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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on May 24, 2000. All rights reserved.
Business Resource: Listings of VARs
With over 5,000 value-added resellers (VARs) in New
Jersey, it’s not easy to pick the one with the right solution at the
right price. One new website hopes to make it just a little bit easier.
Findreseller.com, launched in April by high-tech publishing veteran
70 of them so far — that allows business owners to search for
companies that offer the right technology solutions to their business.
Users simply check off services required (document imaging, help desk/sales
automation, consulting, for example) and Findreseller’s search engine
pulls up profiles of each applicable vendor. Users can fill out a
request for proposal on the spot, or hotlink to the vendors’ site
and call upon it later. "This really is a revolutionary business
model," says Hookey. "One of the biggest challenges for small
and mid-size businesses is finding quality technology solutions providers.
We stepped into this breach to give these folks a forum to find it
in three minutes or less."
Findreseller is free to users, but value-added resellers pay $2,400
a year for a posting — thus, only a fraction of the resellers
in New Jersey, approximately 70, are currently listed. "Even with
70 company profiles we have the best, most effective website out there,"
says Hookey. "Eventually we hope to have a critical mass of 200
or 500 resellers on the site. That’s a tremendous base to start from.
If you go the Yellow Pages you only get one page or a little ad. It’s
very inefficient, and you still have to plow through the website."
Technology companies, which already shell out plenty of money in advertising,
will also realize the value of the site, says Hookey. "The bottom
line," says Hookey, "is that one new customer or one new sale
pays for the investment."
Hookey, a resident of Princeton with a BA in business from University
of Delaware, Class of 1980, spent 15 years publishing high-tech magazines
prior to founding Findreseller, and most recently worked for CMP Media
in Manhasset, New York, publishers of Internet Week and Network Computing
magazines. It was there that he got the idea for Findreseller. "Before
Findreseller, companies relied on word-of-mouth recommendations, referrals,
and very inefficient ways of formulating customers leads," says
Hookey. "Another critical benefit for resellers is that they have
an opportunity to come on and create partnerships with other resellers.
A lot of customers need expertise that goes beyond one reseller."
Another stream of revenue comes from advertising — both from big vendors,
such as Compaq and IBM, as well as companies that sell to the small
With a start-up budget of $150,000, gathered from angel investors,
Hookey launched Findreseller in April with a staff of four. During
May, the site felt 15,000 hits, and processed roughly 50 RFPs. The
company recently launched an ad campaign that includes Inc. magazine.
Eventually, Hookey wants to provide the same services to small businesses
in other states — particularly the 22 states that comprise most
of the IT expenditures in the country. To do that, however, he needs
more money, but if he can get even 10 percent of the companies in
New Jersey to sign up, he believes he can accomplish it. "If we
get even 500 resellers signed up that’s over $1 million," he says.
"We’d like to come in between $750,000 and a $1 million by the
end of the year."
North Harrison Street, Suite 347, Princeton 08540. 609-683-9163; fax,
609-683-3928. Home page: www.findreseller.com.
The 10th Anniversary softball game between the New York
Giants and Princeton’s corporate challengers is shaping up as a recordbreaker.
The game, which will be played on Thursday, May 25, at 6 p.m. —
rain or shine — on the athletic field behind 2 and 4 Research
Way at College Park is a fundraiser for the Middlesex County Chapter
of the American Cancer Society. "We have commitments from a record
number of Princeton-area firms and anticipate an impressive turn out
to help celebrate this milestone," says Tom Stange
Business Parks, the game’s primary sponsor.
The firms signed on as corporate contenders include GE, Taylor
Technology, Hitachi, Panasonic, Neostrata, Picus Associates, Bracco
Since its inception, the game has raised more than $100,000, all of
which goes to assistance for local cancer patients. Businesses and
individuals can participate in the game at various levels for raising
$500 or more. There is no admission charge to attend the game and
everyone is welcome. A post-game party will be held at the Doral Forrestal.
Individuals and companies who wish to participate in the softball
game should call National Business Parks at 609-452-1300.
You have heard of foreign exchange students. But foreign
In an increasingly global economy, companies that want to stay ahead
of the curve need to acquaint themselves with business practices in
other countries, particularly if they hope to attract international
clients, says Tom Sullivan
Inc., the Research Way-based business-to-business and consumer integrated
marketing agency. Sometimes that means sending an emissary to a foreign
land to gather intelligence. Princeton Partners just hosted such an
emissary and filed the following summary of the experience, prepared
by Gary Frisch
company within your industry can’t be matched," notes Sullivan.
"Their ability to watch dealings with clients, participate in
brainstorming sessions and even to observe the day-to-day interaction
among employees can be very educational and lend new perspective to
your own business practices."
Princeton Partners hosted its first foreign exchange employee the
week of May 8. Markus Lipp
Munich, Germany-based ad agency called Heller & Partner, was integrated
into the company as a regular employee, taking part in new client
meetings, creative sessions and staff update meetings. He also presented
case studies to staffers on how his company solved three business
In return, Sullivan says, Princeton Partners will be sending a middle
or senior-level employee to Munich in the fall.
The employee swap came about as a result of both agencies’ membership
in MAGNet, the Marketing and Advertising Global Network, an organization
of cooperating ad agencies throughout North America and Europe. Each
member agency is exclusive to its market, and the group holds formal
meetings three times a year. It was at one of these meetings that
the idea of exchanging employees.
"We’d done several informal exchanges with other domestic agencies
in the course of helping one another out, but this was the first time
a formalized foreign exchange had been discussed," recalls Sullivan.
"We felt it was a good way to both reward good employees while
helping our respective agencies remain on the cutting edge of current
Although MAGNet membership facilitated this pilot exchange, Sullivan
offers the following tips to small and mid-size companies that want
to implement a similar employee exchange:
to one, join. In addition to a variety of resources and benefits,
membership in an association can help you identify companies in your
field that you admire and feel you can learn from. Just be sure the
company you choose isn’t a direct competitor.
a company that might be receptive to an exchange, talk directly with
the top person. An in-person meeting is best — possibly at an
industry tradeshow or conference — but if that’s not possible
try forging a phone relationship first.
the easiest route to an exchange. Comb your Rolodex for international
counterparts who made an impression at the last industry mixer. Even
if you have no international contacts, perhaps someone can refer you
to their office overseas, if they have one.
How long will it be? How will the employee be integrated into the
company? What kind of work space will be made available? Will the
employee be expected to make a formal presentation? Will he or she
be sharing time with co-workers outside of business hours? These things
should be determined in advance.
to learn and choose someone from an area of your company that can
benefit from that information. Also, make sure the employee is adaptable
and comfortable in new work and social settings.
the workday. Says Sullivan: "It’s a good idea to make them feel
like part of the team, even outside of business hours. We took Markus
to his first baseball game, the Trenton Thunder, and gave him a guided
tour of Princeton."
along. "It’s the differences in thought processes that are most
valuable in an exchange," says Sullivan. "The overriding goal
is to learn other ways of doing things while making it a rewarding
experience for the employee."
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