Business Financial Planning and Budgeting Seminar Summary

DSCN0302Jack Gottlieb, President of the Total Solutions Group, Inc., recently held part two of his interactive and inspirational business seminar series to help attendees put their business ideas on paper and start thinking about the long-term goals they have not only for their businesses, but for themselves. Jack further explained the importance of identifying your business values and goals as well as how you can start digging deeper into the logistics and analytics of your company. It is important to look at the big picture of where money is going, what is profitable and what isn’t – is key in the success of your business.

Check out some of the important information that was covered during the business financial planning and budgeting session of this series:

  • It is imperative that you answer the following questions in order to understand the core of your business. So grab a piece of paper and put your thinking cap on:
    • What is the value you want to create and how are you going to create it?
    • What are your needs vs. your wants?
    • Where is your money coming from and who will make that decision?
    • How are you best utilizing your money?
    • What is your business really about and do you know if you are succeeding?
    • What you insanely passionate about when it comes to your company?
    • What does your business all boil down to? Where is it going and where do you want it to go?
  • Don’t just look at the numbers, look beneath them to see what they mean for your business. Numbers aren’t only associated with money, they mean much more – i.e. customers, sales, marketing, engagement, time, etc.
  • Be SMART when it comes to setting goals: Specific Measure Attainable Relevant Time-Bound
  • There are 5 Cornerstones to every business:
    • 1. Living your core
    • 2. Being relevant
    • 3. Being sustainable
    • 4. Being replicable
    • 5. Being scalable
  • Ask yourself, “What is the REALLY most important goal I’d like to achieve by the end of 2014?”
  • 9 Core Areas of your plan:


  • You can learn more about a business from what it spends money on, not how much it makes. Great businesses don’t work for money, they have their money working for them. Funding our business and life is the main purpose of money.
  • It’s not about the budget, it’s about the value that money can bring vs. how much it will cost. If it’s worth doing it’s worth measuring!
  • The 5 Levels of Change:
    • 1. Lack of Understanding
    • 2. Creates Uncertainty
    • 3. Leading to Perception
    • 4. Shift in Behavior
    • 5. Performance

Ultimately, in order to truly succeed in business you need to find bigger problems to solve. It’s about making better decisions and mastering your capabilities, not about making money.

DSCN0305Jack Gottlieb is the President of The Total Solutions Group, Inc. a strategic consulting, training and coaching firm committed to driving a sustainable increase to an organization’s results, value proposition and culture. Jack brings 14 years of proven high level success along with the collective capability of his team and advisory board. Jack has also been one of the highest ranked speakers at various state wide SHRM (Society of Human Resource Managers) Annual Conferences as well as the New Jersey Organizational Development Annual Conferences for the past 7 years. Jack also serves on the Executive Board Collegiate Empowerment which is an educational firm committed to driving systemic change and impact for Colleges and Universities. Jack also is actively involved with two universities. The first is Kutztown University where he is one of the key leaders of the College of Business Advisory Board to support their efforts in further development and expansion. The second is with Rider University with their Center for the Development of Leadership Skills.

“Part 1: Create a Plan to Start Your Dream Business” Seminar Summary

DSCN0267Jack Gottlieb, President of the Total Solutions Group, Inc., recently held an interactive and inspirational business seminar to help attendees put their business ideas on paper and start thinking about the long-term goals they have not only for their businesses, but for themselves. Jack explained that there is more to planning a business than just your business proposal, and it starts with you – what you want to accomplish as an entrepreneur and how you can stand out from other business owners.

Check out some of the important information that was covered during part one of this series:

  • One of the first questions you should ask yourself is – “What is your business reallyabout?” If you don’t know, think about it then write it down – you will constantly refer back to this.
  • The core of a business: purpose and value, what need is being resolved and what value is your business offering?

  • Your ultimate goal: Getting your business to work for you and not you working for your business.

  • Establish the product(s) that you want to offer and what will it do. Figure out what your key products are.
  • Establish the service you want to provide — how you support it and ensure it.
  • Establish the type of experience you want for your customers — how you deliver it and how they use it. Everything is an experience. Build your community around your business.DSCN0269
  • Establish your community – the connection, pride and referrability is imperative to your business. In the long run, you want to have your company grow, impact people and expand.
  • Create a real passion – see it, feel it and live it.
  • If you’re spending money that isn’t helping your business grow, you must re-evaluate your spending patterns.
  • The 3 cornerstones of having a successful business are: want vs. need, value you offer and making a profit.
  • Jack recommended this book for all entrepreneurs: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki.
  • Another question to ask yourself: How does your business attract money, and how are you spending the money coming in?
  • An effective business plan: The way you think, should be the same way you plan, build, and communicate your business.
  • For inspiration, research successful companies such as Disney, Microsoft and Apple and see how they got started.

Click on the image below to see a highlight video from this seminar!

Business Series Part One

Don’t miss out on part-two of this “Building Your Business Dreams” seminar series! “Business Financial Planning and Budgeting” will be held this Thursday, February 13th from 8:30am-10:30am at our Wall Office located at 1800 Route 34 North, Building 3 Suite 302. Time is running out – register here!

Jack Gottlieb is the President of The Total Solutions Group, Inc. a strategic consulting, training and coaching firm committed to driving a sustainable increase to an organization’s results, value proposition and culture. Jack brings 14 years of proven high level success along with the collective capability of his team and advisory board. Jack has also been one of the highest ranked speakers at various state wide SHRM (Society of Human Resource Managers) Annual Conferences as well as the New Jersey Organizational Development Annual Conferences for the past 7 years. Jack also serves on the Executive Board Collegiate Empowerment which is an educational firm committed to driving systemic change and impact for Colleges and Universities. Jack also is actively involved with two universities. The first is Kutztown University where he is one of the key leaders of the College of Business Advisory Board to support their efforts in further development and expansion. The second is with Rider University with their Center for the Development of Leadership Skills.

Effective Webinar & Video Marketing for Business Seminar Summary

00_ENTRE_shutterstock_70581142_VideoMarketing_659px_0We recently had founder and owner of Coleman Communications, Cortland Coleman, present an informative seminar with an in-depth look into virtual world of marketing. Many business owners are looking for another outlet to promote and reach the community in order to gain new clients and leads, and videos are quickly becoming a “must” in today’s business market. Creating customized, unique videos is not only just a creative and appealing way to publicize your brand, but a great way to stand out against your competitors.

Check out some of the key points you might have missed from this seminar:

  • Why use video? It’s a personal, powerful and persuasive way to get your business noticed and in today’s society, people would rather press play than read!
  • Using videos and webinars you can out-position, out-perform, and out-rank your competition with video that matters. Remember to educate and inspire — 2 key elements when filming. It’s also crucial to include meta data, descriptions, tags, titles and keywords with your videos so you can be found using search engines and build your Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
  • Make sure you distribute and promote your video using YouTube, Vine, Vimeo, Instagram, etc. so you can get yourself out there to drive new prospects and deepen relationships with current clients utilizing the newest video platforms.
  • It’s crucial that you remain consistent with all your videos and follow other common businesses to network and gain ideas. It’s a good idea to use offers, discounts, and incentives within your videos to get people in your door.
  • For locational based businesses, online marketing must drive offline or in-store visits and sales in order to see a success in your tactics. You can measure ROI by closed deals, lead generation, and growing your list (emails, marketing lists, media relations & prospects).
  • Don’t know what to record? Well, start with yourself & your business, show why you help others, and what you do for the community and use enthusiasm!
  • You’ll also eventually want to film your clients and the community — testimonials are so powerful for your business and make a difference in driving traffic. Record your moments of success and brilliance including awards, recognitions, new products/services, milestones, etc. people love to hear positive, local news.
  • Wondering how to start recording? You can use devices such as HD cameras, smart phones, and webcams. YYou also want to make sure you alternate your recording devices so your videos do not have the same setting and backdrop every time. Keep in mind your website is your “hub” of your online video & marketing efforts, therefore make sure all videos are optimized and easily accessible.
  • Expand your sales & reach with webinars – they are a great way to invite people to learn about you and your business. Set aside time each month to create a regular schedule of webinars (be consistent and frequent) and build a list of people to invite to join. Don’t forget once your videos are complete to upload them to YouTube (#2 search engine — and it’s not even a search engine!), post to your site, and share to your social media pages.

Now that you have a good idea on how you can start getting “visual” for your business, it’s time to get out there and start filming!

Cortland Coleman – founder and owner of Coleman Communications – is the Jersey Shore’s Social Media Leader.  He began his public relations career in Arizona during the 90’s by running political campaigns.  When he and his wife had their son, he moved back to New Jersey to be near family, and continued his political public relations on the east coast.  Cortland decided to take his knowledge to the private sector and founded Coleman Communications, where he uses his expertise on reaching the public by helping companies with their marketing campaigns.  Coleman Communications helps businesses, non-profits, and government agencies with social media, search-engine optimization, and all electronic marketing to reach their consumer.

Franchise Opportunities for Business Seminar Summary


We recently held a free business seminar, “How the Right Franchise Opportunity Can Accelerate Your Movement Up the Entrepreneurial Ladder”, presented by Ed Kozemchak of ActionCOACH and Neil Sullivan of the Entrepreneur Authority of New Jersey. Neil and Ed were able to give real-life experiences and personal testimonials for our attendees. Here is some important information you missed:

Ed discussed the 6 Rungs of the Entrepreneurial Ladder, which includes employee, self-employed, manager, owner, investor, and entrepreneur.

  1. Reasons to be an Employee: As an employee, you build practical knowledge and experience. You also want to pay close attention and learn from others, and be sure to ask a lot of questions (very handy for future endeavors). You earn your money by what you “do” in order to maximize your earning potential.
  2. Reasons to be Self-Employed: During this time you learn a lot about the company structure including sales and marketing, accounting, the true meaning of hard work, networking and making contacts, responsibility and accountability. Being self-employed you can make your own money and also pay less in taxes.
  3. Reasons to be a Manager: This is where you create a team, hire employees and conduct training. This is where you are designated to have “many hats” and also build relationships, learn to make quick decisions, and gain trust. As a manager, you manage the making of money and encourage your team to work hard in order to have a large return.
  4. Reasons to be an Owner: As an owner, you have more time for yourself socially and personally. This is a time where you can invest, start more businesses and start a new career. You will have a passive income stream where you receive the profits as you lead your team to maximize those profits.
  5. Reasons to be an Investor: You should master investment strategies in businesses, real estate and the stock market and live by the motto, “Learn, Buy, Build, Sell” or “Learn, Buy, Renovate, Sell”. As an investor, you invest in capital and get a “return on investment”.
  6. Reasons to be an Entrepreneur: Everything you buy is a business expense because you are “business”. Entrepreneurs have influence and bring information and opportunity while achieving their dreams. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have to work for your money because your money is working for you!

Do you know where you are on the Entrepreneurial Ladder? Remember, focus on the highest priorities, execute at the highest level, and accountability increases urgency and frequency. Always test for effectiveness, efficiency, productivity and leverage.

Neil explained the 5 Keys to Evaluating a Franchise:

  1. Level of investment and potential ROI: When looking at a franchise the initial investment should be something to consider but the investment versus the ROI (return on investment) should be the main focus. Many franchises are “low cost” but also produce very little in the way of profit. There is a direct correlation between the cost of the franchise and the revenue generated. Though not absolute it is not a good idea to pick something just because it has a small price tag.
  2. Strong Training and Support System: Picking a franchise that has a strong training program will help the business get off the ground from the start. The first several months will help determine how successful the business will be in the long run and it is always a good idea to make those months as productive and positive as possible. Determining whether the franchise has adequate and easy to obtain support going forward will also make the business easier to run when difficulties arise.
  3. Territory Assignment: Does the franchise offer any sort of territory protection? If the franchise is a physical location then having protection from another franchisee locating too close is something that needs to be considered. If it is a consulting type business or not location dependent, does the franchise limit the number of franchisees in an area?
  4. Success of the Franchise:  Checking into how well the franchise is doing will help to better understand if the business model has been successful up to this point.  That includes talking to as many existing franchisees as possible to see if they are happy and would purchase the franchise again. Understanding how many locations have closed or changed hands and why that has happened is always a good idea.
  5. Are they Future Thinking?: Some franchises get caught up in past successes and do not look forward to make sure that they do not wind up behind the curve. The franchisor should always be working on something new whether it is a new product or new service. Even hamburger companies are coming up with new products on a constant basis to make sure customers do not become tired of their product and go somewhere else.

Ed Kozemchak mentors business owners and their leadership teams, executives, sales professionals, and professional services providers.  He coaches them to take the actions they must take to overcome or eliminate their greatest challenges so they reach their true potential. Over the last 30 years, he served as a successful business executive, business owner, and business/executive coach. He has personally coached more than 250 business owners and leaders. As the leader of a professional services business, he doubled revenues every year over a 5-year period and grew the professional services team from 10 to 250 people over that same 5-year period. He breaks down business challenges into smaller, more manageable pieces to create successful solutions and provides his clients with knowledge, focus, and accountability.

Neil Sullivan is the owner of Franchise to Win, LLC, an independent affiliate with The Entrepreneur Authority (TEA). TEA is the only franchise consulting service that has the endorsement of the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD). Neil has a great deal of first hand experience with the franchise industry.  Prior to joining TEA he was a multi store Franchisee of Data Doctors Computer Services franchise for over 8 years.  Neil has also started and ran 2 independent companies before Data Doctors.  He has extensive knowledge of running companies day to day and the challenges that face both independent and franchised businesses.

“Is Being an Entrepreneur Right for You?” Business Seminar Summary

EntrepreneurBill Mirkin and Darrell McQueen of Monmouth’s SCORE organization, gave a presentation that included personal and inspiring stories of how they got their businesses started, as well as the successes and challenges they had throughout the years. A great piece of advice was given by Bill Mirkin when he stated, “If you don’t take risks, you’ll never succeed.” So, are you ready and willing to take that risk in order to become a successful entrepreneur?

Myth vs. Reality of Being an Entrepreneur

  • Myth: If you go out on your own, you won’t have to work so hard or such long hours.
  • Reality: You’ll probably work harder and longer than ever before – but enjoy it more at the same time. Exhaustion fades at the moment you proudly say, “I did this!”
  • Myth: People with their own businesses can charge high prices and make a lot of money fast.
  • Reality: “Provide a service or product that’s fair priced where you can make good money.” – Bill Mirkin
  • Myth: You’ll be able to deduct everything, so you don’t have to pay taxes.
  • Reality: Taxes are based on net income, which can be lowered by subtracting expenses related to the business from gross income. Keep good records and learn how to make the tax system work for you.
  • Myth: If you work independently you won’t have to report to a boss.
  • Reality: You won’t have a single boss, you’ll have many – your customers and vendors, each of whom have specific needs and demands. Your challenge is to keep all of them happy.
  • Myth: All you need is a few good customers and you’ll be set.
  • Reality: It’s easier to deal with just a few customers, but the risk is high – limiting yourself could sink your business.
  • Myth: If you work on your own, you can work uninterrupted and won’t have annoying distrctions like meetings.
  • Reality: The challenge is to establish structure and discipline so you can maintain as much control over your environment.
  • Myth: Business owners get to do the work they want to do, and only what they find interesting.
  • Reality: You’ll have to develop an interest in every aspect of your business, no matter whether or not you find it interesting.
  • Myth: You won’t have to deal with any office politics if you have your own business.
  • Reality: Customers, suppliers, employees and others will place demands on you.

Did you know that there are over 23 million small businesses in the US and about 75% of them are run by only one person. Therefore, you don’t need a whole office of employees, as long as you can be successful and run the company you want to run, that is all that matters. If you’re thinking about becoming an entrepreneur, “step back and look at industries and the recessions in place before starting a business,” stated Darrell McQueen.

Can’t attend one of our educational seminars? No need to fret, just follow us on Twitter @NJBanking and you can “join” the seminar with our Live Tweeting from the comfort of your own home or desk! We always invite you to join the conversation by using the hashtag provided the day of the seminar – this way you’ll never miss a beat! To go back and review the tweets from this seminar, use #EntreBiz.

Our next business seminar, Electronic Payment Solutions, presented by HarborPoint Bancard will be held on Tuesday, April 16th at our Wall Office at 8:30am. To register, click here and you can also visit our event calendar. We encourage you to subscribe to this blog in order to stay up to date on all future events, seminars, promotions and much more.

SCORE is a nonprofit organization that helps small businesses. It offers free counseling sessions, workshops, and more. To learn more about how you can get free help with your small business or to set up an appointment, visit SCORE’s website, give them a call at 732.224.2573, or find them at library counseling locations at Shrewsbury, Manalapan, Wall, and Middletown; main office at Brookdale Community College. They are also available through EMACC, SMCC, and GMCC Chambers of Commerce.

Social Media Strategy for Business Seminar Summary

social%20media-resized-600Social Media Consultant Deborah Smith recently helped our attendees strategize a social media plan for their businesses. By using social media tools like FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, any company can market themselves for little to no cost; but in order to make these social platforms successful for your company, you must dedicate the time. They aren’t going to work and market all by themselves.

If you are curious to know which social media sites you should use, Deborah Smith suggests the following:

  • If your company is business to business = LinkedIn & Twitter
  • If your company is business to consumer = Facebook & Twitter
  • If your company provides visual products/services = Pinterest & Twitter


It’s important to do your research first to get to know your audience and who you want to specifically target. Using sites like Hootsuite and Google Alertshelps make your “tweeting” a lot easier. Hootsuite allows you to organize streams of search queries, schedule tweets, research hashtags and much more. Google Alerts will send you e-mails if any keyword you specifically want Google to search for comes up. Be creative and play around with keywords and research hashtags on Symplur for you to use on your own Twitter account.

Other tips:
  • Find targert markets through keyword research.
  • Follow prospective people with low follow counts, they will be more likely to notice you just for following.
  • For influencers with large follow counts, retweet their tweets to get noticed.


“The first thing you need to do is make a good impression,” says Deborah Smith about starting a LinkedIn profile. Make sure to include a professional headshot, post your city and state, and create a company page. It’s important to periodically post status updates (new hires, new certifications, etc.) on both your personal and company pages but be sure not to overload your connections with unnecessary updates. To get yourself noticed, make sure you complete and optimize your profile, build your network, ask for recommendations, become visible and be sure to include your LinkedIn URL in your e-mail signature and on all promotional/marketing materials.

Other tips:

  • Utilize the advanced search feature to find very specific people to connect with.
  • To rapidly grow your connection base on LinkedIn, join an “Open Networking” group like LION (LinkedIn Open Networkers).
  • Become a paid member and designate yourself as an open networker (one who accepts all invitations) with a mutli-colored wreath next to your name.
  • Only invite people who are already on LinkedIn and craft a unique message, don’t use the generic message.


You want to develop a Pinterest business page with eye catching boards that appeal to your target market and create relationships with your audience by interacting with users who pin images from your website or board. Why? Early research indicates that Pinterest is more effective at driving traffic compared to other social media sites, even Facebook.

Other tips:

  • Invest in a good camera that produces high quality images if you have products that you want to market.
  • It’s important to learn about your followers, so take some time to go and see what your followers are pinning.
  • People are on Pinterest to have fun, not to be sold to. So it’s a good idea to post things from other sites and online stores rather than just your own.


Facebook timelines are like mini-websites where you can highlight specific employees, news in your surrounding community and mix in information about your products and services. Your company isn’t going to boom overnight, “you need to do your song and dance to get noticed on Facebook,” as stated by Deborah Smith. Provide questions that get your audience to respond and get talking. Nothing is better than receiving personal testimonials about your products and/or services than from a customer.

Other tips:

  • Design custom tabs at (contact forms, surveys, sweepstakes, etc.).
  • Your cover photo should not be a marketing tool or contain any call-to-action (i.e. “Get it now!”, “Tell your friends!”, “Like this page for 10% off”).
  • Utilize paid advertisements to target specific audiences by state, town, sex, age, education, etc.
  • Pay to promote posts by the number of people you want to reach out to.

Cool tools for Social Media:

  • Use StumbleUpon to get even more noticed by targeting by interest, location and demographic.
  • Constant Contact for their social campaigns.
  • e-Grabber extracts all members of LinkedIn Groups into spreadsheet with phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

For the full presentation, click here for the PDF version. Stay tuned for more of Deborah Smith’s upcoming seminars for 2013! Keep track of all our seminars on our event calendar on our website.

In 2007, Deborah founded a highly successful food blog which focusses on great eats in New Jersey. Check out for delicious tips and inspiration! To learn more about Deborah’s Social Media and E-mail Marketing services, visit

Follow Deborah @DeborahLSmith@JerseyBites and