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  • 30-Aug-2013 2:29 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    New ways to get involved

    by Michael Van der Gaag, President

    At the RPCN picnic in August, we were talking about the activities we are planning for this year and the hope we have for growing the organization, not just in numbers, but also in its relevance to members’ businesses and support of your success. Here are some of the things we have planned with that in mind.

    Our new TrendTalk series is shaping up quite nicely to be an opportunity to look to future challenges and opportunities in various business sectors. The first one, on the high-tech industry, is planned for the evening of October 16 and looks to be a great chance to network, not just with RPCN colleagues and alumni, but with members of the business community as well. Each event offers sponsorship opportunities to get your brand out there in front of the public. (We have eight sponsors and are past the sponsorship deadline for the October event. Watch the newsletter for the chance to sponsor February’s health care sector event.) These panel discussion dinner gatherings will be well-publicized and sponsors’ logos will be prominently displayed in promotional materials before and during the program.

    We also have had a conversation about expanding our offerings of evening events that would make it more convenient for some of you to participate. For instance, would a more informal Fifth Thursday Evening Networking Event appeal to you?  We would charge a nominal $5 to $7 to cover tapas and drinks.

    As you may guess, we have learned quite a bit from the June Member Survey. We plan to share the results with you at a special presentation meeting on September 27. Effectively using the findings to help RPCN grow and serve members better will require your involvement and your support. Come help us identify the survey’s implications for the RPCN and to prioritize our response through future events and programs. (Since we will be focusing on the RPCN, there will be no charge for this meeting at Brighton Town Hall.)

    Oh, by the way … we will initiate new online discussions (on Facebook, LinkedIn and the RPCN website) to collect your thoughts and suggestions on these and a variety of other RPCN topics. What’s your favorite platform? Tell us by clicking on this one-question poll.

    See you at our next Friday meeting. I especially look forward to the meeting on September 27. Get involved!


    Explore survey results and next steps at Sept. 27 meeting

    by Lori Cohen

    Did you know that 56% of our members set financial goals for their businesses and that 48% have reached their goals? These are just two of the facts that we learned from the Strategic Performance Survey that the RPCN conducted in June. We want to thank members who took part and provided excellent comments, suggestions and feedback. Below are more highlights from the survey, which had a gratifying response rate of more than 80%.

    Members’ experience

    • 80% have > 10 years’ experience in their fields.
    • 50% have > 5 years’ consulting experience.
    • 75% of our members have > 2 years of experience in consulting.
    • 54% of our members have a certification in their field of expertise.

    Members’ businesses

    • Almost 70% of our members have clients outside our local area.
    • 70% of our members rely on repeat customers for at least 25% of their business.
    • < 20% get the majority of their business from repeat customers.
    • < 20% get the majority of their business from referrals.

    What members said about the RPCN

    • Networking and learning about consulting combined account for about 60% of the reasons for joining the RPCN.
    • 67% of our members report that the RPCN meets their expectations.

    How do you interpret these results and what are the implications for the RPCN? Come join us on September 27 to explore the details and help identify the next steps we should take.

    Lori Cohen was a member of the RPCN survey team.


    Solving computer challenges with skills and a sense of humor

    by Chris Swingle

    Barbara Moore found herself with the right skills at the right time to create a successful computer training and troubleshooting business in 1996.

    Trained as a librarian specializing in information technology, she had been in charge of automating 30 public libraries for Monroe County Library Services in the 1980s. Then, into the 1990s, she worked as assistant director of libraries for automation at the University of Rochester, where she was a key player in developing the university’s first website. At that time, the Internet was becoming easier to use, and more people wanted to learn how. The library trained faculty and staff.

    “I realized then there would be a good demand, and I realized how much I enjoyed training,” says Moore.

    Click here to read how she got past her fears, how her women’s rights advocacy played a role and what tip she still uses from an RPCN conference in 2004.

    Click here for a video excerpt.

    Chris Swingle, chrisswingle.com, is a freelance writer and chairs RPCN’s Communication Committee.


    MCC Workforce Development opportunity to train

    Several RPCN members have submitted proposals to create and teach training programs through Monroe Community College (MCC) Workforce Development Programs. This opportunity is still open. Click here for the current course listings.

    To submit what you could offer, provide the program title, outline, description, number of sessions and hours; what participants will be able to do as a result of completing the program; and your name, e-mail address and phone.

    Send it to Charles Caples, program director of MCC Workforce Development, ccaples@monroecc.edu, and copy it to Michael Van der Gaag, RPCN president, mvan@beyondtheinterface.com, and to Bob Lurz, RPCN Alliances chair, RFLurz@ConsultantsAccelerator.com.

    If Charles Caples is interested, he will contact you to negotiate fees and dates.


    Making your business better

    Perfectionism: Are you a perfectionist? According to Beth Sears, "High standards are a good thing, along with doing your best and striving for excellence. Perfectionism, however, involves setting standards so high they are unattainable." Read her article Perfectionism Can Undermine Productivity on herRochester.com.

    LinkedIn Tips: Avoid LinkedIn's auto-invite, instead send individual personal invites. That's one tip Emily Carpenter gives in her blog post 9 Tips to Get Your LinkedIn Invites Accepted.

    Freelancing conference: RPCN members are eligible for the colleague's discount on registration for the Sept. 27-28 Communication Central conference in Rochester - "Be a Better Freelancer: Marketing Magic and More for Your Business" - designed for freelance writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, graphic artists, photographers and other business owners.


    RPCN forums provide insights

    By Steve Royal and Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

    Every month, RPCN offers both a Business Forum and a Technical Forum to give members and aspiring consultants the opportunity to ask questions about issues affecting their consulting businesses and plans. Attendees contribute answers. Moderated by long-time RPCN members, the forums are invaluable resources for answers on a wide range of general and specific topics.

    Among the topics that came up at the August 2013 Business Forum:

    • How do I know what and how to charge for my services?
    • How can I get more business from RPCN members?
    • How can I deal with many leads in a short time?
    • How do I build professional networks?
    • How do I market my business of assisting high-potential employees?
    Topics that came up at the RPCN Technical Forum in August included:
    • How can my web camera really do all the things it claims on the box?
    • Should I buy a netbook or a Google Chromebook?
    • Why are some e-mails I send out being blocked by Gmail?
    • What phone apps are best for my business?
    • Why is a file transferred with my FTP program not found on the Internet?
    • How can I keep track of my passwords?
    • Can I record over-the-air television programs without cost?
    • As a consultant, are there any software discounts available?
    Forum topics can always be found on the RPCN website.

     

     

     

    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how the RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Chris Swingle, Chair
    Janice Hanson
    Barbara Moore
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    Facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, Sept. 6, 2013
    8 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and phones.

    How Consultants Make Money
    Presented by Mary Anne Shew
    Friday, Sept. 13, 2013
    8 AM - 10:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Most consultants either have (or know they need) some sort of strategic plan that outlines vision, goals and objectives. They also usually have processes in place to organize the work and produce the output. But what they don’t know is exactly how the various pieces of their businesses work together to actually earn money – a blueprint of the working pieces. This presentation outlines a simple model that can be used by consultants to get a grip on revenue and expenses, assess opportunities and coordinate growth. Note: This program will end at 10:30 AM.

    Here is a video introduction to her presentation:



    Business Forum
    Facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
    8 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, Sept. 20, 2013
    10 AM – 12 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10 AM, following the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    Reservation deadline
    Friday, Sept. 20, 2013

    Friendly reminder: Sept. 20 is the last chance to save $10 on the registration for TrendTalk: Challenges and Opportunities in the Rochester High-Tech Sector. Click here for event information and registration.

    RPCN Survey Results
    Presented by Michael Van der Gaag and Lori Cohen
    Friday, Sept. 27, 2013
    8 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Mike and Lori will review the results of the recent survey of RPCN members and collect input on how to use this information to help RPCN better help its members.

    Here is an introductory video of their presentation:



    Of interest

    3D printing: Digital Rochester hosts a presentation about 3D printing with Dr. Denis Cormier of RIT, who will provide an overview of 3D printing (additive manufacturing), followed by a panel discussion. Panelists will share their thoughts on current and emerging applications, opportunities for our community, and hopes and challenges for the future. Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 7:30 AM, HSBC Auditorium. Click here for details and to register.

    Sales: Do you need to improve your selling skills so you can “get the sale”? SCORE Rochester presents Selling Skills for a Small Business, designed to help small business owners become more effective selling their products and/or services. Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 8:45 AM, Federal Building, 100 State Street, Rochester. Click here for details and to register.

    Batting practice: High-tech startup entrepreneurs can refine a concept or practice an investor or sales presentation at the High Tech Rochester Batting Cage. Free to all area entrepreneurs, the feedback you'll receive is priceless. Sign up for an initial 90-minute time slot. The panel of coaches will typically include HTR's managing director of new ventures, technology commercialization managers and other experienced staffers and consultants. The program runs throughout the month of September. Click here for more information.


    New members

    RPCN welcomes two new members this month. Click on the links below to view their profiles.

    Ernie Newcomb Mike Butler

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  • 30-Jul-2013 10:48 AM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    RPCN: A growing resource for opportunities

    by Michael Van der Gaag, President

    As entrepreneurs or sole proprietors looking to grow our businesses, we are always on the lookout for opportunities not only to gain clients but also to enhance our reputations and visibility. RPCN as an organization is also trying to grow and become better recognized and appreciated. The thought is that, as the reputation and recognition of RPCN grows, it will rub off on the members and help enhance their prestige as well.

    In this search for recognition and opportunity, we have been establishing alliances with local organizations. For a number of years, as a means of promoting consulting as a career choice, our members have been presenting at the RochesterWorks! Self Employment Assistance Program (SEAP) sessions. We have traditionally had a booth at the MCC/August Group Career Fair. We have occasionally appeared at other local events, such as this year’s Rochester Section of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) panel discussion on entrepreneurship. 

    In 2012, through our five-session Consulting Bootcamp, we became connected to High Tech Rochester (HTR). More recently, we’ve met to explore areas of mutual interest with Eastman Business Park, Monroe Community College (MCC) and the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC). We will soon add an Alliance Page to our website with links to our allies’ websites, and they will do the same for us.

    We are also in the process of improving the members-only Opportunities page of our website, rochesterconsultants.org/opportunities, to make it more easily accessible to members who wish to post opportunities or review and take advantage of what’s available. A member seeking account coordinators for her business recently asked to post that opportunity and qualifications. Members who have opted in for notifications of new postings on the Opportunities page were instantly alerted to the new information and could pursue the work or refer a friend. We would like to encourage more such postings as well as invitations for collaboration and mutual support.

    In this past month, both Eastman Business Park and MCC have expressed interest in being able to post opportunities with us. Eastman Business Park would like to share details of their clients’ projects and needed skills. MCC’s workforce development folks would like a place to invite RPCN members to submit ideas for technical training or business skills development workshops that they would be paid to teach.

    So keep your eyes on the RPCN website as we enhance these service pages for our members. Making RPCN an effective resource for opportunities is a key part of our new strategic goals.


    Opting in for RPCN items

    Did you know that you can be notified when certain types of information get posted to our RPCN online discussion forums? You can opt in to one or more discussion topics: RPCN issues, Website Q&A, Networking/educational events, Opportunities, Business discussions, Social media discussions, Technical discussions and Water cooler (for socializing, award announcements, etc.). Otherwise, to see the information, you must visit that section of the website.

    How to opt in: On the homepage, rochesterconsultants.org, login and click on Members-only, then Discussion Area. Click on a discussion. To receive notice of new posts to that discussion topic, click on “Subscribe to forum” at the top right.

    To control how often you receive notifications, go to your profile (click “View profile” in the green box to the lower left), click “Email subscriptions,” click “Edit profile,” and then you can select Daily (the default), Weekly or Immediately.


    Stitching her way to consulting

    By Chris Swingle

    Stefani Tadio grew up in a family of people who create art – a mom who sews and crochets, a father who does woodworking, and a sister who knits. “My family says it’s in our DNA,” says Tadio, who has done quilting, pottery, needlepoint, cross-stitching and rubber stamping.

    But she’s the only one who sells her art. “I loved it so much I thought, ‘I wonder if I can make money doing what I love,’ ” says Tadio, who lives in Perinton. She started her business, Pine Tree Designs, in 2004 with rubber stamp art. Then she saw a book of embroidery on paper and was entranced. She switched her focus to hand-stitching original designs on paper with needle and shiny thread.

    Now she is working on expanding into a consulting role. Click here to read about the artists’ association that Tadio created and how she plans to use her coordination skills and connections.

    Here is a video interview with Stefani Tadio.


    Chris Swingle, chrisswingle.com, is a freelance writer and chairs RPCN’s Communication Committee.


    New RPCN discussion series: TrendTalk

    On Wednesday, October 16, RPCN will hold TrendTalk: Opportunities and Challenges in Rochester's High Tech Sector, the first in a new series of panel discussions on local business sectors. This discussion – which will be held at the Radisson Airport Hotel and which also includes dinner – will feature Charles Provini, CEO of Natcore Technology; Bill Pollock, CEO of Optimation and of Kingsbury Corporation; and Bob Kot, director of New Ventures at High Tech Rochester. Future sessions will focus on the health care, nonprofit, religious and other sectors of the local economy that are of interest to RPCN members.

    RPCN is seeking local corporations, small businesses and consultants to sponsor the first event in the TrendTalk series. The sponsorship deadline is Saturday, August 10. Friday, September 20, is the early-registration deadline to attend the event, after which time the price goes up. Click here for details and to register.


    Great participation in member survey

    We want to thank members who took part in our recent Strategic Performance Survey. We had a response rate of over 80% and received excellent comments, suggestions and feedback. As we analyze the results in the next few weeks, please take the time to think about participating in the upcoming focus groups. How would you like RPCN to meet your expectations and support your growth? How will you contribute to our mutual success?

    We will share more about the survey results in the September newsletter.


    Of interest

    RPCN projector: Need a projector? RPCN members can rent the group's ViewSonic PJ551 LCD projector, which can display video, images or computer data on a screen or other flat surface. The rental fee is $50/day. There is also a $100 security deposit. Click here for the leasing policy and the rental agreement.

    Small business newsletter: The Small Business Resource Center at the Rochester Public Library is publishing a newsletter for small businesses, through paper.li. Check it out for the latest news for small businesses. Starting a business? Contact the Library’s Small Business Resource Center at 585-428-8130 or visit them on the fourth floor of Central Library building, 115 South Avenue, Rochester, NY 14604.

     

     

     

    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Chris Swingle, Chair
    Brian Kane
    Janice Hanson
    Barbara Moore
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, August 2, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and telephones.

    Genesee County: Regional Opportunities
    presented by Chris Suozzi
    Friday, August 9, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Get the latest on fast-growing Genesee County, with a focus on three strategic businesses: agribusiness, advanced manufacturing and life sciences. New business parks include huge yogurt-making facilities. There are plans to add up to 10,000 new jobs, including in the semi-conductor industry. Business is booming. Find out how consultants can help or benefit!

    Here’s a video introduction to the program.



    Business Forum
    facilitated by Brian Kane
    Friday, August 16, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    Our special guest is Jim Drago, principal applications engineer at Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, a Palmyra-based company that Drago describes as growing and thriving. In addition to our regular informal, facilitated roundtable discussion about running your consulting business, we will hear from Drago about the company and how it uses consultants.

    Here’s a video introduction by Jim Drago:



    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, August 16, 2013
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, following the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    RPCN Picnic
    Sunday, August 18, 2013
    Rand Lodge at Powder Mills Park
    1:00 - 5:00 PM
    (eat at 2:30 PM)

    Join us for this year’s RPCN Picnic. RPCN will provide hot dogs, hamburgers, pork ribs and beverages. There is no charge for members and one guest; $5 each for non-members and additional guests. Please bring a dish to share. Registration is required for an accurate count. Please register online by August 14.

    Beyond IRAs: Retirement Plan Options for Consultants
    presented by Stephen A. Melnyk
    Friday, August 23, 2013    
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Depending on the business structure and number of employees, the law provides for several retirement plan options for a business. An individual may have more options available than just an individual IRA. This presentation will discuss those options, and potential pros and cons of each. Stephen Melnyk is a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch.

    Here’s a video introduction to the program:


    New members

    RPCN welcomes one new member this month. Click on the link below to view her profile.

    Claudette Entenberg


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  • 28-Jun-2013 10:26 AM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    Welcome to a new era

    by Michael Van der Gaag, President

    As we start a new fiscal year with new leadership, the board members and I are excited about a new mission for our organization and look forward to engaging members in making it a reality.

    Throughout RPCN’s nearly 24 years, strategic planning has enabled the organization to make subtle shifts in direction, program focus and member benefits. The latest round has resulted in a bold leap: RPCN’s new mission is to enable its members to develop premier consulting businesses that deliver customer-centered solutions that are better, smarter and more innovative.

    We have been an organization that promotes professionalism, ethics and excellence in consulting. We’ve provided opportunities for members to develop and grow in their profession, network with other consultants and the business community, and acquire mutual support.

    We will still provide educational programs, technical forums and business forums, but they will be focused on business areas that directly affect members’ success.

    Make no mistake, this is ambitious! We intend to measure the success of the organization by the success of the members (as you, the members, define it). As you know, we are currently surveying the membership to understand where we are currently in setting and meeting our business milestones. Now that we will measure RPCN’s success by your achievement, we will need your support and involvement more than ever. In the near future, we will be conducting focus groups to refine our understanding of your needs. We will need you to help us define, find and sometimes deliver the topics, training and support programs that members need to enable them to set real objectives and achieve real success.

    In support of the new strategy, we are planning other areas of growth:

    • We are looking to expand our offerings through a “Learn from the Best” program in which we will periodically engage well-known practitioners and thought leaders from a variety of industries and areas of business. “Learn from the Best” will help our members enhance their skills and business acumen and grow by adopting new thinking and innovative techniques.
    • We are exploring the possibility of adding evening sessions. Those of you who are too busy to make Friday morning sessions would have more convenient alternatives for special “Learn from the Best” topics or perhaps just for networking.
    • The Boot Camp for starting a consulting business (conducted last year) was so successful that we are considering running it again and perhaps making it an annual staple of the organization. We are also thinking about adding a “level 2” version to help experienced consultants expand their techniques as well as their business.
    • Just as we have published promotional videos and member stories on the website, our future plans include live webcasting and recording of meetings to help those of you with scheduling conflicts to participate in and keep abreast of RPCN happenings.
    • Finally, in the next few months, we will be engaging with you to examine the website to identify needed improvements and to better support the new programs.

    As I said, this is ambitious! It's a lot to tackle all at once, but with your help and participation, we'll prioritize and accomplish these changes in due course. For the programs and improvements to be successful, we will need your participation, your support and your guidance. After all, this is your RPCN.

    The full strategic plan is online; click here to view.

    I look forward to working with you to make this the best RPCN year ever. Welcome to the new era.


    Introducing the new VP and board members

    In the recent election, David Bassett was selected as RPCN’s new vice president, and he will serve a three-year term, becoming president in year two and immediate past president in year three.

    David Bassett has been a patent agent registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office since 2004 and has experience in biomedical, optics, business methods, computer utility patenting and design patenting. He has been treasurer of RPCN for several years, and also is program chairman of the Independent Entrepreneurs Council and a member of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and the National Association of Patent Practitioners.

    At the June RPCN board meeting, the following members were selected and approved to serve on the RPCN board of directors: Paula Randall, secretary; Kim Pandina, treasurer; and Janice Hanson, Bob Lurz, David Powe and Mike Molaire, members at large.
     
    They will join Michael Van der Gaag, the newly elected president, and Brian Kane, immediate past president, as the slate of officers for the coming fiscal year (which runs July-June).

    We thank Brian Kane for all of his work as RPCN president over the past year, moving the organization forward in a more strategic direction and helping consultants achieve results.

    We would also like to say thanks to Jen Ulrich for her contribution as secretary for the past three years and Lori Cohen for her efforts over the past three years as immediate past president and manager of the Membership Committee.


    Mike Molaire formulates a new career as a consultant

    by Ruth E. Thaler-Carter

    A native of Haiti who has become such a confirmed Rochesterian that he now prefers local weather to tropical climes, Michel “Mike” Frantz Molaire of Penfield, owner of Molaire Consulting LLC, is a dedicated RPCN member with a well-conceived consulting business based on a long-term career at Kodak.

    Molaire’s primary consulting business is “basically technical,” he says. “I help clients develop new materials and put them into formulations. They’re often developing new products. I help them plan to fit into their timeline and budget. I provide advice and sometimes help their staff implement the project.”

    Molaire brings a substantial level of skill, training and experience to his consulting business. He absorbed much of that background as a chemist in materials and formulation research and development at Kodak for 36 years, where his job was to invent things. In November 2012, he was recognized by the Museum of African-American History as one of 100 “Inspiring Minds: African-Americans in Science and Technology.”

    Molaire launched his consulting business about a year ago, after being downsized from Kodak in 2010. The first client for his consulting business was a company in South Korea, proof that a consultant “can do the work without leaving home or moving.” Click here to read more about how he prepared for his consulting business, and how RPCN has helped him to develop and promote his business. Here is a video interview with Mike Molaire.


    RPCN member Ruth E. Thaler-Carter is an award-winning freelance writer, editor and proofreader. She can be reached at Ruth@writerruth.com.


    Making your business better

    Small business advice: What's one thing you learned from running and growing your own business that might help other small businesses? Submit your advice along with an original photo of you at your business (with complete caption information of everyone pictured) to RocNext@DemocratandChronicle.com to possibly be featured in a gallery on RochesterNext.com. That section focuses on small businesses and innovation news, tips and trends. For examples of others, visit their website.
       
    Setting rates: Weighing whether to charge by the hour or per project, wondering what formula to use when setting your fees? Read Ruth Thaler-Carter's blog post Freelancing Basics: How and What to Charge for Your Freelance Work on the Society for Technical Communication website.


    New members

    RPCN welcomes one new member this month. Click on the link below to view her profile.

    Tracy Jong



     

     

     

    In this issue:


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    Friday, July 5, 2013
    No meeting due to holiday.

    Getting the Most Out of Your Trade Show Experience
    presented by Ruth Balkin, Balkin Information Services
    Friday, July 12, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Planning to attend a conference, exhibit at a trade show, or just look at the booths at the SOHO exposition or other show? Learn what you need to do to prepare in advance, "work the trade show" and follow up effectively.  Here’s a video introduction to the program:



    Business Forum
    facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, July 19, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, July 19, 2013
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN's monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM following the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    Patenting Under the America Invents Act (AIA)
    presented by Dave Bassett, Bassett IP Strategies
    Friday, July 26, 2013   
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    The America Invents Act brought many changes to the U.S. patent system. Dave will review the patenting process and the protections patents provide to inventors, how these changes to the law will affect inventors, and discuss what steps inventors should take to preserve their intellectual property.
    Here’s a video introduction to the program:



    RPCN Summer Picnic 
    Sunday, August 18, 2013
    Rand Lodge at Powder Mill Park
    1:00-5:00 PM
    (eat at 2:30 PM)

    There is no charge for members and their guests; $5 for non-members. Meats, beverages (water & soda) and utensils will be provided. Members are asked to bring a dish to share.


    Update on RPCN member survey

    RPCN is currently conducting a brief survey of the membership to identify and provide programming that meets your needs and expectations.

    Your participation in this five-minute survey will get us started. If you haven’t already done so, please visit the website and click on the link on the home page to participate (members only).

    Our goal is to get 75% of members to complete the survey. If you haven’t completed it online, then you will be getting a call asking you to participate.

    Remember, we want RPCN to grow in a way that will help you and your business to grow.


    Of interest

    Social media: SCORE Rochester hosts a webinar on Building Word of Mouth Using Social Media on Thursday, July 11, at 1:00 PM. Lon Safko will talk about how to use social media to build buzz for your company, products and services.

    Writing and editing: Ruth Thaler-Carter will give workshops on Getting Started as a Freelance Writer (Monday, July 1, at 7:00 PM) and The Basics of Editing & Proofreading (Monday, July 29, at 7:00 PM) at Writers and Books, 740 University Avenue, Rochester.


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Barbara Moore, Chair
    Brian Kane
    Chris Swingle
    Janice Hanson
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal


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  • 03-Jun-2013 11:05 AM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    Moving into the future with purpose

    by Brian A. Kane, President

    Last month, I let you know that the board of directors is working to significantly improve RPCN's value to members. An important step is conducting two surveys: one of members and the other of the community.

    The member survey will take place in June. You'll get a special email notice when the online survey is about to become available. It will take you no more than 5 minutes to complete. Our goal is to get 75% of members to complete the survey. If you don't complete it online, then we will call you directly. That's how serious we are about this! Here is a video by Mike Van der Gaag discussing the survey.



    Mike Van der Gaag

    The member survey aims to benchmark whether members set and achieve financial milestones. It will also help us begin to understand whether members are considered premier consultants.

    Sometime later on, RPCN will engage a local firm to conduct a community survey with a broad range of people. Many of these people are currently on our email list; others, such as area business leaders, will be added to the list. We want to know how RPCN and its members are perceived.

    RPCN is becoming a better organization. Stay tuned and please respond by filling out the survey when it reaches you. We will report the results to you in August.



    Getting results for RPCN members

    by Chris Swingle Farnum

    A lot of nonprofits exist to do good but don't know how much effect their efforts and their resources are having, says Brian Kane. His business, Results for Good, helps nonprofit agencies maximize their results for clients and for the community by delivering evidence-based outcomes.

    In other words, he helps organizations figure out what their goals are and how to measure their progress.

    Kane, of Canadice, Ontario County, has brought that same approach to Rochester Professional Consultants Network, where he completes a one-year term as president at the end of June.

    He and the board have been evaluating how to measure the group's success and make sure its efforts are aligned toward the goals. "What is RPCN about, really? What are we really trying to do?" Kane asks. Click here to read more about defining success and setting goals. Here is a video interview with Brian Kane.

     

    Chris Swingle is a freelance writer.

    Making your business better

    Sales & Marketing: When it comes to sales and marketing, practice makes you better. If one thing doesn't work, try something else. Those are two of the ten pieces of advice Ruth Balkin gives in her article Top Ten Reasons Marketing is Like Playing Sudoku.

    Networking: Another way to look at it is as building your community, and it's more than just shaking hands and exchanging business cards. Janice Hanson offers some tips on expanding your network in her blog Building Your Community is Worth the Effort.


    Of interest

    Starting a Business: The Business & Social Sciences Division of the Monroe County Library and the College at Brockport Small Business Development Center (SBDC) are sponsoring a free program on Legal Considerations for Starting a Small Business on Wednesday, June 5 from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM in the Kate Gleason Auditorium, Bausch & Lomb Public Library Building, 115 South Avenue. Carla Vazquez, certified business advisor, and Jon Lazenby, attorney, will discuss choice of business entity, tax considerations, intellectual property, contracts and more. Click here for more information and to register.

    Quickbooks: SCORE Rochester hosts a workshop on business planning with basic Quickbooks on Wednesday, June 19 from 8:45 AM-3:30 PM at the Federal Building, 100 State Street. Attendees will get an overview of accounting's focus, Quickbooks set-up, navigating Quickbooks, making sales, getting paid, paying bills, tracking expenses and Quickbooks reports. Click here for more information and to register.

    Clean Energy: On Thursday, June 20 from 5:30-8:30 PM at High Tech Rochester (150 Lucius Gordon Drive in West Henrietta, NY 14586), meet and listen to Mike Shimazu, project manager for clean energy innovation and business for New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). He'll describe NYSERDA's R&D and business development programs, and what interested parties must know in order to participate. Click here for more information and to register.


     New members

    RPCN welcomes one new member this month. Click on her name to view her profile.

    Stefani Tadio

     Follow us!

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    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Barbara Moore, Chair
    Brian Kane
    Chris Swingle
    Janice Hanson
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, June 7, 2013

    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room
    (Note change in location)

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and telephones.


    Demystifying Client Attraction
    presented by Priscilla Auchincloss, Ph.D.
    Friday, June 14, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Want some new insight in securing a steady stream of clients for your business? Join Priscilla Auchincloss, owner of Physikos Movement at Village Gate Square in Rochester, for an informative and helpful presentation focusing on the top three keys to the mindset you need to build your client base. Here's a video introduction to the program:


    Business Forum
    facilitated by Mike Molaire
    Friday, June 21, 2013

    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business.


    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, June 21, 2013
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN's monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM following the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.


    Pinterest for Business
    presented by Arthur L. Catalanello
    Friday, June 28, 2013   
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Is Pinterest the right tool for your business? Arthur Catalanello, VP and senior research officer at Harvey Research says, "Yes!" Here's a video introduction to the program:



    Copyright © 2013 Rochester Professional Consultants Network. All rights reserved.
    Contact email: admin@rochesterconsultants.org

    You are receiving this message because you opted in at http://rochesterconsultants.org/

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  • 20-May-2013 1:55 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    Measuring our progress

    by Brian A. Kane, President

    The RPCN board of directors wants to substantially increase RPCN's value to members and its overall brand. As an important step in achieving those goals, the board has adopted a strategic plan for the first time that is outcome-based and measurable.

    This means we will be able to report on how successful RPCN is in helping members establish premier consulting businesses. While it has always been our hope that members prosper, we have never before used metrics to shape our decision-making and allocate our resources. All that is about to change!

    We will be conducting twice-annual member surveys to gather data. We want to find out if RPCN members establish annual financial milestones and are achieving them. In September, we will launch a "Learn-from-the-best" program that will noticeably strengthen our professional development efforts. And we will improve the RPCN website so that its main purpose is to support this program.

    These decisions by the board at its April meeting came after months of discussions by several committees and with many members. It would not have been possible without broad consultation. We're especially excited that this will help RPCN become a world-class organization that helps members build premier consulting businesses.


    RPCN has provided Beth Sears with knowledge and opportunities

    by Chris Swingle

    Beth Sears had spent almost 30 years with General Motors as a facilitator and trainer before earning a doctorate in communication from State University of New York at Buffalo. She knew she could help people and organizations improve performance through good communication.

    What she didn't know was how to start a business. She followed advice from Alan Weiss, author of Getting Started in Consulting and Million Dollar Consulting: "He told me to network," says Sears, who's based in Scottsville. "He said to get out and present everywhere."

    Now president of Workplace Communication, Sears helps business leaders develop trusting cultures where employees can communicate openly and honestly. She found audiences and opportunities to meet more people through the Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN). "I didn't join to look for work," says Sears. "I joined to look for knowledge. The learning was exceptional."

    Click here to read more about lessons learned, potential opportunities and her advice to new consultants.

    Watch a video interview with Beth Sears:


     
    Chris Swingle, chrisswingle.com, is a freelance writer based in Rochester.


    Making your business better

    LinkedIn: Not getting the results you want from your LinkedIn profile? Robbi Hess lists five tips to make your profile not only complete, but compelling, in her blog post Update, Update, Upgrade Your LinkedIn Profile.

    What is a Consultant?: Expertise, time, an objective perspective and a fresh approach - these are four benefits Bob Lurz lists to hiring a consultant. Read more in his article Consultants: What Do They Do? (And, If I Knew, Would I Want to be One?).


    Of interest

    OACES Workshops: RPCN has teamed up with the Office of Adult and Career Education Services (OACES), a division of the Rochester City School District, to offer several workshops in May. These include:

    These workshops take place at OACES, 30 Hart Street in Rochester, and space is limited, so register early. Registration can be done through the RPCN web site.

    Social marketing: SCORE Rochester hosts a workshop on how to maximize the effectiveness of social marketing on Wednesday, May 8 from 8:45 AM-12:30 PM at the Rochester Business Alliance, 150 State Street. Click here for more information and to register.

    New members

     RPCN welcomes three new members this month. Click on their names to view their profiles.

    Al Mustardo
    Kim Pandina
    Lois Taubman


    Follow us!
     

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    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Barbara Moore, Chair
    Brian Kane
    Carl Jenks   
    Chris Swingle
    Janice Hanson
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, May 3, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room
    (Note change in location)

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and telephones.


    Communication with Google
    presented by Jerry Seward
    Friday, May 10, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Google offers several free services to simplify your communications needs. Using their various email, messaging, teleconferencing and telephone services, you can save a great deal of money and communicate more effectively with your clients and colleagues. Here's a video introduction to the program.

    200

    Business Forum
    facilitated by Brian Kane
    Friday, May 17, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business.


    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, May 17, 2013
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN's monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM following the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.


    How to Use Your Blog to Get Business
    presented by Lynn Dessert
    Friday, May 24, 2013

    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Can blogging be an effective marketing tool? The answer is yes. Join Lynn Dessert, president of Leadership Breakthrough, to learn techniques, strategies and resources you can use to build your business using your blog. Here's a video introduction to the program.




    Copyright © 2013 Rochester Professional Consultants Network. All rights reserved.
    Contact email: admin@rochesterconsultants.org

    You are receiving this message because you opted in at http://rochesterconsultants.org/

    Unsubscribe

     

  • 11-Apr-2013 2:38 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    Engage and prosper

    by Brian A. Kane, President


    Spider-Man soon will be swinging through Rochester for a reason. Rochester is the most successful region in upstate New York. That was the assessment of Sandy Parker, president and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance, during her visit with the RPCN on March 8.

     

    Sandy Parker at RPCN                                        
    Photo: Janice Hanson

    Her advice to consultants: Get involved with the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. Recently, Governor Andrew Cuomo awarded the region $96.2 million in economic development grants. Parker says that consultants can have a two-fold impact from volunteering with the Council: We can influence the development of the region and we can network to create the right relationships for our businesses.

    The Council will be working to strengthen the regional economy around the following innovation hubs: higher education, agriculture and food processing, advanced manufacturing, life sciences and health care, business services, energy innovation, and tourism and the arts.

    If you want to prosper as a consultant along with the rest of the region, you should be designing your business and marketing strategies with these hubs in mind. Here is a link to Parker's PowerPoint presentation


    David Powe brings corporate experience to consulting excellence


    By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, freelance writer/editor, www.writerruth.com

    Launching a consulting business was a logical - and carefully considered - move for Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) member David Powe, partner and lead consultant in AIOPX Management Consulting.

    Powe came to Rochester from New Jersey, as director of manufacturing for Arch Chemicals. Eventually, a larger company bought Arch and released all of its corporate employees. Powe spent about six months "going through a process of elimination for where I wanted to go in my life," he recalled. "I decided I had three options to consider: find another job in corporate America, buy a franchise business or go into consulting. ... Consulting came to the forefront as best meeting my career aspirations and personal needs."

    And he was prepared for consulting - in his last two years with Arch, he functioned as an internal consultant. "I went to all the other company locations to help them start up, develop a structure and use operations excellence," he said. "I had a home office."

    Powe launched his business officially in February 2012. He considers his consulting business to still be in launch mode, although he has found success and fulfillment in his first year as a consultant and has learned a few valuable lessons along the way.

    Click here to read more about those lessons learned, how he came up with his business name and his take on the value of networking.

    For a video interview with David Powe, watch this YouTube video.



    Making your business better


    Simplicity: Streamline a process and you will gain time that is better spent elsewhere. When you write an email, provide only the most relevant information. These are two ways Judy Dobles lists for how business people can reduce "additional effort that does not help in creating the final end product or service." Read more in her article, Strive to Attain the Elegance of Simplicity.

    Mission vs. Vision: Do you confuse a mission statement with a vision statement? A mission statement is about what you are trying to accomplish every day at work. A vision statement is where an organization is trying to go in the future. Bob Whipple explains the difference in Mission and Vision Essentials.


     Of interest

    Community Report Card: ACT Rochester (an initiative of the Rochester Area Community Foundation) hosts its second annual community report card event on Thursday, April 11, 8:00 - 10:00 AM at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. Be the first to learn about updated regional trends; connect with community initiatives linked with ACT Rochester; and discuss opportunities to leverage resources now that ACT Rochester aligns directly to the governor's nine-county Finger Lakes structure. Click here for more information.

    Closing the Deal: SCORE hosts a workshop on improving your selling skills on Wednesday, April 10 from 3:00 - 5:00 PM in Fairport. When you are talking with an interested customer face-to-face, on the phone or on the Internet, how good are you at selling and closing the sale? How would you rate your selling skills, on a scale of 1 to 10?  Would you like to improve? Click here for more information.

    Freelancing: Ruth E. Thaler-Carter will be one of the presenters in the first-ever virtual conference hosted by the Society for Technical Communication (STC), on starting a business, April 16-18, 2013. Click here for more information.



     Expanding your reach

    If you write and submit an article for the RPCN website, then what? It will soon be posted in the site's General Articles section. You can then share that link through Facebook, Twitter, your blog or website, or email. The newsletter will highlight articles that focus on issues of broad interest to consultants, especially ones that provide useful information such as specific actions professionals can take to improve their businesses, serve clients better and better manage the many tasks of a solopreneur.

     

     

     

    In this issue:


    We want you!


    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here . In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:

    Barbara Moore, Chair
    Brian Kane
    Carl Jenks   
    Chris Swingle
    Janice Hanson
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal


    Upcoming events


    Technical Forum facilitated by Mike Van der Gaag
    Friday, April 5, 2013 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and telephones.

    Generating Evidence-Based Outcomes

    presented by Brian Kane
    Friday, April 12, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room


    Organizations achieve their missions and generate substantial impact by focusing on and measuring their most critical outcomes. Learn how to combine evidence-based metrics and the right stories to create a compelling narrative that proves your effectiveness and increases your value to donors, employees and the community. Here's a video introduction to the program:



    Business Forum
    facilitated by Lynn Dessert
    Friday, April 19, 2013

    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any issues regarding starting or running a consulting business.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, April 19, 2013

    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN's monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM following the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    Revitalizing Eastman Business Park

    presented by Michael Alt, director of Eastman Business Park, Eastman Kodak Company
    Friday, April 26, 2013

    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Michael Alt will speak about turning legacy assets and intellectual capital into key drivers of today's innovation economy. Often referred to as a "city within a city,"
    Eastman Business Park is a one-of-a-kind multi-use advanced manufacturing and research center in Rochester that includes approximately 40 companies in a range of fields.

    New members


    RPCN welcomes two new members this month. Click on their names to view their profiles.

    James (Jim) Barton
    Ken Ramme



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  • 28-Feb-2013 11:24 AM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    The Message of March Madness

    by Brian A. Kane, President

    March Madness, the perennial college basketball tourney, is now in the offing. Sixty-four of the nation’s best and most promising teams will compete over several weeks. In the end, there will be one champion. The consulting world is a lot like March Madness, just all year long. Like a tournament, there are a few winners and lots of losers.

    Do you find yourself muttering these words? “I’ve always done it this way.” “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” “I’m the expert and my client just doesn’t get it.” This attitude is madness. If this is your attitude, then it’s certain that consulting opportunities are passing you by.

    One consultant to emulate for his client-based approach is Alan Weiss. Despite his huge international success, he continuously looks for ways to provide new and better value to his clients. Weiss is constantly engaging other consultants and thought-leaders to learn and grow. And he never forgets the basics: He returns phone calls and emails promptly. He’s someone we all could learn from.

    These days, the consulting world is fast-paced and rapidly changing. If you are not meeting your business goals, then it is time to ask yourself why. There is no reason to continue the madness, unless you’re a sports fan. Email me at brian@threelakesconsulting.com and I’ll put RPCN to work for you!


    RPCN project leads to new business focus for Bob Lurz

    by Chris Swingle

    Volunteering with the Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) has helped Bob Lurz, of Irondequoit, get to know other members, showcase his own skills and stretch himself in new directions. What he’s learned has prompted him to change the focus of his own consulting business, from strategic planning to helping individuals launch and develop a consulting practice.

    Over 20 years as an RPCN member, Lurz has served as vice president, president, strategy leader and alliances leader. “A valuable insight I gained is that volunteer organizations must be motivated in different ways from ‘managerial authority’ organizations,” says Lurz, who loves facilitating groups. “Volunteers must ‘want to’ do something for the organization, and a leader must somehow tap into that source of motivation.” … (Click here to read the rest of the article.)

    For a video interview with Bob Lurz, watch this YouTube video.



    Do you have an RPCN success story to share? E-mail chris@chrisswingle.com. Chris Swingle is a freelance writer and member of RPCN’s Communications Committee.

    Making your business better
    Disaster planning: Has your business planned for a disaster such as a flood, workplace violence, fire or disgruntled employee erasing electronic records? Susan Kastan wrote about how “Companies Must Plan for Disasters” as the February 17 Democrat and Chronicle Nextpert.

    Marketing trends: Forget about those loyalty cards that fill up your wallet. According to Bill Blevins, one trend we will see in loyalty marketing for 2013 will be the use of smart phones and QR codes to earn, redeem and track customer loyalty points. Blevins describes nine more trends in his blog post, “10 Trends in Loyalty Marketing for 2013.”


    Member news

    Freelance writer/editor Ruth E. Thaler-Carter will discuss "Basics of Editing and Proofreading" at the annual conference of the American Copy Editors Society (ACES) in St. Louis on April 5, 2013, in a session aimed at people who have been thinking about the editing profession but aren't sure how to get started in it.

    While in St. Louis, Ruth will present a workshop for her Communication Central business on getting started in freelancing, "Freelancing 101: Launching Your Communications Business." She also will present three workshops for the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA) in D.C. on May 16 and 17, on launching a freelance business, editing & proofreading basics, and websites for freelancers.

    RPCN members interested in enhancing their writing, editing, proofreading and other editorial services might be interested in the EFA. For membership info, go to www.the-efa.org; for local chapter info, contact Ruth, coordinator of the Rochester chapter, at chap_rochester@the-efa.org.

    And to learn more about how she got started in editing and the changes she has seen in the publishing industry, click here to read an article about Ruth in the Copyediting newsletter.


    Of interest

    SCORE: Upcoming workshops for business owners include Business Research (March 14 in Pittsford), Marketing on the Internet (March 20 in Rochester) and several different series of workshops on Starting Your Business (Henrietta, Canandaigua, W. Irondequoit, Pittsford). For more information, visit the SCORE website.

    Speed Networking:
    The Rochester Business Alliance hosts a two-hour speed networking session on Wednesday, March 13 at 7:30 AM at their State Street office. Speed networking offers a twist on the typical meet-and-greet; it’s an organized succession of brief conversations among participants that allows you to talk with 20 or more people. Click here for more information
    .

    Database webinar: The Monroe County Library System now offers the ReferenceUSA databases remotely to Monroe County Library System library card holders. The U.S. businesses database is useful for generating a customized list of prospects, competitors and more. The Central Library has arranged for Rick White of Infogroup, producer of the ReferenceUSA databases, to do a one-hour free introductory webinar on using ReferenceUSA every Friday in March at 11:00 AM. Use this link for more info and registration.

     

     

     

    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter is open to articles, news, success stories, tips, resources and more from members. Don't be shy – if you aren't sure of your writing skills, experienced writers on the Communications Committee are here to make you look good. To submit articles online (members only), click here or send an email to the Communications Committee, who are:
    Barbara Moore, Chair
    Brian Kane
    Carl Jenks   
    Chris Swingle
    Janice Hanson
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal


    Upcoming Events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, March 1, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated round-table discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and telephones.

    Discussion with Sandy Parker
    Friday, March 8, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    President & CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance since 2005, Sandra A. Parker is also a leader of the Rochester Community Coalition, which successfully creates long-term jobs and boosts the regional economy. She will lead a discussion about where the regional economy is headed, with particular focus on the needs of local companies and non-profits. If you’re a consultant, you’ll want to attend this essential program to learn what opportunities are out there for you. Here is a video in which Sandy describes her presentation.



    Business Forum
    facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, March 15, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated round-table discussion of any issues regarding starting or running a consulting business.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, March 15, 2013
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN's monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM following the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    7 Steps to Marketing Success
    Presented by Vicki James
    Friday, March 22, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Vicki James, marketing strategy partner at Stand Out Results, will review seven core steps of an effective and valued marketing system. You will gain real-time changes to take back to the office and implement for your marketing and business success. Here is a video in which Vicki describes her presentation.



    No Meeting
    Friday, March 29, 2013

    There will be no RPCN meeting today.  
     

    New Members

    RPCN welcomes three new members this month. Click on their names to view their profiles.

    Phat Dao
    Joseph MacDonough
    Jeff Schwartz


    Follow Us!

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  • 03-Feb-2013 4:28 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    Creating opportunity

    by Brian A. Kane, President

    RPCN wants to create more opportunities for members, so we will be inviting key regional business leaders to our Friday sessions. This initiative launches on March 8 with Sandy Parker, president & CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance, who will discuss key regional economic trends.

    Sandy Parker is a leader in turning around the regional economy. One example of that leadership is the Rochester Community Coalition, which has obtained more equitable state funding for major local development projects. She knows business trendsetters and understands where we are headed. Sandy will help us understand where growth is occurring and how we can provide valuable assistance to local businesses.

    RPCN is also creating opportunity by exploring more formal partnerships with SCORE, the Monroe County Library Small Business Division, High Tech Rochester and others. Thanks to RPCN Alliance Committee chair Bob Lurz and his team for building these relationships.

    Expect more news about this in the next couple of months.

    And if you have ideas for more ways that RPCN can create opportunity for you, let me know!


    RPCN forums spur consultant
    Charlie Hancock's success

    by Chris Swingle

    The Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) monthly question-answer forums on business and technical issues helped Charlie Hancock switch from a corporate job to a one-man firm in 1996 – and have kept him coming to RPCN programs.

    “I may not have a question going in, but I’ll learn something,” says Hancock, an expert on medical device sterilization. “RPCN was a very substantial reason for my being successful.” Hancock appreciates hearing various perspectives at RPCN from people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. “That’s really valuable, and you can’t get it anywhere else,” he says.

    Click here to read more about Hancock’s success. 

    Click on the image to see Charlie's video.



    Making your business better

    Checklists: “Simple checklists can greatly improve the outcome of complex processes and procedures,” says executive advisor and RPCN member Judy Dobles in an article on her blog. Click here to read the full story.

    Passion: “Don't Do It for the Money... ,” says architect and RPCN member Peter Morse in an article posted on the RPCN website. He tells of another architect who took his passion for the concertina and turned it into a business. “Love what you do first, and the rest will follow.”

    Social media: Jill Hurst-Wahl talks about social media, blogging, and Twitter in a video interview for iSchool, through Syracuse University. She is currently an assistant professor of practice in the university's School of Information Studies.


    Member news

    In January, Judith Shenouda presented the first of a 12-part webinar series on career planning for the Society for Technical Communication (STC) in January. Ruth E. Thaler-Carter also presented a webinar for STC in January, on freelancing. Click here for more information on the STC webinars.

    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter is blogging about Brighton again for the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Send her your business and personal news if you're in Brighton!



    Calling all RPCN authors

    by Ruth Balkin and Judy Shenouda

    ATTN: RPCN members – Have you written a book that you would like to promote to the RPCN community? If so, we would love to hear from you. Please provide the name of the book, a brief description, and ordering information to Ruth Balkin or Judy Shenouda. Or send an email to Ruth Balkin at rbalkin@balkininfo.com. The Library Committee will take it from there! Also, if you would like to donate a copy of your book to our collection, just let us know.

    RPCN members can borrow items from RPCN’s extensive library of business books and other materials. Click here to view a listing of materials in the library.


    Of interest

    SEAP: Become a volunteer presenter to SEAP (Self Employment Assistance Program) and help dozens of people! SEAP is a state Labor Department program run by Rochester Works. It helps unemployed individuals who want to create their own business. For more than three years, RPCN has been instrumental in teaching SEAP participants what consulting is and what RPCN can do to help. By volunteering just one hour of your time, you can help dozens of people and spread the word about RPCN. For more information, contact RPCN Vice President Michael Van der Gaag at mrvandergaag@gmail.com.

    SCORE: A five-part series of workshops – Simple Steps for Starting Your Business – begins on Saturday, March 2. You’ll learn the essential of business start-up, get action steps and receive one-on-one mentoring. The workshops will be held at the Rochester Business Alliance, 150 State Street, Rochester. For more information and to register, click here.

     

     

     

    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter is open to articles, news, success stories, tips, resources and more from members. Don't be shy – if you aren't sure of your writing skills, experienced writers on the Communications Committee are here to make you look good. To submit articles online (members only), click here or send an email to the Communications Committee, who are:
    Barbara Moore, Chair
    Brian Kane
    Carl Jenks   
    Chris Swingle
    Janice Hanson
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal


    Upcoming Events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, February 1, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated round-table discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their business, including computers, the Internet, and telephones.

    Perspectives on Retiring in Time: For yourself, your clients, your family, your legacy presented by Dr. Jack Best
    Friday, February 8, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Jack Best will discuss retiring in time, insights about transition planning, monetizing your practice, and the second half of life.

    Here is a video in which Jack describes his presentation.



    Business Forum
    facilitated by Mike Molaire 
    Friday, February 15, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library
       
    An informal, facilitated round-table discussion of any issues regarding the starting or running of a consulting business.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, February 15, 2013
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN's monthly Board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 a.m. following the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend but only board members may vote.

    The Visual Presentation of Data
    Presented by Vince Vezza

    Friday, February 22, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Well-designed data graphics are the simplest and most powerful methods for analyzing and communicating  data. This talk will give guidelines for graphical display of data.

    Here is a video in which Vince describes his presentation.



    New Members

    RPCN welcomes three new members this month. Click on their names to view their profiles.

    John Debesis
    Deborah Lydick
    Andrea Rommel


    Follow Us!

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  • 04-Jan-2013 12:03 PM | Deleted user

    Embracing the New Year!

    by Brian A. Kane, President

    Happy New Year! RPCN is proud to launch a newly redesigned newsletter. With this new format, we’re strongly committed to telling interesting stories about members and their successes. We’re excited about these changes. Let us know what you think. And please, share your good news with us. We will help you share it with the world!

    As we embrace the new year, RPCN will focus more and more on ways that we can increase opportunity for members. In addition to regularly showcasing our members, we’ll be revising the RPCN brand, strengthening alliances with key area organizations, dramatically improving our Friday programs, and updating our website.

    With Mike Molaire as the new Program Committee leader, expect visits from area decision-makers who understand business trends that affect the consulting field.

    Another way we will work to increase opportunity is to share important tips and suggest excellent books that will strengthen your practice. Here are two books that you should consider buying or borrowing from the library:
    The Big Book of Small Business by Tom Gegax and Phil Bolsta and The Small Business Bible by Steven D. Strauss.

    A special thanks to all of those members who volunteer their valuable time to make RPCN the premier resource in consulting.


    Professional Development and More

    by Chris Swingle

    Lori Cohen joined Rochester Professional Consultants Network in 2005 when she was considering starting her own business.

    She quickly saw pluses. Her first client, a commercial printer seeking an internal quality auditor, found her through the member directory on the RPCN website, and Cohen has learned strategies and tips to develop as a consultant from the meetings she attends. “I call it professional development,” says Cohen. “I always walk away with something I find useful.”

    What has kept her in the group is.... (Click here to read the rest of the article.)

    For a video about Cohen, watch this YouTube video.

    Do you have an RPCN success story to share? E-mail chris@chrisswingle.com.



    Resolve to Enhance your Consulting Business in 2013

    by Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, www.writerruth.com

    It’s a new year, and that means we’re all making New Year’s resolutions. Along with those perennial vows to lose weight and otherwise aim for self-improvement, consultants – or people thinking about becoming consultants – can set goals that will help make their professional efforts more successful.

    Here are some possible 2013 resolutions. Don’t expect to accomplish all of these; just see them as possibilities for building your business, and give yourself points for any you do achieve. … (Click here to read the rest of the article.)

    Long-time freelance writer/editor Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (www.writerruth.com) is a newsletter expert and member of the RPCN Communications Committee.


    Quick Links

    Professional organizer Jen Ulrich has been blogging for herrochester.com since May 2011. Policy Retention and Other Insurance Tips is worth a read. Another good article from Jen is on the RPCN website, Creating Passwords for Safe Computing.

    Bit by bit, task by task is how you get things done. RPCN member Susan Kastan shares steps that help energize her in her article Motivation.


    Of Interest

    SCORE is presenting a workshop on Small Business Start-Up & Survival on Wednesday January 16, 2013 from 8:45-3:30 PM at the Federal Building, 100 State Street. Are you starting a business and need some guidance? Are you currently in business, but need some help? If you answered YES, this workshop has been designed especially for you.  This workshop will provide key information on all the basic components of running a business.

    SCORE is also holding a series of workshops on Starting Your Own Business on consecutive Tuesdays, January 29, February 5, 12, 19, from 7:00-9:00 PM at Greece Olympia High School. Visit www.scorerochester.org for more information.


     

     

    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter is open to articles, news, success stories, tips, resources, and more from members. Don't be shy – if you aren't sure of your writing skills, experienced writers on the Communications Committee are here to make you look good. For information about submitting items, click here.

    The Communications Committee is:
    Barbara Moore, Chair
    Brian Kane
    Carl Jenks   
    Chris Swingle
    Janice Hanson
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal


    Upcoming Events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Linda McQueen
    Friday, January 4, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated round-table discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their business, including computers, the Internet, and telephones.

    The Alliance Consultancy Business Model
    presented by Steve Healy
    Friday, January 11, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    How to keep your pipelines full, share the marketing and sales burden, create semi-passive income and do so honorably.
    Here is a video in which Steve describes his presentation.

    Business Forum
    facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, January 18, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated round-table discussion of any issues regarding the starting or running of a consulting business.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, January 18, 2013
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN's monthly Board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM following the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend but only board members may vote.

    Google Analytics
    presented by Peter Platt of PSquared Digital LLC
    Friday, January 25, 2013
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Learn what you need to know about Google Analytics for your business or just for fun!
    Here is a video in which Peter describes his presentation
    .


    New Members

    RPCN welcomes two new members this month. Click on their names to view their profiles.

    Stephen Melnyk
    Richard Rivers


    Follow Us!

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