Take Five: Nickelwise News April 30

Now is the time to track deductions for next year. Jenn Escalona tells you how.

Lighten your wallet and save money. Use Cardstar app (iPhone, Blackberry) to enter all your loyalty and reward cards.

If you are buying a car soon, then check out True Car which is a new car pricing research site.

Let Ally be one of your allies in the fight to save money.  I just set up a savings account today, and it took only five minutes.

Student loan payment may not be so much of a struggle if you check out the new federal program, IBR (Income-Based Repayment.)

Intuit Town Hall Recap: Small Business


Yesterday Intuit hosted a Town Hall at NASDAQ where there were sessions on Small Business, Kid & Money and Personal Finance.  I attended the Small Business and Personal Finance sessions. It was curious to note that the event was held at NASDAQ since it was also the first stock market in the United States to advertise to the general public. When I was in college studying finance, I considered it to be the stock market for real people. Coincidentally, Rhonda Abrams stated at the end of the small business panel that small businesses “make up the real economy”. According to Intuit’s small Business Index, small businesses with fewer than 20 employees added 66,000 new jobs in April and 300,000 new jobs since June 2009.

Let jump back up to the beginning. For this event, I was press and was escorted up the studio where the town hall was being held. The event was livestream and the panel included about a dozen small business owners. I know a few of them which included Sarah Endline (Sweet Riot), Jill Frechtman (Fretzels) Beth Schoenfeldt (Collective-E) Marlo Scott (Sweet Revenge). Rhonda Abrams and Cameron from Intuit moderated the panel. The conversation talked about hiring employees, using social media, handling cash flow and health insurance and markteting. There were great contributions to the discussion by the panelists that I took note.

Regarding the economy– Sarah Endline said, “can we talk about thrive instead of survive? We all want to move into the thrive part right now, but maybe we’re somewhere between survive and thrive.”

On Cash Flow: “The small business community is currently a self-financing ecosystem. Everyone’s paying late.”

On Health Insurance: “My health insurance is looking both ways before crossing the street.”-Marlo Scott, Sweet Revenge

On Marketing: Jill uses social media–Facebook, Twitter and does monthly giveaways on Fretzels’ Facebook Page. Drew, the owner of Dead Apple Tours does a lot of local offline guerrilla marketing with signage, posters. Alexis of The Beauty Bean uses twitter to find people who may be talking about beauty products. She also schedules tweets so at to manage her time.

“As a small business owner by nature, you have to be optimistic.”

After the panel ended,  there were lunch and some of Sweet Revenge cupcakes were there. As required by my duties as a cupcake blogger,  I tasted the Tart, a new seasonal lemon cupcake made with lemon curd.

Intuit Town Hall Today At NASDAQ

Today I am at the Intuit Town Hall.  I will be tweeting about it at niche, and Intuit Town Hall is tweeting as well. you can  follow the hashtag “#intuitth. You can also register the livestream.

This morning is a small business panel. The afternoon sessions will be about Kids and Monday and the last session will be about Personal Finance. Aaron Patzer will be moderating an afternoon session.

Take Five: News You Can Use April 22

Lunch and Learn: Marci Alboher will talk about “encore careers” at the 92 Y Tribeca on Tuesday, April 27.

They can bring home the bacon:  Read this post about women entrepreneurs by Adelaide Lancaster.

The Lady Knows: Yesterday, I say Melinda Emerson (AKA SmallBizLady) speak at the 140Conf. I love that her goal is to end small business failure.

Add fun to your bar:  Stickybits lets you add digital content (mp3, jpg, mov) to barcodes.

Credit check: Transunion has launched Zendough, an all-in-one site that addresses concerns abour credit scores and identity theft.

Has The “Quickbooks Killer” Arrived?

I have been writing about small business accounting, bookeeping and personal financial application for a while now.  It’s been exciting to new start-ups come up and make business cycle operations easier, but none have been able to everything that Quickbooks. Today I got an email from Working Point, and I think that they may have done it. I will try it out later, but wanted you know about this news.

We’ve been hard at work on our banking integration and we are excited to announce that the “foundation has been laid!” We know that this is a feature that you are excited about as well so, we have decided to break the feature into 2 parts so we could give you access as soon as possible.

The first part of our banking integration offers Premium subscribers the ability to view financial institution account balances in WorkingPoint. WorkingPoint can securely connect with over 4,800 bank and credit card providers, including PayPal. Connecting to your financial institutions is easy and administrators can set up connections in just minutes. By creating a simple connection between your financial institution accounts and your bookkeeping accounts where you track your business activity in WorkingPoint, you gain real-time insight into your actual cash and credit card liabilities all from where you manage your business: WorkingPoint.

Making Internships Work Without Breaking The Law

Lynn Applebaum at City College of New York wrote an excellent post which gives guidelines on having interns.

These are Lynn’s top five ways to manage an internship program successfully:

  1. At the time of application, provide a written description of the internship, including the skills required and nature of the work.
  2. Assign a supervisor (not in human resources) to oversee the intern on a regular basis.
  3. Once interns have fulfilled their assigned responsibilities, allow them to interview staff (within reason), to either expand on the knowledge gained in their assigned area or to learn about new areas.
  4. Definitely don’t wait until the end of an internship to offer feedback. Give constructive comments after the first month (preferably in person) and discuss with the intern what he or she would like to do to benefit from the experience.  Note to interns: Have your list ready!
  5. If you can’t pay a salary, consider covering commuting costs or picking up lunch in appreciation for the work the interns do.