Business Services Blog

Posted by juliekittredge on 02/20/14
We had a super book club last night with a group of entrepreneurs, business owners, and sole proprietors learning how to better sell their products and services. Some of the biggest takaways for individuals included:
  • the need to develop a stronger online presence
  • get on social media
  • that selling is more about presentation than the selling
  • knowing your customer, their industry, and their needs and values
  • knowing what’s different about your product … besides price
  • the importance of branding yourself as a salesperson.
We still have several books in the Business Center. Click here to check one out, it’s an easy read!

Stay tuned for details about our next Business Book discussion happening May 21st!
Posted by juliekittredge on 02/10/14
Our first Business book club of 2014 is next week! It’s not too late to join us to discuss the book 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling: Proven Actions You Must Take to Make, Easier, Faster, Bigger Sales by Jeffrey Gitomer. We will be meeting at Armands Pizzeria. Refreshments provided. Register online and pick up a book in the Business Center.

02/19/2014 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm @ Armands Pizzeria, 70 N Vail Ave, Arlington Heights     Register
Posted by juliekittredge on 02/03/14
Don’t miss these programs that can provide valuable tools for your small business in February!
  • Business Bytes: Using Databases for Your Business

Learn about 3 of the Library’s business databases and how you can use them to generate sales leads, marketing lists, company research and more.
Mon, 02/10/2014 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm      Register here
Tue, 02/11/2014 - 10:00am - 11:00am   Register here

  • Business Book Club
Join us to discuss the book 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling: Proven Actions You Must Take to Make, Easier, Faster, Bigger Sales by Jeffrey Gitomer. Refreshments provided. Pick up a book in the Business Center. Hosted at Armand's Pizzeria, 70 N Vail Avenue.
Wed, 2/19/2014 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm     Register here
  • SCORE: Affordable Care Act: Basics for Business Owners
This workshop focuses on four key provisions that small (1-50 employees) businesses need to know, including available tax credits, how to purchase insurance on SHOP and under what circumstances they may face an IRS fine.
Wed, 02/26/2014 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm     Register here
Cosponsored with SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Business)
  • Facebook Pages for Business
Learn the basics of setting up a page for a business, organization, or hobby and growing your audience.
Tue, 02/04/2014 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm Register here
A.H. cardholders only.

One-on-one appointments can be made if you need more personalized advice for your business. We can help your business get off the ground, set up your social media and social media management tools, pull business lists for your marketing efforts, and get you pointed in the right direction. Request an appointment with our business specialists here.

Posted by juliekittredge on 01/15/14
Instagram is a great little social media app that is growing in popularity. Attendees learned how it can easily be incorporated into your social media platform to share visual glimpses into your business lifestyle and personality. If you missed the program you can view the presentation slides here!
Join us at next month's Business Bytes for an overview of three of our most popular databases used for demographic research and marketing lists.
Posted by juliekittredge on 01/09/14
Businesses know that social media is one of the best ways to build your business platform, but how often are you using photos to increase your visibility and brand awareness? Photos are proven to increase customer engagement and Instagram is an easy tool with a lot of creative flexibility. Come join us and learn how to use this as an extention of your brand and a marketing platform.

1/13/2014 - 7:00pm - 8:00 pm   Register
1/14/2014 - 10:00-11:00 am      Register
Posted by juliekittredge on 12/26/13
Taking time to evaluate the last year of your business is a great way to determine what you want to continue or change in the coming year. Take an afternoon to ask yourself these questions:
  • What worked last year? What didn’t work last year? What do I want to do differently?
  • What do I want my business to look like this time next year?
  • What 3 things need to happen in order to get there?
Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T.
  • Specific – be specific, not vague
  • Measurable – try to quantify your goal so you know without a doubt if you accomplished it.
  • Actionable – every goal should begin with an action verb describing how you will execute your goal
  • Realistic – make sure it is something that will require dedication to achieve, but not over the top
  • Time bound  - make sure you set a deadline. This makes it a true goal. 
Goals can be related to your business, personal, physical, emotional, or relational – whatever it is that will help you become a better version of you.  2014 can come and go or with SMART goals, you can make it a productive and dynamic year!
Posted by juliekittredge on 12/17/13
The holidays are a great opportunity to take a little time off, but social media requires constant attention to maintain visibility. If you haven’t discovered Hootsuite yet, you will want to! This social media management tool can free you up for other things in your business or personal life and keep you from having to be a slave to social media marketing. Hootsuite allows you to schedule posts to be visible later in the day or week so you can forget about it knowing you won’t lose visibility while you take some holiday time with your loved ones.

If you want to learn more or need assistance with getting Hootsuite set up, schedule an appointment with Shannon or Julie to learn how. We meet with business owners all the time and it’s a tool we know you will use repeatedly in 2014!
Posted by juliekittredge on 12/12/13
Sometimes it's hard to know what to get your employees or clients during the holidays and not break the bank. Whether you're the procrastinating type, realized there were a few extra gifts your left off the list, or need to just let someone know you appreciate them - there are lots of ways to squeeze in that last minute gift. You don't need to spend a lot to let someone know you appreciate them. Here are a few ideas:

Send a personalized tiny letter
iTunes gift certificates
Amazon gift cards
Starbucks gift card -- via twitter! tweet-a-coffee
Personalized note pad or stationary
Business card holder
Business books from the 2013 Best Sellers list
Photo gifts
Handbound journal
If you're still stumped - even a heartfelt note of appreciation would be received with gratitude. After all, in this holiday season, gift giving is all about the gesture of thoughtfulness and the token of appreciation.
Posted by juliekittredge on 12/05/13
The purpose of using social media as a marketing tool for your business is to stay visible. To stay fresh on your customers minds. To be a friendly and reliable presence. But when you want to take some time off, how do you maintain your visibility? Our Business Bytes for December focuses on the social media management tool, Hootsuite. Learn how you can take time off during the holidays without letting your visibility lag using this scheduling tool for blog posts, Twitter, Facebook and holiday wishes.
Monday 12/9     7:00 - 8:00 pm        Register
Tuesday 12/10  10:00 - 11:00am      Register
Posted by juliekittredge on 11/27/13
As you anticipate the Thanksgiving weekend, you might be looking forward to the feasting, family time, and turkey-induced napping – or anticipating the frenzy of holiday shopping either by staying home or hitting the streets. If you are heading out over the weekend, we hope you’ll consider shopping small and local as encouraged by the “Small Business Saturday” movement.

In 2010, American Express introduced the idea of Small Business Saturday. The idea was to encourage shoppers to spend a part of their holiday shopping budget in brick-and-mortar businesses that are small and local. These businesses are the heart and soul of our communities.

Six reasons to shop local this weekend:
  • It’s economical - Shopping in your community saves gas
  • It supports a family – many small business are independently owned and need our business to stay in business
  • Shopping local puts money back into your own community
  • It’s cozy and old fashioned holiday goodness to shop local.
  • Many small businesses will offer special discounts specifically for Small Business Saturday
  • Your local small business owner is often able to provide a more personalized shopping experience.
Shop local this weekend and Happy Thanksgiving from the Business Services staff at AHML!
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