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This is old news in the techie blogosphere/twitterverse, but you may have noticed these little barcode-type images popping up. What are they? They are QR codes or Quick Response codes, and you’ll find them in advertisements and magazines, on tickets and boarding passes, and even on business cards and t-shirts.
So what do they do? Well, they allow immediate access to relevant information with the use of a smartphone.
Similar to traditional commercial barcodes, a QR code is a two-dimensional image made up of black and white pixels that, with the right app, can be scanned by a smartphone to reveal all sorts of digital content: a string of text, a website URL, an email, a phone number, a location on google maps, or even a youtube video.
This is a great way to expand your social media outreach.
Try posting codes on the front or back of your business card, on print advertisements, on brochures, signage, and other marketing materials, on product packaging, event materials and nametags, restaurant menus, ticket stubs, or receipts.
Link to your own website or online content, your Facebook page or LinkedIn, directions to your business, a free download, coupon codes and special offers… the possibilities are limitless!
How to generate a QR code?
It’s so easy! Simply use a generator site, like qrstuff.com or qrcode.kaywa.com. Save the image, and put it on whatever you’d like!
This is a great way to make yourself and your business more visible and accessible. And it’s free, so why not try it?
We also found these tips to be helpful: 5 QR Code Failures to Learn From (via @BuffaloNiagara)
This is a particularly good idea for the vendors (and even attendees) at our upcoming conference. Integrate a QR code into your table signage so that conference attendees can instantly access your website, connect with you on social media, or learn more about your products or services.
What is your experience with using QR codes? Any advice? Leave a comment below.
We’re very excited to have Dr. Teresa M. Amabile, professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, come and speak at our 2011 Women’s Leadership Conference (just three weeks away now!).
Dr. Amabile poses an interesting question: “What makes people happy at work?”
And this is what she has to say (you can consider it a little preview):
What really makes people happy, motivated, productive, and creative at work? Our new research, based on analyzing nearly 12,000 daily diaries of team members working on collaborative creative projects, reveals some surprising answers. Inner work life – the continuous stream of emotions, perceptions and motivations at work – has a profound effect on a person’s performance. So what boosts people’s inner work lives? Contrary to what most managers believe, the single most important thing is simply making progress on meaningful work – even if that progress is a small step forward. This is the Progress Principle, and it holds clear implications for managers and knowledge workers: Sustained high performance and employee well-being depend less on elaborate incentive systems or performance-management processes than on techniques for facilitating the small wins that constitute daily work progress.
If you are in the Western New York area, be sure to check out the 2011 Women’s Leadership Conference to hear more of Dr. Amabile’s discussion on the “Progress Principle.”
It’s that time of year again…
We are four months into 2011 and close to the day that symbolizes how far into the following year that women will have had to work to match the money earned by men in 2010 (a mouthful, but it’s true). Believe it or not, there is still a substantial gender disparity in earnings: in 2009, women only earned 77 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts made for comparable work. The gaps are even greater in some career fields and among certain ethnicities.
Did you know that only 3% of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies are women? Or that, for the first time since the 1970s, the number of women in congress is declining? (source: AAUW) It’s not only about pay, but about broader disparities in the representation of women in the private and public sectors.
For further information on pay disparities particularly, pay-equity.org has made available the statistics and reports on wage gaps across industries, occupations, states, education and race over time.
Also, we invite you to watch the expert panel discussion we hosted last year on the gender pay gap, which focused on the causes and implications of the wage gap, as well as how to negotiate your own salary (here).
What you can do:
If you are an employer, this is the time to take a look at your pay practices. Do your pay scales favor men? Consider the questions on this pay equity self-audit.
Individuals can contact their representatives to make clear that the issue is important to their constituents. Ask them to support the legislation that aims to alleviate pay disparities.
Women are also encouraged to advocate on their own behalf. If you think you deserve to make more, then ask for it! Check out these tips for salary negotiation.
Finally, we ask that you observe Equal Pay Day with us on Tuesday, April 12th. Wear red to signify how women are still “in the red” when it comes to their pay and help to raise awareness about this pressing issue.
In light of Veterans Day (yesterday), we wanted to take a moment and thank veterans across the country for their service.
Because of the leadership skills and expertise they acquire during their service, many veterans go on to start and grow small businesses.
The Small Business Administration offers resources to support veteran-owned small businesses. Visit the Office of Veterans Business Development for more resources.
You might also want to check out a post we wrote back in June about the entrepreneurial resources and support available to the men and women who have served our country.
Happy Veteran’s Day!
There are lots of programs and opportunities out there for veterans looking for technical assistance and even capital for starting a small business.
A great resource is the Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE) which maintains the VetBiz Registry, a member site that lists your company in a database of other veteran-owned businesses. Through VetBiz, listed companies are given notice of and special consideration for federal contracting opportunities, and are updated with information and news affecting Veteran-Owned and Service Disabled businesses.
Another resource is the SBA Office of Veterans Business Development, the mission of which is “to maximize the availability, applicability and usability of all administration small business programs for Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans, Reserve Component Members, and their Dependents or Survivors.” The SBA oversees an outreach program that caters to both start up veteran enterprise and those in existing business. Services include business plan workshops, feasibility analysis, counseling, mentoring, and technical training in more specific areas.
Find out more here.
Use this tool on the SBA website to find a Veterans Business Development Officer near you.
The VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization is also developing a mentor program, not unlike our Business Coaching Program, which is aimed at assisting veteran-owned enterprises to become “viable and/or more competitive in the small business community.” See the details here.
Other organizations and federal offices advocate on behalf of veterans enterprise, such as the National Veteran Owned Business Association and the VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. These organizations help to guide policy, support the veteran community, and promote veteran-owned businesses as preferred vendors.
Are you a veteran business owner?
What is your experience with the available resources?
As a follow-up to our previous post, we’d like to share the video of our expert panel discussion, held at Canisius College last week.
Find the the rest of our talk on our youtube channel, CanisiusWBC.
What did you take away from this discussion? Let us know in a comment below.
Did you know that, even in 2010, there is still a considerable pay gap for women in the United States? According to the Corporate Gender Gap 2010 Report, issued by the World Economic Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, women make, on average, only 77% of the average male income. This incredible margin exists despite the fact that women account for more than half of the workforce (52%) and over half of college graduates. With the majority of our “human talent” represented by women, how is it that we are still consistently underpaid and undervalued, compared to our male counterparts?
In an effort to acknowledge this continued disparity, next week, on April 20th, the Women’s Business Center will be observing Equal Pay Day. This day, which symbolizes how far into 2010 women must work to earn what men made in 2009, was established by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 to spread public awareness of gender wage disparity. That day, we ask that you wear red to illustrate how women are still “in the red” when it comes to their pay.
We also invite you to an event hosted by the Canisius College Women’s Studies Department and the Women’s Business Center scheduled for that Tuesday: “Equal Pay Day: A Dicussion and Workshop on Closing the Gender Pay Gap.” A panel discussion will address the realities of the gender pay gap issue and the following workshop will present tatics for women and students to effectively negotiate their salary. This event is free and open to the public. Click here for more information.
*all statistics from The World Economic Forum. Click here to access the full reports.
What do you think about pay equity? Leave a comment.
Today, WBC Executive Director Melinda Rath Sanderson is in Albany, participating in a Public Hearing held by the New York State Senate MWBE Task Force, New York State Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, and the Assembly Sub-Committee on Oversight of MWBEs. At the hearing, which aims to reform Article 15-A, Melinda will be testifying about our experience at the Women’s Business Center with MWBE goals, current participation, and state agency practices.
You may have seen that we recently held a webinar series with William Lobbins of the Erie County Equal Opportunity Division and Gerald McDuffie from Empire State Development about MWBE (Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprise) certification and government contracting. So we definitely realize a need for these kinds of opportunities for women and minority business owners, as well as the need to make small business owners aware of these kinds of opportunities.
The NYS Senate Task Force has similarly acknowledged that minority and woman business enterprises have “historically experience difficulty in obtaining access to capital” and now, in the midst of a global credit crisis, these issues need to be addressed with stronger legislation and more accessible procurement opportunities.
What do you think? Leave a comment.
Here in Buffalo, the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women and the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library are presenting a whole month of events. See the full line up here (adobe pdf).
If you’re on Twitter, I recommend following @womenable, published by Julie Weeks. She has a great series of “You Go Girls” posts in honor of Women’s History Month. She tweeted this great article yesterday about the diversity of women entrepreneurs, “The Power Girls.” Check it out here.
Are you doing anything to celebrate this month? If you’re local, do you plan on attending any of the special events?
Hi there, Gabby here!
I’ve just returned from my holiday vacation on the West Coast and I’m excited to be back in the office and on the blog. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and is ready as we are at the WBC to tackle 2010.
Some exciting things are happening at the Women’s Business Center right now:
First of all, if you’ve been to our homepage recently, you might have noticed that we are now on Facebook and LinkedIn!
Since we are a partner organization to a college, we thought it was only appropriate for us to start a Facebook group. And if you’re not on Facebook (or you just can’t get enough of us on the web), we would be happy to be a part of your professional network on LinkedIn!
Also, we are happy to announce that we will be holding our second-ever Sister Mixer this February at the Buffalo & Erie County Botanical Gardens Society! Some of you may have attended the first Sister Mixer this summer at Dug’s Dive on the waterfront. We invite you to come again for some fun, informal networking with other guests and clients of all WBC programs. For more information, click here. We hope you can attend!
I also wanted to share with you, in light of the new year, some advice for small business owners in 2010. This article, published over on WebCPA, highlights the top ten tips shared by 750 real small business owners, based on past year’s experience.
1. Start Preparing Your Taxes Now
2. Cut Personal Expenses
3. Think Green
4. Have a Long-Term Plan
5. Don’t Focus on the Money
6. Use the Web (one thing we really emphasize at the WBC)
7) Rely on Yourself
8. Focus on Sales
9. Stay in Touch with Family
10. Stay Healthy
You can read the full text of the article here.
To leave a comment, click here.
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