Peninsula Small Business Talk

from the Peninsula Executives Association

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Posts Tagged ‘All About Business Services’

PEA Member John W. King, Keller Williams Realty is Blogging about UNreal Estate in the Bay Area

PEA member John W. King, Keller Williams Realty has recently started blogging (with the help of Neal Coogler and Melanie Maxwell of All About Business Services)! He already has two great posts up on his blog, UNreal Estate Blog.

John talks about interesting and unusual things happening in the real estate market on the Peninsula and in Silicon Valley.  With topics like “Bad Appraisal Nets Seller Big Dollars!?” and “Crazy Bidding Wars! Back to the Future, Again?“, John brings his 30 years of Bay Area real estate experience and his intimate knowledge of the market together in fun articles.

He is posting regularly at UNreal Estate Blog, so check out his posts and subscribe to stay updated!

Brian Irion, Esq., Law Offices of Brian Irion has his Latest Bankruptcy Case Dismissed with Prejudice

Brian Irion, Esq., Law Offices of Brian Irion has been a member of PEA for nine years.  He was brought in to the organization by Roger Bolgard, Jackson & Miller and Brian has brought in three members himself (San Mateo Daily Journal, All About Business Services, and Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada).  Roger, like Brian, is an attorney, but they focus on different things.

Brian began by giving an overview of what kinds of things he has done in order to help PEA members understand what he can do for them.  In the last year, Brian has had 65-70 matters whose attorneys’ fees ranged from around $75 to $130,000.  In the area of intellectual property, he handled a trademark dispute for a synthetic seawater manufacturer, a copyright disputes for movie distributors, and a patent dispute for clean room testing equipment.  Brian has also represented contractors, some on an ongoing basis, in litigation.  If you have a transaction matter Brian recommends talking to Roger.  He has represented general contractors in collection matters and disputes with owners, subcontractors and architects.  He has also represented subcontractors in disputes with owners and general contractors (residential and commercial).  Another area Brian specializes in is real estate law.  He does purchase and sale litigation for residential homes and commercial facilities.  Brian has also worked on construction litigation and evictions (the landlord side for commercial and residential).  Unfriendly business dissolutions that are corporate, partnerships or LLCs are also cases that Brian works on.  In addition, he works on collections cases representing service providers and people who have bought goods and didn’t get them.

Finally, Brian also does many forms of bankruptcy.  Over the last year, Brian has done 30-35 debtor representation bankruptcies (chapter 7, chapter 13, and chapter 11).  In the last year Brian has also represented creditors, like in his latest trial, as well as unavoidably interested parties.

Brian shared a ‘PEA works’ story about his latest bankruptcy trial.  Brian represented the largest allegedly unsecured creditor in a chapter 13 bankruptcy case (who happened to be the ex-husband of the debtor).  He shared an overview of the case, and then spoke about how PEA helped him win the case.  The debtor sold her Porsche a few months before filing for bankruptcy for only $3000 to a close friend.  Brian spoke to Larry Moore, Larry’s Autoworks and Larry thought the car would be worth about $14,000 scrap.  Larry gave Brian information for getting in touch with a scrap auto dealer and a Porsche mechanic to give expert testimony.  Brian also got in touch with Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing who gave a declaration to value the car.  Finally, Brian had Bob Rosenberg, GR8WORK Builders, Inc. evaluate the value of a house she had purchased as well as being an investigator of sorts to help Brian find out what was inside the house as he suspected the debtor did not list all of her assets.  Ultimately, the case was dismissed with prejudice, which means she not only still owes money to her former husband, she also owes her divorce lawyer and cannot file bankruptcy to discharge these debts again.  Ever.

Brian finished his presentation by talking about what is a good lead for him.  He is not a good person for small claims matters (that is under $10,000), and not good if you want a lawyer to write ‘just a letter’ (this will just make the other side hire a lawyer as well).  A good lead is someone who understands that, as famously said by Abraham Lincoln, “A lawyer’s time and advice are his stock in trade.”

Internet Marketing Panel at PEA

Last week at PEA, the Program Committee organized a panel on Internet Marketing with some of our members. Learn more about what we talked about below!

Larry Moore, Larry’s Autoworks emceed and introduced the panel speakers: Neal Coogler, All About Business Services, Erik Jacobsen, Threestory Studio, Jerry Lee, San Mateo Dailey Journal, and Kim Tucker, All Reasons Moving. Larry presented questions to the panel that they answered, and then opened the floor for questions from other PEA members.

If I’m not already on the Internet, what is the first step?

Jerry: Don’t be intimidated by the web, because you definitely need to be on it in some way.

Kim: Register your domain name and get rid of random, online email accounts.  Use your domain for employee email addresses.

Erik: You need a landing page, even a simple page is a start.  Think of your landing page as being your storefront on the Internet.

Neal: I agree with Erik, a website is important even if it is very simple.  Some people use what are like enhanced directory listings as a website, but you don’t own those sites.  It is much better to make something that you own.

Should I pay for Internet advertising?

Neal: A lot of PEA members can do without, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t something to look into.  You should not discount the pros of paid advertising.

Erik: I use Google Adwords- it is an easy way to get targeted advertising and can be cost effective.  It gets me regular leads, although it was not as effective at first and I had to reevaluate my ads.

Kim: We use a combination of paid and not.  The pro of the latter is that they are free, but the paid advertising will give you a focused campaign.  It is about relevancy- we also get business from the free listings.  One tip is to Google your competitors to see what they are doing.

Jerry: It depends on what industry you are in and the internet literacy of your customers.  You also need to put in work on your end, by having good site content.  Blogging is a good way to create new content, and you could use something like that in combination with the paid advertising.

What is the ‘best buy,’ or where can you spend the least but get the most value?

Jerry: For me, we use our resources on our website itself, because ads are less effective for our business.

Kim: Visibility is important, so create a presence, work on your website, and drive traffic to it with new content. But it is important to decide if you have the time to do those things yourself, because if not, you should consider outsourcing it. We pay someone for our Google Adwords, while I spend my time on blogging.

Erik: I agree – investing in your landing page is important.  Make sure you have the content on your page.  There are also things you can do for free if you have the time.

Neal: As they say, ‘content is king.’  Having good content on your site is a good way to improve your web presence.  There are also some basic things you can do for SEO that can be quite effective.

What should I avoid?

Neal: Be cautious of hiring a business that wants to charge you a monthly maintenance fee to maintain directory listings.  It can be difficult to unsubscribe and you don’t own these listings.

Erik: Be cautious of people who promise to get you to a certain position in search results.  You should also be careful to not mix your personal and professional worlds online.

Kim: I agree, if they promise to get you on page one, they are often not doing it properly and Google will ding you for some of those practices.  I also agree that it is important to keep the personal and professional separate.

Jerry: I get a lot of spam, and it is best to not respond to it.  Remember that nothing is easy; it all takes time and effort.

Larry then opened the floor to questions from the membership.  Thank you to the Program Committee for organizing this program!

We are back with new members!

After a short blogging hiatus we are back!  A successful membership drive in May and June has given us FOUR new members.

Meet our newest members:

Neal Coogler, All About Business Services

Classification: Social Media, Local Search Optimization, and Financial Record Keeping

Member Since: May 2012

Neal Coogler, All About Business Services and her associate member Melanie Maxwell can provide a range of services for other small businesses. Neal does remote bookkeeping for clients and recently announced a partnership with Mike Clark, Michael J. Clark, CPA. She will be working with Mike to get his clients set up in QuickBooks and give consultation and training, as well as live accounting and historical write-ups as needed.  Together Neal and Melanie will asses your social media and local web presence and help you optimize your website.  Check back next week for a blog post on their recent Classification talk!

Lisa Mitzel, Home Care Assistance

Classification: In-Home Care

Member Since: June 2012

In 2002 Home Care Assistance, a home care company that provides high-quality, consistent care, was founded.  Home Care Assistance is bonded and insured, and covers all employees with workers’ compensation. Their strong commitment to excellent caregivers has helped us become a leading provider of non-medical, in-home senior care.  Home Care Assistance caregivers are expertly matched with the right clients to build long-term relationships. They provide services tailored to the needs of homebound older adults, as well as services that help mobile older adults enhance their quality of life.

Ana Marie Corona, A&C Hauling Solutions

Classification: Hauling

Member Since: July 2012

A&C Hauling Solutions is an owner-operated, full-service hauling company located in the San Francisco Bay Area. They accommodate the needs of their customers with dedication and strong work ethics. They understand flexibility is key to each client and successfully meet the expectation of each project. They give free estimates and can provide same day service for most jobs.  There is no job too big or too small for A&C Hauling!

Mike Ellerin, Home Preservation Services

Classification: Home Care Maintenance

Member Since: July 2012

Home Preservation Services provides a package of services tailored to sustainably control your home’s condition, efficiency and cost.  They combines the efforts of inspectors, specialty contractors, technicians and more into a single powerful service, conveniently delivered in quarterly appointments, with help available 24/7, 365 days a year.  They have identified key service tasks that are crucial to the function and durability of your home. Their personnel are specially trained across multiple trades to perform these specific tasks so they can do in one trip what would normally require a dozen or more separate contractors. They also create a database on each home so if something goes awry they can often troubleshoot and arrange repairs without time consuming and expensive fact-finding trips.