A Quick Guide to Foreign Trade Regulations

March 7, 2012

Who is the U.S. Principle Party in Interest (USPPI)? What is a shipment and when you must file in the Automated Export System (AES)? For more information, please visit our website: http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/

The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers.

Procurement Corner: Lasting Impressions…. Are Business Cards Passé?

March 5, 2012

Thinking back over the several decades when I managed Procurement organizations on government contracts for one of the aerospace & defense giants, I recollect the vast number of times I either exchanged business cards or merely received them from businesses hoping to do business with “me” (us). Occasionally, I would share them with my purchasing staff however, and in all honesty, the majority of the time I eventually just “filed” them, usually in a (infrequently used) rolodex or bottom of a drawer. Unfortunately, this scenario is not unusual today.

So what’s the point of swapping them in the first place? In theory, the objective of “the exchange” is to share critical business and contact information. From a supplier’s perspective, create lasting impressions to receive future orders as needs arise. From a procurement perspective, having viable sources readily available to meet technical demands and achieve mandated small business procurement goals. Did you know that government buyers and contractors still have procurement small business goals today? Yes, indeed!  (more…)

Entrepreneurship and Wounded Warriors

March 2, 2012

In the current economy where unemployment rates are already elevated for people in their twenties, the rate for Veterans sits at approximately 5% higher than the population as a whole. At the same time the SBA reports that veterans are more likely to start a business than the general population. Some reasons for this include the discipline and risk-taking they might have experienced in the field- when you’ve risked your life, taking a risk to start a business is put into an easier perspective. When you’ve been trained to get back up and keep going in the field, and to work precisely and closely with others, well, those are extremely useful entrepreneurial traits.

Because of the internet, the options for creating business and services create opportunities exist that weren’t imagined by veterans of previous eras. Even severely impacted people who might have needed in the past to be supported to live, are now often likely to need support to start something.

A welter of loans and grant programs for people with disabilities can be researched through the SBA and the Defense Department. But first it helps to know what one is doing and have a sense of the desired destination.  (more…)

The Importance of Including Google+ In Your Social Media Strategy

March 1, 2012

Yes, there’s yet another social network, and this time what you post directly correlates to the search results Google returns.

In early 2012, Google expanded the focus of its search results from great content, links, keywords and site architecture to include three new areas:

1. Personal results, such as Google+ photos and posts created by or shared specifically with the search user.

2. Profiles in search, meaning Google will display relevant people based on the search term.

3. People and Pages, including people profiles and Google+ pages Google thinks match the search query.

When Google users see fun pictures, people and profiles listed above your search results, you’ll probably notice a significant decrease in hits to your website. (more…)

Is your SMB seeking greater productivity? Consider the cloud

February 29, 2012

In our strained economy, it’s essential for small business owners to be able to do more with less, while maximizing productivity as much as possible. The advent of cloud computing has ushered in a host of ways small and midsized businesses (SMBs) can maintain and even increase productivity among workers. Here are a few areas in which cloud computing can help:

Collaboration and communication – It can be challenging to build a team of employees that work seamlessly together, with trust, transparency and teamwork as the foundation. Add to that the need to invest in and maintain technologies that facilitate effective collaboration – and you’ve got an even bigger hurdle.

Fortunately, the cloud makes it easy for SMBs to provide workers with integrated, intuitive ways to collaborate and remain productive in the process. Cloud productivity solutions that combine programs employees use the most – e-mail, document creation, messaging, conferencing, etc. – deliver enterprise-class capabilities at prices smaller organizations can afford, such as Office 365, which starts at just $6 per user per month.  (more…)