COVID-19 UPDATE

10/1/20 We are open, but due to the continuing COVID-19 situation, guild activities and services are limited to telephone or online options until further notice. 

If you are looking for our bi-weekly networking group, you can find the meeting schedule and Zoom login information on the group page.

Latest News

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By Pat Hammond

Ten years from now we're going to look back at 2020 and declare that it was a time of transition. 

I don't have a ouija board, and I haven't read my tea leaves, but it feels like we've seen a major shift in business, especially with business planning and execution.

  • What products or services are most important right now
  • How we deliver those products
  • The importance of brand consistency

These things should already be on our radar, but I think this ongoing situation forced a lot of us to step out of our comfort zone to put ourselves in a better position to pivot in a rapidly changing environment. 

For the NH Business Guild, last quarter was an object lesson in letting go of expectations and pushing boundaries. 

As COVID-19 continued through the summer, I had to give up on the idea that we would host in-person events and workshops this year. 

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By Pat Hammond

Stop procrastinating! Do you know how many people come to me for advice about how to market their business without spending a ton of cash? I don't really keep track of numbers, but it's at least 1 - 2 people a week.  

Today, I am inviting you to join me for a low cost, high value marketing opportunity. 

It's no secret that people want to do business with people they know, like, and trust. And the quickest way to jumpstart your visibility and build that trust is to produce content. 

Highly visible content that lets you show not only your expertise, skill, and knowledge, but your personality.

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By Pat Hammond

Zoom etiquette starts with you

One of the things we all love about NH Business Guild's bi-weekly networking group is the flexibility.

Even though we try to limit members to one person per industry, we don't require everyone to show up for every meeting.

We get it. We're all entrepreneurs, and sometimes it's just not feasible to fit a midday meeting in your schedule. There are weeks when Lisa, Daryl and I can't make meetings either. But, and you knew there would be a but, we ask that you follow a few guidelines when you do come. 

Today, I'm sharing five simple tips to help make our virtual meetings as successful as our in-person meetings.

1. Be on time

We all understand that you're busy, but it's disrespectful to other group members and guests who have taken time out of their busy days to join us. When we met in person, meetings start at noon and guest speakers and presentations usually start at 12:15 PM. Nothing has changed now that we're virtual. 

It's very difficult to organize an event when people pop in 20, 30, or 40 minutes late. We've tried to have guests and speakers come in to share their expertise, but had to reschedule or cancel because there wasn't enough time left by the time people showed up.

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By Pat Hammond

I was talking to Lisa Masiello from TECHmarc Labs the other day about the many business challenges we've had to deal with because of the pandemic. Lisa reminded me that to survive times like this we need play to our strengths and fall back on our planning. She pointed out that if COVID-19 shut the door to one opportunity, it might be time to fast-track a project you have on your five-year plan or fall back to doing what you're good at to create new products and services. She was talking about adapting your skills to today's situation in a way that moves your future goals forward.  It reminded me of business rule #3, always operate from a position of strength.

Turning challenges into opportunities...

To me, operating from a position of strength has always meant having a plan so I could be proactive rather than reactive. But that was only half of the equation. 

Now that we're six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, I've come to realize that operating from a position of strength also requires awareness. 

The ability to see the big picture and how a situation fits into your overall plan. It is knowing what you need to do to achieve your goals and never putting yourself in a position where you are reliant on one source to meet that need. And that part is the key to operating from a position of strength.

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By Pat Hammond

Can you say Flackery? NH Business Guild's FREE digital magazine is written by local business owners for local business owners, and it's here!

We're calling this the sales & marketing issue and we've filled it with tips, tricks, interviews, and resources to help you jumpstart your fall sales and marketing.

  • Marketing
  • Self-Promotion
  • Lead Generation
  • SALES
  • & More!

NH Business Guild's motto is "promote, connect, succeed" and we've filled this issue of of Flackery with everything you need to promote your business, connect with your target audience, and make the sale.

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By Pat Hammond

It's been five months, it's time to get your head in the game...

There's no doubt about it, this has been a challenging year. And while we can look around and count our blessings, there is no getting around the fact that things have changed. A lot.

Covid-19 has touched almost every aspect of our normal existence, tossed it up in the air and spun it around until it's hard to figure out which end is up. 

One day you stopped for a latte on the way to the office, the next you were trying to host a video call with your kids fighting in the background. 

But you know what? You did it. 

You went into survival mode and managed to hold things together. 

Now it's time to get back to business as usual. 

I know it's hard, but you can do it. 

After spending months in freefall, it's time to step up, remember your mission and do what you do best. 

Covid-19 has affected a lot of things we used to take for granted, but life goes on. 

It's time to be proactive instead of reactive. 

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By Pat Hammond

July is email marketing month at NH Business Guild and I have a fantastic new tool to help you kick start your next email marketing campaign.

It's no secret that I love Alexander Osterwalder's business model canvas concept. 

If you're not familiar with the business model canvas, the idea is brilliant.  He created a one-page template with a series of labeled boxes that condenses all the salient components of a business plan down to easy to follow bullet points. 

It's not a replacement for a full business plan, but it comes pretty darn close. Especially for small business owners who aren't looking for outside funding.

The thing I love about it is that it strips the fluff and helps people focus on the essential parts of the plan. 

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By Pat Hammond

 

Check-in & Updates From NH Business Guild

This was supposed to be our breakout year.

2020 was supposed to be the year NH Business Guild stepped out of the shadows of the Chamber of Commerce and showed New Hampshire business owners there is an alternative to high dues and a never-ending stream of expensive promotional opportunities for their business.

We were supposed to expand our offering and extend our reach beyond Manchester's borders.

We had three live classes and workshops on the schedule on topics such as marketing, how to start a business, and brand development.

We had scheduled the launch of a second bi-weekly networking group for Nashua. And we planned to present a series of live TED-like talks. (Live From NH) 

  • Classes/Workshops
  • Networking in Nashua 
  • Live From NH 

We felt like the guild was on track to establish itself as the go-to source for the tools and resources local businesses were looking for to promote and grow their businesses. 

We had all our ducks in a row and 2020 was supposed to be fabulous.

Then Covid-19 dropped by for a visit and decided to stay.

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By Pat Hammond

Flackery - Winter 2019 It's all about getting your house in order so you can face the next recession with confidence. 

Publishing a magazine is kind of like doing a massive jigsaw puzzle without knowing what the final picture is supposed to look like. And after months of researching content, doing interviews, and piecing together articles I'm not afraid to say I'm amazed by the end result. 

A couple of months ago Cynthia Kalina-Kaminsky from Process & Strategy Solutions asked me what the winter issue's theme was and I didn't have an answer. I had a few ideas, but nothing was really clicking. 

Success, work-life balance, leadership?

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By Pat Hammond

Would you believe I dropped all the tables?

I've been a web developer for over 15 years. I have well-developed systems and rules for handling changes and updates when I'm working on a client's website, but when it comes to my own, well let's just say I occasionally take shortcuts. 

It's usually okay because I always a.) Have a recent backup, and b.) Take another backup whenever I make a major change to a live website. 

Only this time I didn't. 

This time I was coming off of a full week of major site updates with a lot of custom code. 

I don't know what happened, but I somehow managed to delete the wrong database and the next thing I knew NH Business Guild was gone. 

To put it another way, I screwed up. Big time. 

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