Nominate Your Small Business Today

Deadline is May 16.

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The New York Enterprise Report Small Business Awards is the annual awards gala honoring the achievements and accomplishments of the 400,000+ small businesses throughout the tri-state area. The sold-out 2007 Awards Gala attracted over 450 people and was referred to as the networking event of the year.� Don�t miss the chance to do business with the �who�s who� of the New York small business community.

Deadline May 16, 2008

Nominate your company today or pass along to another small business that should be recognized

Download the nomination form


Talking Salary With Friends Over Salad

In this Sunday’s New York Times, there’s an excellent article about how young professionals freely talk about there personal income with friends.

I’m old school, and sometimes I find it rude to speak frankly about your salary especially when there’s a wide range of income levels among friends. In fact, I got a little upset with a friend a few months for complaining about her W-2 and much taxes were taken out last year. The amount that the federal government had charged against her gross income may have been how much some of her friends made in all of 2007.

I try to keep nickels, but the problem is that I also try to keep up with the Jones. Living in New York, I see how classism exists brilliantly here. However, you can’t always judge by what people wear, where people live, or what they do for a living to know how much money they have in the bank. I have friends that make more than 10 times more a year than I do, and yet we are friends. Sometimes I get envious of the stuff they have, but I know I am wealthy in my own way.

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For people old enough to remember phone booths, a blunt reference to salary in a social setting still represents the height of bad manners. But for many young professionals, the don’t-ask-don’t-tell etiquette of previous generations seems like a relic.

For them, salary information is now fair game, at least among friends. Many consider it crucial to prosper in an increasingly transient, winner-take-all workplace — regardless of the envy that full disclosure can raise. Besides, when the Internet already offers a cornucopia of personal information, it almost seems coy to keep personal income private.

New Option For Internet Access While Traveling

When I was on the road traveling as a management consultant, it was often difficult and/or expensive to get good internet access. Some hotels charge exorbitant fees and service can be spotty. I just read about RovAir which sounds a like a great solution for travel.

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New York-based RovAir now offers a third option with its day-pass wireless mobile broadband service.

Founded last fall, RovAir provides wireless mobile broadband aircards, data cards and evdo cards for internet access without an extended contract. To do that, the company itself maintains the necessary long-term subscriptions for data services with Verizon, Sprint and AT&T. It then offers those services in a day-pass format for those who need short-term but continuous access on the road. Coverage extends anywhere the provider’s cellular range goes, which can be searched on RovAir’s site. RovAir will ship the data card to the consumer express or by courier, and also provide return packaging. Costs depend on the number of days of use, beginning at USD 5.95 per day. There is a three-day minimum.

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Web 2 Point Dough: Deadlines, Distance, Digest

If you’re like me, sometimes you have a problem sticking to deadlines. Lifehack shares  tips on how to stick to deadlines like  Elmer’s glue.

Is your partner working miles away? Technology has helped business partners a lot, and there’s an article this week in Shifting Careers.

Blog Proud: I have been blogging for All Business for two years, and I am proud to say that All Business blogs is a 2008 Webby Honoree. Check out the digest of current blog posts.

How To Be Green And Keep A (Mostly) Paperless Audit Trail

Many of my clients ask me what receipts, bank and credit card statements and bills they should keep. It is important to retain these items, but it not always required to keep them in paper form. I blogged about this before, but wanted to make sure that new readers would see it. Plus, I just listened to a great podcast from the Get-It-Done Guy, “Keep Paper or Toss-Just Know Which”.

Everyone should be doing online banking whether you use it with Quickbooks, or with Geezeo, Less Acounting, Mint or Wesabe. With that said, all bank transactions should be entered into your bookkeeping, and the statements retained for the year. You can request to not have the statements mailed to you, but you should download a pdf of the latest statement monthly and print it out when you need to use it for monthly bank reconciliations. Then you may want to organize the statements in a binder because there is always need to refer back to bank statements throughout the year. Additionally, if you keep them organized, then there will be no need to reprint or even worse have to pay for old bank statements especially during tax season next year.
With credit card statements, do the same but I suggest printing those only when absolutely necessary (e.g. to dispute a charge). Then if you don’t need a paper copy, shred the credit card statement ASAP to deter any identity theft. Keep all pdfs of bank and credit card statements backed up regularly on an external hard drive and/ or use a flash drive. Also if you use Quickbooks, back up regularly as well on an external hard drive.

Most utility bills are available online, so you could also request to not receive them via snail mail. If you ever need proof of residence and you use the utility bill for that, then simply print out from the utility company’s website. Since most of your bill payments will either show up on your business checking account or business credit card, there’s no need to retain after paying the bill. If you pay in cash, get a receipt.

Cash receipts for taxi, food, office supplies should be recorded in your bookkeeping system. They should be retained until the next year. Now if you have a scanner, you may want to scan all those little TLC (taxi) receipts and put several on a regular letter-size paper, but check with your CPA first. If your CPA or the IRS wants the originals, then you may have saved a tree but screwed yourself.

More paper savers:
Get a shredder. They are not just for Enron employees.
Scan when you can.
Set-up an online fax service and have faxes sent directly to email. This is more efficient, too.
Get a printer that enables you to recycle printer cartridges.

Big energy saver:
Turn OFF the laptop and unplug it when you are not working. Plant flowers so you can stop and smell the roses!

National Small Business Week: April 21-25

It’s National Small Business week, and I will highlight resources for small businesses like which is a like an emergency handyman for your business website.

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Monday marks start of National Small Business Week (NSBW), a five-day event intended to spotlight the accomplishments of America’s entrepreneurs and draw policymakers’ attention to the challenges confronting them. But after more than 50 years, the annual Small Business Administration-run event still remains off the radar of many small business owners

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