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  • 10-Mar-2015 2:14 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    To view the March, 2015 nRPCN Newsletter, CLICK HERE.

  • 10-Mar-2015 2:12 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    To view the February, 2015 RPCN Newsletter, CLICK HERE.

  • 29-Dec-2014 2:00 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    Happy New Year!

    By Dave Bassett, RPCN President

    I hope everyone’s holidays went well and I wish you a prosperous new year. We ended the year with a holiday dinner party at the Towpath Café that was well attended and quite festive. It was capped with the presentation of the Linda Halliburton Dedicated Service award to three extremely friendly and helpful colleagues from the Rochester Public Library’s Business and Social Sciences Division – Linda Halliburton, Carolyn Johnson and Jennifer Byrnes. These three have been tremendous friends of RPCN for many years and great advocates for us. I look forward to seeing and working with them in the coming year. We also were treated to the musical talents of our very own Janice Hanson and her husband Craig.


    (Photo by Janice Hanson. View more photos on the RPCN Facebook page.)

    2015 should be an exciting year for RPCN as we are now officially celebrating our 25th anniversary. We have many events planned for the coming year. It starts off in February and March with the third class of the RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp, which will run every Tuesday in February and the first Tuesday in March. If you sign up by January 16, you can get an early-bird discount on attendance.

    We’ll follow that up on April 7 with a full-day conference to help you improve your small business. We have a large roster of speakers and will present topics that will be beneficial to consultants and service businesses. Whether you are just starting out or have been established for many years, our three tracks will provide something both useful and interesting. There also will be several opportunities for sponsorship, advertising and exhibit booths, so there will be many ways that you can attach and promote your business and name at the event.

    That will be followed by our 25th anniversary dinner on April 21. We’ll be introducing our RPCN Entrepreneur Wall of Fame and handing out five awards that night. We need you to make nominations. Click here to open a PDF of the nomination form.
    Nominations will be accepted through March. Details about the award and a web-based nomination form will be posted on the RPCN website at a later date. We hope to have a couple more surprises lined up for that night, so be sure to check the newsletter for details in the coming months.

    We will also hold another TrendTalk in the late spring. The focus of this one will be the public sector/local government. Our first two TrendTalks went very well and we expect this one to be just as informative and fun.

    We expect to end the 2014–2015 program year with a canal boat ride in the early summer.

    With all these activities, plus several others going on behind the scenes, it’s a busy time for RPCN. It’s also fun. If you’d like to help, we’d love to have you contribute. All of our committees are actively looking for volunteers to help out. To get involved, just check out the website for the contact info for the particular committee you’re interested in or contact me at president@rochesterconsultants.org.

    Please also feel free to contact me with your thoughts on how we’re doing, what you think we’re doing well and what you think we could do better. The members are the lifeblood of RPCN, and we look forward to your enthusiasm and continued participation. Thank you for your support!


    Early discount deadline extended for RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp

    By Bob Lurz

    The $50 discount for early registration to the 2015 RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp has been extended through January 16, 2015. Join RPCN when you register and save another $70. The Boot Camp starts on Tuesday, February 3, and runs for five weeks at High Tech Rochester.

    As advertised, the Boot Camp is a unique set of presentations, workshops and panel discussions. The major focus is on helping you understand the service you provide, the clients you serve, the value you bring to your clients and how to market yourself as a consultant.

    Highlights of the 2015 Boot Camp will include presentations by:

    • Mike Riedlinger of High Tech Rochester, who will give an overview of his consulting journey
    • Lawyer Jon Lazenby, Esq., who will review the major factors (liability, taxes, etc.) in choosing a legal business entity
    • Bruce Katcher, author of the Boot Camp textbook, An Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice, who will join via Skype to overview choosing a business model, marketing and selling
    • Workplace Communication Coach Beth Sears, who will talk about managing your image as a consultant
    • Strategic Marketing Consultant Deborah Mourey, who will show us how to build business through social media
    • A panel of successful consultants, who will reveal marketing methods that work for them

    The Boot Camp high point will occur when participants present their value propositions to a panel of evaluators and get immediate expert feedback.

    Click here to register now! And for a full day-by-day listing of the presentations and topics, click here.

    Questions? Contact Bob Lurz, leader, RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp at RFLurz@ConsultantsAccelerator.com or call 585-544-2387.


    RPCN founding member Bob Boser found business value in membership

    Interview by David Powe; writing by Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, RPCN Communication Committee

    Bob Boser, one of the founding RPCN members, recalls that “RPCN grew out of a Kodak reduction in force. Several professionals left together with the idea of building a business with their professional skills. They realized that they did not have all of the requisite skills and decided to work together to build those skills. The intent was to learn together, network and provide a supportive environment for each other.”

    No longer a consultant, Boser is currently director of Business Excellence at Janssen Supply Group, LLC (part of Johnson & Johnson) in the Greater Philadelphia Area.

    Being involved with RPCN helped Boser in his career in a number of ways. “It taught me simple communication skills for business,” he said. “In the early days of email, with no websites or social media, I learned collaboration and RPCN provided a support network. It taught me about business structure.”

    To read the rest of the article, including his advice for today’s RPCN members, visit this page on the RPCN website.


    Where were you 25 years ago?

    By Janice Hanson

    As RPCN celebrates its 25th anniversary, we are planning to include stories from RPCN members in upcoming newsletters about where they were and what they were doing in 1990, when RPCN first started. To share your story (125 words or less), please email editor@rochesterconsultants.org. I will get it started:

    In 1990, I started work as office manager for the renowned landscape architect Dan Kiley, whose office was in a renovated farmhouse just south of Burlington, Vermont. A colleague of architects Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei and Richard Meier, he was quite a character. I remember asking him when I interviewed what kind of job security there was, and he replied, “None!” But he did take care of his employees. A few years later, when he closed the office and laid everyone off, I took the time while on unemployment to decide what I really wanted to do, and ended up working in marketing at a performing arts center, which led to a career in marketing, editing, and proofreading.


    Making your business better

    According to RPCN member Tracey Aiello, hiring older workers often pays off as they choose personal satisfaction over career advancement and do not often jump ship when a higher-paying job comes along. Tracey's article "Choose Seasoned Employees" was selected by the Democrat and Chronicle for a Nextpert column. Click here to view a PDF of the story.
     
    What's on your list of must-read books for starting a business? Check to see if any of your titles made it on this list: 5 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read.


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    In this issue:


    “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit...
    Aristotle


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Janice Hanson, Chair
    Barbara Moore
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal
    Collin Paran
    Sheryl Rhodes

    Please send articles for the February newsletter by January 15.


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    Facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, January 2, 2015
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and phones. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    Annual Tax Update Seminar
    Presented by John Foote, Expert Tax Group
    Friday, January 9, 2015
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    In this presentation about federal and state tax law changes, you will learn how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) affects consultant businesses, key tax details for consultants for 2015 and how recent congressional actions affect consultants. He will also talk about retirement options for consultants, and offer tax tips.

    Business Forum
    Facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, January 16, 2015
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library
       
    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, January 16, 2015
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, after the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    Living Authentically: A Business Strategy
    Presented by Rick French
    Friday, January 23, 2015
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Take part in an interactive and stimulating conversation about using your passion and your authentic self to be more fully alive and effective in your work and life. This is an exploration of how to more closely tie what we do with what we believe. Adventurer and mountain climber Rick French of Pack, Paddle, Ski – who leads treks to Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro – will share how to tap into passion in what you do, the importance of being present in your work and the importance of fun (or, if it’s not fun, why do it?).

    Click here to hear him talk about his upcoming presentation in a video recorded at High Falls.

    RPCN “Surprise Thursday” Social
    Thursday, January 29, 2015
    6:00 PM
    Location TBD

    There is no RPCN meeting on Friday, January 30, the fifth Friday of the month, so if you are beside yourself for what to do, or want to get to know your RPCN colleagues in a more informal setting, come to this social gathering (location TBD). Cost is $5, with appetizers provided; cash bar. Bring friends, colleagues or clients.


    Of interest

    Marketing with the Internet of Things: IoT (the Internet of Things) is a hot topic in the news, but is it really affecting consumer behavior? From a marketer’s perspective, we need to understand how these devices will change our lives and how we can use them to reach consumers in unique ways. Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 7:30 AM; Rochester Museum and Science Center. For more information, visit the Digital Rochester website.


    New members

    RPCN welcomes the following new members.

    George Vito
    Deborah Pearce

    Not an RPCN member? You can join the RPCN now to receive great benefits, including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory and discounts to RPCN events such as the conference and TrendTalk. Click here to join the RPCN.

  • 02-Dec-2014 2:40 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    Join RPCN for some holiday cheer!

    The Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN) kicks off its 25th anniversary celebrations with a Holiday Dinner Party on Thursday, December 11, 2014, at the Bistro at Towpath Café, 6 North Main Street in Fairport. The event begins at 5:30 PM with a cocktail hour and networking. Dinner starts at 6:30 PM.

    Bring a guest and join your RPCN peers for some holiday cheer! Learn about the exciting and educational 25th anniversary events RPCN has planned.

    Our menu includes appetizers, butternut squash soup, salad, pork tenderloin in cider cream sauce, chicken-artichoke French, angel hair pasta, garlic smashed potatoes, fresh seasonal vegetables and assorted desserts. Your coffee, tea or soda is included in the price. There is a cash bar.

    Since this is the season to give back, we are collecting canned goods to donate to Foodlink. Help a neighbor in need by bringing a canned good to the dinner.

    Tickets are $20 for members and $30 for guests and can be purchased through the RPCN website, www.RochesterConsultants.org. Please RSVP by Thursday, December 4.

    If you have any questions, please contact Laurie Enos at 585-315-4941 or Laurie@BlueDogMktg.com.


    Charter member recalls RPCN’s earliest days

    Interview by David Powe; editing by Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, RPCN Communication Committee

    Chris Leavitt, file photo As RPCN prepares to celebrate 25 years in 2015, RPCN board member David Powe talked with charter – and first female – member Chris Leavitt about her recollections of how the organization began, what makes a good consultant and more. Here are highlights of the conversation.

    Q: What do you remember about how the organization came into being?

    A: I would not be surprised if Dave Young got the thing going, but it was composed of seven Kodak guys initially. Ted Fraser recruited me on a plane when we were both going to consulting gigs. I think John Foote joined at just about the same time. I also remember Roger Vickery.
     
    We met in homes and sat in a circle talking about how the consulting game worked. No one had a realistic idea – they thought all consultants worked like Kodak consultants and all logistics were worked like those at Kodak. Discussions were often very unrealistic. As each mirrored the other, there was no telling them anything for a long time. I almost dropped out, but I really liked John and Roger, so I stuck it out with them.

    After we got a “constitution,” we began to get organized and John and Roger pretty much put the squeeze on me to run for VP, which was also the Program chair. I was pretty scared, but did it anyway, and it proved to be a wonderful experience. I learned how to work in a room full of men, all of whom saw themselves as experts in their field, which back then was almost all quality.

    Our meetings soon grew from the seven or nine original members to 20, 25 and 40 members, and then more and more. We had swell meetings with really neat speakers and gained lots of information. We had a lot of fun.

    How did the RPCN help you in your career?

    Mostly by helping me find good people to hire. I also developed leadership skills and self-confidence by working with lots of guys in suits with loud voices. The real consultants were quiet and never the “expert voice”; just sitting and quietly listening.

    To read the rest of the interview, including her advice for both new and experienced consultants, visit this page on the RPCN website. (Chris Leavitt photo from files.)


    Season’s greetings

    By Dave Bassett, RPCN President

    I hope all had a great, festive Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for, and the continuing support of the members of this wonderful organization is up toward the top of that list. Thank you for the responsibility you’ve entrusted me with in overseeing the efforts of this talented, diverse group of volunteers who make RPCN work as well as it does. There are so many people who allow RPCN to keep up with the services and benefits of membership that our members have grown to expect and appreciate through the years – I am hesitant to try to mention them all, as I’m certain that I’ll forgot somebody, but here goes.

    The board members and committee heads who directly make the day-to-day working of RPCN happen – on the board: Michael Van der Gaag, David Powe, Sandy Glanton, Jerry Seward, Janice Hanson, Mark Schrader, Mike Molaire and Laurie Enos; heading up our committees: Steve Royal, Ruth Balkin, Bob Lurz and Peter Burns; the people working on various committees (some of whom work on multiple committees): Tracey Aiello, Jim Barton, Ruth Thaler-Carter, Barbara Moore, Emily Carpenter, Mary Sperr, Bob Lewis, Joe Groden, John Foote, Lori Cohen, Bill Vallee, Bob Manard, Judy Shenouda and Peter Rios. We’ve also had a few newcomers pitch in when they’ve been able: Latanya Bispham-Robinson, Collin Paran and Fred Lutz.

    As you can see, it takes a lot of people to make this group run as smoothly as it does. And as mentioned above, I am certain that I am forgetting somebody; please forgive any lapse, it is not intentional!

    Consulting Business Boot Camp
    We’ve accomplished a lot this past year, including reinstituting the Consulting Business Boot Camp this past February, under the leadership of Bob Lurz. The program was full useful information and the classroom at MCC was packed. We had such a good response from this boot camp (and the original one as well) that I am very pleased that Bob has agreed to hold another one this February and March. To accommodate the demand, we’re moving the boot camp back to HTR so we can squeeze in a few more participants.

    TrendTalk
    We also held the second in an ongoing series of TrendTalk dinner panels this past May. The theme was Rochester’s human services sector and Mike Molaire, who spearheaded the effort, brought in three excellent dynamic speakers – Marlene Bessette, Carol Love and Michelle Prohov. We look forward to providing another TrendTalk this spring with a focus on local government.

    Conference
    We will be holding a full-day conference on Tuesday, April 7, at MCC. We have a large roster of speakers and will be presenting topics that will be beneficial to consultants and service businesses. Whether you are just starting out or have been established for many years, our three tracks will provide something of interest. There also will be several opportunities for sponsorship, advertising and exhibit booths, so there will be many ways that you can promote your business and name at the event.

    25th anniversary
    In 2015, we’ll be celebrating our 25th anniversary with a celebratory dinner/awards ceremony on Tuesday, April 21, as the main event. Check this newsletter for more details in the coming months as we get closer.

    With all these activities, plus several others going on behind the scenes, it’s a busy time for RPCN. It’s also fun. If you’d like to help, we’d love to have you contribute. All of our committees are actively looking for volunteers to help out. To get involved, just check out the website to get the contact info for the particular committee you’re interested in or contact me at president@rochesterconsultants.org.

    Please also feel free to contact me with your thoughts on how we’re doing, what you think we’re doing well and what you think we could do better. The members are the lifeblood of RPCN, and we look forward to your enthusiasm and continued participation. Thank you for your support!

    This has been a busy and fun year for me, especially these last six months; I look forward to the coming new year. I hope that your 2014 has been successful and wish you even greater successes in the coming year. Peace.


    Registration is now open for 2015 Consulting Business Boot Camp

    By Bob Lurz

    Here’s your opportunity to start up or refresh your consulting business. At the 2015 RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp (February 3–March 3 at High Tech Rochester), you will learn to:

    • DEFINE your services, clients and benefits
    • CHOOSE a legal entity (DBA, LLC, Corp, liability, taxes)
    • BUILD your reputation and image
    • MARKET your consulting services
    • DISCOVER your value to potential clients
    • PRESENT your value proposition and receive feedback

    Some comments from past Boot Camp participants:

    “As a result of the Consulting Boot Camp, I felt empowered, capable and challenged to begin my own consulting work.”

    “Helped me think seriously about my consulting business."

    “Allowed me to be in an environment of other people attempting to do the same thing, and I learned a lot and accelerated my business by being in that environment. One thousand percent better than sitting at home trying to go through this solo."

    A unique experience
    After the presentations and workshops, you top off your Boot Camp experience by pulling together the value proposition of your consulting practice. You present your value proposition in a scenario that describes your prospect’s problem, your value and the results you bring. You have 10 minutes, uninterrupted, to present to a panel of evaluators. You receive immediate feedback and improvement advice on your stand-up presentation of services, benefits and proposed results. Participants consider this the high point of their Boot Camp experience.

    Save $50 when you register by December 15. Prices go up December 16. Join RPCN and save $70 on the Boot Camp. Click here to register now!

    Questions? Contact Bob Lurz at RFLurz@ConsultantsAccelerator.com or call 585-544-2387.

     

     

     

    In this issue:


    “Have the gumption to try something new, and the grit to see it through.” Karen Wynn Fonstad (American cartographer, 1945-2005)


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Janice Hanson, Chair
    Barbara Moore
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal
    Collin Paran
    Sheryl Rhodes

    Please send articles for the January newsletter by December 15.


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, December 5, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and phones. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    RPCN Holiday Dinner Party
    Thursday, December 11, 2014
    5:30 PM - 8:00 PM
    The Bistro at Towpath Café, 6 North Main Street, Fairport

    Join RPCN for some holiday cheer! RPCN kicks off its 25th anniversary celebrations with a Holiday Dinner Party. The event begins at 5:30 PM with a cocktail hour and networking; buffet dinner starts at 6:30 PM. Since this is the season to give back, we are collecting canned goods to donate to food link. Help a neighbor in need by bringing a canned good to the dinner. Tickets are $20 for members and $30 for guests. Please register by Thursday, December 4.

    Great Consulting Service, But Who Needs It?   
    presented by Bob Lurz (with assistance from Barb Moore)
    Friday, December 12, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    This presentation shows you how to interview potential clients to discover if they need and want your service (and what to do if they don’t). If you don’t discover your prospects’ opinions about your value, you risk building a consulting practice that won’t meet your goals. You’ll learn how to build an interviewing strategy, then observe role plays that demonstrate the “Do’s & Don’ts.” Our Motto: “Ask, don’t sell.”

    Here is a video introduction to his presentation:


    Business Forum
    facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, December 19, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library
       
    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, December 19, 2014
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, after the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    No Meeting
    Friday, December 26, 2014

    There will be no RPCN meeting today because of the holidays.


    Making your business better

    Blogging: RPCN member Laurie Enos lists three ways to use a blog to market your company:  1) share knowledge, 2) answer questions from readers, and 3) offer promotions and deals. More of Laurie's advice on using a blog can be found in her article, Why Small Firms Can Use a Blog.

    Productivity: Do your productive times match with these stats? The most productive day of the week is Tuesday. The least productive day is Friday. The most productive time of day is 10:26 am. The least productive time of day is 2:55 pm. Read more in Robin Harisis's blog article, The Best – and Worst – Productive Times.

    Negotiation tactics: Time is a critical element in most negotiations. If you understand the rules, you can gain some advantage. RPCN member Bob Whipple offers five techniques he finds helpful and two true stories of how these techniques worked in his blog Using Time in Negotiations.


    New members

    RPCN welcomes the following new members.

    Fred Lutz 
    Rafi PN 
    Michael Vogt

    Not an RPCN member? You can join the RPCN now to receive great benefits including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory and discounts to RPCN events such as the conference and TrendTalk. Click here to join the RPCN.


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    Copyright © 2014 Rochester Professional Consultants Network. All rights reserved.
    Contact email: admin@rochesterconsultants.org

  • 31-Oct-2014 3:25 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    RPCN president Dave Bassett has a patent on entrepreneurship

    By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, RPCN Communication Committee

    The RPCN’s current president could be said to have a patent on being an entrepreneur – his consulting business helps people patent their inventions.

    Dave Bassett, president of Bassett IP Strategies and Bassett Business Strategies in Macedon, NY (operating under the umbrella of Bassett Statistical Company LLC), worked as a chemical engineer for about 16 years in a wide range of areas before starting his own business in 2005. He also has developed software for petroleum exploration and has a background in biomedical, reactions and semiconductors.

    Bassett’s business, he said, helps inventors “in several areas but is primarily focused on patent application development and patent prosecution. BBS helps companies with business plans and strategic planning.”

    It might seem as if running a business and being so involved in the RPCN would be enough for Bassett, but he also is involved with a small group of local entrepreneurs – the Independent Entrepreneur’s Council – and is a member of the National Association of Patent Practitioners and the Wayne County Business Council. He also has been secretary and treasurer of the Rochester section of the AIChE (chemical engineering society), treasurer for a campground and a youth hockey coach.

    Click here to watch a video interview with Bassett and find out how the RPCN has been beneficial for his business and his own professional development. To read the full interview, visit this page on the RPCN website.     
       
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (www.writerruth.com) is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and speaker whose motto is “I can write about anything!”™


    RPCN means great opportunities for members

    By Dave Bassett, RPCN President

    Opportunities. RPCN is all about opportunities. Did you know that the members-only portion of the RPCN website has an area where opportunities for work/projects/ seminars are listed? This is an excellent area to post notices when you are looking for particular skill sets to help with projects and to find out when people are looking for your particular area of expertise.

    Members can log in and go to the members-only section of the website and click on “Opportunities.” Recent posts have included an RFP for a consultant to do a feasibility study, paid participation in product testing, a career fair and a web designer position. Click on the “Subscribe to forum” button at the top right of the Opportunities page to be notified when new items are posted.

    Also listed on the Opportunities page: MCC is currently looking for instructors in several areas including statistics and statistical process control; blueprint reading; geometric dimensioning and tolerancing; metrology; and machine math. If you have experience with any of those areas, please check out the opportunities forum; MCC may have an opportunity for you.

    These aren’t the only opportunities that the RPCN offers to members.

    As you know, if you’ve been reading this column, we’ve held a series of strategic planning and implementation sessions with the membership over this past summer and have gotten a lot of great ideas on how to implement the strategic plan priorities and a lot of volunteers to help the board in doing just that. The complete RPCN strategic plan, can be found on the RPCN website under the “About Us” tab.

    Mike Molaire did a great job of organizing the TrendTalks last year. He’ll be setting up another one, focusing on the public sector this time, this winter.

    You’ll have a chance to network and socialize with RPCN colleagues at a holiday party on December 11 at the Bistro at Towpath Café in Fairport. We’ll keep you updated on this as the details are finalized.

    I’m pleased to tell you that dates and locations have been chosen for the next RPCN Consultant’s Boot Camp, led by Bob Lurz. The 2015 boot camp will be held at High Tech Rochester (HTR) on each Tuesday in February and conclude on the first Tuesday in March. Click here for more information.

    Our full-day conference, originally planned for October 2014, will be held this spring, on April 7, 2015, at MCC. IDr. Bruce Katcher will be the keynote speaker at this big event.

    On April 21, we’ll hold a dinner celebrating our 25th anniversary.

    With all these activities, plus several others going on “behind the scenes,” so to speak, it’s a busy time for RPCN. It’s also fun. If you’d like to help, we’d love to have you contribute. All of our committees are actively looking for volunteers to help out. To get involved, just check out the website to get the contact info for the particular committee you’re interested in, or contact me at president@rochesterconsultants.org.

    Please also feel free to contact me with your thoughts on how we’re doing, what you think we’re doing well and what you think we could do better. The members are the lifeblood of RPCN, and we look forward to your enthusiasm and continued participation. Thank you for your support!


    RPCN celebrates 25 years in 2015

    Back in 1990, a group of 10 or so former Kodak workers formed a mutual support group. Little did they know that the group would still be going strong a quarter-century later as the Rochester Professional Consultants Network. In 2015, RPCN celebrates 25 years of growing the economy, one consultant at a time. RPCN’s anniversary will kick off with a Holiday Party on December 11 at the Bistro at the Towpath Café (details on that event to come).

    The first president of RPCN was Ian (Ted) Fraser, followed the next year by Roger Vickery. Other charter members included Robert Boser, David Burnett, John Foote, Hugh Gilmour, Dan Hedberg, Chris Leavitt, John Morley and David Young. We are planning to include short stories about the early RPCN members in future issues of the newsletter.

    Mark your calendars for April 21, 2015, when RPCN will host a gala event and dinner to celebrate the 25th anniversary. The planning committee is hard at work on several special events to mark the anniversary.


    Making your business better

    Differentiation: Vicki James lists three ways to stand out from your competitors with your business cards, brochures and websites. Read her advice at Core Differentiation is What Makes You Stand Out in a Crowd.

    Vision boards: Have you tried vision boarding to help you plan, believe and succeed? Stephanie Siuda explains the benefits of vision boarding in Vision Boards Can Help.


    New members

    RPCN welcomes the following new members.

    Joyce Curran
    Dan Ewing
    Alan Kesselman


    Not an RPCN member? You can join the RPCN now to receive great benefits including free admission to RPCN presentations, a listing in the RPCN Member Directory and discounts to RPCN events such as the conference and TrendTalk. Click here to join the RPCN.

     

     

     

    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Janice Hanson, Chair
    Barbara Moore
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal
    Collin Paran

    Please send articles for the December newsletter by November 15.


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, November 7, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and phones. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.


    Sales Sucks and What to Do About It 
    presented by Thomas J. Biviano 
    Friday, November 14, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Tom Biviano will demonstrate a technique that makes sales less stressful, more productive and more profitable. Known for his entrepreneurial spirit and dynamic sales strategy, Biviano has had extensive achievements in sales, consulting, technology and executive management with a range of companies, including Procter & Gamble, Mobil Chemical and IBM.


    Here is a short video introduction to his presentation.


    Business Forum
    facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, November 21, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library
       
    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, November 21, 2014
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, after the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    No Meeting
    Friday, November 28, 2014

    There will be no RPCN meeting today because of the holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!


    Of interest

    Health care reform: Digital Rochester explores what health care reform means for health IT on Thursday, November 13, at Oak Hill Country Club. Leaders across the health care community – representing hospitals, physician groups, post-acute care and home care – will speak about what health care organizations need to be doing to prepare for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health care reform. Click here for more information.

    QuickBooks: SCORE hosts a workshop on running your business with Basic QuickBooks on Tuesday, November 11, at the Rochester Business Alliance. Topics include bookkeeping basics; using your QuickBooks file on a daily/weekly basis; setting up and using items, paying bills and invoicing customers; and QuickBooks menus, reports and preference options. Click here for more information.

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  • 02-Oct-2014 11:28 AM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    New consultant Sandy Glanton finds success by fine-tuning services

    By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, RPCN Communication Committee

    Sandra “Sandy” Glanton is a relative newcomer to consulting, but a seasoned RPCN member who is finding the consultant’s lifestyle to be satisfying and promising.

    Glanton’s business is Projects Accomplished! Through her business, she said, “I help my clients identify and articulate their project requirements; guide clients through requirements analysis and project planning to decide how to proceed; and provide project management scheduling and other project support services, such as financial management, resource planning, etc., to individual business owners or small to large companies.”

    Glanton filed her DBA in May 2014 and works from her home in Walworth, NY. In starting and maintaining her consulting business, she draws on substantial experience in the corporate sector, as well as volunteer work in the community.

    “I had been a professional in corporate America for many years, starting directly out of college,” she said. “When I was let go due to downsizing, I embarked on some volunteer projects with The August Group (TAG) and the Pancreatic Cancer Association of Western NY (PCAWNY) while I networked and looked for work. I began contract work for a colleague/friend as a technical writer earlier this year.” From that came her consulting business.

    She attended an RPCN Entrepreneur’s Boot Camp and later joined the RPCN, getting involved on more than a “checkbook” level by becoming board secretary. Her volunteer activities have paid off not only in the satisfaction of providing a service, but in drawing business to her business.

    Even early in the life of her consultancy, Glanton is adjusting and fine-tuning the focus of her consulting business. “If you had asked me a year or two ago about what my business offerings would be, I would have said that the services would all center around project management,” she explained. “Because my first job for my current client was focused on my technical writing and technical training development skills, though, I decided to expand my offerings to include those skills as well.”

    Click here to watch a video interview with Glanton. To read the full interview and find out more about how the RPCN helped her start her consulting business, visit this page on the RPCN website.
           
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (www.writerruth.com) is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and speaker whose motto is “I can write about anything!”™


    Many hands make light work …

    By Dave Bassett, RPCN President

    We’ve held a series of strategic planning and implementation sessions with the membership over this past summer and have gotten a lot of great ideas on how to implement the strategies, as well as volunteers to help the board in doing just that. An update will go out to membership very soon. 

    The “Surprise Thursdays” appear to be a hit and another one will be coming up this month on October’s Fifth Friday Eve on October 30. Details to come soon. 

    We have postponed the “Picture Yourself … as a successful consultant” conference until this spring, due to advance registrations being much lower than we anticipated. Several other events in town were scheduled on the same date, which had a big effect on registration. The Conference Committee decided to reschedule to ensure we have a good turnout for all the speakers who have put time and energy into preparing their presentations. 

    We will offer the consulting business boot camp this winter – thank you to Bob Lurz for leading this effort and making it happen. The boot camp will run on Tuesdays during February and the first week of March of the new year, so save those dates.

    We will also be resuming the Trend Talks this winter. A few other events will be coming up in the next few months; we’ll keep you updated on all as the details are finalized.

    With all these activities, plus several others going on “behind the scenes,” so to speak, it’s a busy time for RPCN. It’s also fun. If you’d like to help, we’d love to have you contributing. All of our committees are actively looking for volunteers to participate. Just check out the website to get contact info for the particular committee you’re interested in or contact me at dbassett@bassett.pro.

    Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts on how we’re doing, what you think we’re doing well and what you think we could do better. The members are the lifeblood of RPCN, and we look forward to your enthusiasm and continued participation. Thank you for your support!


    Mark your calendar for 2015 RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp

    By Bob Lurz

    As part of our 25th Anniversary Celebration, we’re presenting the 2015 RPCN Consulting Business Boot Camp. This is your opportunity to learn how to start your solo consulting business on the right foot (or improve your current consulting practice). The last Boot Camp was a great success, and this one will be even better. You will learn how to:

    • Define your Services, Clients & Benefits
    • Choose a Legal Business Entity (DBA, LLC, Corp)
    • Build your Reputation & Image
    • Market your Consulting Services
    • Discover your Value to Potential Clients
    • Present your Value Proposition & Receive Feedback

    The Boot Camp provides hands-on, practical information. You apply what you learn – while you learn. Successful consultants share their knowledge, experience and tips. Learn how to make informed decisions about your consulting practice and avoid serious mistakes and pitfalls.

    SAVE THE DATES:
    February 3, 10, 17: 7:30 AM–12:30 PM
    February 24 & Mar 3: 7:30 AM–4:30 PM

    More to come about registration, location, price, refreshments, etc.

    Bob Lurz is president of Consultants Accelerator, www.consultantsaccelerator.com.



    RPCN seeks input on programs

    By Michael Van der Gaag, Past President and Programs Chair

    As you may know, as part of our strategy for the past couple of years, the RPCN has been presenting programs that, in addition to being interesting and entertaining, are intended to help you develop your skills and your business.

    We have identified four topical areas that we believe will achieve those goals:

    • The Business of Business
    • Marketing & Selling
    • Economic Opportunity
    • Consulting Fundamentals

    Click here to view a more detailed list of specific topics under consideration.

    The Program Committee now could use your help in determining what programs you would like us to offer. In particular, we want to know:

    • Any additional topics that fit in any of the four areas
    • Speakers whom you would like to hear from, especially anyone you’ve heard and can recommend as an excellent presenter for any of the topical areas
    • Any other program-relevant information, such as what it would take to attract you to attend more RPCN workshops and meetings

    Please send your suggestions to me at programs@rochesterconsultants.org. Your timely response will help us to better serve your needs by providing programs and workshops that help you improve your business.


    Making your business better

    Advisory boards: How often do you work with a business’s advisory board? In this Democrat and Chronicle article, John R. Piccirilli explains how advisory boards can help a small business.

    Mistakes: RPCN member Bob Whipple lists 14 political skills that he learned from making mistakes. His list starts with “Know who butters your bread – and act that way” and ends with “Always, always be considerate and gracious.” To find out what the other 12 skills are, go to Bob’s blog, The Trust Ambassador.

    Multitasking: Multitasking makes you less efficient, according to the founder of the Center for Brain Health. Read more about how you can get over the habit of multitasking in Robin Harisis’s blog.

     

     

     

    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Janice Hanson, Chair
    Barbara Moore
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal
    Collin Paran

    Please send articles for the November newsletter by October 15.


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, October 3, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and phones. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.


    Improving Profits Through Top-Notch Listening
    presented by Don Boice  
    Friday, October 10, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Business is a series of relationships, and your ability to relate to your customers and your employees – and your employees’ ability to relate to each other – should be part of your business strategy.

    Choosing the right people with the right skill sets is just the beginning. To build an efficient, productive and committed team, your workforce also needs the ability to listen – which means to build rapport, be fully present, tune in the other person and not only gather information but build a relationship.

    Here is a short video introduction to his presentation.


    Business Forum
    facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, October 17, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library
       
    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, October 17, 2014
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, after the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    Close the Expert-Novice Chasm to Achieve Positive Outcomes
    presented by Judith Shenouda
    Friday, October 24, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Have you ever wondered why so much goes awry in communications and interactions between the expert and the novice? In this presentation, Judith Shenouda will share what she has learned about the expert-novice chasm and how it affects decision-making and problem-solving.

    Participants will look at scenarios on how to close the gap in their role as a consultant, leading to improved outcomes.

    Here is a short video introduction to her presentation.

    RPCN “Surprise Thursday” Social
    Thursday, October 30, 2014
    6:00 PM   
    Location TBD

    There is no RPCN meeting on Friday, October 31, the fifth Friday of the month, so if you are beside yourself for what to do, or want to get to know your RPCN colleagues in a more informal setting, come to this social gathering (location TBD). Cash bar, but appetizers are on us. Bring friends, colleagues or clients.


    New members

    RPCN welcomes the following new members.

    Adele Carducci
    Harold Leve



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  • 29-Aug-2014 4:56 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    Picture Yourself … as a Successful Consultant!

    “Picture Yourself … as a successful consultant,” the RPCN’s full-day conference, coming up on Wednesday, October 15, at MCC, will be the event of the season. We have an excellent keynote speaker lined up: Dr. Bruce Katcher (pictured), founder and executive director of the Center for Independent Consulting and author of An Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice.

    The conference will focus on ways and tools to grow and expand your small/consulting business. We’ll have many interesting and helpful topics in three tracks focusing on consulting fundamentals, marketing and selling, and business building. Whether you are well-seasoned or just starting out, we’ll have something for you. 

    Registration for the conference is now open at www.RPCNConference.com. The early-bird registration price for RPCN members is only $99; it is $139 for non-members. Rates will go up to $129 and $169 respectively after September 15, so sign up now and save some money.

    There will also be a conference booklet that will be given to all attendees in which you can place an ad for between $25 (1/8 page) and $100 (full page). We are expecting 100–200 attendees, so that should be a very cost-effective way to get your message across. If you, or someone you know, would like to advertise at the conference, please check out the website or contact Dave Bassett at dbassett@bassett.pro.

    Exhibitor space (but only room for 12 exhibitors, so those will go quickly!) and sponsorship opportunities are also available. If you, or someone you know, would like to sponsor or exhibit at the conference, please check out the conference website or contact Tracey Aiello at tracey@winningcareerstrategies.com
       
    If you are interested in helping with this conference, we’d love to have you. The Conference Committee has been meeting at 3 PM on Thursdays at the Corner Bakery Café (3300 Monroe Avenue in Pittsford, across the street from the Pittsford Plaza). We have our program well hammered-out, but still have a lot of work to do. Our main areas of focus now are recruiting sponsors, exhibitors and advertisers; publicizing the conference; and putting together the conference program booklet. We are looking for someone to head up our efforts in getting advertisers. 

    As we get closer to the 15th of October, we’ll be looking for help with registration, putting together conference materials and day-of-the-event activities. If you’d like to help, we have a subcommittee that can use your skills; it’s a great way to get to know other RPCN members and demonstrate your skills. Please join us. Contact Dave Bassett at (585) 739-9726 or dbassett@bassett.pro for more details.

    It will be a great conference. We hope to see you there.


    Opportunities abound to get involved with RPCN

    By Dave Bassett, RPCN President

    With RPCN entering its 25th year, we have a lot going on. We’ve held a series of strategic planning and implementation sessions with the membership and have gotten a lot of great ideas on how to implement the strategies and a lot of volunteers to help the board in doing just that. Our most recent session was held on August 8 and we’ll be sending an e-mail documenting that discussion in the next week or so.

    What’s a 25th anniversary without some big events? Well, we won’t be letting you down. We’ll be holding a full-day conference on October 15 and bringing back the TrendTalks this winter. I’m very pleased to announce that Bob Lurz has agreed to move up the Consultants Boot Camp schedule from once every two years and will be holding another one this winter – likely in February and March. Details on that to come.

    In addition to those and our regular Friday morning meetings, we also have some special events planned. We held another fun “Surprise Thursday” networking session at the Flower City Grill on August’s Fifth Friday Eve. What’s the Fifth Friday Eve, you might ask? Well, it’s more commonly known as the Thursday preceding the fifth Friday of a month, when we don't hold regular morning meetings. When you see one coming up, watch for a Thursday evening social networking event (though we may skip one in October, as most people probably already have plans for Halloween). (Ed. note: See more photos from Surprise Thursday on the RPCN Facebook page.)

    We are planning an evening boat ride on September 24 to enjoy our late summer/early fall weather (see the calendar at right). We also have plans for a special event this spring – details on that to come as the 25th Anniversary Committee finalizes them.

    We will also have a lot of things going on behind the scenes. We have a website that has served our membership well since the last major revamping back around 2009, but a lot of things, especially social media, have evolved greatly since then. We will be revamping that in these coming months to take better advantage of social media and reach out to additional audiences. The Marketing Committee has been working closely with the web committee to plan these changes. The Communication Committee is also involved. We’re also looking into adding the ability to allow members to attend our regular meetings over the web.

    Our Communication Committee remains committed to ensuring that our message gets out clearly and succinctly. They work diligently behind the scenes, and not just on creating and producing this newsletter. Messages that go out to our membership and outside groups have also received their gentle touch. Our Hospitality Committee staffs the table at Brighton Town Hall every other week and our Library Committee maintains an extensive collection of books valuable to consultants that our members may take out on loan. Our Alliances Committee continues to work to strengthen our connections to groups such as RochesterWorks!, High Tech Rochester, the Small Business Development Council and the IEEE, among others.

    With all these activities, plus several others, it’s a busy time for RPCN. It’s also fun. If you’d like to help, we’d love to have you contribute. All of our committees are actively looking for volunteers to help out. If you’re interested, please check out the website to get the contact info for the particular committee you’re interested in or contact me at dbassett@bassett.pro.

    Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts on how we’re doing, what you think we’re doing well and what you think we could do better. The members are the lifeblood of RPCN and we look forward to your enthusiasm and continued participation. Thank you for your support!



    Of interest

    Professional development: The 9th Annual “Build Your Business” conference hosted by Communication Central takes place on September 26–27 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Rochester. This conference for entrepreneurial communicators offers tools of the writing, editing and proofreading trade and covers approaches to the freelance lifestyle. Topics include finding clients, marketing, pricing, networking and balancing work and family, among others. RPCN members can take advantage of the Colleague rate, and the early-bird deadline has been extended to August 31. More info.

    Networking: AMA|Rochester hosts its Fall Kick-Off Networking Event on Wednesday, September 10, from 5:30– 7:30 PM at Havana Cabana Island Cafe & Rum Bar, 289 Alexander St., Rochester. Enjoy the summer weather while you still can and network with other marketing professionals. More info.

    Starting a Business: SCORE of Greater Rochester hosts a five-part series of three-hour workshops designed to give you the tools, information and advice you need to succeed. Simple Steps for Starting a Business Boot Camp begins on Saturday, September 6, from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM at the Rochester Business Alliance, 150 State Street, Rochester. More info.


    Follow us!

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    RPCN is now on Meetup!
    Making the best use of social media forums, RPCN is now on MeetUp. You can see postings for upcoming events, connect with other consultants and ask questions in between our regularly scheduled events.

     

     

     

    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, event announcements and other items that would be of interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Janice Hanson, Chair
    Barbara Moore
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal
    Collin Paran

    Please send articles for the October newsletter by September 15, 2014.


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, September 5, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and phones. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    Helping Your Clients Understand Theirs
    presented by Jon Siegel
    Friday, September 12, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Traditionally, market research has been unaffordable for smaller businesses and non-profits. This is rapidly changing as a technological revolution is transforming this industry. “Do-it-yourself” tools like Survey Monkey are only a small part of this transformation. RPCN members are in a unique position to help their clients take advantage of these changes.

    This talk will describe how technology is changing what smaller businesses and non-profits can do and describe several innovative firms and approaches that you may want to add to your toolbox of resources. Here is a short video introduction to his presentation.


    Business Forum
    facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, September 19, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library
       
    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, September 19, 2014
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, after the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    Erie Canal Cruise & Dinner
    Wednesday, September 24, 2014
    6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

    Join your RPCN colleagues for a special evening boat ride on the Colonial Belle and an Italian buffet dinner. The cost is $20 Members, $30 RPCN Guests. Pre-register for the event on the RPCN website.

    Transforming Kodak Alaris: A customer-driven approach
    presented by Jack Rieger
    Friday, September 26, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Traditional approaches to business planning and product development are inefficient and suffer high risk of failure. A customer-driven lean startup approach is the method used by leading Silicon Valley firms today. Adopting these methods is both vital and difficult for established companies.

    Jack Rieger of Kodak Alaris will review the approach and lessons learned from the battlefield. Here is a short video introduction to his presentation.


    Making your business better

    Travel tips: For consultants who travel, RPCN member Rosemarie Caillier describes three exercises that you should do on long plane rides to prevent blood clots from forming, including walking the aisles, moving your feet while sitting and stretching. See her blog Foot Scribe, Live Well on Healthy Feet.

    Working at home: “When you’re at home, folks experience a much narrower range of your amazingness.” Jolie M. discusses the pros and cons of working out of your home in her article Why It’s Okay to Do Laundry When You Work at Home.

  • 01-Aug-2014 3:26 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    Steve Royal appreciates camaraderie of RPCN membership

    By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, RPCN Communication Committee

    Like so many RPCN members, Steve Royal is a former Kodaker, but his story is a little different from that of people were laid off or dismissed as Rochester’s former employment giant cut back so drastically in recent years. The chemist-by-training had evolved into an internal training and business expert in his years with Kodak and was able to translate that angle into a consulting business – something he attributes to his RPCN membership.

    “I started my consulting business in 1992, about a year after a buyout from Kodak,” Royal said. “I was only 49 when I left Kodak, but the deal was so good that I couldn’t bring myself to stay.” He had several job interviews, but all were for about half what he had been making, with no benefits and extensive traveling, which did not appeal to him. He had been spending “a lot of time” at the Career Resource Center on Culver Road when someone from the RPCN came there to discuss consulting. Royal went to an RPCN meeting and “kept going every week. I decided that, with the help of RPCN, I could become a consultant.” He’s been at it ever since.

    Click here to watch a video interview with Royal. To read the full interview and find out more about his business and how RPCN has helped him find new clients, visit this page on the RPCN website.

    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (www.writerruth.com) is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and speaker whose motto is “I can write about anything!”™


    25 years of the RPCN – here’s to 25 more

    By Dave Bassett, RPCN President

    Back in 1990, a group of 10 or so former Kodak workers formed a mutual support group. Little did they know that the small group that met in a diner would still be going strong a quarter-century later as the Rochester Professional Consultants Network (RPCN).

    We are planning on kicking off a long celebration of this important milestone in the coming months. Details of all we have planned will be coming out soon. (For a bit more info on the 25th anniversary, please click here.)

    As my first act as RPCN president, I would like to thank Michael Van der Gaag and the rest of the past board for their dedicated service to the membership. It is my great privilege to let you know that all but one member of the current board will be staying on for this 25th-anniversary year. Paula Randall, who has served in several capacities
    as secretary, member at large and membership chairwoman, and on the Conference Committee has regrettably tendered her resignation to take a position as vice president of health services at Huther Doyle. We wish her the best of luck in her new position and hope she gets a chance to make it to some of our meetings and events.

    It is also my privilege to welcome Laurie Enos, president of Blue Dog Marketing, to the board. Laurie is a marketing expert and has been working with the Conference Committee. 

    Speaking of the Conference Committee, plans are well underway for “Picture Yourself … a Successful Consultant,” a three-track, full-day conference to be held at MCC on October 15. Dr. Bruce Katcher, author of An Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice, will be the keynote speaker.

    On July 11, we held the first of two strategy implementation sessions. The meeting was open to the entire membership and the turnout was great. Roughly 20 percent of our members attended and helped brainstorm how we can implement the strategic plan that was passed at the June board meeting. The priorities we are focused on for the coming year are:

    1. Create opportunities for members to build potential relationships with clients.
    2. Prepare for and conduct an RPCN Boot Camp, conference and TrendTalks on an ongoing basis.
    3. Promote and celebrate RPCN’s 25th anniversary.
    4. Implement marketing and communication strategies to promote RPCN and its members.
    5. Update the RPCN website.

    (To see the entire strategic plan, including our vision, mission, organizational values, outcomes and strategic objectives, please check it out on the website.)

    On August 8, after the regularly scheduled meeting at the Brighton Town Hall, we will hold a session with the membership to review the brainstorming session and to get your input on how best to implement these goals. We’ll have snacks and coffee for this 10 AM meeting, so please plan on sticking around after the morning meeting. 

    Please feel free to contact me with your thoughts on how we’re doing, what you think we’re doing well and what you think we could do better. The members are the lifeblood of RPCN and we look forward to your enthusiasm and continued participation and support.

    Thank you all for your help in making 2013–14 so successful; I look forward to working with you to make 2014–15 even stronger! Our first 25 years were very good; here’s to an even better next 25!


    25 years of RPCN accomplishments – how we’re “Delivering on the Promise”

    By Bob Lurz

    What has RPCN accomplished in 25 years? No RPCN buildings or monuments exist, so what can we point to? RPCN is dedicated to serving members, so let’s look at them. Since our promise is to provide members with opportunities for networking, learning and mutual support, our “monuments” are those who benefit from RPCN’s opportunities.
               
    Members: Founded in 1990 with about 10 members, peaked at 240 in the mid-1990s. Lately, members numbered 100–120. There’s no 25-year record of members’ names, but assuming an average of 100 members each year means more than 1,000 members over time, many of whom are long-time repeat stalwarts of the organization.
           
    Meetings: 1,000 Friday meetings with networking and learning opportunities. Started with two-per-month: Presentations and Describe Your Services. Added two-per-month in mid-1990s: Business and Technical Forums, the “crown jewels” of RPCN. Conferences, boot camps, board/committee meetings add 1,200 meetings, creating 2,200 RPCN opportunities where members and others learn, network and volunteer. Through our Friday sessions, RPCN has touched the lives of several thousand actual and potential members. 
       
    Opportunities (thousands):

    • Learn about/from each other.
    • Build networks.
    • Explore and learn about starting up, getting clients and more.
    • Present/facilitate at meetings, events to showcase expertise, build trust.
    • Present 30-second commercials.
    • Obtain referrals, recommendations.
    • Do business with members.

        Plus:

    • Write for the newsletter or website.
    • Serve on RPCN board/committees/projects.
    • Collaborate on business projects.
    • Form “ alliances” (expand services).

    Yes, we’ve delivered on the RPCN promise. We’ve built a 25-year “living monument” to the consulting and business community.

    Bob Lurz is founder and facilitator of the RPCN Business Forum, leader of the RPCN Consulting Boot Camps and a past president of RPCN.


    Making your business better

    Getting away: Your consulting business may seem all-consuming, but taking a vacation is vital to your mental and physical health. On the Society for Technical Communication (STC) website, RPCN member Ruth E. Thaler-Carter has vacation tips for freelancers that apply to consultants as well.

    Selling yourself: Need to write a bio? Hannah Morgan suggests that you search LinkedIn summaries for inspiration. Read her Democrat & Chronicle Nextpert column on "Write bio that sells yourself" for more tips.

    We are friendly: Rochester received a B grade for its overall friendliness to small business from the Thumbtack.com Small Business Friendliness Survey. Rochester was rated 5th nationally in the ease of starting a small business. For the complete report, click here.


    New members

    RPCN welcomes the following new member. Click on the name to view his profile.

    Joel Shertok


    Follow us!

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    Twitter
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    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Janice Hanson, Chair
    Barbara Moore
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal

    Please send articles for the September newsletter by August 15.


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, August 1, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and phones. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.


    Why and How to Blog
    presented by Laurie Enos and Mary Sperr, Blue Dog Marketing   
    Friday, August 8, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Have you thought about blogging for your business? Do you know how to go about it? Learn how blogging will benefit your business, tips on writing compelling and effective blogs, and how to schedule your posts. You will come away from this presentation having set up your blog.

    If you want to start a blog, here is some "homework" to do before the workshop. And here is a short video introduction to the presentation.



    Business Forum
    facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, August 15, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library
       
    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, August 15, 2014
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Pittsford Community Library

    RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, after the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    Networking for Introverts
    presented by Eric R. Derby 
    Friday, August 22, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Are you tired of being bombarded with messages about how you should be networking? Are the methods that are pushed on you irritating or just plain wrong?

    This short course is for introverts who want to find ways to network effectively, taking into account your own style and comfort level. We will talk about the goals of networking, and try some exercises to help you be authentic in your own communications.

    Surprise Thursday
    Thursday, August 28, 2014
    6:00 PM   
    Location TBD

    There is no RPCN meeting on Friday, August 29, the fifth Friday of the month, so if you are beside yourself for what to do, or want to get to know your RPCN colleagues in a more informal setting, come to this social gathering (location TBD). Cash bar, but appetizers are on us. Bring friends, colleagues or clients.


    Picture Yourself … as a Successful Consultant conference is shaping up

    The RPCN’s full-day 2014 conference, “Picture Yourself … as a Successful Consultant,” to be held on Wednesday, October 15, at MCC, will be the event of the season. The conference will focus on ways and tools to grow and expand your small/consulting business.

    We have an excellent keynote speaker lined up: Dr. Bruce Katcher – founder and executive director of the Center for Independent Consulting and author of An Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice. We’ll have many interesting and helpful topics following three tracks, focusing on: consulting fundamentals, marketing and selling, and business building. Whether you are well-seasoned or just starting out, we’ll have something for you. 

    If you are interested in helping with this conference, we’d love to have you. The committee has been meeting at 3 PM on Thursdays at the Corner Bakery Café (3300 Monroe Avenue, across the street from Pittsford Plaza). We have our program well-hammered-out but still have a lot of work to do. Our main areas of focus now are recruiting sponsors, exhibitors and advertisers; publicizing the conference; and putting together the conference program booklet. We are looking for someone to head up our efforts in getting advertisers. If you, or someone you know, would like to sponsor or exhibit at the conference, check out the RPCN website or contact Tracey Aiello at tracey@winningcareerstrategies. com. If you, or someone you know, would like to advertise at the conference, check out the RPCN website or contact Dave Bassett at dbassett@bassett.pro.

    As we get closer to October 15, we’ll be looking for help with putting together conference materials, registration and day-of-the-event activities. If you’d like to help, we have a subcommittee that can use your skills; it’s a great way to get to know other RPCN members and demonstrate your skills. To help, or just find out more about the conference, contact Dave Bassett at (585) 739-9726 or dbassett@bassett.pro.

    In the next week or two, we will be putting registration information up on the RPCN website. There will be early-bird discounts, so plan on signing up early. We hope to see you there.

    Copyright © 2014 Rochester Professional Consultants

  • 01-Jul-2014 10:30 AM | Steve Royal (Administrator)

    Ruth Balkin blends high tech and soft touch in research

    By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, RPCN Communication Committee

    RPCN librarian and long-time member Ruth G. Balkin has been a consultant almost from the very beginning of her work life. She did work briefly as a secretary in a law firm and spent a year-and-a-half with the Job Information Center at Rochester’s Rundell Library, but she says that being a consultant comes naturally. “I’ve been tutoring French for money since I was a child,” Balkin said. “When I was a kid, I didn’t play house – I played school or office. I was destined to be an entrepreneur.”

    Balkin is the founder and CEO of Balkin Information Services in Irondequoit. The business is formally a partnership; her partner is her sister, who lives in Pennsylvania. The company provides “mainly research – document retrieval in anything from business, marketing, competitive intelligence and due diligence to medical,” she said. They use the Internet and other sources to find documents and perform different types of research.

    Balkin formally established the company in late 1978 when she was working at a law firm while pursuing a master’s degree in French and
    earning her New York state teacher certification. Firm members encouraged her to look for freelance work and she was asked to do something with the firm’s library, which helped launch her consulting business. As “things were changing in the industry – publishers were moving to CD-ROM products – we started offering training,” Balkin said. That was one area where Balkin found that “education is never a waste”; her coursework in teaching was invaluable in developing training.

    Balkin joined the RPCN around 1992 and has benefited from her membership in many ways – even beyond business success. “RPCN meetings are a shot in the arm every week – a boost. I go to a meeting and I’ve done business with a quarter to a third of everyone in the room,” she said. On a personal level, “RPCN has kept me going over the years through thick and thin. It’s literally gotten me back on my feet. When I broke my ankle, Mary Ann Shew organized everything for me. It was amazing. People brought food, people took me to doctors’ appointments.”

    Like many RPCN members, Balkin sees involvement as key to getting value from belonging to the organization. “Don’t just be a member,” she said. “The more active you are, the more you get known, the more business you get, the more satisfaction you get from your membership.”

    While her consulting business is her official life’s work, French is Balkin’s passion. In addition to that tutoring activity going back to her early years, she belongs to a French conversation club. As a gift to RPCN, she invites members to come to her French classes
    for free over the summer – she teaches from 6–7 PM on Thursday evenings and 11 AM–12:30 PM on Sundays. To take advantage of this generous offer, contact Balkin at rbalkin@balkininfo.com. Bonne chance!

    Click here to watch a video interview with Balkin. To read the full interview and learn how she finds clients and how her business has evolved to keep up with current trends, visit this page on the RPCN website.

    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (www.writerruth.com) is a freelance writer, editor, proofreader and speaker whose motto is “I can write about anything!”™


    Here we grow

    By Michael Van der Gaag and Dave Bassett

    Did you know that RPCN will be celebrating its 25th anniversary during this coming year? Amazing! There is something to be said about an all-volunteer organization that survives so long by serving its members. We plan to capitalize on this milestone by holding some special events and promotions to spread the word. It is a great time for the upcoming fall conference; that and the other programs we plan will have a celebratory feel.

    As we reach the end of Michael Van der Gaag’s term as president and the beginning of Dave Bassett’s, we’d like to bring you up to speed on where we are and some plans we have for the coming year.

    RPCN did some great things this past year, including presenting the second Consultant’s Boot Camp and introducing the TrendTalk panel discussion dinner series. We also remembered one of our own with the introduction of the David R. Young Service Award, which was presented posthumously to Dave Young and accepted by his son Christopher at the May TrendTalk Dinner. A second award was given to Bob Lurz at the Business Forum on June 20, in recognition of all he does for the organization. (Photo of Michael, Bob and Dave provided by Jerry Seward)

    We are not sitting back on our laurels, basking in these accomplishments. The board has been working hard on refining our strategy for the coming year. On June 13, we held a strategy session open to all members at the Brighton Town Hall. We received some excellent feedback on how the membership wanted to set our priorities. 

    Of the dozen or so priorities that the board deemed important to meet our strategic objectives, the participating members voted to have RPCN focus on these five in the coming year:

    1. Create opportunities for members to build potential relationships with clients;
    2. Prepare for and conduct an RPCN Boot Camp, conference and TrendTalks on an ongoing basis;
    3. Promote and celebrate RPCN’s 25th anniversary;
    4. Implement marketing and communication strategies to promote RPCN and its members; and
    5. Update the RPCN website.

    The board also identified these five key organizational values: Inclusiveness, Volunteerism, Collaboration, Mutual Support, Integrity. There was a general consensus at the June 13 meeting that it’s worth further defining these values as we set in place our strategic plan for the coming year.

    (To see the entire strategic plan, including our vision, mission, organizational values, outcomes and strategic objectives, visit our website.)

    This is an ambitious plan and, to fully meet these priorities (and ideally a few others that didn’t end up on our “TOP 5” as well), we’ll need YOUR help. On July 11, after our regularly scheduled meeting at the Brighton Town Hall, we will hold a session with the membership to get your input on how best to meet these goals. We’ll have snacks and coffee for this 10 AM meeting, so please plan on sticking around after Peter Rios’s talk on “Strategic Foresight.”

    As we transition from Michael to Dave, we also want to welcome our new VP, David Powe, to the team. And while Michael will become the RPCN past president, he is committed to helping us continue to offer value and opportunity to help our members grow.

    Please feel free to contact Dave or Michael with your thoughts on how we’re doing, what you think we’re doing well and what you think we could do better. The members are the lifeblood of RPCN and we look forward to your enthusiasm and continued participation and support.

    Thank you all for your help in making 2013–14 so successful; we look forward to working with YOU to make 2014–15 even stronger!


    Picture Yourself … as a Successful Consultant!

    The RPCN’s full-day conference “Picture Yourself … as a successful consultant” to be held on Wednesday, October 15 at MCC – will be the event of the season. We have lined up an excellent keynote speaker: Dr. Bruce Katcher, founder and executive director of the Center for Independent Consulting and author of An Insider’s Guide to Building a Successful Consulting Practice. The conference will focus on ways and tools to grow and expand your small/consulting business. We’ll have many interesting and helpful topics in three tracks focusing on: consulting fundamentals, marketing and selling, and business-building. Whether you are well-seasoned or just starting out, we’ll have something for you. 

    If you are interested in helping with this conference, we’d love to have you. The committee has been meeting on Thursdays at the Corner Bakery Café at 3300 Monroe Avenue in Pittsford (across the street from Pittsford Plaza) at 3 PM. We have our program well hammered out but still have a lot of work to do. Our main areas of focus now are recruiting sponsors, exhibitors and advertisers; publicizing the conference; and putting together the conference program booklet.

    As we get closer to October 15, we’ll be looking for help with registration, putting together conference materials and on the day of the event. If you’d like to help, we have a subcommittee that can use your skills. It’s a great way to get to know other RPCN members and demonstrate your skills. Contact Dave Bassett at (585) 739-9726 or dbassett@bassett.pro for more information.


    In our library

    Steve Royal reviewed the book 21 Days to Success Through Networking from the RPCN library. The book chronicles the first 21 days of a marketing professional after he moves to a new city where he knows no one, and how he goes about developing a network. The book is an easy read and full of information essential to being a successful consultant, such as learning listening skills, asking questions and the importance of following up.

    RPCN maintains an extensive library of business books and other materials that members can borrow. Click here for a link to read the entire book review and to view a list of items in the RPCN library.


    Of interest

    Finance: SCORE of Greater Rochester presents a workshop on Understanding Small Business Finance on Friday, July 11, from 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM at 1057 E. Henrietta Rd., Suite 100, across from MCC’s Brighton Campus. The program will provide a user-friendly, high-level and fun approach to the three essential financial statements necessary to run any business. This workshop is part of the MCC Corporate College summer courses. For more information and to register, click here.

     

     

     

    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Janice Hanson, Chair
    Barbara Moore
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal

    Please send articles for the August newsletter by July 15.


    Upcoming events

    No Meeting
    Friday, July 4, 2014

    There will be no RPCN meeting today because of the holiday.

    Strategic Foresight: Equipping you for competitive advantage now and in the future 
    presented by Peter Rios
    Friday, July 11, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Peter Rios is a consultant to businesses, organizations and religious institutions. His company, R.I.O.S.
    Robust Innovative Organizational Solutions focuses on leadership development, cultural agility, strategy, conflict resolution, organizational renewal and innovation. This presentation will provide participants with a practical experience using a foresight tool to illuminate the future of their sector and also explore scenario building and strategy. Here is a short video introduction to Peter's presentation.



    RPCN Strategic Planning
    Friday, July 11, 2014
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    RPCN has an ambitious plan for the coming fiscal year. To fully meet these priorities (and ideally a few others that didn’t end up on our “TOP 5” as well), we’ll need YOUR help. After our regularly scheduled meeting at the Brighton Town Hall, we will hold a session with the membership to get your input on how best to meet these goals. Snacks and coffee will be provided.

    Business Forum
    facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, July 18, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room (NOTE change in location)
       
    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, July 18, 2014
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Brighton Town Hall -- Downstairs Meeting Room (NOTE change in location)

    RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, after the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    The Skype VOIP Program and How to Use It
    presented by Bill Vallee 
    Friday, July 25, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    This is the first of two training seminars that will demonstrate the Skype VOIP program and how to use it. You will learn how to open an account; Skype basics, such as how to navigate the Skype screen for PC users; and how to use Skype for three different types of communication.


    Making your business better

    Making connections: Lynn Dessert says it is "all about the ask" when you want to connect with someone you don't know. Check out her blog for ways to improve your ask.

    Better consulting: Three rules that Bob Whipple suggests will help make you a better consultant are:  1) Do good work, 2) Do the best you can with the resources available, and 3) Treat all people the right way. Read more at his blog post, You Can't Do the Best You Can.

    RPCN on LinkedIn: Have you joined the RPCN group on LinkedIn? This is a great way to connect with other consultants, find tips on business issues, ask questions outside of the bimonthly forums or share information about the latest project you are working on.


    RPCN Member Store


    Show your pride in your RPCN membership! The RPCN Logo Store is now online, in partnership with CafePress.com. RPCN members may purchase merchandise imprinted with the RPCN logo. You may choose from various items, such as coffee mugs, shirts, hats, mousepads, calendars, tote bags, travel mugs and laptop sleeves. Visit CafePress.com/rpcn or click on the link from the RPCN home page to shop securely online.


    New members

    RPCN welcomes the following new members. Click on their names to view their profiles.

    Mark Flint
    John Kernan
    Donald Kruggel
    David Odgers


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  • 30-May-2014 10:52 PM | Anonymous





    Nonprofit leaders discuss opportunities for consultants  

    By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, RPCN Communication Committee

    Based on what we heard from presenters at the May 15 RPCN TrendTalk event, “Challenges and Opportunities in Rochester’s Human Services Sector,” local not-for-profit organizations are a valuable source of potential business for consultants, particularly those with solid business skills and experience.

    Speakers Michelle Prohov, founder of the Working for Nonprofits networking group and human resource manager at the Center for Disability Rights; Marlene Bessette, president and CEO of the Catholic Family Center; and Carol Love, nonprofit leadership consultant, provided overviews of their organizations, insights into challenges for the not-for-profit sector, and ways that consultants could help such organizations.

    RPCN member Beth Sears, president of Workplace Communication, Inc./Good Enough to Great Coaching, moderated the program.

    Photo by Mike Molaire, houseKALL fotography. To see more photos from the event, visit RPCN on Facebook.

    Introducing technology and for-profit business principles to human services organizations is among the challenges that create opportunities for consultants interested in this sector, according to Love. “Money is tight and that will not be ‘over’ – it is a reality,” she said. “Corporations today are not as generous as they used to be and there is less money in government grants due to changes in streams of financing. New York State is playing ‘fruit-basket upset’” with certain kinds of funding that used to be easily available.

    In response, consultants can help not-for-profits assess how they are meeting government guidelines for board service, ensuring their missions and directions are being met, seeing whether they have the resources needed to offer planned programs and services, and doing “the right things the right ways.” Strategic planning and board development are two vital areas where consultants could play a role in helping nonprofits function better, Love suggested.

    Succession planning for boards of directors is another area where consultants can help nonprofits, said Prohov. She also noted that many organizations “are afraid of millennials and how they will lead,” which creates opportunities for consultants to provide training and development guidance.

    Bessette is seeing “educated donors and funders asking a lot more questions and asking for a lot more proof” that nonprofits are fulfilling their missions, which means that consultants could play a role in documenting efforts and activities. “I highly value the business skills that (I saw in the corporate world),” she said – she came to the nonprofit world from a substantial career with Xerox. “I’ve been tapping my retired colleagues” to provide such skills in her current nonprofit role.

    Bessette looks for “certain characteristics in terms of personality and approach” in potential employees or consultants. “I look for people who are inquisitive,” she said.

    Consultants interested in working with nonprofits should be aware that “culture fit is important and so is understanding what the vision is,” Prohov said. Organization websites are good sources of information about missions, activities, services, programs and even scheduling options for those interested in consulting or volunteering with nonprofits. Bessette noted that volunteering is often a good way to enter the nonprofit world and pave a path to being hired for consulting services. “Make sure that people know what you do,” she said.

    In response to an audience question, Love said that larger organizations are likely to use independent financial consultants when dealing with retirement plans and endowments, and that “awareness among smaller organizations that this is worth doing is growing.”

    All three speakers expressed appreciation for learning about the existence and resources of the RPCN, particularly the member directory – a good reminder that every RPCN member should have a detailed profile there!

    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter (www.writerruth.com) provides writing, editing, proofreading, desktop-publishing and related services to publications, businesses, not-for-profits and other clients.

    Please note: The RPCN member profile will return with the July issue.


    Another RPCN year is about to begin

    By Michael Van der Gaag, President

    It has been a heck of a year! As we approach this time of our vice-presidential elections, I can see why a few of my predecessors have told me that, “Just as you get the hang of it, your time would be coming to a close.” 

    This has been a year of several accomplishments and many lessons learned.

    My biggest lesson? In an all-volunteer organization, the direction comes from within – it cannot be imposed from the top, but must evolve by consensus. Then, to achieve a goal, complete an activity or deliver a program, it takes those stepping up, who give of their time and energy to get things done.

    During my time as president, I have noted that our accomplishments align with the contributions of members, some on the board and others not. For instance, past Program chair Mike Molaire, who continues to run the “TrendTalk, Challenges and Opportunities” series, has invited many interesting presenters, including various business, community and economic development leaders, to give us the lowdown on the Rochester area’s economy, business growth and opportunities. As I took on being Program chair, Lynn Dessert stepped up to help. Lynn, who knows just about everybody, invited some of the most successful consultants and marketing experts in the area to come in and give us their insights and share their media savvy on how to use the web to improve our image and business. 

    As we have recognized in the past, the Newsletter Committee, now chaired by Janice Hanson, with partners Ruth Thaler-Carter and Barbara Moore, is unequaled, especially for an all-volunteer organization.
       
    The Website Committee (Emily Carpenter, Steve Royal and Paul Lowans) was recently recognized by the RPCN during the May TrendTalk for its steadfast support. They provide many hours of effort without compensation, maintaining and refining the site. As we face a changing web-media landscape, another member leader, David Powe, Marketing Committee chair, anticipates that, for our website to keep up, we will have to implement more structural changes to better serve the membership. Our Website Committee will be at the forefront of those changes.

    At the TrendTalk dinner, we also recognized Bob Lurz’s contribution and leadership in planning, producing and conducting the Consultants Boot Camp.

    Thanks to the Membership Committee, now led by Paula Randall (with Lori Cohen, Jerry Seward and Ruth Balkin), we came up with a unique incentive program for members to recruit members, and a new system for badging and tracking contacts.

    Thanks also to Sandy Glanton, who took on the role of secretary, and is excellent. Peter Burns, who, as Hospitality chair, has been a cheerful face and engaging promoter of the RPCN; Ruth Balkin, who, as Librarian, has kept on top of our intellectual trust in a year of rejuvenation (out with the old books; in with the new); and to Don Giancursio, who keeps on top of our needs for meeting space in Pittsford.


    I also want to recognize the contribution of others who have more recently stepped up to move us forward, among them: Dave Bassett, who, as VP, is chairing the fall “Picture Yourself” Conference; Jim Barton, who leads the Conference Program Subcommittee, which has an excellent lineup of presenters; and Laurie Enos, in charge of the marketing strategy. I also express my appreciation to many others on the Conference Committee (Tracy Aiello, Ruth Balkin, Lori Cohen, Janice Hanson, Bob Lewis, Joe MacDonough, Paula Randall, Jerry Seward and Mark Shrader). Mark has also agreed to pick up the treasurer role. Jerry, a web guru in his own right, always willing to provide guidance and skill to the organization when needed, will be moving onto the board and the Web Committee as Paul Lowans leaves to pursue other interests.

    In the next month or so, as we welcome a new VP, whether it be David Powe or Paula Randall , I have confidence that he/she will do an excellent job. As I hand off the role of president to Dave Bassett, I will look forward to continuing my support of the RPCN in any area where I am needed.

    As each of you, my fellow members, searches your soul to see how you, your network or your talents may best serve the organization, allow me to thank you for all your support.

    As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome. Here’s to your success!


    RPCN presents first Dave Young Award, thanks members for contributions

    By Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, RPCN Communications Committee

    A highlight of the May 15 RPCN TrendTalk event on consulting opportunities in the human services sector was a presentation of RPCN awards for service to the organization.

    Incoming RPCN president David Bassett presented an award to long-time member Bob Lurz for his hard work in organizing and promoting the successful 2014 RPCN Boot Camp, which yielded more than a dozen new members and provided participants with essential information about launching and managing a consulting business. Emily Carpenter, Steve Royal and Paul Lowans received awards for their dedicated behind-the-scenes services to RPCN in managing the organization, its website and its day-to-day activities.

    The evening also saw presentation of the first RPCN Dave Young Service Award, given this year to Young’s son Christopher. The award is in memory of Dave Young, who was one of the very first RPCN members and gave many years of time and effort in managing the organization at almost every level imaginable, including producing the RPCN newsletter and bringing the coffee and donuts to Friday meetings.

    Photo by Mike Molaire, houseKALL fotography. To see more photos from the event, visit RPCN on Facebook.

     

     

     

    In this issue:


    We want you!

    The RPCN newsletter welcomes news, success stories, tips, resources, events and other items that would be of broad interest to consultants. Submit a newsletter item by email to the Communication Committee. RPCN members also may write articles for our website; submit articles here. In the newsletter, we'll highlight submitted articles aimed at helping consultants make their businesses better.

    If you have newsletter questions or suggestions, or ideas for how RPCN could improve communications, contact the Communication Committee:
    Janice Hanson, Chair
    Barbara Moore
    Ruth E. Thaler-Carter
    Steve Royal

    Please send items for the July newsletter by June 15, 2014.


    Upcoming events

    Technical Forum
    facilitated by Steve Royal
    Friday, June 6, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library

    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of any technical issues that consultants encounter in running their businesses, including computers, the Internet and phones. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    Franchising as a Business
    presented by Ron Axelrod, John Adams and Bob Lewis
    Friday, June 13, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Franchising as a business model is widely misunderstood; it’s not just French fries and retail. This program will cover the types of franchises available, and the pluses and minuses of franchising vs. starting a business from scratch or buying an existing one. The discussion will touch on a little bit of legal mumbo-jumbo, common myths and how to find a franchise that’s right for you.

    Business Forum
    facilitated by Bob Lurz
    Friday, June 20, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Pittsford Community Library
       
    An informal, facilitated roundtable discussion of issues regarding starting or running a consulting business. Wondering what kind of questions people are asking? For a list from recent forums, click here.

    RPCN Board Meeting
    Friday, June 20, 2014
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Location to be announced.

    RPCN’s monthly board meeting begins at approximately 10:00 AM, after the Business Forum. Everyone is welcome to attend, but only board members may vote.

    Hit the ground running - Starting a new sales effort.
    presented by Jeffrey Marcus
    Friday, June 27, 2014
    8:00 AM - 9:30 AM
    Brighton Town Hall - Downstairs Meeting Room

    Jeffrey Marcus is a Technology Sales/Marketing Leader whose successful actions pioneered Pictometry's roll out to the commercial marketplace.

    Here are some key points from Jeffery's presentation:

    • One foot in front of another. Now you are walking.  You must prioritize everything.
    • Ask Questions during the sales process.
    • How to present, what to present and why.



    Picture Yourself … as a Successful Consultant!

    The RPCN will hold a full-day conference called “Picture Yourself … as a successful consultant” on Wednesday, October 15, at MCC. The conference will focus on ways and tools to grow and expand your small / consulting business. We’ll have many interesting and helpful topics following three tracks focusing on: consulting fundamentals, marketing and selling, and business-building. Whether you are well-seasoned or just starting out, we’ll have something for you. 

    If you are interested in helping with this conference, we’d love to have you. The committee has been meeting on Thursdays at the Corner Bakery Café at 3300 Monroe Avenue in Pittsford (across the street from Pittsford Plaza) at 3:00 PM. We have our program well hammered out but still have a lot of work to do. Our main areas of focus now are recruiting sponsors, exhibitors and advertisers; publicizing the conference; and putting together the conference program booklet. As we get closer to the event, we’ll be looking for help with registration, putting together conference materials and assistance the day of the event. Helping with the conference is a great way to get to know other RPCN members and demonstrate your skills. If you’d like to help, or just know more about the conference, please join us. Contact Dave Bassett at (585) 739-9726 or dbassett@bassett.pro for more details.


    Making your business better

    Social media: Which social media tool should you use: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google+? Hannah Morgan lists tips on how to effectively use these resources in her Democrat and Chronicle Nextpert column, Building Your Social Presence (5/11/14).

    Making connections: Writing short notes in response to news reports, trade publications and social media postings can pay off in new connections with potential clients, writes Arlene Hisiger in the weekly “Women at Work” column in the Democrat and Chronicle.


    New members

    Be sure to check here next month for RPCN's new members.


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