Even in the best economic climates, owning a business can be confusing and difficult, however, the problems can seem insurmountable in tough economic times.
That’s why the Throggs Neck Business Association has started a business seminar series intended to give business owners in the area a leg up when it comes to things like marketing, taxation and insurance coverage. The seminars will be free for all TNMA members and $20 for non-member business owners to attend.
“With the recession and the economy being down, a lot of business owners are having a hard time staying afloat, so we figure getting some tips on how to run businesses efficiently and effectively might be able to improve them and help keep them open,” said TNMA president John Cerini. “It’s scary now. Some places are just trying to keep their doors open.”
The first seminar was to be held on Wednesday, January 26, but due to inclement weather, was rescheduled to February 23 at the Villa Barone Manor, and will feature a talk on business development and marketing from business coach Ethan Chazin.
“He makes it very interesting,” said Cerini. “He teaches about how to make businesses more productive and he gives tips about how to market your business.”
The first lecture came courtesy of the city’s Small Business Services, but the TNMA is looking to partner with the Bronx Business Alliance to host at least six more seminars this year.
According to Margaret Arrighi of the BBA, the meetings will mostly focus on advertising and marketing.
“Our mission is to help business owners improve the way they manage businesses, reduce over-head and increase profits,” she said. “Anything we can do to help them do that is a good thing.”
The BBA seminars will be less like a formal education course and more like question and answer sessions with business experts. Business owners will be encouraged to bring in the advertising and marketing materials they already have in use, so the experts will be able to offer them specific critics of their business methods.
“It’s aimed at developing personal relationships and interactions with the customers, and not just focusing on making the sale,” said Marge Lovero, a consultant with It’s Strictly Business Inc., which is helping the BBA to develop the seminars. “Small business owners usually neglect that and then they don’t understand why they don’t have repeat customers.”
Cerini said that the TNMA will also look to hold seminars that help business owners to better understand insurance coverage, tax codes and how to effectively use computers.
However, even with the classes, Cerini said the only way the business community can fully bounce back is by Bronxites making sure they shop local.
“It’s so important that people in small communities shop local,” he said.