By Cliff Ennico
La di da, la di da, ‘tis autumn (with apologies to the late Nat King Cole) . . . and time for the annual New York Business Expo at the Javits Center in New York City. Each year tens of thousands of New York based small businesses crowd the trade show floor to learn about new marketing strategies, technologies, and other tools and resources that will help make their businesses easier to manage and grow.
Here are some of the cool new resources I learned about at this year’s show.
Are you planning on taking a long airplane trip soon? If so, Long Island based Pillar Rock USA Corp. offers “JetRyte,” an all-natural “vitamin mineral herbal tablet” offering relief from common jet-lag symptoms like temporary sleeplessness and minor fatigue. All you do when you board the plane, or as soon as possible after takeoff, is dissolve one table in a 6 oz. cup or open bottle of water only, preferably at room temperature, then repeat every 2 to 3 hours when awake, as necessary. Makers caution that you should not place the tablets directly in your mouth, or take more than 2 tablets during a domestic U.S. flight. The product also includes 2 plastic earplugs in Day-Glo colors, just in case (www.jetryte.com).
If (like me) you don’t have time for social media, don’t know how to use social media effectively, or don’t have the money to pay for a social media consultant, Likeable Local will help you create content for your social media channels on a regular basis so as maximize search engine exposure (http://likeablelocal.com).
When it comes to telephone technology, if you don’t know the difference between hosted VOIP and a SIP Trunk, or if you couldn’t tell the difference between an IVR Queue and an ACD Queue if your life depended on it, check out EnQwest (www.enqwest.com), a small business telecommunications firm based in Fairfield, New Jersey.
Do you want to send a gift basket to someone containing healthier options than the usual wine-cheese-and-chocolate combinations? SnackEaze (www.snackeaze.com) offers a variety of baskets with such healthy favorites as Nature Valley granola bars, Clif bars, unsalted almonds and Pirate’s Booty popcorn treats.
Speaking of chocolate, have you ever considered putting your company name, logo and marketing message on chocolates, cookies and truffles? If you have, Chocolate Promises (www.chocolatepromises.com) specializes in personalized gift messages on edible products.
Are you trying to build a consumer brand but haven’t yet found the right logo? Anda Creative (www.andacreative.com), a visual communications agency with offices in Brooklyn, New York and St. Louis, Missouri, can help you design and trademark a logo that fits your brand analysis and strategy.
Are you a small business owner or franchisee looking to sell your business so you can retire? If so you can list your business or franchise outlet for sale in BusinessExchange (www.businessexchangeusa.com), a monthly print and online publication distributed throughout the United States and Canada, by calling 1-877-337-1188.
If you own your own business and are planning for retirement, you probably are using a “defined contribution plan” such as a 401(k) or Simple IRA, but that may be shortsighted – according to benefits consultants Mercer LLC, so-called “defined benefit plans” such as pension plans are becoming more popular with early-stage companies (email@example.com).
Is your overseas company looking to establish a satellite company in the United States? If so, the professionals at BusinesStartupUSA (www.businesstartupusa.com) can help you set up a New York or Delaware corporation or limited liability company (LLC) in no time.
Are you a consultant looking to write an e-book or a “real” book (one printed on the remains of dead trees) to help promote your services? If so, Maven House Press (http://mavenhousepress.com) can help you put it all together, from editing and cover design to online distribution.
If you have recently moved to a new city with small children, and are looking for activities you can do with them, or network with other parents with similar needs, check out BizzyDoo (www.bizzydoo.com), a social media website that carefully “vets” activities posted on the site.
Are you a motivational speaker looking to reach the small business or venture capital markets? If so, you can join such luminaries as Mark Victor Hansen (author of the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books), Frank Shankwitz (founder of the Make-a-Wish Foundation), and Bill Walsh (“America’s Business Expert”) in their entrepreneur training company PowerTeam International (www.ipowerteam.com/successteam).
Are you relocating your business to the New York City metropolitan area and want to work with something better than a realtor? If so, Capstone Realty Advisors Inc. (www.capstoneny.com) is a “tenant’s advocate” that can help you find the right space at the lowest possible cost.
Finally, are you a startup owner planning a trip to New York City someone soon and want to network with local entrepreneurs? If so, check out the monthly “Startups for Losers” breakfast meetings sponsored by Convean Events (www.ibreakfast.com). They’re a lot of fun, once you get over the name.
Cliff Ennico (www.succeedinginyourbusiness.com), a leading expert on small business law and taxes, is the author of “Small Business Survival Guide,” “The eBay Seller’s Tax and Legal Answer Book” and 15 other books.