Bucks Blog

Bucks Blog

Here is the Bucks Blog, used to talk about current events and such.

 

According to the United States Small Business Administration, each year, since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation designating National Small Business Week.  This year, the celebration takes place May 4-8 all across the country, with the theme “Dream Big, Start Small.” 

 

 

 

To celebrate and reflect on this week and the importance of small businesses on our economy, some Bucks members offered commentary on the business philosophies that have helped their businesses succeed. The Bucks Business Networking Group is the largest business networking group on Staten Island with over 70 members, many of whom are small business owners leading a Staten Island-based business.

 

 

 

“If your competition is smarter than you......just work longer and harder, it will more than make up for the difference.”

 

Chuck Sansbury, Sansbury Medical

 

 

 

“If you can Measure it you can Manage it. Customers don't care what you know until they know that you care.  Customers' Perception is their reality.”

 

George Zaloom, Zaloom’s Auto Repair

 

 

 

“I attribute this saying to an “ancient Chinese philosopher “- The  journey of a thousand miles is begun with the first step. So... rather than dwelling on what seems to be a daunting problem or task, the better approach is to start working at it!”

 

Harold J. Otterbeck (The Otterbeck Law Firm) has been engaged in the general practice of law on Staten Island for over 35 years.

 

 

 

“If it becomes part of your business fabric to:  take pride in your work, always listen to your client or customer, maintain integrity, and do everything possible to meet and hopefully exceed their expectations, your business will reap the rewards.  Much, if not all, of life is hard work. Same goes for running a business. You get out, what you put in.”

 

Marlene Markoe-Boyd, MLM Public Relations

 

 

 

Always be learning.  To be successful, continually look for ways to learn new skills, refresh old ones and keep up with changes in your industry.

 

Janet Warren Dugo, Staten Island Business Trends

 

 

 

"Industry leaders know how to anticipate and act on trends by educating themselves, seeking wisdom and studying their competition. If a business fails to evolve, it will likely dissolve."

 

Steve Coppola, APB Security Systems, Inc.

 

 

 

“Be Authentic and build relationships. The very best travel agents live out their core values in everything they do. The result is that clients recognize them as “the real deal” and not merely as someone trying to sell them something, anything.”

 

Gerry Fredericksen, Love Travel

 

 

Bucks Members Reflect on their Business Philosophies during National Small Business Week

 

 

According to the United States Small Business Administration, each year, since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation designating National Small Business Week.  This year, the celebration takes place May 4-8 all across the country, with the theme “Dream Big, Start Small.” 

 

To celebrate and reflect on this week and the importance of small businesses on our economy, some Bucks members offered commentary on the business philosophies that have helped their businesses succeed. The Bucks Business Networking Group is the largest business networking group on Staten Island with over 70 members, many of whom are small business owners leading a Staten Island-based business.

 

“If your competition is smarter than you......just work longer and harder, it will more than make up for the difference.”

Chuck Sansbury, Sansbury Medical

 

“If you can Measure it you can Manage it. Customers don't care what you know until they know that you care.  Customers' Perception is their reality.”

George Zaloom, Zaloom’s Auto Repair

 

“I attribute this saying to an “ancient Chinese philosopher “- The  journey of a thousand miles is begun with the first step. So... rather than dwelling on what seems to be a daunting problem or task, the better approach is to start working at it!”

Harold J. Otterbeck (The Otterbeck Law Firm) has been engaged in the general practice of law on Staten Island for over 35 years.

 

“If it becomes part of your business fabric to:  take pride in your work, always listen to your client or customer, maintain integrity, and do everything possible to meet and hopefully exceed their expectations, your business will reap the rewards.  Much, if not all, of life is hard work. Same goes for running a business. You get out, what you put in.”

Marlene Markoe-Boyd, MLM Public Relations

 

Always be learning.  To be successful, continually look for ways to learn new skills, refresh old ones and keep up with changes in your industry.

Janet Warren Dugo, Staten Island Business Trends

 

"Industry leaders know how to anticipate and act on trends by educating themselves, seeking wisdom and studying their competition. If a business fails to evolve, it will likely dissolve."

Steve Coppola, APB Security Systems, Inc.

 

“Be Authentic and build relationships. The very best travel agents live out their core values in everything they do. The result is that clients recognize them as “the real deal” and not merely as someone trying to sell them something, anything.”

Gerry Fredericksen, Love Travel

 

 

Bucks members participated in a training seminar on "Sales" this month provided by Tim Smith of Fred Pryor Trainings.

The half day session gave Bucks members an opportunity to freshen up their approach to sales in their business and members walked away with solid advice and approaches to incorporate certain sales techniques into their business approach.

Characteristics that any businesses' sales team should possess were discussed such as confidence, patience, a knowledge of the products and services, enthusiastic and energentic sales personnel, the ability to measure results, and the commitment to consistent training and skills development.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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The Fred Pryor trainer also highlighted key points to consider when looking to respond to your customers and close a sale such as:  always listen, be responsive to customer needs, know what sets you apart, and have a solid closing statement.  One practical suggestion offered to Bucks members was to stay in touch with your customers, even if you are just calling to say - thank you!

 

 

 

Bucks member, Dr. Lisa Esposito of Richmond Valley Veterinary Practice, was a guest speaker this month at a weekly Bucks meeting.

Part of the practice for 22 years, first as an associate and then as part-owner, Dr. Esposito is proud of the facility and services she offers her patients and their caretakers. The practice is located on the south shore of Staten Island and includes 3 acres of property in a park like setting. A unique service offered by Dr. Esposito and her partners at Richmond Valley is a crematorium for pets that pass, a peaceful and important element of her veterinary practice.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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During her presentation, Dr. Esposito touched on cancer in pets, dental disease issues associated with pets, and the importance of routine well checks for animals. It was also mentioned that Richmond Valley Veterinary Practice has a special interest in caring for bulldogs and received an award for the practice's efforts in this area by a Long Island Bulldog Association.

Help to start, expand, or correct a business is how Bucks member, Ed Piszko, described how NYS's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can help business owners.

Located at the College of Staten Island, along with an office in New Dorp and Bay Ridge, the SBDC offers a myriad of free services to business such as face-to-face counseling, help with marketing, business plans, access to capital, and regulatory compliance. In addition to individualized services, the SBDC holds regular workshops on topics of interest to businesses such as tax codes and social media for example. Businesses can also sign up for a service called, Bidlinx, where governmental entities post requests for contracts. The service helps companies find appropriate bid opportunities.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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The New York State SBDC can also provide a variety of research information to businesses through their library. Data such as industry of information and demographic information is available for those businesses needing that type of information.

To contact the SBDC on Staten Island, call 982-2560.

The changing nature of the car selling business and how Villamarin AutoWorld is adapting to that was the topic of discussion at a recent Bucks meetiing in which Steve Villamarin, Bucks member, was the guest speaker.

Describing his belief that the car selling business is getting away from "brick and mortar" type establishments with elaborate show rooms and space for cars, Steve Villamarin is focusing on the car buying experience offered at Villamarin Autoworld. Steven's company offers his customers a "one stop" shopping experience where Steven works with you to find the type of car you are looking to purchase or lease and then from there takes care of every single detail for you.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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Steven's family has been in the car business for decades with their niche market being in commercial trucks. After recovering from approximately 4 to 5 feet of water in their showroom on Richmond Terrace after Hurricane Sandy and ending an exclusive franchise relationship with General Motors, Steven is growing his business based on the hassle-free experience you receive from Villamarin Autoworld.

 

Bucks member, Andy Esposito of Unlimited Pest Elimination, provided some helpful tips to follow to help discover bed bugs and other unfriendly visitors that may pay a visit to the home or worksite.

Andy gave the following tips\advice when faced with a situation, encouraging members to share this information with caretakers of elderly friends, neighbors, and family members.

Be sure to:

- check your sheets, bedding, and mattress for little dots, blood marks that may indicate an infestation of bed bugs.

- do the same thing when traveling and staying in hotels\motels.

- check your bedroom in the morning, many bed bugs and insects are nocturnal and feed at night.

- check the areas around your bed - shelves, behind posters, in books. Bed bugs and insects often hide in small spaces.

- if a piece of furniture is infested with bed bugs, throw it out. It is very hard to stop the infestation. There are very few places that can properly fumigate and they are often expensive.

- there are products you can purchase that are safe and can be used to prevent exposure to bed bugs outside of the home.

- termites will thrive and show up in places that are conducive to moisture and heat. There are no quick fixes to eradicating termites; often walls and ceilings need to be exposed to accurately eliminate the termite problem.

- Proper housekeeping can help detect any bug problems and when found it is best to hire a professional to address your problem.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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Gregg Bishop, Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services, spoke at the club this month, giving an overview of the programs available to small businesses such as training and courses to develop business strategies and skills to grow a business; providing access to lenders; and connecting individuals looking for employment with small businesses that are hiring through Workforce One.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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The Deputy Commissioner also highlighted the SMALL BUSINESS FIRST initiative in his remarks describing an effort on the part of the City to reduce the burden of regulation on small businesses and cut government red tape to make it easier for small businesses to thrive in NYC.

Bringing product and expertise to directly to you is one of the stand out features described by Bucks member, Craig Gloznek, of Floor Coverings International, when he spoke about the uniqueness of his business at a recent meeting.

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Although Craig has a warehouse to address customer needs, he conducts most of his business by visiting people's homes and bringing product choices right into their home which his customers appreciate. This approach has served his business well since it is extremely helpful in determining the products that best suit a home and assists in addressing any issues that need to be customized.

Floor Coverings International is a fully insured, fully licensed company that is committed to continuously training its employees in the latest products and latest installation techniques. The company specializes in all types of flooring such as nylon, hard wood, engineered wood, and luxury vinyl and deals directly with manufacturers.

Staten Island's Regional Representative to Governor Cuomo, Paul Duffy (never a stranger to our club), stopped by to present the Governor's 2015 Opportunity Agenda.

Complete with a powerpoint presentation, Mr. Duffy explained in detail the Governor's Opportunity Agenda which focuses on: Economic Opportunity, Education, Public Safety, Government Reform, and Fairness for All.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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Examples of initiatives to be implemented in the Opportunity Agenda include:  property tax relief; building up NYS's infrastructure; universal high speed internet by 2019; student loan relief; and teacher incentives. After the presentation, Bucks members asked questions related to topics such as tolls, taxes, and the minimum wage.

 

Bucks member, Dr. Steven Acker, was first introduced to the concept\belief that many dental issues have profound health effects early in his dental career while at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn. This initial exposure to the oral\body connection was groundbreaking at the time and something Dr. Acker has continually incorporated into his professional philosophy and career.

Dr. Acker applies this philosophy into his practice by networking with physicians to treat patients comprehensively; using advanced technology for comfort and convenience; and adopting a personalized treatment approach for each of his patients.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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One of the common dental issues Dr. Acker treats that has a connection with overall health is gum inflammation known as periodontal disease. Inflammation in the body causes risk to the body and can cause heart attacks and strokes. Individuals with active gum disease such as periodontal disease are more at risk to have a heart attack or stroke because inflammation  within the body makes the walls of blood vessels weaker and causes plaque to stick to the arteries more. If you can control gum inflammation risks go down. With that in mind, Dr.Acker works diligently to educate his patients about the oral\body connection and believes that the earliest we can treat patients who have gum imflammation issues the better over their health will be long term.

 

The Bucks Business Network announces its concern with New York City Council efforts to restrict the tools available to business owners to make prudent hiring decisions.

“Hiring employees, and its process, ranks among the most difficult tasks in business today. Human Resource professionals may be losing two effective tools in determining suitable candidates for employment if the New York City Council moves to pass certain legislation,” said Sale Sottile, Vice President of the Bucks Business Network and President of Sottile Security International, Inc.

 The New York City Council is considering prohibiting employers from asking questions pertaining to criminal convictions and inquiring into the credit /debt history of potential employees.

 With respect to criminal convictions, the proposed New York City Council legislation would prohibit asking potential employees if they had a criminal record by removing that question from employment applications. The proposed legislation requires that employers first make a conditional job offer. After the offer is made employers can then research the criminal conviction history of the applicant. If the conviction history of a proposed job candidate results in the employer not wanting to hire the candidate, the employer must explain why and provide a copy of the record. The employer’s explanation must take into account existing New York law that prohibits discrimination based on criminal record.

The New York City Council is also recommending a bill that will ban employers from inquiring into a person’s credit history when applying for a job.

“Eliminating the means to properly investigate potential employees is a significant concern that businesses share,” said Jerry Amerosi, President of the Bucks and owner of Gerald Peters Gold Mine and Pandora in the Staten Island Mall.

According to a survey (January 2012 through December 2013) by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, it is estimated that U.S. businesses lose some $50 billion a year to employee theft. Seventy five percent of employees have stolen at least once from their employer and 37% have stolen at least twice. This survey also indicated that about 33% of business bankruptcies are in part due to employee theft.

Bucks President, Jerry Amerosi, was a guest speaker this month and discussed the jewelry business and the type of things that worked for him in building up his three stores: Gerald Peters Gold Mine in the SI mall, Pandora in the SI Mall, and his Pandora store in Ocean County, NJ.

Jerry discussed that business owners should constantly evaluate their progress and profit margain, encouraging members to know what their average ticket was in their business. Average ticket is described as the average amount a person spends at your business. Jerry also discussed his charitable involvement in the SI community and how that has helped him connect with potential customers and help get his brand names more recognized in the community.  He cited online reviews having an impact in his industry and that several people have come in to buy engagement rings based on reviews online. Trade show involvement in your specific industry was encouraged by Jerry and they have helped him network and stay ahead of jewelry trends that are emerging.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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At the end of his talk Jerry gave some complimentary gifts to members including jewelry cleaner and cleaning cloths.

 

 

With a photography career that began with just taking black and white photos, Flint Gennari of Fine Art Fotos & Videos, has developed his passion for photography into a business that offers a variety of services. Fine Art handles many photography needs including weddings and other milestone events, family portraits, headshots, business photography such as the type of photos you would need for a website or marketing materials, and video services. Flint also offers retouching services for his clients.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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Flint's photography portfolio includes numerous photographs taken during the 70s which document the history of that decade. As described at a recent Bucks meeting during his presentation to the club, Flint discussed the street photography he took during that decade and showed various photos from his portfolio.

Flint's work has also been on exhibit in several countries including an exhibit at the Cartier Foundation Museum in Paris. To keep up with the changes in his industry, Flint takes photography courses including one recently on photography - using a cell phone.

Representatives of the NYS National Guard gave a disaster preparedness course at a recent Bucks meeting as part of New York State's Citizen Preparedness Corps training initiated by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The training consisted of an overview of the types of disasters that need to be prepared for (natural, man-made,technological); preparing a plan to prepare for them (stockpiling food, medical supplies, and a pre-determined plan organized by your family to safely evacuate); and a review of homeowners insurance and the NY-alert system that provides information on emergencies.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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The guardsmen provided plenty of helpful information on disaster preparedness. Two stand out points: to survive for 10 days each person in your family will need 2 and a half cases of water and in addition to medical and food supplies, don't forget protective gear - eye protection, closed shoes, for example.

 

 

 

The youngest of five in a family with a business in the audio industry, long time Bucks member, Richard Grado of Creative media, exhibited early on his entrepreneurial and business skills. Bucks members had the opportunity to learn this and more about Rich's career path when he spoke at a recent Bucks meeting.

For example, at the age of 12, Rich's uncle needed help manufacturing the turntables the family company produced. Rich employed his friends to help assist with preparing the needle kits for the turntables, work his uncle needed done. Rich became the manager of his friends, got the job done for his uncle, and earned a solid salary for a budding teenager. As he stated in his presentation, he made a nice amount of money for just handing out screws and bags. These "get it done and make a living at the same time" business skills led him to owning his own deli for a period of time, a career stint on Wall Street as a corrections clerk (trading at the age of 21 years old), and partner in an entertainment franchise.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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Looking to separate from the unique stress that comes along with a job on Wall Street, and exit the field of entertainment, Rich self-educated himself in the printing industry (running a press and the issues associated with it) and opened his own printing franchise with the first location being a storefront on Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island. Creative Media is a printing, design, and marketing company with a client list that reaches beyond New York City and has bulk mailing capabilities, variable printing capabilities, and a menu of marketing tools that can be provided to clients based on their specific marketing needs in a cost effective way. As expressed in his presentation to the club, Creative Media prides itself on its marketing consultation abilities always looking to provide a tailored made marketing plan to fit an individual organization's needs.

In addition to Creative media, along with his family, Rich is a principal in Grado Headphones and 4ourears, an authorized Grado dealer. Grado headphones has been in existence for 60 years and is the oldest family owned company in the audio industry.

The Bucks Business Networking group on Staten Island has been fortunate to have many students intern at their businesses. The internships have created opportunities for students to engage in real work experiences and have given Bucks members an opportunity to share their knowledge and industry insights with the next generation of business leaders.

Several students who interned this summer at Bucks businesses were from Staten Island Technical High School. Many members learned of the availability of intern placement when the coordinator of the school’s Career and Technical Education program (CTE), Jared Jax, spoke at a Bucks meeting this past spring.

The CTE program at Staten Island Tech is a work-based learning program that provides students with instructional activities within a real-world, work-related context to help students build a bridge from adolescence to adulthood. The main goal is to connect students with industry professionals from outside the school giving students an opportunity to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real world situations.  If hosting an internship is not a possibility for a business , providing a guest speaker , organizing a work site visit, or engaging in job shadowing or mentoring, are additional opportunities for a business to get involved.

The following link is where businesses can sign up to participate in CTE activities.

http://www.siths.org/apps/pages/index.jsp?uREC_ID=202232&type=d&termREC_ID=&pREC_ID=477097

 

 “This summer we had the most wonderful experience with two fine young men going into their Senior Year at Staten Island Technical High School - Darren Goldberg and Samuel Corso. While with us, they created four new websites for us that we are looking forward to launching in the upcoming months. In addition to that, they also worked on our social media pages by posting interesting articles, upcoming events, and finding other organizations to follow as well. The young men were professional, respectful, hardworking, and motivated. I cannot say enough great things about the interns, the school, and the internship program, “said Claudette Duff of Integrity Senior Services and member of Bucks.

Elva Lau, a SI Tech student interned over the summer at Staten Island Business Trends, a monthly business publication.  Her role was to assist the publisher with special projects -- primarily data base and contact management program maintenance.  “Elva was highly motivated, bright, and a quick study.  She was professional in her appearance and demeanor and was able to make a significant contribution right away, “said Janet Warren Dugo, a member of Bucks and Publisher of Staten Island Business Trends.

Dr. Steven Acker of Elite Dental, a Bucks member, had an intern this summer who is still with the practice, Pamela Stavratos, currently a junior at SI Tech.  Pamela’s primary interests are medical and dental technology.  She has had the opportunity to learn Elite Dental’s digital systems, both in-patient management and patient treatment, including CAD/CAM technology (in office dental restorations) and digital radiography on the patient care side.  Pamela has also learned many dental treatment and diagnostic protocols and can assist in patient care and patient management. “Pamela has been an excellent intern with very good communication skills. She is a very bright young lady with a delightful personality as well, “said Dr. Acker. 

In addition to interns from Staten Island Tech, students from McKee High School and Wagner College held internships at Bucks’ businesses. College graduates have also had opportunities to put theory into practice at local Bucks businesses.

A student at McKee High School and enrolled in a CTE program there, interned recently at Scaran (heating, cooling, and plumbing services company) doing service work, maintenance, and repairs.

Philip Zuffi, a Wagner College Senior majoring in Marketing Finance, holds an internship position with Bernard Herold & Company. Fine Art Fotos hires interns post-c ollege and currently has as interns: Christopher Raimonto, a graduate from St. John's University; Adrianna Goffredo a graduate from St. John's University; Rebecca Moore Frey a graduate from Pratt Institute; and Taylor Angelico a graduate from NY Institute of Photography.

What started years ago when he was 16 and installed a security system at a Cropsey Avenue, Brooklyn residence - solo - for his father has turned into a decades long career in the security industry for Bucks member Steve Coppola.

Along with his children, Steven Coppola and Pamela Coppola-Columbia, who are also in the family business in charge of Statewide Central Station and Statewide Fire Corporation respectively, Steve, at a recent Bucks meeting, gave an overview of his business and the advanced technology tools that enable individuals to monitor their own security systems efficiently.

APB Security provides the infrastructure and tools to equip a home and\or business with a security system and Statewide Central Monitoring is the wholesale central station that monitors systems installed by APB Security and other companies.  Security systems provided by APB can provide video analytics to help determine and provide proof of whether there is an intruder or unsafe scenario occurring on your property. Security systems are sophisticated enough to know if the intruder on your property is a human or an animal, for example. Systems are also available that allow you to talk remotely to someone suspicious on your property. Terming it "talk down" Steve described that this technology provides the capability to personally encourage loiterers to move on and off your premise. Systems also provide "videofied" capabilities, meaning 10 second video clips are obtained from the site being monitored which can be looked at remotely by the customer and even shared with authorities to enable them to investigate an intrusion.

View the embedded image gallery online at:
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Portable medical alerts are being developed by APB allowing individuals to carry a device right on their key chain to be used in an emergency situation.  Once the button is pushed on the alert, it sends a signal that will identify where you are and assist in getting you help.

Statewide Fire Corporation monitors commercial fire facilities servicing institutions such as the MTA, NYC DOE, and major league baseball stadiums such as Citifield and Yankees Stadium.

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