sexta-feira, 6 de julho de 2012

Surgem milhões de barreiras quando a questão é ser feliz, só não vale desistir!


Learn Portuguese this Fall through Music 
Portuguese Language Institute
gclef
Join us starting in September for our New Portuguese Language Music course!
Take Portuguese classes with Nanny Assis and learn to speak by listening to music.
Classes will take place in our comfortable location on 
East 44 Street at Two United Nations Plaza, Room 2000

For further information visit http://portugueselanguageinstitute.com/ or contact Rosely Saad at  (917) 226-1074 or by email at Rosely@portugueselanguageinstitute.com


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Incredibly useful info for the busy small business owner.


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SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Social Media is an important component to any company's online marketing strategy. The best part is that the main players (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest) are all free services, meaning you don't have to invest any more money to help boost your marketing.

Each social networking site has its own benefits, which is why it's important for your business to join these networks and engage with the audience there. Even though your main goal may be to sell your product or service, it's important to remember that social networking isn't the place for a hard sell. Instead focus on branding your business and building meaningful relationships with your audience. To do this make sure you're posting varying and engaging content instead of self-promoting.  
As an added bonus, social networking sites are great for helping boost SEO. About sections, wall posts, pins, and tweets all offer opportunities to put your keywords to use and link back to your site. Additionally, branding your business through social media will help you dominate search results.

SALES

Ditch Your Pitch
Stop pitching your prospects and instead, engage in a two-way conversation where your "questions are your pitch."
1. Ask thoughtful questions. Skip the questions that your well-meaning uncle advised you to ask, such as "what keeps you up at night?" and ditch the commodity questions that your competitors will ask. Instead, ask carefully crafted questions that highlight your value and set you apart from your competition.
2. Listen. Be present and in the moment while your prospect is speaking. If you're thinking of what to say next, you'll miss huge opportunities to understand what's really going on for him.
3. Go beneath the surface. In order to connect more deeply, find out the impact their problems are having (or goals will have) in other areas of their life or business.
Learning the subtleties of how to articulate the amazing value you offer by allowing your "questions to be your pitch" -- rather than your "pitch being your pitch" -- will set you apart like never before.
The next time you're tempted to launch into convincing mode with your pitch -- STOP -- and turn your thought into a question that engages your prospect to reveal why she needs you.  


STARTING YOUR BIZ

Before You  Begin
 If you're thinking of setting up a business, the different options can seem overwhelming. Should you set up a C corp. or an S corp.? Should you set up an LLC or a limited partnership? What are the differences between these business structures and how do you figure out which is right for you?
Before you answer these questions, there's one important question you should answer first: Do you need to pursue ANY of these options? There are costs in terms of money, time and complexity of setting up a structure. If your business is in the initial stages, you should ask yourself whether or not it's worth it. Many entrepreneurs choose to accept the risk of operating without the extra cost and red tape.
However, one of the main advantages of a business structure is limiting your liability. So if you are concerned about personal liability, but don't want a formal structure, you can look into liability insurance for your business instead.
Before you take that next step, make sure you've done your due diligence. In the coming months, we'll compare the benefits of each business structure to help you decide if a structure is what's right for you.


SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
When it comes to properly assessing your SEO strategies and techniques, one of the first tools that you should become acquainted with is Google Webmaster Tools. 

Google Webmaster Tools (http://www.google.com/webmasters/) is a free service that gives website owners a Google-eyed view of their site's performance within the search engine. 

There are many settings, preferences and analytics in Webmaster Tools with which to tinker, but for the purposes of SEO, your most important destinations will be the Health, Traffic and Optimization sections. 
In Health, Google provides information regarding any negative issues it may find on your site, such as crawl errors, malware and blocked URLs, among other things.

In Traffic, Google provides a useful chart of the search queries that your site is showing up for and how many impressions they are making in Google overall. You will also find in this section a list of the all-important incoming links (backlinks) to your site. 

Finally, in Optimization, Google offers you tips on improving your HTML coding and a place to submit your sitemap, as well as information regarding the keywords it finds throughout your site. 

Of course, there is much more to GWT, but becoming familiar with even just these three sections will greatly enhance your understanding of Google's relationship with your site and your overall SEO campaign in general.


BUSINESS SUCCESS
Own your Space

The secret to success is be #1 in your industry! Success is not by accident is by Design. Imagine that you are the best in class in your niche. What would that look like? How easy would it be to get new business? It is crazy that for the most part we know what are supposed to be doing yet we choose to what is easy vs what is right!

If you are serious about becoming best in class, search out your top 5 competitors and ask yourself the following questions. What do they do differently? Why do customers choose them over your firm? How can you create so much value that your customers think you are nuts? When you ask better questions you will get better answers! 

As you move down the journey from generalist to expert always remember that Specialist's get Wealthy and Generalist's get paid! Which would you prefer? The choice is an easy one but the work ethic required to be #1 is not easy but possible! Are you serious about best in class? Take the time to review the following areas of your business as a quick test - What is your Value Proposition? Do you provide a great experience for your customers? What can you do everyday to make the experience even better! 



EMPLOYMENT LAW
Popular Employer Misconceptions About Overtime

  •  "I pay my employees a salary, so they're not entitled to overtime."  Wrong!  Even salaried employees may be entitled to overtime.
  •  "My hourly employees are paid well above the minimum wage, so I don't need to pay them overtime."  Wrong!
  •  "My policy is that all work stops at 5pm.  If an employee chooses to work late, that's their problem." Wrong! If you know, or should know, that your employees are working, then you are liable for the overtime.
  •  "I don't have to pay overtime because my employees waived overtime in writing." Wrong! Employees cannot waive their right to overtime.
  • "Any overtime hours are performed remotely from the employee's home computer.  Since they're not at work, they're not entitled to overtime."   Wrong!  Work is work, regardless of where it's performed. 
  • "I pay performance bonuses instead of overtime." Not only is this illegal, but paying a performance bonus will increase your employees' regular hourly rate and, therefore, increase their overtime rate as well.  The result is that you will owe them even more money than if you simply paid overtime. 

WEBSITE 


The small business world is buzzing with talk of SEO. Although many people know SEO is critical to being found on the Web, few understand its complexities. No matter your business, your website should be optimized for SEO, and making the search engines happy is your ticket to getting noticed online.

Let's start with content, the king of SEO. In order for search engines to direct potential customers to your website, you need the right content. Choose keywords based on what you'd search for as a consumer. If you wouldn't type it in the search bar, don't make it a keyword. Also, learn to appreciate white space - over stuffing keywords is harmful to your website.

Links are another important SEO trick. When your site is linked, it tells the search engines your site is relevant and trustworthy. How do you get links? Utilize your professional networks and social media, and consider submitting your site to a Web directory. 


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW 



One of the many keys to success as an entrepreneur is knowing who your customer is and what they want.  "Knowing and understanding targeted customers is the overarching rule of exceptional companies.  Award-winning business builders know their customers as well as they know their own families, perhaps even more so."

Successful entrepreneurs know the exact needs and buying behaviors of their customers and specific individuals they are looking to target.  They have done their homework and analyzed their target audience.  In essence, they know their customer's profile - age, gender, income, professions, education level, associations, tastes, interests. They understand their customers' likes, dislikes and interests.  Knowing a customer to this depth is one of the key characteristics of highly successful business leaders.

On the flip side, entrepreneurs who don't focus on what their customers need and want often fail.  Cultivating a relationship with individuals who might buy your products is key.  "All too often, entrepreneurs spend their energy on everything but having conversations with current and potential customers."

Companies that know and understand their customer can use it to their advantage and reap rewards that lead to success.  


LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS


A key legal issue regularly encountered by many businesses is how to effectively protect and exploit their intellectual property assets.  A good place to begin addressing this issue is to conduct a basic analysis of your rights under copyright law.  

In order for a work to receive copyright protection under the U.S. Copyright Act, it must be both (1) original (i.e., have been created by its author without having been copied), and (2) expressed in a tangible form (e.g., a song, book, documentary, photograph or screenplay).  However, copyright only protects the expression of ideas, and not ideas or concepts themselves. 

Thus, if one authors an original screenplay in manuscript form, the author has fulfilled both elements required for copyright protection (originality and fixation in a tangible medium).  Even if the main topic of the screenplay has been written about extensively by others, so long as the characters, setting, and other components of the narrative contain sufficient original elements, those aspects of the work will be copyrightable.  But keep in mind that the ideas themselves underlying the creative expression will not be protectable under copyright law.

A copyright holder obtains certain exclusive rights in a work that she/he authors: the right to reproduce, modify, distribute, perform and/or display the work publicly.  Use of a protected work for any of these purposes by a third party who has not first obtained adequate rights from the copyright holder likely will be deemed to be an infringement of the holder's copyright in the work. 

This article provides general coverage of its subject area and is provided with the understanding that it does not constitute legal advice and that its contents may not be applicable in all situations.



START-UP / ENTREPRENEUR
When in Doubt, Diversify!
By David Vener - Founder, Burst Marketing; Member, EO Albany Chapter

I received the dreaded call on the eighth hole of the golf course. My financial officer said, "Umm ... I'm not sure how we're going to make payroll this period." Needless to say, this alarming news put a damper on my game. After 15 years of explosive business growth, it turns out I wasn't paying enough attention to my company's finances. That conversation was a wake-up call to assess the state of my business. It was time for me to stop "talking the talk" and finally "walk the walk." Diversification was in order. Here are two lessons I learned in the process:

Think and plan ahead. Pay attention to industry trends and plan for the future. Your industry may not always be on top of the world, so it's important to think through ideas and develop a strategy to navigate those waters.

Focus on partnerships. Consider developing strategic partnerships that can advance your company. Also, choose to work with colleagues whom you admire for their work, creativity and management skills.


SUCCESSFUL NETWORKING

Networking Tips: The post event follow up

After attending a networking event, one of the most daunting tasks is sending the follow up emails. Most people come home with 25+ business cards and really don't want to turn on the computer. Below are some tips that will help you manage the process.

Divide and conquer: During an event, use different pockets for different cards. One pocket for cards of people you definitely need to follow up with, one for standard emails and one for the trash. This will make it much easier to manage your follow ups.

Plan ahead: Have a standard template for follow up emails that you send to the general contacts. Send them in bulk, but make sure you use BCC! For those that you need to follow up with, have your standard sections ready such as what you do, where you met, etc... so you just have to fill in the blanks.

Remember, if you meet people at an event, you have 48 hours max to connect or it's out of sight, out of mind. So make sure your networking doesn't stop when you walk out the door. A good follow up strategy will go a long way towards building long-term relationships.

TRAVEL
By Concur

This is Your Brain on Travel Apps...

If you're a business traveler, you probably have a smartphone. You use it to check email on the go (probably far too often), surf the web while you're waiting for the train, and scan your social media networks to check on family, friends and colleagues when you feel like taking a breather from the daily grind.

You can also use your smartphone to make business travel faster, easier and more productive thanks to a series of amazing apps that were developed with entrepreneurs in mind.

Gate Guru - Need a cup of coffee or an outlet for your laptop? Gate Guru allows you to find comprehensive listings of airport amenities across 125 global airports.

Room77 - Checking into a hotel? Find the perfect room to request based upon your preferences. Room 77 has a database of more than 460,000 hotel rooms that provides the view, the noise level and all the other details that add up to a good night's sleep.

Hipmunk - Hipmunk takes the agony out of hotel and flight searches. You see the relevant flights on a timeline helping you visualize the right choice.

Taxi Magic - Taxi Magic lets you dispatch or schedule a taxi right from your smart phone because it linked into the dispatch systems for most taxi companies - no phone call required.

And I'd be remiss not to mention our own small business app - Concur Small Business  - which we've created to make travel and expense management easier and faster. You can scan receipts, automatically create expense reports, track mileage through Google Maps and create expense reports from the TripIt travel organizer.

Happy Travels!  


SAVING & FINANCIAL PLANNING

Independent Contractor vs. Employee

Choosing to hire an individual as an independent contractor versus an employee can have a substantial financial impact on your business. Employers are obligated to pay state and federal unemployment tax, workers compensation/disability premiums, pension plan contributions, and social security tax for each employee. This is a huge expense for many small business owners.  However, an employer is not obligated to make any of these payments for independent contractors. 

To determine whether a worker should be classified as an employee or an independent contractor, the IRS uses the following characteristics to classify a worker as an independent contractor or employee:
  • Type of Relationship: Does the work performed play an integral role in the company? Is the relationship temporary or permanent?
  • Behavioral Control:  Do they have the ability to work for other employers? Are they dependent solely on your business for employment?
  • Financial Control: Is the worker on payroll with benefits?  Does the worker have pension benefits?
A complete list of factors used in determining worker status can be found atwww.IRS.gov

There are strict consequences of incorrectly defining a worker as an independent contractor versus an employee.  Employers can face penalties for failing to file required tax forms as well as failing to pay employment taxes.  Misclassifying workers can also lead to substantial tax bills.  Below are some of the ways the IRS can find out you have an independent contractor that should be an employee?
  • Filing an excessive number of 1099's can trigger an IRS examination.
  • ETE (Employment Tax Examination) Program is specifically designed to uncover and report misclassified employees.
  • State Employment Tax Agencies can also penalize you when a worker who is misclassified as an independent contractor makes a claim for unemployment benefits.
By understanding how to determine the status of a worker, a small business owner can increase it's revenue and avoid future tax penalties.  We highly recommend every small business owner seek the advice of a tax advisor to help determine the correct classification of each worker to ensure to maximize your financial potential and minimize your tax liabilities. 


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Bitz - Quick Links
Social Media Marketing
Sales
Starting Your Biz
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Website
What You Should Know
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ProUni divulga primeira chamada
05/Julho/2012 - ProUni divulga primeira chamada;O Ministério da Educação divulga nesta quinta-feira,05, a primeira chamada do Programa Universidade para Todos (Prouni), que concede bolsas de estudos em instituições particulares de educação superior. Os candidatos já podem conferir, pela internet, o resultado da seleção relativa a este segundo semestre.

Os estudantes pré-selecionados têm até o dia 13 para comparecerem à instituição de ensino em que vão estudar para apresentar a documentação e providenciar a matrícula. A segunda chamada será no dia 20, com prazo para matrícula e comprovação de informações até o dia 26.
Ao fim das duas chamadas, os candidatos não pré-selecionados ou aqueles que foram pré-selecionados em cursos sem formação de turma podem pedir inclusão na lista de espera do programa, que será usada pelas instituições participantes para a concessão das bolsas ainda não ocupadas. O período para manifestação de interesse na lista irá do dia 2 a 4 de agosto. Ao fim desse prazo, a partir de 7 de agosto, serão feitas as convocações dos integrantes.
Inclusão
Autor de um dos projetos de lei que deu origem ao ProUni, o deputado Rubens Otoni (PT) demonstra grande satisfação com o programa federal."É um motivo de orgulho e alegria saber que muitos jovens que vêm de famílias mais humildes e que antes do ProUni não tinham perspectivas de cursar o ensino superior, podem agora concluir a universidade. Isso acaba com uma injustiça histórica que foi mantida por tantos anos no  Brasil, mas que no governo do ex-presidente Lula chegou ao fim", comemora o parlamentar goiano.
Número de inscritos
No primeiro semestre de 2012 o programa registrou 456.973 candidatos e 874.273 inscrições, já que cada estudante teve o direito de fazer até duas opções de cursos. A oferta é de 90.311 bolsas de estudos de graduação em 1.316 instituições particulares de educação superior de todo o País. O número de cursos chega a 322.
Puderam se candidatar às 52.487 bolsas integrais os estudantes com renda familiar, por pessoa, de até um salário mínimo e meio - R$ 933. As 37.824 bolsas parciais, que paga 50% da mensalidade, foram destinadas a candidatos com renda familiar de até três salários mínimos por pessoa, ou seja, R$ 1.866.
(Portal MEC; edição: Assessoria de Comunicação)



The White House, Washington


It's July, and because Congress finally took action, 7.4 million students no longer have to worry about the interest rates on their Stafford loans doubling.
That's great news, but it was far from certain. Just a few weeks ago, it wasn't clear that it would happen.
We got this done because of you.
Americans like you spoke up on this issue. You took to Twitter and Facebook. You sent emails and talked to your friends and neighbors. And in the end, your voices made all the difference.
Last week, we sat down with a group of students who were watching this fight closely -- because the choice that Congress made would have an impact on each of them. They talked about what this legislation means, and why it was so important to speak out on this issue.
What they had to say was a powerful reminder of how everyday Americans can make their voices resonate in Washington -- and it's the kind of thing that can get you fired up for the fights ahead. Check it out:
Watch the video
Last year, when you spoke out on extending the payroll tax cut, you changed the debate. We saw the exact same thing last week with the fight for student loans.
These were both huge victories for the American middle class that couldn't have happened without you.
And it's exactly the kind of effort we'll need in the weeks and months ahead.
We're working to make it easier for responsible homeowners to refinance their mortgages. We're pushing Congress to take action to create jobs and get our economy back on track. We're working to reward businesses that create jobs here in America instead of the companies that ship jobs overseas.
And we need your voices in every single one of those fights.
We'll be in touch with more ways you can stand with President Obama to move our country forward. But for now, check out this video to remind yourself of the power you have:

P.S. -- If you're a homeowner struggling to refinance your home, we want to hear from you. Learn about the President's plan to help responsible homeowners refinance and share your story: