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From the Executive Director
Make the Most of Your SSWBN Membership in the First 90 Days
At a recent New Member Orientation, I shared Nine Ways to Make the Most of Your Membership in the First 90 days. New and veteran members of SSWBN will find these tips relevant.
Some of the tips I shared include:
- Get noticed in the new member email,
- Meet with Leadership,
- Submit an announcement to the newsletter,
- Find a mentor, and more.
To learn the details, please read the Nine Ways blog post!
Message from the President
|Stacy Doherty |
Lately, when I attend events I see lots of new faces and all sorts of new businesses present. While this means some new and great potential opportunities, it is important to first learn more about those faces and businesses.
As someone who has been networking for a while, you may find it easy to take advantage of the knowledge and consider it second nature. If you are experienced at the one-on-one concept, you may want to use what I am about to share as a refresher; and if you are a newbie, I urge you to take a look at this before you get on the horn with all those business cards you collected!
The biggest piece of advice I can suggest is to work the room. It is so easy to get caught up talking with one person and asking questions, but when you are at an event, it is essential to shake as many hands as possible -- all the while being sincere and polite with individuals. Please do not misinterpret this as being a card collector. It is great to walk away from events with a stack of cards, but not if you have no recollection who that person was. When networking, I like to use the rule "quality over quantity."
When you do meet someone with whom you want to connect, be sure to follow up. If you are writing an email, make sure you reference where you met that person, and comment on why you think meeting would benefit both of you. If you know where the person is located, offer to meet with them either close to their office, or somewhere in the middle, and always suggest a few dates and times that would work for you. Another tip I learned along the way: always check in and confirm your appointment a day or two before. People are busy, things come up, and when you double-check with people you can save both of you time and energy.
So now you are sitting across from the person, and you want to tell him or her all about how great your business is. STOP. I know it is so tempting to talk about how much you can help this person, how your services are the best, and why this person should work with you -- and I promise, we will get to that, but not as a first impression.
This is your chance to really groom this budding relationship and ASK questions. You have two ears and one mouth -- you should be listening twice as much as you are talking. Need some prompts to get started? Ask how the person got started in her/his field. Ask about her/his "why" for being in business, and listen intently to their story? Then ask how YOU can help HER/HIM. (I know this may seem backwards if you are a newbie, but the more people you help along the way, the more those people will want to help you).
An average a one-on-one will take about an hour, and both parties should walk away with a more firm understanding about who your ideal clients are, how you can help support one another, and a few buzz words to listen for.
Then wait a day or two (try not to wait more than a week at most), and pull out your stationary and ink well (yes, you are going to actually HAND WRITE something). You are going to follow up with a sincere and genuine thank you note. A stranger took time out of her/his day to meet with you, learn about what you do, and hopefully be able to help you grow in the future. The LEAST you can do is to take a few minutes, write a nice note and pass it along via Mr. Postman. There are few things more memorable than a handwritten note, especially in a world of email, text messages, and pings.
Be sure to follow up with that person, schedule another meeting a few months later to learn about what new projects she/he is working on, and to share the great success of your most recent escapes. People do business with others whom they know, like and trust.
While our Network can provide you the opportunity to meet many individuals on a surface level, it is your job to do the legwork to get to know them better and create safe and trusting relationships.
Need someone with whom to practice? I love having coffee with people and learning about others. Feel free to let me be your guinea pig.
I look forward to hearing from you,
Law You Can Use
Contracts -- not a particularly exciting or sexy concept -- are fundamental to doing business. Contracts are all around us in business: whether selling or buying goods or services, we enter into contracts all the time.
Sometimes we create contracts without knowing we did. In a sale of goods, much of the terms of the contract beyond the name and price of the product may be supplied by the Uniform Commercial Code and never discussed by the parties involved. Disputes can be resolved by going back to legal rules that no one may have looked at or discussed at the time the contract was made or performed.
But in many other cases, we can shape contracts to reflect the vision of a specific company and define the terms on which the company is willing to do business with the world. Time and money do not allow us to make each contract perfect, but we can aspire to do a better job of aligning our contracts with our business interests.
At the most basic level, we enter into contracts to reflect the agreement of the parties. Many business people therefore go straight to the basic business terms and feel the rest is useless boilerplate to be ignored or reviewed by legal counsel. The strongest business people I have known (and the most successful) have also been able to read a contract and quickly see the risks and benefits hidden in those boilerplate terms. Specific terminology may be dictated by legal rules and cases, but the choice of terms is most often a business judgment about allocation of risks.
Today's food for thought centers on guiding you to think about the contracts in your business. I invite you to read your own contracts and the contracts of some of your vendors and think about whether they fit your expectations. Consider these questions to guide you along the way:
- Before you dive too deeply, think about the contract as a whole. Do you know which terms are really important in your business and why? If something is going to go wrong, what is it likely to be? Defective product or negligence in providing service that results in harm or need for replacement? Early termination? Unexpected costs? Nonpayment? Data breach? Loss of trade secrets or intellectual property rights? Are key issues in your industry covered in the contract?
- Do you understand the contract, or is it a form agreement pulled from the Internet that never really made sense to you? Forms are great (lawyers usually start with forms), but they are not the end of the story.
- Look at the basic business terms. Do they clearly spell out the service or product to be delivered, the cost, and the time period? Is the language specific enough to avoid surprises to either party? Precise and readable language is important in business agreements.
- Is the allocation of risks better or worse than generally found within the applicable industry? Does the contract jive with interrelated obligations to other customers or vendors, or does someone get left with a disproportionate share of risk in the gaps? How does the risk allocation reflect the strength or weakness of the company? Sometimes the weakest companies will promise the moon in a contract because they have nothing to lose. Is there something to back up the promises?
- Are intellectual property rights (copyright, trademarks, patents) affected by the contract? Does the contract spell out ownership and licensing or usage of the intellectual property? Is everyone actually getting what they bargained for?
- Is the contract transferable or assignable? What happens if you sell the company? Do you still get the benefit of the bargain contained in the contract? Do you want the other party to be able to assign the contract?
- Does the contract provide appropriate protection of confidential information and data security? (And can the company deliver what it promises?)
- Does the contract have a description of where and how disputes will be resolved? Have you considered response times? Steps such as mediation prior to arbitration or litigation?
- Do you have the right name and/or entity signing the contract? If you have a corporation or LLC, is the contract in the name of the company, with you signing in your official capacity on behalf of the company? Even if you need to provide a personal guarantee, signing in the name of the company may help down the road when selling or financing the business or when demonstrating that you conducted business through the entity.
Contracts are not only useful in litigation. They also provide a useful road map that will guide parties acting in good faith to honor the terms that have been struck. When contracts are carefully woven together in a business, the results can be impressive.
Here is an example. A year after I moved from litigating cases at a large firm to an in-house legal position in a satellite communications company we suffered a satellite launch failure. I braced for litigation over insurance coverage, manufacturer liability and customer contracts. The cost of the rocket and satellite was in the neighborhood of $200 million and the contract values were even higher. I was fairly new to the business, so I was surprised when the insurance paid without questioning the cause, the manufacturing contract had the backup satellite parts on order, and the customer agreements addressed delays due to launch failures.
The stars also may have been aligned that time, but it was not merely an accident. The terms had been carefully planned and negotiated in each contract, taking into account industry standards and expectations. That launch failure did not result in a single lawsuit, and the business was delayed but not lost. Isn't that something to which we can aspire?
Rebecca Westerlund Coletta, Esq.
Coletta Law Office
620 County Road
Hanson, MA 02341
Becky Coletta is the principal of Coletta Law Office and has provided representation to a variety of large and small companies since graduating from NYU School of Law in 1990. She is a member of the Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut bars. She is also a member of the SSWBN Board of Directors, the South Shore Chamber, the Massachusetts Bar Association, the Pembroke Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club of Hanson.
This column constitutes legal advertising, and is designed only as an information service. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information, it should not be relied upon as legal advice. Legal advice is only provided after a careful review of the specific facts provided by a client after formation of an attorney-client relationship.
| Preparing for a Confident Retirement
The Retirement Check-In® study found that on average, Americans nearing retirement report a gap of nearly $200,000 between what they have saved, and what they believe they will actually need to live comfortably in retirement. According to the same survey, many Americans also lack confidence about being able to cover the necessary expenses in retirement such as housing, food and taxes.
Planning for retirement can be complicated, but breaking it down into simple steps, as demonstrated in the new Confident Retirement® approach can be a simple way for those nearing - or in - retirement to begin planning. Theapproach takes into account four fundamental areas:
Covering essentials. This is the foundation of any retirement strategy and includes ongoing necessities such as food, housing, taxes and medical expenses. Because economic conditions may always be a little uncertain, your goal should be to fund essential expenses with sources of guaranteed or stable income. This may include social security or a defined benefit plan, among other options.
Ensuring your lifestyle.
Most people who are planning for retirement have additional goals they want to pursue-travelling, hobbies, and relocation are just a few. Consider working with a financial professional to develop a sustainable strategy that will cover the expenses that come with your lifestyle goals.
Preparing for the unexpected. Unanticipated events can have a devastating impact on your retirement plans. Since they're no longer earning a salary, retirees typically lack the financial flexibility to make up for consequences to their retirement plan from unexpected events. Personal liability, medical expenses, supporting a family member and loss of a spouse are some of the most common unanticipated events. Developing a game plan to navigate these bumps in the road that may occur during your retirement is important.
Leaving a legacy. After accounting for essential, life, and unexpected expenses, it's time to create a legacy plan for any of your remaining assets. Having a plan in place for your loved ones and the causes that are important to you is an essential part of planning for the future. To be effective in your legacy plans, aim to maintain control and leverage as you age. The potential for some types of impairment increases during retirement, so in order to help ensure that your assets are used according to your wishes, consider having these three documents prepared: a healthcare directive, living will, and limited financial power of attorney. Also make sure your beneficiary designations are up to date and that you've begin putting an estate plan in place.
The Confident Retirement approach developed by Ameriprise Financial uses the four principles outlined above as a framework to help advisors and their clients work towards their retirement goals. It's never too early - or too late - to start preparing for retirement. Consider working with a financial professional to define and work toward your unique retirement goals.
Cheryle Brady, is a Financial Advisor and Associate Vice President with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Quincy, MA. She specializes in fee-based financial planning and asset management strategies and has been in practice for 25 years. To contact her, Cheryle.email@example.com, http://ameripriseadvisors.com/cheryle.brady, Ameriprise Financial Services, 859 Willard Street, Quincy, MA 02169
Brokerage, investment and financial advisory services are made available through Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC.
Confident Retirement is not a guarantee of future financial results.
* The Retirement Check-In® survey was created by Ameriprise Financial utilizing survey responses from 1,000 employed Americans ages 50-70. All respondents have investable assets of at least $100,000 (including employer retirement plans, but not real estate) and are planning to retire at some point. The survey was commissioned by Ameriprise Financial, Inc. and conducted via telephone interviews by Koski research from October 31- November 14, 2012.
© 2013 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved. File # 680365
Some winters it's hard to keep slogging through an unending cycle of Nor'easters. Does it seem like the weatherman is using the same estimated snowfall slide every storm? If so, why am I always in the bullseye?
Don't worry: I know an old song that warms up that numb midwinter feeling with a message of hope. It goes, Love, like the yellow daffodil, is coming through the snow. Love, like the yellow daffodil is lord of all I know." As you can see in the generous outpouring of thanks and appreciation below, SSWBN members are certainly feeling the love this month:
Dr. Lisa Lewis of Cohasset Family Chiropractic sends warm appreciation to Alison Schirone of Yarn's End for her help in choosing her next knitting project, making yarn suggestions and offering the loan of a book of free patterns. Dr. Lisa said, "I am new to knitting. I've only been at it for a little over a year and I find her encouragement and suggestions invaluable!"
Jean Delany of Father Bill's & Mainspring sends thanks to Susana Griffin from Bank of Canton. "Susana provided my son and his fiancé with just the right first-time buyer's mortgage and they were able to purchase their first home in Pembroke!"
Kristen Ford-Hernandez of Premiere Pros would like to thank Judy Rizzo of Rizzo Plumbing and Heating for not only referring a number of customers to her in the past few months, but for also hiring Premier Pros to paint her new location in Weymouth. She said, "Joe and I truly appreciate your trust and loyalty!" Kristen also gives her "... gratitude to Kat Ogar of Infinite Health and Wellness for spotlighting my son's business in her newsletter. Also, big thanks to Janet LaBerge of Good Deeds, Alison Schirone of Yarn's End and Lori Cook of A Fork in the Road for allowing my son to showcase his business products at their locations. Your support has meant the world to us and we cannot thank you all enough!"
Kristen also sends big thanks to Paula Lind of O'Donoghue Insurance for being an AMAZING insurance agent. "From our auto policy to our business policies, anytime we have a question, she is available and has been so patient with the number of questions that have come up lately. She has truly made it a painless process!" Also extending thanks to Paula Lind, Patty Funder of LaserLight for Men and Women said, "Paula is the Gold Standard in customer service. When I changed over my homeowner's policy this January, Paula got it bound within an hour of my calling her, and she saved me money, AND she helped me to understand some of the new insurance requirements!"
Alison Schirone thanks Tavern Wench Lynn Feingold of Songs of the Colonial Days "...for visiting Yarn's End with many sets of knitting needles for donation to the shop. Our beginner knitters have been using them!" Alison also acknowledges Victor Moulton for cleaning the carpets at Yarn's End after-hours, on the Sunday of a long, holiday weekend. "The carpets look and smell great!" she said. "Thank you, too, to Lori Cook of A Fork in the Road for delivering an enormous chicken pot pie to us as our family was recovering from the flu" said Alison. "Comfort Food rules!"
Stacy Doherty of Errands Etcetera has a number of people to thank this month, starting with Dr. Lisa Lewis of Cohasset Family Chiropractic for hosting January's Coffee with the President: "Your space is so comfortable and inviting!" She also sends thanks to Theresa Barbadoro of Baker, Braverman and Barbadoro: "You make working with a lawyer very unintimidating and easy!" Stacy extends two-fold thanks to Nicole Peterkin of NY Life "for a) helping me set up a retirement account and b) giving me a hair stylist referral for a client!" Finally, she sends special thanks to Nancy O'Keefe of Simple Small Business Solutions: "Thanks for sharing your experiences with a business coach. I'm excited to be working with you and growing my business!"
Anna Linzi of Light Heart Enterprises sends big thanks to Jessica Foley of Dave & Buster's. Anna won the $25 gift certificate that Jessica donated to the raffle at the SSWBN February lunch. Anna said, "Then Jessica also gave me two $20 game certificates, so I was able make two adolescents very happy!" Anna would also like to thank Rosemarie Lanchester from Everything You Wish For for referring her business to a new customer.
Betsy Donahue of Donahue Associates sends thanks to Julie Cummings from Phase Zero Design for recommending Betsy in the search for a new office location.
Vanessa Leite of Brockton Day Nursery sends sincere thanks to Jacqueline Collins from Partnering for Performance. "Jackie led our Board retreat and helped to identify our strategic goals for the next few years!"
Caroline Chapin of The James Library & Center for the Arts sends sincere appreciation to Welch Healthcare for their sponsorship of their recent concert, An Evening in Vienna, featuring Austrian baritone Georg Lehner. "The sold-out event featured the James' intimate and elegant concert venue and our Steinway grand piano which is the centerpiece of our concert series and music lesson program. We appreciate that Welch recognizes that the James is such an important part of the cultural fabric of the South Shore. The James is able to offer high-quality arts events while keeping tickets affordable, thanks to local support from businesses like this," Caroline said.
So as you watch the ice melt, remember the words of this song of hope:
All shall be well, I'm telling you, let the winter come and go.
All shall be well again, I know.
Take care, and see you soon.
Lynn Feingold, Tavern Wench
Songs of the Colonial Days
Managing Editor: Patricia Funder
MARCH 2014 EVENTS
Business After Hours Paint Night!
Hosted by Renee MacMurray of MacMurray Designs in Hanover
Create connections by getting creative! Join SSWBN for a new, creative networking experience at our first ever Paint Night! Attend to network only (no fee) or get your creativity flowing when you learn to paint the Boston skyline. $30 fee for painting segment. Space for painters is limited to 15.
No fee to attend networking only.
7:45am - 12:00pm
Corporate Park ~ Pembroke
- Are you tired of being a best-kept secret?
- Are you great at what you do, but feel like no one is paying attention or signing up for your programs or services?
- Do you want to be seen as the expert that you are in order to attract more high-paying clients?
Learn how to become unstoppable with workshop presenters Heather Poduska and Casey Kerr.
This month's featured
businesses will inspire you!
Certified Personal Life & Recovery Coach and Holistic Therapist Martha Tassinari reflects that her passion for this work happened as a result of her painful personal journey of being married to an emotionally abusive alcoholic and drug addict. "I work with professional women of all ages who are ready to break free from those emotional wounds from their past that keep them stuck in pain, fear, shame, and self-doubt. ... My clients are highly motivated, spiritually open women ready to invest in themselves and take personal responsibility. They are willing to make their life and health a priority," she said. Read more of her compelling story
and to find out how she can help you!
Dr. Lisa Lewis
Meet Dr. Lisa Lewis, owner of Cohasset Family Chiropractic, a practitioner with 30-years of experience. With specialties in treating pregnant women, children and others seeking the transformation that she "loves to see" in a patient's health her clients feel more energetic, reduce allergy symptoms, sleep better ... and more. Read more about Lisa and how she can help transform your health.
|Above and Beyond|
Kim DeGust, Real Estate Professional
Spring is coming. For many of us that means tackling spring cleaning or other projects we have put off during the winter months. Whatever projects might be on your horizon, consider SSWBN member businesses to help. Check out the Member Directory and the Member to Member Discounts.
Anna Linzi and her husband Matt Menapace of Lightheart Enterprises recently returned from a cruise to the Bahamas as a result of winning the Eagle Award through Amway. Congratulations Anna and Matt on your accomplishment and for escaping the Massachusetts winter for a bit!
Congratulations to Joe and Kristen Ford Hernandez of Premiere Pros for being voted by the Houzz community as a winner of the Best of Houzz 2014 awardsin the Customer Satisfaction category, which was based on profile reviews on Houzz in 2013.
A pleased Caroline Chapin, Director of the James Library & Center for the Arts in Norwell, announced a 30 percent increase in community and business donations to the James this year. Caroline credits the James' successful fundraising to increased use of social media, partnering with other community groups on events, and better networking within the community. "I think local businesses appreciate what the James does for the arts on a local level here on the South Shore" she said. The James is a community arts center featuring a concert hall, library and art gallery housed in a historic Victorian building in Norwell Center. The James offers a wide variety of cultural programs, music lessons and community events. Congratulations Caroline, and welcome to SSWBN.
And as always I love to hear about your announcements, successes and awards, both personally and professionally.
Molisse Realty Group
Selling the Entire South Shore
(781) 837-5600 office
(781) 363-0485 cell
Wants & Needs
Wants & Needs
WANT: Raffle items, silent auction donations, and participants for a local
Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Team Fundraiser on Sunday
March 30th, 2-6 PM at The Waterclub in Marina Bay, Quincy. DJ, passed appetizers, Celtics, Patriots, and concert tickets and a really fun time promised! For tickets ($15 in advance or $20 at the door) Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 617-480-5934
NEED: Melissa Burgio, Independent Associate for Isagenix, needs to have a piece of glass cut to cover her buffet/server. Please send her the contact information for a reputable glass company who does this kind of work: 781-763-7404.
NEED: Volunteer member skilled in designing E-newsletters in Constant Contact. Must be willing to work under tight deadlines and with last-minute changes. Email Patty Funder at email@example.com, or call 781-871-2224.
Through an inadvertent oversight when publishing the SSWBN newsletter on Monday, February 10th, we failed to print the very first two entries for our new Wants and Needs column. To Tracey Dieselman and Dr. Lisa Lewis, we offer our sincerest apology.