The Connecticut Manufacturers Resource Group (Ctmrg), a subsidiary of WebSavvy Marketers, worked with other manufacturing industry groups, including the Naval & Maritime Consortium and ManufactureCT, to help the University of Connecticut (UCONN) secure a $1.75M grant from the Department of Energy (DOE).
The grant will help fund the university’s DOE Industrial Assessment Center (IAC), which helps small to medium sized manufacturing companies reduce their energy costs and carbon emissions. The IAC will conduct complimentary energy efficiency assessments for 20 companies throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island, and/or New York each year for five years.
According to the Department of Energy, IAC assessments typically identify more than $130,000 in potential annual savings opportunities.
“The key to getting the grant was bringing everyone together to work on this common goal,” CTmrg’s founder, Beth Devine said. “As a result, we have a complete solution for manufacturers who want to improve their energy efficiency.” Devine serves on an advisory panel that assists UCONN’s IAC in implementing the energy assessment program.
At a press conference on the UCONN Storrs campus on May 20, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced that the Biden administration will dedicate $7M to free energy assessment programs at additional schools in California, Delaware, Georgia and Texas. Devine attended the press conference with U.S. Congressman Joe Courtney, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Katie Dykes, Connecticut’s Chief Manufacturing Officer Paul Lavoie, Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merill, and UCONN President Radenka Maric.
The Connecticut Manufacturers Resource Group (CTmrg) helps small and medium sized manufacturers find and take advantage of programs and resources. CTmrg partners with workforce boards and educational institutions, navigates state and federal programs, and vets the best resources available to provide Connecticut manufacturers with a single source of services and information to help them grow their businesses. Contact Us for more information.
The Connecticut Manufacturers Resource Group (CTmrg) in conjunction with the Hartford Business Journal (HBJ) is hosting a workforce summit geared towards the specific challenges manufacturers face regarding workforce recruitment and retention.
We’re inviting manufacturing company owners and HR directors to attend the event to share unique solutions to their recruitment and retention challenges.
Recruitment and Retention Panel Discussions
The event will include two panel discussions – one on recruitment and the other on retention. The panels will consist of manufacturers discussing a variety of topics including…
- Recruiting and working with Military Vets
- Wow to set up training programs with your local high school
- 2nd chance programs
- Next generation on-boarding
- Profit sharing
- EQ training
- There is also a presentation on an alternate workforce
Bonus – Funding Sources and Educational Partners
In addition, we will have representatives from all the funding programs (STEP, Step-up, forgive-able grants, MVP, NETAAC, etc.). There will also be representatives of the technical high school system, community college and state colleges/universities. It will provide a true one-stop resource for funding and education partners.
Date: Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Location: UConn Cell & Genome Sciences Building, 400 Farmington Ave, Farmington, CT
Cost: $49.95 (Breakfast and coffee will be provided)
We are limited to 100 attendees so be sure to sign up soon.
Web Savvy Marketers is excited to announce that we have partnered with Jonesen to provide you a whole new level of web hosting, web design, security, and development services.
We recently transitioned our focus from web design, development, and hosting to Marketing, specifically: copywriting, blogging, SEO, and PR. Since then, we decided to partner with Jonesen to ensure you were given the best care possible going forward, and to allow us the ability to focus our full efforts on our Marketing services.
Jonesen is a web agency with over 15 years of experience delivering creative solutions to clients coast to coast. We have been working together behind the scenes to ensure that this will be a step up in service and security for your business.
Here’s what to expect next:
- First rate service from the Jonesen team
- Over the next few weeks, the Jonesen team will be evaluating your websites and reaching out to go over your plans for the future and how they can assist with getting you there
- Future invoices for website services will be generated by Jonesen and all future payments should be routed to them as well
If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to either us or Charles Elliott at Jonesen. Existing web hosting customers have been sent an email with contact information for Charles. Please contact us if you have not received the email or if you need us to resend the contact information.
Overview of GDPR and how it affects small business owners in the US. With specific links and resources for businesses with e-commerce websites and those running WordPress and WooCommerce.
What is GDPR?
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) definition: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Data_Protection_Regulation
The regulation was created to protect privacy for all individuals within the European Union and European Economic Area.
The regulation requires that personally identifiable information being collected about individuals inside the EU be processed and stored to protect the data privacy.
- Information must be stored using pseudonymization or anonymization.
- Data is not available publicly without explicit consent.
- Consent to use data can be withdrawn by the consumer at any time.
- The processor of data must clearly disclose what data is being collected; how it being collected; why it is being processed; how long it is being retained and if it is being shared with third-parties.
Who does this affect?
This applies to any online business that collects and stores personally identifiable information from individuals or entities in the EU.
How this might affect Web Savvy Marketer customers:
- If you have an e-commerce store and sell to customers in the EU
- If you collect personal data from EU customers for any reason
- You can not send unsolicited emails to anyone. You can not purchase lists, or merge lists from different companies into your list.
- You can not auto email from abandoned shopping carts, unless the shopper has opted in for email.
Actions steps to take if GDPR affects you
- Make sure your website has an SSL certificate installed so data collection/storage is encrypted
- Remove all automatic opt-ins on your website, get a clear consent prior to collecting data
- Set up process to delete user information upon their request
- Set up process to monitor for potential data breaches and notify users if their data has been affected by a breach
- Review your mailing lists for compliance
For more detailed information please review the following resources:
- Get a quick overview with this Infographic: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/smedataprotect/index_en.htm
WordPress related information:
- Good overall resource in clear language with specific information on what to include in privacy policies and recommendations for data collection. https://www.willows-consulting.com/gdpr-for-ecommerce/#
- Woocommerce websites: https://woocommerce.com/2017/12/gdpr-compliance-woocommerce/
- Additional Woocommerce resources: https://woocommerce.com/gdpr/
Manufacturing is a hot industry. People finally realize that you can’t grow an economy based on service industry alone. They also realize that manufacturing jobs have a positive effect on the overall financial health of a community. For those reasons, state and federal governments as well as companies have created free programs to assist manufacturers to ensure success and subsequent growth.
Some of the programs offered provide assistance for …
- Business Plan Creation
- Disaster Preparedness
- Training and Workshops
- Workforce Development
- Energy Audits
- Retirement Program Reviews
- ISO Registration Reviews
- Assistance with International Growth
These programs are in addition to several funding programs available. Some of the funds are in the form of grants (ex: 50/50 matching grant for new equipment purchases or 25/75 matching grant for marketing) or low interest loans that are forgiven based upon number of jobs created.
The bottom line is, before you sign a contract, contact us at 860-432-9977 to see if there’s a free program you can be taking advantage of to start.
Pay-per-Click or Adwords is a paid program that buys you ranking for your website. Most often referred to as Google Adwords, a good pay-per-click program can be effective across multiple search engines like Bing and Yahoo. This is an advertising campaign where you only pay if someone clicks on your ad.
If your industry is highly competitive, you don’t add content to your website frequently or are a fairly new company, getting on the first page of Google can be a challenge. Although we recommend investing in an overall content marketing program, it can take time for the search engines to rank your site. Pay-per-click allows you to have a strong on-line presence while you wait for your natural ranking to improve.
Can you manage your own campaign? Yes and No. Pay-per-Click programs give you the tools to create your own campaign however, unless you have a great deal of time to commit to becoming an expert, I would not recommend managing it. Search engines change their algorithms frequently. To run a truly effective campaign you need to have an thorough understanding of these changes.
We have worked with clients that have managed their own programs and once transferred to a company that does this alone have seen results that are twice as effective for half the cost. Managing a campaign is a combination of art and science and requires constant education to stay on top of it.
Please contact us at 860-432-8756 for help with your Pay-Per-Clicks (Adwords) Campaign.
Whenever we approach the subject of blogging with our manufacturing clients we get the same push back…
- Nobody cares what we had for breakfast, or
- Our customers already know that
We’d like to address these two misconceptions.
First, a company blog has nothing to do with what one consumes for the first meal of the day. The concept of blogging is often confused with a teenager tweeting or posting their mundane life updates on Facebook. When in reality, blogging is simply a way to add content to your website. Blogs can be presented in various formats from a written piece to a video blog. All formats can be useful as long as the information presented is educational and written with the audiences needs in mind.
Second, as far as “our customer already knows this”, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they know you do it. We can say with almost 100% certainty that every manufacturing client we’ve worked with for the past 20+ years has told us at one time or another, “I can’t believe my customer didn’t know I did this”. The reason they didn’t know was that the one time they shared with the customer all their capabilities, the customer only had the one need, so they didn’t retain information about the other services/products. Blogging helps to keep all your capabilities in front of them at all times.
Blogging is essential for several reasons…
- Your search engine optimization depends on frequent updates to your site. The most recent content gets ranked higher and therefore, sites that publish more frequently get better ranking.
- Adding content to your site helps to ensure you can be found on a search. If you don’t have the right keyword terms on your site, how are people to find you when searching those terms?
- A good blog helps to establish you/your company as experts in the field. People are more interested in having a conversation with someone who obviously knows what they’re doing.
- Blogs can be used to help you to stay in front of your customers and prospects on a consistent basis (can be used to as content for an e-newsletter).
Many of our manufacturing clients are concerned with SEO (search engine optimization) as they want to be found on searches that apply to their business. These days SEO is all about content. Therefore, content creation is critical and blogging is the way to go.
Please contact us at 860-432-8756 for help with your content creation (aka blog).
Also from our Blog: 5 Reasons to Blog for Your Business: Blogging Resistance Beware
There are two things you can do that are sure to kill your negative buzz. That self-pity, bitterness, jealousy, and regret we all tend to cloak ourselves with, like Peanut’s Linus dragging his dirty blanket around with him everywhere he went.
It’s a simple two-step formula, and it requires only a minor sacrifice from you.
1. Ditch the dirty blanket
Instead of clinging to the negative, wrap yourself with gratitude.
2. Choose to share
Without the weight of negative thoughts, its a natural transition to turn around and give.
Your kindness counts, and whatever you choose to do as an individual or business will make a difference.
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” ~Anne Frank
Gratitude is a skill that anyone can practice and learn. Check out Robert Emmons “10 Ways to Become More Grateful” to reap the benefits of gratitude, which science shows can impact your social, physical, and psychological well-being.
Implementing this into your business’s mindset can be as simple as organizing a charitable effort, such as including a non-perishable food drive for your next event. When Web Savvy Marketers held their second anniversary celebration Mardi Gras style, we asked for donations for the local food pantry. In exchange for colorful beaded necklaces, guests brought cans of food and checks made out to the pantry.
“He that feeds the hungry spreads out a banquet more sweet and refreshing than luxury can bestow. “ ~The Voice, 1845.
This generosity fed over eleven families. From a small group of concerned individuals, a small section of the world was impacted. Creating opportunities for people to give requires little effort when its incorporated into a scheduled function through invitations, e-newsletters, and online announcements.
Charitable and fundraising efforts of all kinds can be the definitive buzzkill for any negativity that surrounds you. Finding non-monetary ways to help go beyond sharing your treasure. Giving your time and talent makes your donation come to life by connecting you to the causes you support.
Participate in volunteer activities where you live.
Use your skills to help raise awareness by sharing, liking, and commenting in your charity’s social media sites.
Help spread the word by persuading and connecting the charity with new potential donors.
Understand the need through a deeper connection to a charity by staying abreast of stories, statistics, and current events that impact the cause. This will help your connection to grow.
Make a Wall of Gratitude at Work
A workplace Gratitude Wall bulletin board is another way to help usher in a grateful attitude among employees. Be sure to focus on thanking people as opposed to things.
Saying thank you begins with you. Your thank you’s impact will be stronger when you are specific, giving details about the person, action, or thing you are thankful for.
Are you wondering what your gratitude quotient is? Take this online gratitude quiz by the Greater Good Science Center and find out!
The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, in collaboration with the University of California, Davis, is launching a three-year, $5.6 million project, Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude with funding from the John Templeton Foundation.
Look for expanded gratitude results in medicine, education, schools, and workplaces as they work to promote the role of gratitude in society.
As you reach out to others and learn to wrap yourself with gratitude, remember this:
“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” ~Anthony Robbins
To help keep the gratitude flowing, create a gratitude mandala like the one here using these free mandala templates.
Have you heard the phrase “just show up”? We are told that by simply being there, we’re taking a significant step toward success. Last week at the annual Connecticut Women’s Conference presented by the CT Women’s Alliance, we discovered what else we can do to achieve our dreams and goals, and it involves doing something we alone hold the power to do. It means becoming a conscious creator. Ask yourself how you are going to show up. Think about what you want, name the feelings this brings, and then cancel any negative ones. Now, concentrate on the positive thoughts, and let it expand.
If you imagine empowerment, it becomes yours.
“We Are Spirits Having a Human Experience”
L. Kay Wilson, the conference moderator, opened by introducing this vision of empowerment, and it lifted and soared as each speaker shared their story and the know-how they acquired along the way. These women (and a few men!) developed that kernel of truth within themselves to create a working reality for their ambition. Judy Dworin shared how she reaches across prison walls to embolden the incarcerated with the Performance Project’s dance and theater, Thea Montañez recounted her humanitarian efforts in Haiti, and keynote speaker Deborah Rodriguez regaled us with her adventures in Afghanistan training women in the art of cosmetology.
All the speakers have this in common: They are reaching out to do the uncommon by serving the underserved.
Our inspiration continued beyond the narratives. We learned how to improve our breathing. We practiced visualization on our hands. (Did you know one is larger? Or so it seems…) We even practiced laugh yoga. Don’t laugh – or rather, yes, laugh! – it’s for real, and it’s for your wellbeing.
Happiness is Giving to the Universe
When you show up, how will you choose to proceed? Rodriguez’s life-changing decisions began with an injured iguana. Should she follow her convictions and save this creature, or should she turn her back on what she knew would continue to follow her? Your own “iguana moment” could be the thing that makes you go forward or remain stationary. When they refused to turn their back, each of the speakers brought a unique and healing design to the table.
Montañez reminds us that the very thing we need to heal will bring us happiness when we give it away. Where will you bring your happiness? I hope when you show up you will find it there.