Monster.com: “11 Social Media Tips for Small Business”

You’ve put together profile pages on a few popular social media sites, made occasional posts, and responded when you were aware of activity. Isn’t that enough for a small business like yours? According to Lubin Marketing Professor Paul Kurnit, “A clear, compelling message should travel across platforms that are most relevant for the communication, not the other way around. The huge attractiveness of social media is price is minimal and buzz can be maximized.”

Paul Kurnit offers up Tip #8 to John Rossheim, Monster Senior Contributing Writer, on creating and maintaining a social media strategy that’s a brand-building, rain-making machine for your business.

 8) But remember, as with any branding, marketing or selling effort, your social media activity must have the ultimate goal of gaining and retaining customers and increasing sales.“Too many companies just throw something up against the proverbial social media wall, hoping something will stick,” says Paul Kurnit, professor of marketing at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York.

To read all 11 social media tips from the Monster.com article which was picked up by a number of newspapers across the country including the San Jose Mercury News, click here

BusinessNewsDaily: “Five Technologies Your Business Should Be Using”

Looking to promote your business? Lubin Professor Paul Kurnit recommends the “very viral” Pinterest, which allows users to organize and share images of things they love on virtual boards, similar to a collage or scrapbook.

What is the latest technology you can use to boost your business?

Pinterest. This is essentially an online scrapbooking site, where people use virtual pinboards to group and post favorite images, including those of weddings, home decor, favorite recipes and more. 

“It is the new darling of the Internet, but businesses have not really tapped into its potential,” said Paul Kurnit, marketing professor at Pace University, in an interview with Kim Zimmerman of BusinessNewsDaily. “It is 80 percent female, but it is very viral and a younger audience.”

While the site is female-oriented at the moment, Kurnit added it could easily attract a more male audience, who might “pin” pictures of cars or the latest tech-gadgets they want. 

NEWS RELEASE: “Pace University Opens Entrepreneurship Lab to Foster Student Innovation, Initiative and Commitment; Bruce Bachenheimer Named Lab’s First Director

Pace University has deep “roots” in innovation and entrepreneurship. Pace was founded more than 100 years ago by two exemplars of entrepreneurship, the brothers Homer and Charles Pace. With a $600 loan, they rented a classroom in Lower Manhattan to teach the principles of business to men and women aspiring to a better life.

Pace University Opens Entrepreneurship Lab to Foster Student Innovation, Initiative and Commitment

Professor Bruce Bachenheimer – Serial Entrepreneur, Board Member of the MIT Enterprise Forum, and Authority on Collegiate Entrepreneurship – Named Lab’s First Director

NEW YORK, NY, February 13, 2012 – A ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, February 16, to be attended by members of New York City’s “entrepreneurship ecosystem” will mark the official launch of the new Pace University Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab), which is expected to both nurture the entrepreneurial spirit on campus and serve as a beacon for innovation in the Lower Manhattan community. 

Those scheduled to be on hand at the inauguration of the new space on the third floor at 163 William Street in New York City and give brief entrepreneurial-encouraging remarks at the invitation-only reception include (in alphabetical order):

  • Bruce Bachenheimer, Director of the Entrepreneurship Lab and Clinical Professor of Management, Lubin School of Business
  • Neil S. Braun, Dean of the Lubin School of Business and former President of the NBC Television Network and CEO & Chairman of Viacom Entertainment
  • Gurbaksh Chahal, Founder, Chairman & CEO of RadiumOne.  A die-hard internet entrepreneur, “G” also launched ClickAgents and BlueLithium.
  • Somak Chattopadhyay, Partner at Tribeca Venture Partners – Early Stage Venture Capitalist
  • Harold O. Levy, Pace Trustee and Managing Director of Palm Ventures, Former NYC Schools Chancellor
  • Robert W. Walsh, Commissioner – New York City Department of Small Business Services

They’ll be joined by Robert Caucci (Pace BBA ‘11, Entrepreneurship; Pace BS ‘11, Business Economics) and Jeremy Pease (Pace BS ’12, Computer Science), co-founders of Reslutions, who had the 2011 Winning New Business Concept Pitch at Pace’s Seventh Annual Pitch Contest. Reslutions is a platform that digitizes and streamlines all of the processes associated with a collegiate housing department and stemmed from the co-founders experience as college resident advisors.

Entrepreneurship: The Heart of Business Education 

In addition to 163 William Street in Manhattan, Pace will be simultaneously opening an Entrepreneurship Lab at the Goldstein Academic Building on its Pleasantville, NY, campus. Both E-Labs will provide the tools and mentoring for the development of business plans and the seed capital for new ventures. The E-Labs will also host events featuring guest speakers, workshops and competitions, many of which will be open to the public.

“Entrepreneurship, in its broadest sense, is a personal approach for developing ideas into plans and plans into reality. It is interdisciplinary ‘doing.’  Entrepreneurial leadership is as important in large companies as it is in startups; it’s a mindset toward relentless problem solving that leads to successful execution” said Braun, who in his career has assumed many different type of roles, including internet entrepreneur, television network president, corporate attorney, CEO and film producer. “It is therefore at the heart of business education; it is the ultimate capstone for applying the knowledge and skills of the discrete disciplines to a product or service for a specific market opportunity. 

Professor Bruce Bachenheimer is ideally suited to lead the E-Labs and grow the program,” continued Braun.  “Bruce’s relationships throughout the New York City venture community and beyond will be an important building block as we seek to further enhance our standing in, and access to, professionals in the field.” 

Bachenheimer is the visionary behind the annual Pace Pitch Contest and Business Plan Competition, which he introduced in 2004, shortly after joining the Lubin faculty. Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Directors and past Chairman of the MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City and has served on the organization’s Global Board. Bachenheimer also serves on the Board of Directors & Advisors of LeadAmerica and has served as a consultant to the NYC Department of Small Business Services and the New York City Economic Development Corp. He founded Annapolis Maritime Corp. and co-founded StockCentral Australia. 

“The Entrepreneurship Lab aims to foster an entrepreneurial mindset – a way of thinking and acting that focuses on developing new ways to solve problems and create value,” said Bachenheimer, who drafted the initial proposal of the E- Lab. “These skills are important not only for those seeking to establish a new venture, but are increasingly critical in a wide variety of professional careers given today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, where rapid technological innovation and globalization has led to corporate downsizing and a dramatic change in the very nature of work.”

Bachenheimer began his career as a Wall Street trader then had the courage to take a step back from the rat race and go sailing … for several years. After sailing through the Caribbean to South America, he headed to Annapolis, Maryland, where he launched a business importing teak lumber and taught himself yacht joinery. Bachenheimer then transitioned to a career in high-tech forensic science, where he served as the International Product Manager for an entrepreneurial venture, conducting business in over 20 countries. Several years later, Bachenheimer received the prestigious McKinsey & Company Leadership Scholarship to pursue and MBA degree, which he earned from the Australian Graduate School of Management. While completing his degree, he co-founded StockCentral Australia, which grew to become one of the largest financial websites in the country. A Pace alumni, Bachenheimer earned a BBA, Summa Cum Laude, from the Lubin School of Business.  He was conversational in Japanese and spent a semester at Tsukuba National University in Japan as an undergraduate. 

 About Entrepreneurship Studies in the Lubin School of Business at Pace University

The Entrepreneurship Labs on the New York and Pleasantville campuses (www.pace.edu/entlab) build on Pace’s well-established undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship curriculum and activities such as the Pace Pitch Contest, Business Plan Competition, and Entrepreneur In Residence program. www.pace.edu/entrepreneurship 

About Pace University 

For 105 years, Pace University has educated thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

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Pace Media Contact: Samuella Becker, sbecker2@pace.edu; 212-346-1637 (office) or 917-734-5172 (mobile)

BPC/BizPlanCompetitions.com: “Pitch contests gain popularity”

For years, business plan competitions were the only option for would-be entrepreneurs seeking prizes, funding and the chance to get in front of venture capitalists via a competition framework. But now, more and more competitions are adding elevator pitch — or simply pitch — contests as an option within an overall business plan competition.

Many of the major Ivy League competitions — including Harvard, Yale and MIT — feature pitch competitions. The advantage of a pitch competition is that it’s much easier to enter, organize, participate and judge than a typical business plan competition, which typically encompasses an entire academic year, according to Bruce Bachenheimer, a professor of management who runs both the Pace University Pitch and Business Plan Competitions.

“Basically, competitors have three minutes in front of a panel of judges to sell their idea,” he told BPC/BizPlanCompetitions.com, a website which bills itself as the “world’s most complete listing of entrepreneurship contests and business plan competitions.”  He added that “there’s an audience for our competition, who can suggest questions, and who also get an education in entrepreneurship. Last year, Pace gave $50,000 in prizes to the competition winners.  The pitch competition has become very popular among business students.”

Pitch contests require different skills than business plan competitions.  In a pitch contest, you don’t necessarily need to have the fully-fleshed out idea that you need to succeed in a business plan competition. Instead, as Bachenheimer puts it, competitors need to “have excellent presentation skills, be quick on their feet, be able to provide a quick summary and be responsive to the very pointed questions of a panel of very distinguished judges.”

He’s very pleased with the way the pitch competition, which is now in it’s eighth year, has evolved. “In the beginning, some of the ideas were kind of crazy, but it’s gotten very serious,” he continues. “It’s very educational and very entertaining for the presenters and the audience. It’s a fast-paced, fun learning opportunity for everyone, including the audience.”

One big advantage of pitch contests is that they are relatively painless to enter. Instead of writing up a complicated, in-depth business plan that participants may have to revise numerous times over the months, a simple 500 word or so entry form, a brief biography and a 10-question form are the sole requirements for the Pace Pitch Contest. Not only is it simpler for the contestants, it is also much easier for the judges and organizers, he says.

And that makes it a good selling point for judges, who have to make a big time commitment to judge a business plan competition. Those can take months and judges must read multiple business plans, evaluate them at various stages and mentor competitions. With the pitch competition, it’s a one-day commitment. It’s also much easier on organizers, which is why it’s easier to start and run a pitch competition than a full business plan competition, Bachenheimer continues.

Consumer Reports Money Adviser: “Want to be your own boss?”

If you think only young people have the guts and stamina to start a business, think again.

The highest rate of American business startups is in the 55-to-64 age group, and nearly one-quarter of baby boomers are self-employed, acccording to the Kauffman Foundation. But you need more than a good idea to run a successful business, says Bruce Bachenheimer, who launched several successful entrepreneurial ventures before beginning his career as a professor.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur isn’t easy …  even for those with advanced degrees and healthy bank accounts.   Here are some steps to becoming your own boss.

* Be honest with yourself.  Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur.  “The best are risk takers confident in themselves and their ideas,” Bruce Bachenheimer, a professor of management at Pace University in New York told Consumer Reports Money Advisor, a newsletter distributed to about 300,000 paid subscribers.

* Take time to consider what you’re giving up or getting into.  Do you need a structured environment?  A steady paycheck?  Are you fleeing a bosss only to find all customers will be your boss?” Bachenheimer asks.  “Are you dumping a time clock but investing 100 hours a week?”

* Buying an existing business can be a good route.  “Sometimes owners run out of capital or enthusiasm,” Bachenheimer says.  “You can get a lot of assets, inventory, and a client base.”  Still, he warns buyers to perform due diligence to prevent gettting stuck with someone else’s bad debts.  

* Smart entrepreneurs surround themselves with even smarter experts.  Find a financial consultant or lawyer for advice, but choose advisers carefully.  “Don’t pay hucksters to do things that are free – like obtaining an employer identification number,”  Bachenheimer says.  “Anyone can sell themselves as an expert, so get references and proposals.”

* Funding will probably come from your own bank account, not from some wealthy venture capitalist.  Even bank loans are tough to get these days.  “Once your business has some cash flow, you might find it easier to get a small-business loan, Bachenheimer says.

BestSouthwestNews: “Alternatives to ‘Buy Local’ Campaigns”

Recent research shows that buying local campaigns provide only limited and short-lived results for small businesses. So, as budget-conscious consumers turn to mass retailers, Internet and malls for bargains, what can small business owners do?

Tell a story

For consumers to view your shop as unique and deserving the premium that small businesses often need to levy, offer unique or even one-of-a-kind products and services, says Paul Kurnit, a business consultant and clinical marketing professor at Pace University in New York.  Then, make sure those items have a story to go along with them, he says.

Perhaps a store carries porcelain dishes that were hand-painted by a local artist. If that’s the case, include that person’s story with the plates. “The handmade idea is good, but it’s not the whole story,” Kurnit says. “In a tough economy especially, play up the customer connection.”

For additional suggestions, click here

Crain’s New York Business: “Tips for tricky task of raising prices”

Many entrepreneurs are concerned about keeping their businesses profitable as inflation threatens to increase overhead expenses.

More small businesses are thinking of changing price structure as inflation threatens.

Bruce Bachenheimer, clinical professor of management and director of the entrepreneurship program at Pace University, advocates that small business owners should first “Do a small-scale test” to determine if and how their company should raise prices.

“A pilot hike will help you gauge customer reactions and mitigate risks, ” said Professor Bachenheimer in an article in Crain’s New York Business. For example, if you have two stores, raise prices on select items or at just one location.

MSNBC’s Your Business – Bruce Bachenheimer – Tips to Better Your Business

“Too often entrepreneurs mix up passion and persistence with arrogance and they need to step back and listen,” advised Bruce Bachenheimer, Pace’s Director of Entrepreneurship, on a December 15 segment of MSNBC’s Your Business.

Tips to help you better your business, provided by Bruce Bachenheimer on MSNBC’s Your Business (December 15):

  • Entrepreneurs are optimists by nature – and that’s good. But what they really have to do is put themselves in their customer’s shoes.
  • It’s difficult but entrepreneurs need to ask themselves: What do my customers really want? What are they really willing to pay for my products or services?  What do they honestly think of me, my brand, my products?   
  • Social media is a great way to get close to the customer.  Listen carefully.  Don’t be defensive or dismissive; be as objective and analytical as possible.
  • With technology in particular, the most important thing is to get your product out there. Then be prepared to refine it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

MSNBC’s Your Business Casts Professor Bachenheimer as Small Business Tech Panelist

The Sunday, October 24 show featuring Professor Bruce Bachenheimer was “one of the highest rated shows in Your Business history” according to a Facebook post made by host JJ Ramberg.

MSNBC’s Your Business is the only TV show dedicated to issues affecting small business owners. It airs Sunday mornings at 7:30 ET.

Pace’s director of entrepreneurship, Bruce Bachenheimer, appeared as a panelist on the October 24th show, discussing “Business Answers: Software Development & Back-Up Services.”  Click here to listen and learn – http://www.openforum.com/yourbusinesstv

Business News Daily: Helping Foreign Startups Enter the U.S. Market

“They have to be born global from the beginning,” said Bachenheimer, who has taken his students to Tanzania and will take more to Israel in 2011. “They know they have to sell to several markets and have to look at the whole globe as a market. The domestic market is just too small.”

BusinessNewsDaily – a new online news site geared toward small businesses whose content also gets published on MSNBC, Yahoo! News and Christian Science Monitor – interviews Professor Bruce Bachenheimer about a group of U.S. business professionals who are trying to match foreign startups with American investors and entrepreneurs by eliminating barriers involving communication, culture and marketing – http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/foreign-business-startups-american-investors-0642