Representatives from Microsoft, PayPal, Google and local organizations offer tips for small business owners

By Elizabeth Baumeister - [email protected] | November 6th, 2015 4:50 pm - updated: 4:50 pm.

Tips from the pros

• “You have got to modernize your business, even if you are a business of one.” — David Rosenthal, of Microsoft, highlighting the “one thing” he hoped attendees would take away from his presentation if they remembered nothing else.

• “Money is changing, and gone are the days of reaching for our physical wallet or relying on a paper receipt. People are favoring the digital alternatives to those things.” — Megan Hannigan, of PayPal

• “We are much more than a search company.” — Andrew Ladner, of Google

Some of the products and services Ladner highlighted include Google Trends, a free tool which allows you to take the pulse of your customers, wherever they may be;” Google My Business, which allows business owners to take control of their listings; Google AdWords, an advertising tool and Google Analytics, a free tool to keep track of traffic on your website.

• Facebook page tips from Keith Yurgosky, SBDC: “Enhance it as much as you can” by adding a cover photo, listing your hours of operation and keeping the contact information up to date.

SOUTH ABINGTON TWP. — Small businesses comprise about 80 percent of the area’s economy, which is why local businessmen and businesswoman need to work together, according to U.S. Rep. Tom Marino.

“Small businesses need to provide services to each other and network,” Marino, R-Lycoming Township, said.

This is one reason he, along with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of Pennsylvania, hosted “Tips from the Pros: Using Technology and Online Tools to Boost Your Small Business,” Friday at the Ramada, near Clarks Summit.

The seminar featured representatives from Microsoft, PayPal, Google and the SBDC, who spoke about the latest products and services offered by those companies and gave tips for businesses to effectively use various forms of technology.

The event started off with an hour of breakfast and networking, during which time attendees were able to learn about resources offered by local organizations, including the Abington Business and Professional Association, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Metro Action, NEPA Alliance, NEPIRC, PennTAP, SCORE, SBA, The University of Scranton SBDC and the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce.

Nina Kontz, of Clarks Summit, participated along with some friends with the hope of gaining new perspectives.

The 21-year-old is in the process of starting a new local business called The Wild Reign, which will offer clothing, personal styling and shopping.

“We basically wanted to get perspective and advice from people who have been there and know,” she said.

Another attendee, Shari Kozlowski, of Old Forge, said she came to meet other small business owners and promote her own business, Technology Assistant, which supports small businesses administratively. She explained she teaches everything from how to use a phone to the operation of software.

“I think it’s important for small businesses to support each other, because that’s how we stay in business and grow,” Kozlowski said.

She added it is also important for the owners to keep up with the latest technology that is available, which was another purpose for the event.

Lisa Hall Zielinski, director of The University of Scranton SBDC, explained the center’s clients all do well at what they do, but often need help with various aspects of running a business, such as the use of technology.

“Most of our clients understand that this is something they need to know about, but it’s just so overwhelming,” she said.

Marino said because his wife owns a small business, he sees and understands the challenges small business owners, especially women, face on a regular basis, and he respects them for the hurdles they have to overcome.

“The women I’ve dealt with in small business, they don’t take a back seat to anybody,” he said.

In his closing remarks following the presentations, Marino thanked Zielinski and the SBDC for organizing the event and the business owners for attending.

“People do not realize how much of our economy is successful because of you,” he told the audience.

David Rosenthal, of Microsoft, talks about the company’s various products, touching on the need for small business owners to ‘modernize’ their businesses.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_TTL-Boost-1.jpgDavid Rosenthal, of Microsoft, talks about the company’s various products, touching on the need for small business owners to ‘modernize’ their businesses. Elizabeth Baumeister photos | Times Leader
From left, Lisa Hall Zielinski, director, The University of Scranton SBDC, speaks with an event attendee, Nina Kontz, a new small business owner in Clarks Summit.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_TTL-Boost-2.jpgFrom left, Lisa Hall Zielinski, director, The University of Scranton SBDC, speaks with an event attendee, Nina Kontz, a new small business owner in Clarks Summit. Elizabeth Baumeister photos | Times Leader
U.S. Rep. Tom Marino gives closing remarks at the ‘Tips from the Pros: Using Technology and Online Tools to Boost Your Small Business’ seminar Friday at the Ramada in South Abington Township, near Clarks Summit.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_TTL-Boost-3.jpgU.S. Rep. Tom Marino gives closing remarks at the ‘Tips from the Pros: Using Technology and Online Tools to Boost Your Small Business’ seminar Friday at the Ramada in South Abington Township, near Clarks Summit. Elizabeth Baumeister photos | Times Leader
Google representative Andrew Ladner speaks with small business owner Shari Kozlowski, of Old Forge, during the networking section of the seminar.
http://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_TTL-Boost-4.jpgGoogle representative Andrew Ladner speaks with small business owner Shari Kozlowski, of Old Forge, during the networking section of the seminar. Elizabeth Baumeister photos | Times Leader
Seminar offers ‘Tips from the Pros’

By Elizabeth Baumeister

[email protected]

Tips from the pros

• “You have got to modernize your business, even if you are a business of one.” — David Rosenthal, of Microsoft, highlighting the “one thing” he hoped attendees would take away from his presentation if they remembered nothing else.

• “Money is changing, and gone are the days of reaching for our physical wallet or relying on a paper receipt. People are favoring the digital alternatives to those things.” — Megan Hannigan, of PayPal

• “We are much more than a search company.” — Andrew Ladner, of Google

Some of the products and services Ladner highlighted include Google Trends, a free tool which allows you to take the pulse of your customers, wherever they may be;” Google My Business, which allows business owners to take control of their listings; Google AdWords, an advertising tool and Google Analytics, a free tool to keep track of traffic on your website.

• Facebook page tips from Keith Yurgosky, SBDC: “Enhance it as much as you can” by adding a cover photo, listing your hours of operation and keeping the contact information up to date.

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal


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