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Web: Social Networking for You and Your Company
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How are you using the social networking tools available in LinkedIn, Facebook, Yahoo! Groups, w2wlink.com’s Network Circles, and other online tools? I get asked questions about online and social networking more than any other after I am introduced as a former match.com key player or as the CEO of w2wlink.com, a professional community of tools and networking for women.

Here is an example of how I use LinkedIn to network effectively online.

Pick an objective and be disciplined in the pursuit.

Objectives. My four main objectives are to 1) to network with people I know directly 2) to develop new business for my company, 3) to hire people for my company and 4) to mutually help others in my direct network for their goals.

I use LinkedIn to stay connected to my direct network. (When I was in a larger company I would work with an HR leader to contact within my Linkedin network). People change companies and email addresses at such a high rate. LinkedIn helps me to stay in touch, update info and learn of progress.

Discipline. When I sign into LinkedIn, I am focused on reconnecting with specific people, companies, titles or areas. I catch myself when I begin to wander or spend excess time poking around the site. Some meandering and browsing is productive, but with balance between time spent and achieving my objectives.

I also use other social networks, but I think the key is balancing the objective and the discipline. This includes social networks which I visit in order to learn, explore and stumbleupon ideas. But, that discussion is for another blog post.

Lisbeth McNabb, Guest Blogger
View more posts by SCORE’s Guest Bloggers

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Finance: 15 Money Saving Tips in Tough Economic Times
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Do a business budget to determine where to cut back on all expenses.

  1. 1. Sublease your space, share space or rent smaller space.
  2. Always check for cell phone and telephone promotions.
  3. Conserve all resources:
    a. Reduce utility bills by turning off lights using energy saving bulbs and lowering heat.
    b. Lease equipment or subcontract out tasks that can save labor.
  4. Ask to have finance charges lowered on your charge cards.
  5. Direct deposit for payroll cuts expenses and time.
  6. Lower interest rates on loans.
  7. Check bank statements carefully for added fees that may be charged.
  8. Cut back on all of your travel and entertainment expenses.
  9. Cut back on catered parties and do potlucks instead.
  10. Supplying food and drinks for your employees should be cut back.
  11. Only buy inventory that will be sold quickly, negotiate with manufacturers to drop ship or stock inventory for you.
  12. When marketing, purchase incentives can be more effective than branding ads. A call for action to get the customer to purchase now.
  13. Give employees financial incentives when business is increased.
  14. Offer a 4 day work week or hire part-time employees.
  15. Give titles rather than raises.

Business owners must be cautious and conscious of where all the money is being spent and to think about ways to save. Have your accountant help you with money saving tips and always know that once you spend money it is not always easy to make it back. Always consider when you spend there should always be a return on the investment. Let me know other money saving tips that have worked for you.

For additional planning help for your small business, contact your local SCORE or contact me directly at jbrander@newhavenscore.com.

Julie Brander - Business Mentor, SCORE New Haven
Julie has been a SCORE volunteer since 1997. She has 20 years of experience in business, starting a manufacturing, wholesale and retail jewelry company. After selling her business, she dedicated herself to helping other entrepreneurs start and expand their business.
www.scorenewhaven.com | @juliebrander | More from Julie

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