How to Fix Your Website When DIY Goes Wrong
Looking for an event venue? Check out Jupiter Hall in Manchester
Want to Be a Better Leader? Master These 3 Skills
Got Tech Woes? Save Time & Money With Computer Repair Today
3 Proven Strategies to Succeed in a Niche Market
You SUCK! Important lessons from your detractors
A quick look at co-working in the Granite State. Where to find it & why we love it
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It's September and that means it's time to double down and get real about this year's business goals.
Here's a quick video with all the answers...
Happy Autumn Everyone!
Is it just me, or is there something about back-to-school that makes me want to take on new projects?
And I don't know why. Between you and me, I hated doing homework and projects when I was in school, but there is something about being my own boss and picking my own jobs that keeps me excited about learning new skills and taking on new tasks.
Even the boring stuff.
If you are just starting out or looking to grow your business, this edition of Flackery is for you.
Our theme this quarter is building a strong foundation for your business and this edition is jam-packed with information, interviews, and profiles to help you kick it up to the next level.
Computers & Tech
We've got in-depth articles about how to find your niche, fix a website, and turn criticism into business gold.
With four months left in 2019 there is still plenty of time to reach this year's business goals. If you're struggling or just need a little nudge to find some direction, don't give up. If we don't have the answer in Flackery, chances are good that one of our members has the information you're looking for.
Please take a few minutes to check out our articles and advertisers. If you like what you see, share the magazine with your friends and colleagues. Or better yet, join the NH Business Guild.
Wondering why the heck we named
the NH Business Guild magazine
How to make a 5-hour workday work for you
How to fix your website when DIY goes wrong
Granite State Paralegal Services: Bringing New Options to Lawyersin a Changing Market
Why did I name the magazine Flackery?
10 Business lessons from the Manchester Police Department
3 Proven strategies to succeed in a niche market
Got tech woes? Save time and money with Computer Repair Today
Want to be a better leader? Master these 5 skills
A quick look at co-working in the Granite State
Check out our new section for meeting & event venues!
NH Business Directory Members
Congratulations! You reached yor goal, now what?
In every issue
By PAT HAMMOND, NH Business Guild
Leadership is a collection of skills that anyone with a need or desire can master
Engagement is such a huge issue in the workplace.
Every time you turn around employers are sending out employee surveys, hiring business coaches, and spending small fortunes on team building activities that do almost nothing to foster the kind of leadership that makes workers feel empowered and motivated to do their jobs.
It's mind boggling how much time and money companies waste on these activities with limited positive results, so I decided to go out and find my own answers to the question of what makes a person a leader.
How do you define leadership?
Is it a title?
Does someone have to be a manager to be a leader?
What about corporate officers who report to investors and have little interaction with employees? Are they leaders?
Maybe you have to come from the right family or have the right education.
Or is it a matter of prominence and popularity?
Charisma, money, and other trappings of power will help put you in the spotlight, but are they enough to make people follow you in the real world?
After sifting through a lot of information and misinformation I've come to the conclusion that leadership is a collection of five skills that anyone, no matter their background, job title, or education can learn.
A Leader Has Personal Discipline
Personal discipline is the most difficult skill to master because humans are hardwired to look inward at our own wants and needs first. You want to get a quarterly bonus, you want the corner office, you want to take six weeks off in the Bahamas. It doesn't matter what it is, your natural focus is going to be on what you want for no other reason than you want it.
When you're the leader, you have to have the self-discipline to remember the end goal and set aside your own wants and needs for the greater good.
A Leader Inspires the People Around Them to Greatness
Leadership is not about personal achievement, it's about fostering an environment where team members feel valued and empowered. It's letting people do their job and encouraging them to reach a little further.
Leaders know that engagement starts by giving people the room and encouragement to learn new skills and bring new ideas to the table.
A Leader Sees the Big Picture and Has a Plan
It doesn't matter if you're rolling out a new product, playing a football game, or planning a military incursion, you can't lead if you don't know where you're going.
No matter what their area of expertise, a leader must have the ability to see the big picture then develop and execute the plan to achieve it.
A Leader Understands Human Dynamics
Managers who blindly give orders aren't leaders.
A leader knows the individual quirks and needs of each team member. They know how certain people work together and how to use that knowledge to build a more cohesive team.
They understand what motivates one person may do nothing for another and they work to find a balance so everyone is motivated and engaged.
A Leader Earns Your Trust
There was a Gallup survey a few years ago that measured the engagement of American employees. The results showed that a staggering "70% of American workers are not showing up to work committed to delivering their best performance," and that lack of engagement is costing between $450 billion and $550 billion in lost productivity each year. Those numbers speak to lack of leadership and trust.
People need leadership. They want someone to take control and guide them so they can focus on their own area of expertise. They are also willing to afford a modicum of trust to people who are in positions of authority, but it only goes so far. After that, you have to earn it.
How do you do that?
Be honest and open in your communication.
Show that you have personal discipline.
Inspire your people to greatness, see the big picture, and connect with the people around you.
When you do all these things you set yourself up to earn their trust.
And when you don't, you lose it.
You don't have to have an MBA, you don't need to be in the c-suite, and you don't even have to be a manager. Leadership is a collection of skills that anyone can learn. All it takes is a willingness to step up and do it.
Want to be a better leader? Master these 5 Skills
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Leadership is a reflection of an individual's character and actions
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Between technology and the Great Recession, the legal world has taken a beating the last ten years.
More and more firms are cutting costs, eliminating support positions like secretaries and paralegals, and requiring associates to take on more of their own administrative tasks.
It all comes down to billable hours and profitability.
Today's clients are more frugal than ever and many firms have cut staff to the bone in an attempt to reduce overhead.
But at what cost?
Billing an attorney's full hourly rate for grunt work can become cost prohibitive to budget-conscious clients and may not be the best use of resources.
While they are more than capable of handling their own filings, interrogatories, or document preparations, these types of activities are better left to a paralegal so the firm's attorneys can pursue new cases and clients.
Like every other business, it's easy for local law firms to find their growth limited by resources.
Depending on your location, the cost of one staff paralegal in New Hampshire can run between $62,000 - $70,000 when you factor in salary, taxes, and benefits.  It's a major commitment for a mid-size firm and almost impossible for small firms and solo-practitioners.
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Working under your direction, Granite State Paralegal Services gives you the scalability you need to take on new cases without the cost of full-time salaries. And with short and long term options, Granite State Paralegal Services is the right choice for almost any firm's needs and budget.
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Rule #1 when dealing with haters is "Don't take it personally"
his is going to sound counter-intuitive, but you can find a lot of useful information by listening to your detractors.
I had a weird experience recently where someone asked me to them for coffee then proceeded to spend the next thirty minutes telling me how much I sucked.
This person wasn't a friend, client, or potential client, but they had been referred to me by several people who thought I could help them.
I could have gotten mad, I could have become defensive or gone on the offensive, but I didn't.
Because rule number one when dealing with haters is don't take it personally.
No one wants to hear they suck, especially from the really loud guy who isn't even close to being your ideal customer, but don't just shrug it off.
Unpleasant as they may be, there is business gold to be gleaned from these encounters.
Start by identifying:
Who is complaining
Why they are complaining
What their expected outcome is
If the person is your ideal client, then pay attention.
Are you missing an opportunity to expand your products?
Is it time to break into a new market?
Have your products/services
moved away from your stated mission?
If the person is not your ideal client then ask yourself why they are in front of you.
Is your brand message clear and effective?
Is it time to move into additional markets?
Should you think about making strategic partnerships with companies who offer companion services?
Take a hard look at your company's offering and how it presents itself.
There is always going to be the one contrarian who complains about everything, but when you start to get hordes of angry villagers with pitchforks it's time to get serious about listening.
If the person is a customer or potential customer then ask yourself:
What is causing their frustration?
Is it something you can fix?
Is the solution within your mission?
Remember that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.
If it's not a good fit for your business you can always find another company to refer people to. This is where having a strong network and strategic partnerships come into play.
In the case of my coffee date, I took notes and reviewed all these questions.
I knew it was unlikely I would ever branch out into the products and market this person was looking for, but the conversation warranted a hard look at my brand message.
Was it clear what services I offer?
Did I need to change anything to clarify my target audience?
Was there a big enough market for me to actively seek out someone who does offer the product?
There is always room for improvement and spending 30-minutes listening to a frustrated person vent did lead me to clarify some things and tighten up my message.
I wouldn't advocate seeking out angry customers, but the next time someone complains, especially if they're not an existing customer, take a few moments to listen.
There is a good chance that person's pain point is your next opportunity. And in a world where reputation is everything, being the person who listened is going to put you at the top of their list when they do need your service.
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Source: Colliers International 2019 US Flexible Workspace Outlook Report
Disclosure: NH Business Guild rents office space at WBC Office Suites.
f you're a business owner and haven't heard about co-working space you are seriously out of the loop.
Not only is it the answer to every entrepreneur's prayer, it's the hottest product to hit the commercial real estate market in the last twenty years.
The idea is genius. Fill post-recession vacancies with low-cost shared office space targeted at the new generation of startups and remote workers.
The concept is to create a professional environment, with all the amenities you would find at a large corporation, and rent a desk in that space by the day, week, or month.
Concierge services like phone answering, mail, business address, copy services
Conference & meeting rooms
Kitchens & common areas
It's a win/win for everyone and according to a recent report from Colliers International, flexible use co-working space has seen an incredible 50% annual increase since the idea first hit the market in 2010. 
Dan Scanlon, a senior associate with Colliers' Manchester office, says there is much less demand for conventional space in the local commercial market and that local co-working spaces provide the transitional space people who work from home are looking for.
Here in New Hampshire, the co-working trend is on fire.
The last five years have seen an explosion of open concept flexible use office spaces popping up all over the southern part of the state. In addition to co-working spaces like WBC Office Suites in Manchester, Regus and Gateway Hills in Nashua, and New England Executive Center in Bedford, new spaces have recently opened in Portsmouth, Milford, and Londonderry.
Pricing and amenities vary by property, but most spaces offer drop-in or day rates, monthly rates, or packages that include a fixed number of days.
Single-day passes for most local co-working spaces are around $25 and typically include access to all of the facility's public spaces and basic amenities.
Monthly rates for unassigned desk space typically range from $100 - $250 with the less expensive options offering fewer amenities. Monthly rentals and package deals often include additional benefits including conference room time, printing and copying, and a dedicated mailbox.
Co-working is the perfect choice for a startup or remote worker who is looking for professional office space without the cost or commitment of a regular office lease.
For more information about local co-working spaces, check out the three spaces featured below.
Where to find it & why we love it
Kitchen at WBC Office Suites, Manchester, NH
WBC Office Suites, Manchester, NH
For more information about WBC Office Suites:
1087 Elm Street, 2nd Floor
Manchester, NH 03101
WBC Office Suites, 1087 Elm Street, 2nd Floor, Manchester, NH
Black Brimmer Conference Room at WBC Office Suites, Manchester, NH
Main reception area of WBC Office Suites, Manchester, NH
Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Manchester, WBC Office Suites offers a relaxed, professional environment for Queen City startups and remote workers.
As WBC co-owner Greg Cullen says, "It's nice to be able to work around other people," especially when you've been working from home for a while. And the casual professional environment at WBC Office Suites is the perfect setting to meet other professionals and enjoy casual conversation when you need a break from work.
This space is in a secure building with 24/7 access for tenants. The facility has security cameras in all public spaces, and a staffed reception area to greet visitors during business hours.
This recently renovated modern space blends well with the building's historic architecture to create the perfect environment for business professionals to start and grow their business.
Amenities include multiple conference rooms, including the large Black Brimmer Room as well as several smaller rooms suitable for one-on-one meetings, private conference calls, and recording video or podcasts.
A large third-floor meeting room that can handle up to 50 guests is also available for special events and conferences.
The on-site kitchen features modern appliances, casual seating, and a wide variety of coffee, teas, on-tap beer, and snacks.
Monthly plans range from $150 for unassigned seating up to $350 for the Level 2 permanent workstation space.
All monthly plans include:
Complimentary coffee and drinks
Access to Wi-Fi lounge
Monthly conference room rental - 2 hours for the basic plan and up to 8 hours for Level 2 Workstation membership
Workstation 1 and Workstation 2 memberships also include:
Furnished workstation with lockable storage
Deluxe phone system
Business name on lobby directory
In addition to three monthly plans, WBC also offers a daily drop-in rate of $25, as well as a la carte conference room rentals, and full office suites for people who need a private office.
Conference room at Coworking House, Milford, NH
Co-founder Kristin Hardwick says Coworking House (CoHo) at 52 Nashua Street in Milford, New Hampshire differs from other New Hampshire co-working spaces because they are focused on creating an environment that fosters community, organic collaboration, and shared referrals. She goes on to say that "it takes a village to build a business and CoHo creates that village."
The newly finished, three-story space opened about a month ago with all the bells and whistles a remote worker or local entrepreneur could need.
Membership includes high-speed internet, desk space, and other standard amenities like coffee, conference rooms, and event space.
But what makes CoHo stand out among the competition are the exceptional extra perks designed to go the extra mile to help members succeed.
In addition to the usual conference room space, CoHo has a dedicated soundproofed A/V room for taping podcasts and video.
They also have a dedicated private Mother's Room. with it's own refrigerator and sink providing an ideal solution for a working mom who needs to nurse or pump milk during the workday.
Unique among New Hampshire co-working spaces, CoHo has a secure onsite childcare service for members called Kids Club.
This service gives parents up to two hours of supervised care while parents attend a meeting or work on a deadline. The program is open to children from 6-weeks to 7-years old at a cost of $10 per hour, $5 for each additional child, and requires a reservation 24-hours in advance.
There are three levels of membership private office, designated desk, and open seating.
Private Office is $699 per month and includes:
Lockable, fully furnished office
Personal branding options
4-hours of conference room time
and a very inviting month-to-month lease
Designated Desk is $299 per month and includes:
Assigned sit-to-stand desk
Locking filing cabinet
3-hours of conference room time
Open Seating has a part-time option at $99 for 5-days of site access per month and a full-time option for $199 for standard 24/7 access.
CoHo also has a budget-friendly $35 drop-in rate for people who need a break from the local coffee shop. Like the regular member plans, the drop-in option includes desk space, fast wifi, and free coffee.
Coworking space at Coworking House, Milford, NH
Coworking House 52 Nashua Street, Milford, NH
For more information about Co-Working House:
52 Nashua Street, Milford, NH 03055
Coworking House, Milford, NH
Library meeting room at Coworking House, Milford, NH
Hot benching at CoWERC , Londonderry, NH
For more information about CoWERC of Londonderry:
184 Mammoth Road Unit 3
Londonderry, NH 03053
Conference and networking area at CoWERC , Londonderry, NH
Known for his popular NH Business Show podcast, CoWERC of Londonderry owner Chris Pastrana opened this space in August with the goal of giving local startups and small business owners the tools they need to start and grow their business.
With the primary focus on connecting business owners with local experts and helping them develop strong strategic networks, Pastrana draws on his extensive network of business experts to host regular networking, weekly presentations, and classes on a wide range of business topics.
Pastrana says it's a great way for people to get in front of a local audience and share their expertise.
He adds that members and non-members are welcome to host classes or workshops and he is always on the lookout for guest speakers for the weekly presentations.
Like the other co-working spaces, CoWERC amenities include high-speed internet, coffee and tea, conference facilities, private office space, and open desk space.
The common areas are designed to encourage networking and a sense of community.
in addition to a conference area, the open floor plan includes a small stage for members to give presentations and host events.
Similar to Coworking House in Milford, CoWERC Londonderry has a dedicated media room for members to tape podcasts and video.
Monthly membership at CoWERC comes in at a very budget-friendly $100 per month. Day passes are available at a cost of $30, $100, and $180 for 1, 5, and 10-day passes respectively.
And if you need additional features, CoWERC just launched a new service called Virtual Office.
As a father of four, Pastrana understands the many benefits of working from home, especially when one of the kids is sick or has a snow day, but it can be challenging too.
Have you ever tried having a business meeting in a coffee shop? They're a great choice for meeting someone for coffee, not so good for presentations.
What about online tools like Google Business? It's great for getting your business on the first page of a search, but do you really want Google showing a map, complete with a picture of your house every time someone searches for your business online?
Business mailing address
Daytime phone answering service (9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
Use of conference room - 5 times a month
At a cost of $150 for non-members and $100 for members and the Virtual Office option solves the challenge of working from home without giving up the convenience.
CoWERC Londonderry, Londonderry, NH
Event stage at CoWERC , Londonderry, NH
Congratulations! You reached your goal, now what?
Success starts with SMART Goals
What do you do once you've reached your personal Everest?
We spend so much time working towards goals that sometimes achieving them seems anti-climactic. Or worse, you reach a goal and get stuck on what to do next. If you're feeling stalled after reaching your personal Everest we've got the tips you need to motivate.
By PAT HAMMOND, NH Business Guild
ave you ever noticed how much emphasis there is on goals?
Every time you turn around someone is asking about your goals.
What's your goal?
Do you have a five-year plan?
What's your next action?
If you're a follower of conventional wisdom, you've probably written out a long term goal and created a list of smaller short-term goals designed to get you closer to your ultimate goal over the next 3, 6, and 12-months.
It's a tried and true method of breaking large tasks into manageable chunks and there is a reason it's the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for anyone trying to start or grow a business
But what happens when you reach your goal?
There are thousands of articles about setting goals, but nobody tells you what to do after you achieve them.
What do you do once you've reached your personal Everest?
The first thing you do is acknowledge your achievement and celebrate your victory.
It may sound silly, but it's very easy to get so caught up with the minutiae of the day-to-day world that you lose sight of the finish line.
You're diligent about staying on task, adapting the plan to a changing environment, and conscientiously working through each action item.
You are in the zone. And like a swimmer in a long relay, you are so focused on the task at hand that you're barely coming up for air.
It's happened to me at least twice in recent years. I was working on multiple projects. I knew I was reaching benchmarks and checking off action items, but I was so busy working in the moment I wasn't paying attention to how close I was getting to the end.
If that's where you are today, take a bow and savor your accomplishment. Maybe even share it with your 500 closest social media friends.
Enjoy the moment while you can because once you check off the big one at the top of your to-do list someone is going to ask "what's next?"
In a perfect world, all our goals would evolve so the goals we reach today become the foundation for tomorrow's goals.
For example, once you reach a sales goal, your new goal might be to roll out a new product, hire more staff, or open a new location.
But what about personal goals?
What if your goal is to lose weight, finish your education, or plant a garden?
Those things have a set endpoint.
So what do you do when you get your MBA or lose those last five pounds?
How do you keep these major achievements from feeling anticlimactic?
The answer is simple. You start with reviewing your why.
Why did you want to lose weight? Was it to improve your health? Was it so you'd be able to go hiking, biking, or some other physical activity?
Did you get your master's degree with the idea that it would help you make more money or get a better job?
It may have seemed like it was the final destination, but was your original goal really just a major benchmark on the way to something bigger?
If the answer is yes, then you start over with a new goal.
But if the answer is no you're going to have to dig a little deeper.
If your goal truly was the ultimate achievement and there is nowhere else to go, Nadine Sacco, founder of Nadine Sacco Career Services, suggests paying it forward by looking outward.
"Those who have achieved everything they want can look outside themselves and set external goals to help others reach their goals by mentoring someone."
Helping someone else strive for their dreams can be the catalyst to new ideas and aspirations. And working with people who haven't "been there and done that" can help you shift your focus and see things from a new perspective without the baggage of old paradigms.
Goals are the cornerstone of success. They give us focus, a road map, and a timeline to accomplish the things we want to do.
There's no doubt that it feels incredible to check the box and cross off the last action item between you and achievement, but it can also be bittersweet.
Most of us don't put much thought into what's next and it can be overwhelming to come off a big project and realize there is nothing on your to-do list.
If you're nearing the end of your current goal, take a minute to appreciate your accomplishment.
Start thinking about what you want to do next and schedule some downtime to rest and recharge before you jump into a new project.
A little break between projects goes a long way to keeping you fresh and energized to launch a new project, even if you have no idea what your next big goal is.
As author Antoine de Saint-Exupery once wrote, "a goal without a plan is just a wish "
Make sure your goal is:
to start your plan with a strong foundation.
DREAM BIG - WORK HARD - MAKE IT HAPPEN
We know there isn't always enough time in the day to write your own content, NH Business Guild has teamed up with Lisa J. Jackson from Write Your Way to offer her Your Words, Your Way service to guild members.
Lisa will interview you about your business and story idea then craft it into a written article featuring your ideas and expertise.
DEADLINE: 30 Days before standard Flackery print deadline
Check out our affordable Your Words, Only Better program from Lisa J. Jackson
No time to write? No problem.
"Set external goals to help others reach their goals" Nadine Sacco, Founder Nadine Sacco Career Services
Refurbished desktop and laptop computers for sale at Computer Repair Today
Kevin Eng, Owner Computer Repair Today
Click, click, click... There was a time when that faint clicking noise coming from your laptop used to worry you, but now it's just the familiar sound of your hard drive failing.
Yes, you read that right.
Clicking isn't a good thing. It means the drive is struggling.
And if you haven't done a backup in a while, you might want to make it a priority. Like right now.
Do you think I'm kidding?
Have you ever spent an hour working on something only to have it blink off the screen? It's frustrating, right? Well imagine that feeling times 1,000 and you will understand the crushing sense of doom you will feel when your hard drive fails or a virus wreaks havoc on your files.
If the computer turns on you're looking at a blank blue screen with a blinking cursor that mocks you as it winks a steady beat on the monitor.
And if the computer doesn't turn on, you start praying to every deity known on planet Earth for a miracle to recover your files.
It's not so bad if you're tech-savvy, but how many of us are?
We're business people, not geeks.
Sure, we use computers for almost every component of business, but it's like driving a car. We all know how to turn the key and make it go, but most people have no clue how to change the air filter.
It wasn't an issue when you had a regular desk job. All you had to do was call tech support and the IT guy would walk you through the simple solutions before making a personal visit to your cubicle.
And he made it look so easy.
A few mouse clicks, maybe pop a thumb drive in a USB port and everything started working.
But what can you do now that you're on your own?
If you're feeling intrepid you can spend a day or two trolling chat rooms trying to decipher geek speak to find out if the evil blue screen is the result of a glitchy Windows update, failing hard drive, or virus.
But is that the best use of your time?
Even if you can get past the language barrier so you can ask questions and understand the answers, do you have the technical skill and equipment to effect a solution?
What if I told you there is another option?
Located at 169 Loudon Road in Concord, Computer Repair Today has the tech solutions you need at a price you can afford.
Unlike those crazy expensive mall geeks (you know who I mean), Computer Repair Today offers a very competitively priced diagnostic service.
Starting at $60, they will do a full scan of your hardware and software to track down the cause of your computer problems.
Virus removal is their number one requested service and Computer Repair Today owner Kevin Eng says it's not uncommon to find a machine with multiple viruses or a combination of hardware and software issues.
This is where Eng and his team shine. He says anti-virus programs help with prevention, but the best way to protect yourself from potential hardware or virus problems is to have a recent, pre-infection backup of your critical files.
And if your infection is ransomware, it's the only way to restore your system without paying the ransom.
Computer Repair Today offers a back up service to proactively back up your important files before your system fails. Once you have a backup it's easy for them to replace a failed drive and restore your files.
Without a backup, it becomes challenging.
They can usually recover non-corrupted files from a failed drive, but a damaged drive usually means damaged files and there is no guarantee of recovering everything.
In addition to troubleshooting sick computers, Computer Repair Today also replaces cracked screens on phones and tablets, builds custom computers for people who need more bells and whistles than an off the shelf option, and sell refurbished laptops and computers.
Computer sales, including refurbished laptops, desktops, and tablets is a service Eng added when he bought the business in March.
He says the biggest misconception about refurbished computers is that "most people think refurbished means that the computer was returned because it was broken."
The truth is that a refurbished computer can be anything from a birthday gift returned because it wasn't the model the recipient wanted to a corporate computer turned in for an upgrade.
Large companies often lease fleets of laptops and desktop computers with top of the line features and turn them in for newer models at the end of the contract.
Businesses like Computer Repair Today buy these pre-owned units for resale.
Eng says his team rigorously tests all previously owned computers, something, he points out, that manufacturers don't do with brand new models.
Any component that fails testing is replaced to create a modestly priced machine perfect for a business on a budget.
Even better, you can trick out one of these refurbished models with additional RAM and a new SSD drive to end up with a state of the art laptop capable of gaming or editing graphics for a fraction of the cost of new.
If you're looking for hands-on tech support or are in the market for a high-end computer on a start-up budget, stop by the shop or give Computer Repair Today a call.
Hours are Monday - Friday, 11:00 a.m - 7:00 p.m.
Put down the mouse and pick up the phone. Some hats aren't worth wearing. If your computer is giving your grief, call the experts at Computer Repair Today. You'll save time, money, and your sanity.
By PAT HAMMOND, NH Business Guild
Backroom workbench at Computer Repair Today
Diagnostic station in the workroom at Computer Repair Today
All Computer Repair Today refurbished computers come with a full 90-day guarantee
Laptops waiting to be tested and refurbished at Computer Repair Today
If you have received an IRS demand letter or are being audited, I can help.
n June 2015 Tower Paddles Boards owner Stephan Aarstol did the unthinkable when he announced that his San Diego based company was adopting a 5-hour workday.
At the time Aarstol said, "I run a business that sells stand-up paddleboards, so a shorter workday that freed our employees' afternoons for extraordinary living was a natural fit for our beach lifestyle brand."
His belief was that by embracing technology, shifting workers' focus from time to output, and losing the "always available" attitude, his company could cut hours and still maintain the same level of productivity.
One year later revenues were up by 40% and the startup made the Inc. 5000 list of American's fastest-growing companies. 
It would be easy to dismiss Tower Paddle Board's success as an anomaly but we're talking about a small startup generating $9 million a year in revenue.
And if you're thinking that it's not a model that can work for a more traditional service business, think again.
In 2017 Collins SBA, an Australian firm of financial advisors, adopted a shortened workday after their managing director, Jonathan Elliot, cut his own work hours to take care of his family during his wife's illness. 
Employees have the option of working from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. or 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Collins SBA says that meetings still happen after 2 p.m., but like Tower Paddle Board, they've found that the shorter workday results in greater productivity and happier workers.
Both companies admit that it's not uncommon for workers to stay beyond five hours to work on an important project, but the greater productivity and flexibility of the 5-hour day means it doesn't happen every day.
Which brings us to the question of how they make it work.
The short version is that a 5-hour workday is more a state of mind than mindlessly clocking five hours. It's about making conscious choices that enable you to focus on the most important tasks.
For Tower Paddle Board, that meant understanding Parkinson's Law that "work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion." By eliminating time-wasting, non-productive tasks, employees were able to focus on the things that needed to get done. That focus combined with technology resulted in greater productivity in less time with less effort.
On the service side, Collins SBA had to be a little more creative. Their service relies on staying up to date on real-time financial markets and being available during regular business hours for customers so they couldn't just forward the phones and close the doors at 2:00 PM.
Someone has to be available to take calls during standard business hours and employees are responsible for providing extended hours to clients as needed. Elliot says some days that means an employee works six or seven hours instead of five, but that doesn't happen often. 
Unlike a production-based company who can embrace automation, Collins relies on more subtle methods to trim hours. They have reduced or eliminated many meetings, the company provided training to better manage email, and the company doesn't allow employees to schedule personal appointments or take lunch breaks when working reduced hours.
One thing worth noting from these examples is that they are both small companies. At the time the program started, Tower Paddle Boards had 9 employees and Collins SBA had 38. Any loss in productivity or employee dissatisfaction would have been noticed right away.
The main reason the 5-hour workday works for these businesses, as well as my own, is because it forces employees to focus on the most important task that has to be accomplished today.
There is no time for trolling social media, going to meetings for the sake of going to a meeting or working on side projects that don't actively move a goal forward.
For me, that 5-hour block of time is devoted to the tasks that have to get done today. To ensure I am able to stay on task I start each day by asking three questions.
What did I finish yesterday?
What is my goal for today?
What are the obstacles?
Answering these questions every morning helps me review where I am, what I need to do, and anticipate potential challenges to getting things done. It may sound overly simple, but taking the step to do this every morning forces me to take a long hard look at what's going on around me and what's likely to interfere with my schedule.
Adopting a 5-hour workday required scaring back on projects and not filling in every block on my schedule. I admit that some days it is a struggle to say no to meetings or events that sound interesting, but after trying this program for 90-days, it's worth it.
My workdays aren't always limited to five hours, but by scheduling my key activities within that 5-hour window I have been able to manage unplanned meetings, interviews, and client issues without losing ground on my goals. And I'm happy to say that there are usually one or two days a week when I do get home by 3:00 p.m. and don't have to boot up a computer or spend the evening in my home office.
If you are looking for a way to be more productive and free up some time in your day, give it a try. You might just find that a 5-hour workday works for you.
Skip the overwhelm, I can help you make sense of your taxes.
Small Business Taxes
IRS Audits & Demand Letters
Estates & Trusts
Would you believe that a short er workday might be the key to getting more done in less time? Check out the article below to learn about the how's and why's of how a shorter work day may actually increase your productivity and improve your morale.
Ed Carter, CPA
1. My company implemented a 5-hour workday -- and the results have been astounding, Business Insider 9/24/16
2. What Happened When I Moved My Company To A 5-Hour Workday, Fast Company 8/30/16
3. An Australian company cut its working day down to 5 hours -- and became much more productive, Business Insider 5/9/18
4. Here's What Happened When a Financial Services Firm Changed Its Workday to 5 Hours, Inc.com 2/8/19
5-hour workdays can work for both service and product based businesses
I get it. Nobody wants to call (or pay) their web developer for minor tweaks like adding pages, changing background colors, or updating graphics.
I wouldn't want to part with my hard-earned cash for a couple of mouse clicks either.
But looks can be deceiving and what seems like two or three mouse clicks and a few bits of code can easily send a web design novice into a tailspin.
After more than 15 years as a web developer, I've fielded dozens of desperate calls about broken websites and can assure you that in most cases, they are easy to diagnose and fix.
Today I'm going to share the top three causes of DIY failure, how to avoid them, how to find them, and how to fix them.
My site is broken (after I tinkered with code)
Why aren't my CSS changes showing?
I updated a page but it still has the old layout or content
Most people don't dive into HTML or PHP on a whim, but if you've done some serious tinkering with backend code or deleted large swaths of theme files it will probably be easier for you to restore your website with a backup than it would be to wade through pages of unfamiliar code to find the solution.
And if you don't have a backup, be prepared to call your developer. With any luck, they will have a recent copy and it will only be a few mouse clicks to fix everything.
Missing Closing Tag = ; for PHP and /> for HTML
Problem 1: My site is broken (after I tinkered with code)
I know it's tempting, but it is generally inadvisable to make changes to back-end code like PHP or HTML on a live website.
If you're in a situation where you're feeling brave and bold and don't have someone to help you, I would strongly advise you to do a complete site backup and pull a copy of whatever page(s) you're editing before you make any changes.
And now that I've got that warning out of the way, I'm going to tell you that in the overwhelming majority of cases, a broken page is the result of a missing or misplaced closing tag.
It's super easy to do, especially when you copy and paste a snippet from another page or website.
If you have your backup you can revert to the original version and start over., but if you don't have a copy, you're going to have to open a text editor and fix it manually.
Open the broken source code in a text editor and make sure the code you edited has a closing tag. - Look for a semi-colon for PHP, or /> for HTML
If you don't remember what you changed, the second choice is to go line by line matching up open and closing tags until you find the one that is missing. (Kind of makes you wish you made a copy of the code before you changed it, huh?)
Cascading style sheets (CSS) make it super easy for a site owner to change a font color or background, but it can be incredibly frustrating when those changes don't show up on the live web page.
The good news is that the problem is usually caused by one of three things, a missing semi-colon, a missing closing bracket, or site cache. It's not quite as common, but another cause would be repeating a class in the style sheet.
Make sure each class starts and ends with curly brackets and that each style within the class ends with a semi-colon
Use search (ctrl+f) to see if the CSS class has been repeated in your style sheet.
Try clearing website and browser cache.
A website failing to display changes to content or layout is probably the most vexing of all problems. And almost every case, can be traced back to a website or browser cache issue.
Site caching is a key component of making your website load fast. Most people don't make a lot of changes to existing web pages so it makes sense to set your cache settings so they allow caching.
But, if you want to make changes to an existing website or web page, you should start by turning cache off until the updates are complete.
Every CMS is different, but most will have a box you can check or uncheck to turn cache on and off.
If you forgot to turn off caching before updating your page or if you turned off caching and the changes still aren't showing up, all is not lost. There are three things you can do to force an update.
Make sure you remembered to publish the page. Quite often a page will be perfect when you review the draft or saved version, but if you forget to republish the page it won't show up on the live website.
Clear browser cache. Sometimes the web browser will show an old version of your site so try clearing the browser cache before you start looking at other options.
Clear your website or web page cache. The method depends on what framework your site uses, but it typically involves clicking a button that says "clear cache." Refer to your CMS's help section if you're not sure where the clear cache option is for your website.
NOTE: This step may take repeated efforts before the site forces the cache to clear. If you're not sure if the problem stems from website or browser cache, try visiting your website in a private browser window.
Incognito mode does not cache web pages so every time you type in your website's URL it will show the most recent version. If you're still seeing the old content you will know right away that the problem is with your website's cache.
Problem 3: I updated a page but it's still showing the old layout or content
color: #0000ff; }
Problem 2: My CSS changes aren't showing
170 S River Road, Bedford, NH 03110
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Everyone has a job and they're all important, but at the end of the day, the task of protecting the city is a team event. And the best teams have players who can fill in where needed. Who in your office can step up and fill another person's shoes in a pinch?
2. Team up with bigger partners
Television portrays local police departments as hating when the FBI, Homeland Security, or some other federal agency shows up, but the truth is when it comes to police work, bigger agencies have better resources. Sometimes those resources are training and equipment, other times it's simply more boots on the ground. Who can you team up with to expand your offering?
3. Reach out and help your neighbors
The other side of that coin is that when it comes to local police departments, MPD is the biggest game in town and they are happy to lend a hand to help smaller departments around the state. Pooling resources with a smaller player can give you access to new ideas and innovation. Is there an entrepreneur or startup you can help to foster a future partnership?
4. Know your customer
The police department's target audience represents a diverse array of distinct customer segments with different wants and needs. That means they need to have different approaches when working with school kids, business owners, and concerned citizens. And the only way to do that is to clearly identify who your customer is, what they need, and how to reach them.
5. Be Visible
Social media is a great marketing tool, but it's not always enough. People want to do business with people they know, and sometimes that means actually going out and meeting people in the real world. Between School Resource Officers, Mounted Patrol, and Community Policing, Manchester has many officers on foot and interacting with the public in a way that makes them both visible and approachable. What are you doing to make you and your business visible in the community?
6. Practice, Practice, Practice
How many of us have a language or computer skill on our resume that we never use? Skills are one of those things that fall into the use it or lose it category. MPD officers routinely participate in drills and skills practices. This is especially helpful for teams because when teams practice together they not only hone their skills, they improve communication and build camaraderie.
7. Be Professional
Being professional isn't just about knowing how to do your job, it's also about attitude. When you're a cop, chances are good that the person in front of you is having a bad day. The only way to control the situation and keep it from escalating is to be polite, empathetic, and honest. In other words, be professional.
8. Branding is Key
MPD may have to market to many different audiences, but their overarching brand is consistent. Professional, compassionate, and visible. Whether they are interacting with school kids, business owners, or people committing crimes, the Manchester Police Department maintains a consistent image through their appearance, policies, and actions.
9. Have systems and protocols for everything
Have you ever worked in an office where everything came to a standstill because the one guy who knew how to do something went on vacation? Systems make things run smoothly. When everyone knows and understands what tasks must be completed in a given situation it not only improves communication, it reduces the risk of human error and makes it easier to rotate in new people to cover vacations and fill vacancies.
10. Shoot to Kill
The police do not want to hurt people, but when the threat is imminent and all other options have failed, they will pull the trigger. As a business owner, you have to be able to make difficult decisions and stand by them. Sometimes that means firing a team member, other times that might mean firing a client or retiring a product.
Think about how each of these tips can be applied to your business. Is there a way to partner up with a competitor? Maybe you can host an event or volunteer with a local charity to make your business more visible.
You don't have to reinvent the wheel, but you might be surprised how much of a difference applying one or two of these tips will make to your business.
A few months ago I had the opportunity to attend the Manchester Police Department's Citizen's Police Academy. Among the many things I learned during the eight-week program, the one that surprised me was how closely the running of the department paralleled running a business.
As the head of the state's largest city's police force, Chief Carlo Capano has to manage a finite set of resources to tackle the evolving role of a modern day police force.
In addition to traditional responsibilities like stopping and solving crimes and helping citizens in need the Manchester Police Department (MPD) also has to be available for state and federal task forces, mutual aid to neighboring towns, and the quadrennial insanity we call First in the Nation.
As the chief, Capano is tasked with upholding the law and protecting the people of the city with the allotted staff, money , and equipment .
And unlike you and I, he can't add products or expand his market to generate new revenue.
The following list reflects my observations of the top ten ways MPD overcomes their limited resources to uphold the brand and get the job done. Each of these tips addresses a specific area and are easy to replicate for almost any business.
Did you know that the Manchester Police Department offers a wide variety of safety programs for you and your business?
Women's Safety Clinics
Workplace Violence Seminars
Urban Safety Programs
Safety for Home Visitors Seminars
Bank Robbery Seminars
Pharmacy Robbery Seminars
Runner's Safety Seminars
Internet Safety for Parents
Bullying Awareness Programs for Parents.
College Campus Safety Programs
Street Drug Awareness for Parents
Safety for Realtor's Seminars
Safety Training for Schools
Convenience Store Robbery Prevention Clinics
Shoplifting Prevention Seminars
Teen Safety Clinics
Fraud & Scam Clinics
Senior Safety Presentations
For more information visit manchesternh.gov/police
1. Manchester Police Department is currently taking applications for the 32nd Citizen's Police Academy.
2. The fiscal year 2020 Manchester Police Department budget set by the Board of Mayor and Alderman is $25,285,675
Safety Programs from MPD
Artist Daryl Johnson conducting workshop at Jupiter Hall
STF troupe performing at Jupiter Hall
89 Hanover Street, Manchester, NH
Looking for event space?
Tucked in the heart of the theater district, Jupiter Hall is a hidden gem that solves the granddaddy of event challenges, finding the right space.
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Jupiter Hall is an intimate mixed-use space that can be easily staged for a wide variety of corporate and community events.
Room set up can be oriented lengthwise or horizontally and includes options for pub tables, round tables, or theater seating.
The space also has multiple presentation screens including a new rear-projection theater screen.
And while they also offer professional lighting and sound system, the room is intimate enough that timid speakers can get by without using a mic.
In addition to facility amenities, Jupiter Hall is conveniently located downtown with ample parking on the street or the nearby parking garage.
Depending on the seating arrangement, this bijoux hall is big enough to handle around 75 - 100 guests but cozy enough not to overwhelm small gatherings.
Pricing varies by event and setup but is well within reach of a small business owner looking to host an event.
For more information contact Katie Bérubé, 603-289-4661.
Facing page, Alli Beaudry and Friends concert on 5/31/19 at Jupiter Hall . Alli Beaudry , Paul Nelson, Nick Phaneuf , Charlie Chronopoulos, and Max Weinstein shown.
There is no value in reaching 50,000 people if the one person who needs your product isn't one of them
he whole concept of niche marketing is pretty simple. Target one audience, figure out their pain point and provide a solution to fix it.
It's business 101, right?
So why do so many business owners struggle when it comes to finding their focus and sticking to it?
That's a rhetorical question. The answer is fear.
They are afraid their target market isn't strong enough to support them
They are afraid of missing opportunities
They are afraid of failure
And because of these fears, they ignore one of the basic tenets of business, know your customer.
Instead of identifying who needs their product and creating a plan to reach them they cast a wide net with the hope of scooping up as many prospects as possible.
It's called spray and pray marketing.
You blast a message to the widest range of people possible and hope to reach at least one of your targets.
There is no value in reaching 50,000 people if the one person who needs your product isn't one of them. Sure, with enough time and money you might be able to convert some fringe people into customers, but you need paying customers today.
With that in mind, doesn't it make more sense to focus your efforts on targeting the people who want and need your services?
To prove how well this strategy works, we're going to take a look at a technique called niche marketing.
Niche marketing is when you take a marketing segment and scale it back to a small subset of people within that demographic.
The benefit of this type of marketing is that it forces you to optimize your resources and focus your efforts on the one group that is most likely to pay for your services.
Every industry, product or service has a viable niche. Your job as a small business owner is to define your value proposition and identify the specific market that needs it.
Manchester hair salon Tower of Curls is a perfect example of niche marketing. Owner Erica Sowa is a skilled stylist who could have made a good living hanging out her shingle as a regular hairstylist, but she recognized that nobody offered a service that spoke to the special needs of people with curly hair.
She says that more than 70% of the population has curly or wavy hair, but most stylists are taught to treat all hair as though it's straight. So she went out and got certified as a curly hair specialist. She knows how to cut straight hair and is happy to work with straight-haired clients, but she markets to the part of the population who struggles with wayward curls and frizz.
In this case, it's brilliant because her niche is the majority of the population, but it can work for almost any product as long as the market is large enough to support your business. The main benefit of niche marketing is that you are able to focus your time and effort on one specific product or market, but that doesn't mean there isn't a little wiggle room.
Repackaging for new markets
Publisher Carol Robidoux from Manchester Ink Link does this beautifully.
Her business name clearly defines that her target audience is people who live in or around Manchester and it lets people know right up front that the majority of the stories, news, and content is going to be about people and events in Manchester.
As a startup, she manages a lean organization and doesn't have the resources to run sustained coverage of news outside of her niche, but because she has strategic partnerships with organizations like Nancy West's InDepthNH.org and the Granite State News Collaborative, Manchester Ink Link is able to provide important coverage of news from the state level and share content with news organizations around the state.
While the goal of niche marketing is to identify a specific audience and provide a solution to their problem, there is no reason that solution can't be modified and repackaged for other markets.
Cynthia Kalina-Kaminsky, President of Process & Strategy Solutions provides supply chain solutions to Fortune 500 companies, but after fielding countless questions from small and mid-size businesses, she decided to take the core concepts of supply chain theory and package it as an online class for smaller organizations.
It's a win-win. The class, Performance Magic, is designed to give business owners and managers the tools to develop strategies to take their businesses to the next level. And because it's not a hands-on solution like Kalina-Kaminsky and her team provide to larger organizations, she can afford to provide the course at a much lower price than a custom consultation.
It's super easy to lose focus once the wheels start moving. You get a little bit of momentum and the next thing you know you are adding products and services that are well outside your original plan.
This is where having a vision and a plan come in.
Chef Joe Grella, owner of Presto Pasta in Manchester, opened the doors to this neighborhood eatery with the idea of bringing quality, affordable meals to neighborhood families. This is a man who has spent most of his career preparing meals in resorts and high-end restaurants. He was used to serving 700 - 1000 covers a day at work but was embarrassed when he realized that he was so busy preparing other people's meals that he was feeding his family fast food and frozen dinners. That was when he decided he had to do something.
Grella embraced his roots and opened a small restaurant in a working-class neighborhood. The menu is a blend of take-out and ready-to-heat meals based on the recipes his grandparents made for family meals when he was a kid. With his reputation and background, he could have easily found backers to open a restaurant in Bedford.
He could have even had a similar offering with take-out and ready-to-heat meals and charged a much higher price, but his goal is to feed working-class families like his own.
Like the other business owners we've looked at, Grella has ancillary products and partnerships, but his focus is always on the primary mission of making affordable, high-quality, family-friendly meals.
All of these businesses found success by narrowing their focus to one specific market segment. Once they had traction they were able to extend their reach and re-purpose their product to a new market, but their primary vision always goes back to their target market.
The lesson here is that while it's always good to think big if you want to be successful you need to focus on the smaller targets. Because once you find your niche and own it, there is going to be some flexibility to explore other products or markets as long as we remember to stay true to the mission.
1. Find your niche and own it
There is no reason products can't be repackaged for other markets
2. Be flexible
Need help with business development, strategic planning, or marketing? NH Business Guild has many tools and programs to help you jump start your New Hamspshire business.
Forget about products, sell solutions...
3. Stay true to your mission
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Cover Photo Kid's Blocks by Marta Dehnel on freeimages.com
p. 5 Photo by Stephen Ellis on Unsplash
p. 8 Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
p. 13 Photo Court Building by Claire Anderson on Unsplash
p. 14 Photo by Icons8 team on Unsplash
p. 18-21 Photos provided by author
p. 22-23 Photos provided by Coworking House
p. 24-25 Photos provided by CoWERC of Londonderry
p. 26 Photo by Bruce Mars on Unsplash
NH District Small Business Administration: Free online tools, articles, and links to partner resources.
Center for Women & Enterprise: Free and budget-friendly classes and workshops
NH Small Business Development Center (NHSBDC): Free online tools, budget-friendly mentoring & business advice.
Veterans Business Outreach Center for New England: Free resources for veterans, active duty service personnel, and their spouses interested in starting or expanding their own business. Includes information about how to start a business, business planning, funding, and other general business topics.
Live Free and Start: Live Free and Start is a collaboration between the Governor's office and the private sector. They offer many free resources for local small business owners looking to start or grow their business in the Granite State. This is a great resource for anyone looking to prepare or seek outside funding.
p. 27 Photo from photocamdavis on freeimages.com
p. 30-33 Photo provided by author
p. 35 Time Clock photo by Fons Reijsbergen from freeimages.com
p. 38 Gorilla on Computer by Ryan McGuire on Gratisography.com
p. 44-45 Photos by Carol Robidoux from Manchester Ink Link
p. 46 Photo provided by author
p. 48-49 Photos by Jupiter Hall
p. 50 Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash
Business Mentoring & Planning
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WBC Office Suites: Conference room, meeting, office and desk space.
Jupiter Hall: Meeting and event space.
Coworking House (CoHo): Conference room, meeting, office and desk space.
CoWERC of Londonderry: Conference room, meeting, office and desk space.
For a small state New Hampshire has an abundance of free and low-cost resources for startups and small business owners. Here is a short list of organizations who offer classes, tools, and one-on-one mentoring to help you with your business challenge.
Business Meeting & Event Space
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Promote YOUR Business in Flackery!
Flackery is now accepting YOUR featured posts & sponsored content!
Ed Carter, CPA
Get the biggest bang for your buck with a digital ad in Flackery!
The great thing about a digital publication is that your ads are digital too. This means your ad isn't limited to basic content and contact information.
Link to Website, Landing Pages & Social Media Platforms
Embed Digital Media (Video, Audio)
Coupon Codes, Special Offers & More!
Even better, your Flackery ad is shareable, pinnable content that is available 24/7. All it takes is a few shares and the potential audience is exponential.
When was the last time a print ad did that?
No time to write? No problem!
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Not only will the article be included in Flackery, this is original content you can share with clients, on your website & social media!
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It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that a stagnant mind leads to stagnant ideas which lead to stagnant sales.
Don't worry, you don't have to go back to school, learn a new trade or anything over the top to stay relevant. Sometimes something as simple as learning a new skill or finding a new way to use an old one is enough to get your creative juices flowing and your business moving forward.
Business Rule #13: Learn something new