your company might make computers or luxury automobiles. You might sell scrub brushes. You could retail the finest gems found on the Indian sub-continent. It doesn't really matter. When you're at a trade show, what you're selling is you.

Today's buyers are nervous. They've been through the dot-com bubble. They've seen Enron blow up and corporate scandal follow corporate scandal. Yet they still have to do business. How do they know who they can trust?

There will always be a due-diligence component to business, but a surprising amount of decisions are made by people "trusting their guts". During those crucial first minutes where you're checking out the attendee, they're checking you out. They are, perhaps unconsciously, assessing what they perceive as your intentions and motivations. Few people believe that they can get a good deal from someone they do not believe to be a good person.

Trade Show Secret: People have to 'buy' you before they can buy your products." Source: From Susan Freidman About.com.

Shake hands: It need not be that way. You are there to meet people, so get out in the aisle, introduce yourself, get the person’s name, shake hands, ask them open–ended questions and begin the qualifying process.

Let’s examine why people go to shows:

50 per cent of the people that go to a trade show, do so to see new products
35 per cent are at the show for the first time
15 per cent come for general information
10 per cent come for a specific product
49 per cent operate at a managerial level or higher
30 per cent have direct influence on purchases, or actually buy the product
83 per cent have not received a sales call from your organization in the last 12 months

So why should you be an exhibitor?
Because trade shows can be a very effective part of the marketing mix and, just like any other medium, you need an objective to evaluate your activities.

The following are valid objectives that can be used to measure the effectiveness of a particular show:

  • You can use it as a sales opportunity to either generate immediate sales or qualified sales leads.
  • You can use it as a communication opportunity to intensify awareness for a new product, create and develop a renewed interest in an older product, or build and maintain your image.
  • You can use it as a distribution opportunity to provide dealer or retailer support, sign new dealers, or attract new sales people.
  • You can use it as a product opportunity to gauge reaction to a new product, or discover new uses or applications for your products
So get ready for the next business Expos.

5th Annual “Florida Business & Consumer Expo”October 10th & 11th, 2014, Friday & Saturday
For more information or to register, please contact:
Events Management at 407.296.5882

www.FloridaBusinessExpo.com
International Palms Resort
6515 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819

 
Pasco Hernando Hispanic Chamber's Business and Career Expo 
October 17, 2014
From 3-8pm with a theme, 
“Integrating Business With Technology.” 
Wesley Chapel Toyota at 5300 Eagleston Blvd., Wesley Chapel, Florida.
Information at www.phhchamber.com or contact us at 813.435.1499.

We will leave you with some to prepare you to exhibit successfully:
 1) Do wear the company colors. Customers expect the people they buy things from to be dressed in a certain way. It does convey a sense of professionalism. If you are the one choosing the corporate dress code, remember that not everyone looks good in everything. Just because you look good in a bright red golf shirt with horizontal stripes, not everyone is blessed with the same physique. Choose something that complements everyone’s body style. Your sales staff will thank you for it.

2) Do wear a name badge. People want to address you by your name, especially if you have introduced yourself first.


3) Don’t drink coffee or pop in the booth. The final result is a messy kitchen look with a collection of cans or cups. Potential customers will not approach you to talk about your product if you are “deeply involved” with your coffee.


4) Don’t stand around with your hands on your hips or folded over your chest. The first position gives people a defiant look while the other shows a definite disinterest in your product and the customers as well. - Do you ever wonder why people just past your table?


5) Do approach customers. If they look interested, don’t let them wander away. They want you to court them.


6) Don’t spend more than three hours at a time in the booth. Neither you nor anyone else can stay alert and interested after standing and working a busy booth that long. Take at least an hour break between shifts. You have to eat, have a coffee and take care of business outside the booth.


7) Don’t send new employees to the show. If you have new employees and want them to attend the show, assign them to check out the competition and to prepare an evaluation on their strengths and weaknesses as compared to yours.


8) Don’t waste time with competitors who come to your booth and want to tie you up.


9) Do turn your cell phone off while you are in the booth. How often, have you been to a trade show and the person has their computer open, the laptop going and people are walking by. People have made an effort to come to your booth for your product or service and the least you can do is to acknowledge their presence with your attention. If you must talk to someone, step out of the booth for a minute and promise to get back to that person as soon as you are on break.


10) Do remember that shows are hard work and never ever say, “This show is a waste of time, I should be back in my territory selling.” A show is what you make it. If you waste it, know now that you’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression with all those people you missed. You may not remember them going by, but they certainly will.