Art of Selling Art

Job Strategies:

First Market,

E-Commerce:

Nonprofits on ‘Net

Notary Public Class

Raising Venture Capital

Dog & Pony Shows

Corrections or additions?

These stories were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on October 28, 1998. All rights reserved.

Fifty Years: Jaycees

Jaycees are, by definition, younger people, but those who have "matured through" the program remember it fondly. They include George Johnson, who is the general chairman of a 50th reunion committee for the Trenton Jaycees on Friday, November 6, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Maxine's Restaurant and Lounge, 120 South Warren Street. The event includes social hour with music, a "brief program," and a buffet dinner. It costs $60 ($100 per couple) and requires only business attire. Proceeds will be donated to Prevention Education Inc. Ad space in the program book costs from $25 to $250. Attorney Albert Stark of Stark & Stark is taking the calls for information.

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Art of Selling Art

Art business is like any other business. You have to market yourself if you want to sell. But unlike other businesses, the people in art business -- the artists -- typically have little training or expertise in the art of selling. They have the skills to create beautiful objects but do not have the skills to draw customers, says Mari Galvez de Cerdas, assistant director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), in Trenton.

"The Art of Selling Your Art," organized by Mercer County College is to prepare practicing artists with no business background on what to gear themselves for when they take their wares to the market. De Cerdas will be teaching this class at Artworks, Everett Alley, Trenton on Saturday, October 31, at 9.30 am. Cost $25.

When artists cannot find buyers for their work they are often discouraged. "The purpose of this class is to help them understand the market, themselves and their products and to make money from selling them," says de Cerdas, who originally started teaching this class in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Many artists take their products on the road, to arts and crafts shows. This class will teach them how to sell their products to these shows, how to arrange them, how to design their bills, put things on consignment, and so forth. Both fine artists and hobby artists can learn about various venues where they can sell their work and how to approach them. Fine arts and hobby crafts have two different kinds of markets and two different kinds of customers, de Cerdas says.

"This class will help an artist to identify the skills needed to be a selling person. Some of them need to develop these skills, and some of them just need to bring them out," says de Cerdas.

-- Teena Chandy

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Job Strategies: Employer's View

The Professional Job Roster will hold its 30th annual fall meeting on Thursday, October 29, at 7.30 p.m. at the Lawrence Branch of the Mercer County Library. Three human resources specialists representing local employers will give the employer's perspective on job search strategies.

James Venner, who has been with Rutgers University Human Resources for 19 years, will address the range of positions available within the university. Many job seekers are not aware that universities need accountants, business managers, writers, editors, information technology specialists, just like their corporate counterparts.

Thomas Young, recruiting manager for Covance Clinical Services, will provide insights into the personality and traits that fit well with his relatively young firm.

Susan T. Gauff, vice president of people and communications at Sarnoff Corporation, has 25 years experience as a corporate executive in computer, telecommunications, and software industries. Gauff will address job search strategies in the current environment of organizational re-engineering and downsizing.

The Professional Job Roster, until recently called the Professional Roster, is a volunteer staffed, non-profit community service job information center based at 842 State Road. It provides resources for the job search while providing employers that list their job openings with access to job seeking candidates.

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First Market, Then Invent

A product that works but is useless -- why bother? Thomas Edison supposedly said, "Anything that won't sell, I don't want to invent."

How to choose what to invent is the question William Dorman will answer in a four-session course, "Commercializing Technology: Anatomy of a Successful Product Launch," starting Thursday, October 29, at 6:30 p.m. at the Wharton School's Small Business Development Center. Cost: $205. Call 215-898-4851.

An alumnus of University of Colorado, Class of 1961, Dorman did graduate work at Syracuse. His 22-year-old firm, Dorman Associates Inc., is located at 181 North Union Street in Lambertville (609-397-2377) and does marketing consulting and research for information industries and high tech manufacturing firms. He is certified by the Institute of Management Consultants and gives workshops at NASA's technology conferences. His clients include 3-M, Kodak, and Xerox, for which he helped introduce its latest product, Docutech.

"When customer needs and market intelligence are taken into account very early in the product development, the chances of product success rise," says Dorman. Look for:

Well-defined product specifications that best meet customer needs.

Patentability or some type of protection to gain an edge in the market.

Strong profit potential.

Experienced management.

A strategy that focuses on markets, not products.

All that may sound simple, says Dorman, but studies show that the leading cause of product failures is, indeed, the lack of market understanding, including timing and customer needs. "Few products fail on technical issues," he points out, "because companies spend most of their new product efforts on engineering and manufacturing."

Dorman's wisdom is echoed by the comments of Randolph Cooke, president of a young firm on Crescent Avenue, Biomimetics (U.S. 1, July 8, 1998). "It's rarely technology that causes startups to fail," said Cooke. "It's marketing. How you going to sell this? Who is your customer? I don't know why people don't think through these things, but that's the core of why these companies fizzle. Yes, there are always problems with technology. And there are always problems with management. But those are correctable problems. Having no idea at all how you're going to market and distribute your products, those are not correctable problems."

Adds Dorman: "Edison's quote belies the hundreds of products developed by his laboratory employees that were not successful, but it shows the frustration of developing technically correct products that have no use to the customer." Successful companies adopt this principle and use this paradigm: "If the market isn't receptive, then we won't spend the money. It costs just as much to develop a failure as a success."

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E-Commerce: Another Tech Battle

As Netscape battles Microsoft on Capitol Hill, other Internet-based businesses are fighting their own battles, and not just with competitors, but also with such opponents as bankers who don't understand electronic commerce and technology that changes with the wind.

Technology New Jersey will begin a series of twice-monthly breakfast workshops on electronic commerce on Tuesday, November 3, at 8 a.m. at the Hyatt. TNJ members may attend free, non-members pay $30. Call 609-419-4444 for reservations.

The first workshop features one star -- Richard D. Falcone of Netgrocer Inc. -- and one technical advisor, Edward R. Berryman of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Falcone was a founder of the first nationwide online supermarket, Netgrocer, way back in June 1988. The business went from zero to $10 million in revenue in 30 months. He will tell how to establish an E-commerce presence -- with technical, operational, and marketing plans as necessary building blocks for founding your business.

NetGrocer's warehouse is in North Brunswick on Jersey Avenue, but the headquarters are in New York (212-244-0031). Falcone is the executive vice president, CFO, COO, secretary, and treasurer. He has also held executive positions with a book retailer and wholesaler and was CFO of Bed Bath & Beyond at the time of its initial public offering. He worked for Tiffany & Co. as director of international finance and operations.

Berryman will discuss how, in "E-Business, There are no Boundaries." Berryman is director of firm-wide electronic business solutions at PricewaterhouseCoopers. His expertise is in electronic payments, supply chain integration, customer relationship, and Internet applications. He is also working on the broader tax, legal, and security implications of electronic businesses on global operations and management practice.

"Small businesses still have a long way to go before they turn the Internet into the business generating powerhouse it could be," says Grace Polhemus, TNJ director.

"This is an opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses to meet with other professionals, exchange ideas, and walk away with free advice that can mean the difference between success and failure," she says. "Our goal is to create a winning opportunity and competitive advantage by teaching these businesses how to market profitably and securely on the web." TNJ is a non-profit association that serves as a network and forum to foster better understanding of technology and its application, and also to promote the state's businesses to both the private and public sectors.

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Nonprofits on 'Net

As part of a day-long philanthropy conference, William R. Kennedy will discuss "Creating a Working Webpage and Marketing via the Internet" on Thursday, November 5, at 10:30 a.m. at the Newark Airport Marriott. Kennedy is university webmaster at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and developed the webmaster skills training course when he was executive director of NJIT's Center for Information Age Technology. A graduate of Swarthmore College, he has been an officer in the U.S. Army and had supervisory positions sat Johnson & Johnson.

Onsite registration is $240 including an awards luncheon. Call 609-585-6871.

The day starts with 8 a.m. roundtables in which Eleanor V. Horne, vice president and corporate secretary at Educational Testing Service, will participate. Also on a panel for working with trustees will be Bruce D. Newman senior vice president for development at RWJ University Hospital Foundation.

Irving R. Warner, who formerly taught fundraising at UCLA, is the luncheon speaker for the National Society of Fund Raising Executives Conference. Mary Kate Barnes, director of alumni and development, and Edward W. Probert, associate director of development, both of the Lawrenceville School, will give a 2 p.m. workshop entitled "The Lawrenceville Campaign: How Did They Do That?"

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Notary Public Class

A training session for wanna-be notary publics will be Monday, November 2, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ramada at 379 Monmouth Street, East Windsor. The sponsor, U.S. Notary, makes the pitch that, if a business sends an employee to this course, a notary will always be available. ESI promises to "cut through the often confusing statutes and code sections with relevant and accurate answers" so that you can "protect you and your employer from costly mistakes." The $149 fee includes workbook, materials, and a continental breakfast. To register call 888-814-3274.

Notaries don't make much money per transaction, and it would be a long time before an independent notary would recoup the cost of the course.

Also, anyone can be a notary. You don't need a course. You just need to read the manual -- and in New Jersey there isn't even a test on the manual. To be get a notary commission, all you need to do is be a resident 18 years old or over, have no felonies on your record, submit an application, pay $25, get the signature of your legislator, and be sworn in by your county clerk.

But corporations that need an in-house notary to dot all the Ps and Qs may want to send their notary-worthy candidates. They will learn that they are not allowed to certify whether a copy of a document is true or false, only whether the person signing has acceptable identification.

The most frequently requested document presented to an independent notary? Hard to believe, but it's the parental permission slips. Your son's or daughter's soccer team coach may be concerned about forged parental signatures. Using a notary solves that.

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Raising Venture Capital

John Park and Ron Hahn will discuss "Raising Venture Capital" at the New Jersey Entrepreneurial Network meeting on Wednesday, November 4, at noon at Forrestal. Cost: $35. Call 609-279-0010 for reservations and to be on the networking list distributed that day.

Park, a partner in Cardinal Health Partners, went to Villanova and has an MBA from the University of Michigan. He spent six years with Day & Zimmermann Inc., a $600 million Philadelphia-based service conglomerate, and has also four years experience as a controller and financial analyst in the oil and gas station. Hahn is a founder of Early Stage Enterprises (U.S. 1, October 21).

These useful tips on raising money come, not from either of the November 4 speakers, but from a newsletter issued by Buchanan Ingersoll, the law firm on College Road. The authors are David J. Sorin, managing partner in Princeton, and Carl A. Cohen of Pittsburgh:

Start early. It will take longer than you think. Seek investors before you run out of cash.

Know how to present your company. If necessary, hire a speech tutor. "Verbal communication skills are a must for any entrepreneur who meets with investors and has to talk about the company in an effective way."

Understand your weaknesses. Investors will zone in on the weaknesses of your management team. Assure them you are willing to build a team with others.

Be organized and ready for extensive due diligence scrutiny.

Be responsive. Potential investors have a low tolerance for delays, even though they use delaying tactics themselves, perhaps as a negotiating tool. Keep your cool and stay responsive.

Play your cards close to your vest. "Do not reveal that you desperately need funds or that the investor is the only game in town, or it will be used against you. Develop alternative funding sources, negotiating one proposal against another."

Consider quality as well as price. Higher quality investors bring added value through a longer-term business relationship. "Investigate where they have made other infusions of capital and talk to your counterparts to gain a better understanding of issues down the road."

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Dog & Pony Shows

Research needs funders and supporters, and this fall a series of technical expos and showcases aim to attract dollars and researchers.

The Sarnoff Venture Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, October 28, 2 to 6 p.m., and is free to potential investors who have invitations. "We are inviting members of the venture capital community to get a preview of emerging technologies at Sarnoff," says Anne VanLent, vice president of ventures at Sarnoff. These technologies include photonics, wireless technology, and interesting display technology such as seamless video walls. Also high speed "cluster" computing -- multiple Pentium computers hooked together to increase speed and power of computing. Contact Ira Caesar at 609-734-2740 or E-mail icaesar@sarnoff.com.

Princeton University's Center for Photonics and Optoelectronic Materials will hold its annual research review on Wednesday, November 4, at 8 a.m. with James C. Sturm and Warren S. Warren, director and associate director of POEM, and Sigurd Wagner of the electrical engineering department in plenary session. This will be followed by technical breakout sessions and a 5 p.m. reception, all held in the Computer Science Building. Registration is required and costs $35 including lunch. Call 609-258-4454.

Sturm will address the "State of Photonics at Princeton," and "Generation, Shaping, and Application of Ultrafast Laser Pulses" is the topic for Warren. Wagner will speak about "Technology for Ultralight, Large Area Display Backplanes." Technical sessions will be held on both of these technologies plus on sensors and imaging and on new directions -- nanostructures, new photonic materials, and biological medical applications. A closing session at 4:15 P.M. will present "Educational Gains Through Collaborative Research," followed by a reception and technical poster session.


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