Showing posts from November, 2011

Black Friday, Cyber Monday Online Sales Up!

The holiday shopping season is officially upon us, and did it ever start with a bang this year. comScore reported that e-commerce spending jumped 26 percent on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, compared with last year's Black Friday. Online retailers offered deep discounts and promotions to rake in $816 million for one day, up from $648 million last year. More than 50 million Americans reportedly visited online retail sites on Black Friday, up 25 percent from a year ago according to comScore.

Not only were Black Friday sales up, but Cyber Monday sales were up significantly over last year at 33 percent higher. More and more shoppers are turning towards online stores, due to convenience and ability to compare numerous sites effortlessly to find the cheapest price.

Enjoy some comic relief with our video that pokes fun at Black Friday and its pitfalls like long lines, angry people and getting up early. See why it's a good idea for retailers to offer their customers an online…

Tips for attending business holiday parties

by Doug Brown of ASTI Environmental of Brighton.I would like to share  some helpful tips on how to attend a Business Holiday Party and what pitfalls to avoid.  I am a bit of an expert as I have broken just about every rule I will cite:
Notice the first word in Business Holiday Party is Business. Your goal is to get a business opportunity not "win the party."

1. Leave the cellphone/Droid/iPad/Blackberry/iPad/iPhone/iMac/.
2. Bring your own name badge. Yes this sounds a little weird, but if the adhesive or clamp on the back of your name badge has ever ruined your clothes you know what I mean. Your name sloppily handwritten with a heavy black sharpie does not make a good first impression either.
3. My mom always said to stay away from religion, cars and politics when trying to be a good conversationalist and my mother was always right.  Quoting Rush Limbaugh or Rachel Maddow will not win you many friends.
4. Watch the drinks — no one does business with the life of the party they …

Holidays may not be slow for jobs

Plante Moran Director of Recruiting notes uptick in hiring trends for its professional practices “The Holidays are Not a Slow Time for Job Offers”
Southfield - Plante Moran, the nation’s 12th largest public accounting and business advisory firm, is seeing an uptick in hiring, according to Paula Frerichs, the firm’s director of recruiting. “We are seeing increased hiring needs at Plante Moran and hearing about growing employment demands from peer firms as well. This corresponds with recent national statistics pegging unemployment among accounting professionals at only 3.5 percent,” notes Frerichs. Plante Moran has 135 firm-wide accounting, tax and management consulting interns and entry-level staff, hired from on-campus spring and fall recruiting, scheduled to begin in January 2012. This is not a record number according to Frerichs but is closer to peak recruitment levels than recent years. From an experienced hire perspective, the firm openings are at a three year high and …

Photos from GPUG Summit 2011

We had a great time seeing you at the GPUG event at Caesar's Palace. We are glad to have seen so many great partners and customers attend the GPUG Summit this past week. Click below to view our photo album from the event.

Landing a job at 50 and up

If you're over 50 and job hunting, you know that it can be particularly tough sledding, and you need a thick hide.
Here are five key steps for snagging a potential employer's interest and landing an interview. They come from Tucker Mays and Bob Sloane, who are the principals of OptiMarket, an executive job search coaching firm.

They also are co-authors of the book, Fired at 50: How to Overcome the Greatest Executive Job Search Challenge.

   1. Address the age issue and don't be defensive. Offer examples in your career history that reinforce your “agelessness" by offering examples of your ability to solve problems, manage people, exercise good judgment and offer leadership.
   2. Show you are flexible. Describe how you have modified your approach to fit different challenges and varied business cultures. Talk about the times you've had to adjust to changing priorities, make quick decisions with limited information, produce with fewer resources, and manage individuals on…

5 ways to show thanks to your employees during holidays

Foxboro, MA—In a perfect world, we’d all be looking forward to the holiday season without anxiety. Unfortunately, for most employees, that isn’t even close to being the case. Times have been tough, and for several years, workers have been stretched thin as they try to do more with less. They’re feeling discouraged, tired, and perpetually stressed, and to make matters worse, many individuals are worried about the higher-than-usual personal expenses associated with the upcoming holiday season. As an employer, you might want to thank and reward your people for their hard work with a raise or holiday bonus…if only you had the funds.
While you can’t distribute money you don’t have, according to Todd Patkin, you can take decisive steps to make your employees feel happier and more appreciated. And all you have to do is tap into the Thanksgiving spirit.
 “People will never admit it, but money is not the thing they desire most from their work. Instead, showing appreciation, respect, and, yes, ev…

Oakland County chambers come together, Nov. 30

The Troy Chamber of Commerce is hosting a county-wide chamber networking event, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at Tre Monti Ristorante, 1695 E. Big Beaver Road in Troy. The event, sponsored by Paesano Akkashian, P.C., includes appetizers/cash bar. The cost is $10 for members of Oakland County chambers and $25 for non-members. For reservations, call 248-641-8151, email or

Top Ten Fundraising Tips

by Darian Rodriguez Heyman, former executive director of the Craigslist Foundation. He will speak at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at Nonprofit Enterprise at Work Inc. (NEW), Get Connected event in Detroit. 
1. How to get your board involved in fundraising:  Stage a board member thank-a-thon.Tons of nonprofits experience frustration with getting their boards to fundraise; in  fact, it’s the second biggest reasons why executive directors  leave their posts according to CompassPoint’s “Daring to Lead” study. Any easy way to give board members a chance to dip their toes in the waters of donor engagement is staging a thank-athon. The key is to make it easy for board members to participate, and to help them understand that fundraising is much more than making an ask. This will also help to improve relationships with your donors, who will be delighted to receive a thank you call without an attached ask.

2.  How to increase your chances of getting a grant: Never apply for a grant without contacting…

Auburn Hills chamber seeks nominations for awards

The Auburn Hills Chamber of Commerce will join with local business leaders to celebrate 20 years of community engagement with an awards dinner at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1. As a part of this event, the Auburn Hills Chamber is currently accepting nominations for six awards including: Blue Cross Blue Shield Business of the Year Award- Honoring a business of any size that has demonstrated substantial growth, prosperity, distinctiveness or leadership this year. Employee of the Year Award- Celebrating the best and brightest in the community; demonstrated through hard work, accomplishment and contribution. OU INC and the School of Engineering and Computer Science Innovator of the Year Award- Provide the best example of innovation among the membership as expressed through cutting-edge technology or creative processes, systems or products. Crittenton Hospital Best in Community Award- Recognize the organization that has contributed the most to the …

Panel discusses joint ventures, Tuesday

Association for Corporate Growth Detroit Chapter will host a meeting on the pros and cons of joint ventures, 7 to 9 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 8 at Glen Oaks Golf Club, 30500 W. Thirteen Mile Road, Farmington Hills. A panel of experts, including Bob Coury, managing director, Deloitte Corporate Finance, LLC. will provide real world experiences in organizing domestic and international joint ventures. The cost is $25 for Corporate Growth members and $45 for guests. The cost includes a hot breakfast. To register, contact Sharon Kimble at 877-894-2754 or visit

Building customer loyalty
A seminar titled “How to Measure & Build Customer Loyalty” will be presented by Robert Carlstedt, President of Birch International Ltd. 6:30 p.m. Tuesday Nov. 8 at Rochester First Assembly of God, 4435 North Rochester Road, Rochester. The seminar is free and includes a pizza and soft drink meal. For information, call 248 652-3353 ext 322. Visit

Visit Azox at GPUG Summit 2011 in Las Vegas

Azox will be at GPUG Summit 2011 in Caesars Palace in Vegas from November 7 – 11. Visit us at Rock-N-Rave Booth #516, where members of our team will be exhibiting. Giuseppe Ianni of Azox is also scheduled to deliver a session on best practices for payment processing online and within Dynamics GP. Join his hosted session on Thursday, November 11th at 8:00 a.m. in Room Forum 13 and learn:
How to apply payments to SOP orders/invoices in Dynamics GPHow PCI compliance standards affect merchants and those accepting payments onlineHow to accept payment transactions across multiple sales channels, call centers and e-commerce storesImportance of using PA-DSS payment processing solutions and tokenizationIf you are attending Summit 2011 we are offering a special promotion for attendees. Azox software will be 20% off until December 16, 2011 for GPUG 2011 attendees.

Also, don't forget that Rock-N-Rave will be throwing a party on November 9th at 7:00 p.m. There will be a DJ, Karaoke, Elvis, Showg…

Helpful business workshops held in Troy

Nov. 8: Sales seminar
Automation Alley hosts a sales seminar called "Fill your pipeline, feed your success," 8:30 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8 at Automation Alley Headquarters, 2675 Bellingham, Troy. The cost is $20 in advance and $30 at the door $30 for members. It is $40 in advance and $50 at the door for nonmembers. Call 800-427-5100 or visit

Nov. 16: Writing press releases
A workshop on writing effective press releases presented by Matt Friedman of Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications is 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 at Automation Alley Headquarters, 2675 Bellingham, Troy. Call 800-427-5100 or visit

Upcoming business events

Nov. 2: Social media

A workshop to help businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals develop social media programs is 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Nov. 2 at Vogel Social Media, 1500 N. Stephenson Highway, Suite 235, Royal Oak. Eric Vogel, president of Vogel Social Media, and Colin McConnell, president of Biz Match Connect will conduct the workshop's three sessions. The first will be an overview of social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. It will be followed by two detailed sessions on how to use Facebook and LinkedIn. Refreshments will be served. The fee for the workshop is $60. Register in advance at or call 248-562-7685 or at the door.

Nov. 2: Walsh College president to speak at Influential Women

Stephanie Bergeron President and CEO, Walsh College will be the featured guest speaker for the Influential Women Series is 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 2, at The Community House, 380 South Bates S…

Azox Launches New Mobile Store for PRO Sports Club

With mobile sales increasing, and expected to reach $119 billion in 2015, more companies are looking toward mobile as the next big sales channel. Azox is pleased to have launched a new mobile optimized e-commerce site for PRO Sports Club’s 20/20 LifeStyles weight management program. PRO Sports Clubs 20/20 BeWell mobile store allows registered users to purchase health oriented products that help them live healthier lives in accordance with their weight loss programs. The branding of the site is completely revamped and browsing is made simpler, with easier navigation that is more intuitive for mobile users. The mobile site offers the same integrated functionality to Microsoft Dynamics GP as a standard website, even allowing coupon codes to be applied at checkout. Whether someone is browsing on an iPhone, iPad, Android device, Blackberry or a Windows Phone, the mobile site will display in a way that makes shopping more friendly for mobile users.