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Coming Next Month is the Small Business Resource Fair, Hosted by PEA member San Mateo Daily Journal

Coming up on April 30 is the Small Business Resource Fair, hosted by PEA member The San Mateo Daily Journal.

Interested in participating but need to know more? Click on the informational handout below:

>>> Palo Alto Small Business Resource Fair hosted by The San Mateo Daily Journal <<<

PEA will have their own booth at the fair, and we would love to see you! Come stop by and visit our table from 9 am to 1 pm at the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto.

If you are interested in becoming a partner at the fair, contact Skip Gould to get set up!

Palo Alto Small Business Resource Fair, hosted by PEA member The San Mateo Daily Journal

The San Mateo Daily Journal will be hosting the “Small Business Resource Fair” in Palo Alto on April 30, 2013.

The Daily Journal continues its high profile series of community Business Events with the Small Business Resource Fair, designed to help local small business owners and self-employed professionals thrive in today’s ever changing marketplace.  Small business means big business in the Bay Area.  If your company or organization markets to owners, C-level execs and self-employed professionals, then this event is vital for your success.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto

PEA member Skip Gould, San Mateo Daily Journal shared information about attending and sponsoring this event with PEA at last week’s meeting.  For more information on how to attend the seminar or how to become a sponsor, contact Skip!

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!

March Success Stories Round-up!


  • Laurie Moore, Larry’s Autoworks thanked Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage for the refinance.
  • Erik Jacobsen, Threestory Studio got a call from another attorney from the law firm that he mentioned in his classification for more visual information design.  His work will also be used by the Los Altos Rotary for their upcoming Fine Arts in the Park.
  • Randy Mills, Pioneer Services bought a new van through Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing and said it was much better than going through a dealership.
  • Maureen Clark, Clark Associates thanked Mike Fox, A&A Plumbing for coming to the rescue again.
  • Tom Brown, All Reasons Moving reported that they just finished looking at their quarterly results and were up 25% in January and 15% in February.
  • Kaye Sharbrough, Senior Seasons thanked David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties for fulfilling her small order – buttons congratulating a friend who just won an award for being an exceptional woman in publishing.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler reported that they won Best Jewelry Store and Best Watch Repair.
  • Judy Ott, Judy Ott Organization and Design thanked Dan Ingerman, Wemorph for the postcards she handed out at a recent presentation. Lastly, she thanked Richard Phillips, Advantage Career Solutions who has help her friend from out of state find a job at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga (Go Gaels!).
  • John Sylvester, SST Insurance Brokers had his hair cut by the President… of PEA, Susan Scott, Expressions Salon.
  • David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties thanked Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery for the amethyst he bought for his wife and Mike Feller, Innovative Sales & Leasing for the help with getting his brand new Prius.
  • Avi Safar, Footwear, Etc said after throwing his back out on Monday he saw Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic who adjusted him and used a laser treatment on his back.  Only three hours later, Avi felt much better.
  • Skip Gould, San Mateo Daily Journal thanked Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures for running an ad in the paper for her recent estate sale.  He was able to get the ad in past the normal deadline and was happy to hear the sale was a success.
  • Executive Director Neal Coogler, announced a success for PEA.  The PEA Facebook page now has more than 35 ‘Likes’!  Mike Clark, Michael J. Clark, CPA won the grand prize drawing for three pounds of Connoisseur Coffee.
  • Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist recently had her car in the shop at Larry’s Autoworks. She really appreciates the top notch service there, including the fact that they take time to thoroughly answer all her questions.
  • Karen Bowne, Sheraton Palo Alto thanked Werner Rogmans, Stanford Floral Design for his help weekend before last.  She was attending a housewarming party and needed a gift.  She went by Werner’s shop and he arranged a beautiful house plant for her.
  • Nichole Fox, Payroll City announced that they have just taken on a big new client.  The client, who has 135 employees, went from a big name payroll service to Payroll City and in the process is going from an annual cost of $13,000 to $8,000.
  • Dr. Linda Hur, Mountain View Optometry thanked Scott Yeaman, Yeaman Autobody, for fixing her car for the second time.
  • Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage won a pound of Connoisseur Coffee in the PEA Facebook page contest a week or two ago.  She gave the coffee to her aunt, who is a dedicated coffee drinker.  Her aunt loved the coffee and ordered three more pounds through Julie.

October/November Double Feature- Success Stories Round-up!

  • Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors said his open house went well.  He turned his workroom into a showroom for the event.  He thanked Albert Ong, Ambassador Services for getting a seemingly impossible-to-remove stain out.  He thanked Skip Gould, San Mateo Daily Journal for handling the ad and was glad to see a few PEA members there.  He had flooring covering by Terry Pebbles, Optimum Floors also included in their presentation.
  • Avi Safar, Footwear, Etc said that the Footwear, Etc. owner just had a big event at the Sheraton Palo Alto.
  • Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic had a success story for Jeff Badzik, Perfection Auto Detail.  Jeff was voted best auto detailer in the Bay Area by 95% of his customers.
  • Dave O’Neal, Comtech Computing thanked Mike Fox, A&A Plumbing for the smooth installation of a new heater while he was gone.
  • David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties is celebrating his 30th year as a PEA member this month.
  • Maureen Clark, Clark Associates thanked Albert Ong, Ambassador Services for the great job cleaning her carpets.  She also thanked Roger Bolgard, Jackson & Miller for the referral.
  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures thanked Curtis Lane, Lane Cleaning Services for help with a recent client.  This was a fast turnaround job with 24 hours notice and the team did a great job.  She also thanked Dave O’Neal, Comtech Computing for yet another computer rescue.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler thanked Werner Rogmans, Stanford Floral Design for the flowers for her mom.  She also was modeling a new line of Italian gold jewelry.
  • Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist thanked Albert Ong, saying that Jonathan Ong, Ambassador Services cleaned her 20-year-old couch and it looks like new.
  • Susan Scott, Expressions Salon thanked Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage for all the work on the new loan.  She was thrilled to get 4.12%.
  • Judy Johnson, Unexpected Treasures thanked Mike Fox, A&A Plumbing for the great job his plumber did.  She also thanked Dr. Chuck Fulanovich, Palo Alto Chiropractic, saying that the laser treatment has really been helping her knee.
  • Dr. Leta Zwiebel, Psychologist reported that the current issue of Gentry magazine has a beautiful picture of Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler.
  • Erik Jacobsen, Threestory Studio has started a Facebook page called Startling Statistics in which he features some of his previewed graphics.  Go by and check it out on Facebook (and don’t forget to like his page).
  • Karen Bowne, Sheraton Palo Alto thanked Larry and Laurie Moore, Larry’s AutoWorks for their recent help.  Her car was just past warranty and she took it to them.  Larry felt that the dealership ought to fix the problem and gave them a call.  In the end, the dealer did fix it at a savings of $750 to Karen.
  • Carol Garsten, Nature Gallery celebrated her 24th year in business last week.  She is also showing some of the work of a local artist in her gallery who works with organic, natural stones and silver.  This artist has become very well known during the years that Carol has worked with her and now has pieces in 62 galleries.
  • Bobbie Fakkema, Events, Etc… thanked Susan Hamilton, VTF Services for fixing her garden.  She also used the crew at Arborwell (thanks to Jon Maystrik, Arborwell Professional Tree Management) to remove a tree and did some shopping at Mollie Stone’s Market.
  • Julie Fukuhara, Stern Mortgage thanked Susan Scott, Expressions Salon for her long-overdue (as she described it) haircut.
  • Shawn McMillan, Connoisseur Coffee says that they began construction on rebuilding the Connoisseur Coffee building.
  • Konrad Thaler, Smilin Dogs thanked David Gaskill, D.B. Gaskill Advertising Specialties for the receipt of a shipment of Smilin Dogs jackets.
  • Georgie Gleim, Gleim the Jeweler says that the Stanford Mall gets tour buses from time to time.  She recently had a visit from some Asian gentlemen who purchased four Rolex watches with cash and flew back home the next day.
  • Gary Rudolph, Rudolph’s Interiors will be demonstrating some of his techniques to students from Cañada College.