Corrections or additions?
These articles by Bart Jackson and others were prepared for the
June 6, 2001
edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
E-Commerce & the ‘Net: Still Useful Tools
If we pulled one harsh moral from the embers of last
year’s wild and ruinous market flux, it is that the computer is no
magic money machine. Operating a business takes more than tapping
keys, and orders scrolled across a screen do not instant profits make.
But before tossing out this infant with last year’s starkly chilling
bath water, we may want to take another look at this business tool
with more reasonable expectations.
For those ever on the prowl for cutting edge, yet realistic,
from any source, the Mercer Chapter of the New Jersey Association
of Women Business Owners (NJAWBO) offers its monthly marketing
Susan Guarneri, president of website development company E-Biz
Magic, speaks on "Using Technology to Market Your Business
on Monday, June 11, at 8 a.m. at the law offices of Schragger &
Cost: $10. Call 609-882-4586.
"You don’t even need a website to make the computer work as an
effective business tool," Guarneri. "Basic E-mail can vastly
sharpen your marketing focus." Thus was Guarneri herself lured
into high tech aids when she moved to New Jersey eight years ago and
set her John Hopkins master’s degree in career counseling to work
by starting up Resume Magic.
The Internet is an ideal place for what Guarneri terms field testing.
A bit of browsing will turn up a host of free classifieds with E-mail
links, which may target specific audiences or be totally random. She
suggests you take your current newspaper ads and try them out —
each with a different wording or style. Then study the feedback from
the links and adjust your other media ads appropriately. This is a
way to test market at no cost. In addition, E-mail provides an
path to customer satisfaction and understanding. Market surveys, which
entail just a few clicks, often glean a higher return rate than
surveys. Customer complaints can be handled within the day and
maintained via periodic, updated newsletters.
And of course sales orders can be taken using E-mail alone. "Many
people say `I will advertise with the computer, even with a fancy
website, but I don’t want to deal in E-commerce.’ That’s just slamming
a door in your face," says Guarneri. "Why not maximize
Unfortunately, too frequently, the business website stands as a
built adjunct whose necessity is taken strictly on faith and whose
potential remains shrouded in mystery. The president of Acme Widgets
marches into the resident techie’s office, "Johnson, we’ve got
to have a website. Build us one — by Tuesday." Exit president,
and all corporate input.
Such are the scenes that make Guarneri tear her hair. "It is a
myth," she says, "that if you build it, they will come."
Management must envision its website as necessarily the collaborative
effort of marketing, sales, production, technology, and all aspects
of the company. And if it is to be more than a company brochure, it
must be well thought out. Guarneri lists several priorities.
benefits, not its features. "Your website," says Guarneri,
"exists to solve customer problems. You’ve got to connect with
customers’ needs — their pain." Don’t boast about your vacuum
cleaner’s three nozzles. Instead, tell them how the special one will
clean their drapes, saving them dry cleaning costs, reducing
and making them look better to nosy visiting in-laws.
and leaves it unchanged until it gathers dust. So must a website be
ever ongoing. It should be a creative blend of constants, such as
your logo, and updates, such as graphics and photos. In addition,
try to combine your updated website with a crisp newsletter and other
information for both new and potential customers. Use one medium to
advertise the other. Mention changes not just in price and product,
but in services. (It may even spur you on to making some long-needed
can be too easily mistaken for annual reports," says Guarneri.
Dense language and strings of statistics with photos of blandly
corporate officers mean naught to the guy examining your new vacuum
or the lady seeking her best bet in a chain saw. A back page full
of fun factoids or a photo lay-out depicting how your product is made
may make nice additions to round out the presentation. But up front,
give the customer a solution he needs.
help from your technical supporters, your website can pre-qualify
buyers, and at the same time selectively test new markets. Your
costs valuable staff time. What is its advertising clout for both
E-commerce and indirect sales? Are the time and technology worth it?
from all points to your office — with a nice little map? This
is where total input, both from staff and from surveyed customers,
three days — gush — the orders begin just flooding in."
Don’t believe it. Like every other aspect of your business,
the sharp and careful website takes time. And while the message zings
instantly across the globe, the response ambles back at the same pace
as all your other publicity efforts. "You are planting seeds,"
says Guarneri. "Some will sprout swiftly, others will take a long
time to harvest."
patience, brains, and sweat. The old tools, and now the new high tech
ones, have not replaced the basics. If anything, they will pile higher
your load. But they are designed to increase your profit, by
your horizon. And the better you can master them, the better they,
and you, will do just that.
— Bart Jackson
Leveraging the Internet for Executive Learning" will
be the topic for a workshop led by Steven Peskin, president
of Lenox Drive-based Nelson Managed Solutions. Peskin speaks at an
E-learning conference staged by the Institute for International
on Monday and Tuesday, June 11 and 12, at the Princeton Marriott.
Cost: $1,695 for the conference starting at noon on Monday, or $1,995
with the workshop set for 8 a.m. Monday. Steep discounts for federal
government employees are available. Call 800-345-8016, extension 3705.
Debra Newton of Newton Interactive, a digital media firm on
Pennington Road that serves the healthcare and pharmaceutical
will be among the exhibitors at the conference. The conference is
for those who must implement and execute E-learning programs in
and biotechnology companies. E-learning programs are needed for
these departments: human resources, organizational development, R&D,
sales, regulatory affairs, and project management, among others. The
workshops would also be useful for consultants, software vendors,
and contract research organizations (CROs) who serve the E-learning
Rebecca Fuller Hyde, a content consultant for EduNeering Inc.
on Campus Drive, will be among the speakers. Also presenting will
be Vida Roshan, director of E-learning at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals’
worldwide E-business division. Tracy Tinker of Dupont
will talk about lessons learned at Dupont’s distance education
Chand Sishta, quality assurance manager at Bristol-Myers Squibb,
will discuss how to implement E-learning.
Business etiquette is a form of communication, says
consultant Maureen Saunders. "No matter how technically
brilliant you are, if your etiquette skills are lacking, you can kill
a sale, destroy a relationship, and never enjoy professional success.
If you don’t think that rude behavior doesn’t affect morale,
customer service, or profitability, think again."
Saunders will give a workshop on "Etiquette: the overlooked
tool" for Meeting Professionals International on Wednesday, June
13, at 5:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Meadowlands. Cost: $50. Call
Horowitz at 732-536-5135. The group has also scheduled a golf
at Forsgate on Monday, June 18, at 11:30 a.m. Cost: $150.
Protocol is paramount in the military, so it makes sense to learn
protocol and etiquette from someone who has been a military wife.
Saunders, a 1977 graduate of Cedar Crest College in Allentown, married
a West Pointer and has had plenty of opportunities to learn etiquette
on Army posts around the world. She has also earned certificates from
the Protocol School of Washington and the Josephson Institute of
in California, worked for the federal government as an English as
a Second Language instructor, and has been a corporate trainer for
five years. Her Martinsville-based firm, Standard Bearers Consulting,
focuses on business ethics, professional etiquette, and customer
training (732-537-9550, www.standardbearersconsulting.com).
Among her clients have been Marriott International, Prudential,
AT&T, Rutgers, Seton Hall, and NeighborCare Institutional Pharmacy.
"Everything we do and say (and don’t do and don’t say) sends a
message," says Saunders. "Your conduct influences others’
perceptions of your ability, integrity, values, dependability, and
more. And because most people don’t distinguish between an individual
and the company she works for, business etiquette skills often affect
a particular company’s sales and reputation."
"Many times American executives are offensive, and they don’t
even know it. Unless Americans re-learn some of the `kinder, gentler’
behaviors of previous generations, we will be handicapping ourselves
in an increasingly global economy. Civility is often an overlooked
Incivility can actually affect a company’s finances, according to
researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and
St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Collaborating on a five-year
research project, they found that unmannerly behavior in the workplace
can contribute to stress-related illness such as depression or high
blood pressure, Saunders says.
"Beyond the financial bottom line is the recognition that, in
every organization, norms for mutual respect are absolutely
she says. In today’s workforce, representing all colors, genders,
religions, and political persuasions, "it is essential to
a code of polite conduct.
Some of her client firms are offering crash courses in decorum to
their key employees. Among the worst offenses:
verbal tics (hmmmm, like, ya know, thing-ies in the
hostile body language
bad table manners
of a consulting company that lost a $30 million contract after an
executive, when lunching with the client, licked his knife.
What to do if someone energetically insists on giving you their
card, even when you don’t want it? "They are being rude, if they
don’t wait for some sign or body language, that would encourage them
to give their card," Saunders says. "If they insist on
it on to you, just drop it in a pocket and throw it away later."
Her worst example of business card etiquette, a true story:
"A well-groomed, middle-aged man shook a woman’s hand
and requested one of her business cards. Flattered, she opened her
card case and slid a crisp sliver of paper (Crane’s best, watermarked,
highest rag content, beautifully engraved), into his waiting palm.
Without hesitation this debonair gent puts the professional card into
his mouth and loosens some food particles that had become wedged
his teeth. He nodded at her endearingly and walked off into the
For business and pleasure travelers the Princeton Public
Library offers a "Book a Trip" service. Begun in the youth
services department, this service has been expanded to all ages and
requires a minimum of week’s notice. Call 609-924-8211 or go to
Just fill out a Book a Trip form — providing information not only
about the destination, but also about your interests, favorite
and the type of materials you would like to bring. Seven days later,
pick up the special "Book a Trip" bag with a custom-picked
selection. The books might be anything from off-beat or specialized
travel books to historical novels or detective stories about a
"We want to point out that in addition to Fodor’s and Frommer’s,
we also feature more unusual titles, everything from guides for
to tours of Jewish history in Venice," says Terez Lerner
of the technical services department. Some of her recommendations
are "Haunted Inns of the Southeast" by Sheila Turnage;
Traveling: The Holy Sites of Delta Blues," by Steve Cheseborough;
and "Earth-Friendly Inns and Environmental Travel Northeast"
by Dennis Dahlin.
week’s vacation this summer providing medical support for her husband,
Pemberton School District athletic director Fran Bell, and over 150
other cyclists as they pedal 500 miles from Trenton (Ontario) to
(New Jersey) to raise money and awareness for Anchor House, the
home for runaway and troubled teens.
As one of three nurses serving on the support team for the ride, Bell,
of Capital Health System’s Education Resource Center, will monitor
the health of riders at one of three scheduled stops set at 25-mile
intervals along each day’s 80 mile route.
This year’s ride, which begins July 7 and ends Saturday, July 14,
with a ceremony at Quakerbridge Mall, marks Anchor House’s 23rd
The many-faceted safe haven provides temporary shelter and assists
in solving problems faced by runaways and their families. Services
include group counseling, medical attention, and education about drug
use prevention. Anchor House also operates an outreach program for
area students, as well as the Anchorage, a transitional program for
homeless youths ages 16 to 21. For information on the ride or
a cyclist call 609-278-9495.
Jersey Race for the Cure have awarded Cancer Care of New Jersey
a grant to support its Breast Cancer Education and Support Program
for 2001. This award will enable Cancer Care to provide breast cancer
outreach and education to under-served individuals at particular risk
for delayed diagnosis of breast cancer. It will also provide education
and support services to those with a breast cancer diagnosis, and
their families. The services provided by this grant will focus on
the greater Trenton area.
at the Mercer County Wildlife Center as part of the company’s
Connections program. They repaired cages and animal perches, and
on painting floors and constructing paths. Last year Mercer volunteers
built a flight cage for three rehabilitated birds that are in the
center’s educational programs.
The Mercer County Wildlife Center, located in Titusville, has been
treating, rehabilitating, and providing surrogate parenting for small
mammals and birds since the 1980s.
in grants to a number of child abuse prevention and family support
groups. The Children’s Trust Fund is based in the Department of Human
Services and co-sponsored by the Child Life Protection Commission
and the New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect.
Area grant recipients include HomeFront of Lawrenceville, which will
receive $41,900; Isles of Trenton, which will receive $46,080; Family
& Children’s Services of Central New Jersey, which will receive
and the Princeton Center for Leadership Training, which will receive
Corrections or additions?
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