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Manhattan Financial District


How to Accept Credit Cards Without Accepting Crippling Fees

March 19, 2019 / by Walter Ramin, Merchant Service Specialist posted in Small Business Advice, Manhattan Financial District, NYC - Midtown, Tips for Startups, Business Advice

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There's often a narrow margin between a successful business and a struggling one. Something as simple as credit-card processing fees can spell the difference between black ink and red. But if you think those fees are an unavoidable cost of doing business, think again.

When the Fine Print Isn't So Fine for You
As we trend toward a cashless society, more and more businesses have begun accepting credit cards — which also means accepting the processing fees that come along with them. But what many merchants fail to realize is that those rates are flexible. And the merchants often end up paying way more than they need to.

To give you just one example: Let's say your business accepts different cards with processing rates that range from 1% to 3%. Some third-party processors simply round everything up to the highest rate and charge 3% for all cards. So even if you accept four cards that charge 1% and just one card that charges 3%, you end up paying your processor 3% across the board. The merchants are actually entitled to rebates in that scenario, but few know enough to ask.

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Five Tips on How to Negotiate a Commercial Lease

March 5, 2019 / by Ed Douyon posted in Small Business Advice, Manhattan Financial District, NYC - Midtown, Tips for Startups, Business Advice

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If you have a great commercial lease for your business, consider yourself fortunate. And don't take it for granted. Things can change at any time.

I had a client who had been in the same location for more than 20 years when the landlord summarily decided to raise the rent by $25 per square foot. With just a few months' notice, we had to scramble. We found a good building, and the prospective landlord loved my client — but evidently not enough to avoid nickel-and-diming them to death when it came time to sign the lease. I guess the landlord figured he had my client over a barrel because time was so short.

The landlord figured wrong. My client nixed the deal and continued looking. In the end, we found them an even better location, with a favorable sublease. Moral of the story: You don't have to let the landlord call all the shots when you negotiate a lease — even in a tight market like New York City (where my firm operates). The following are five tips to help you get the best terms.

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Supporting Strategies NYC Supports New York Maker Community

August 23, 2018 / by Michael Oberther posted in Manhattan Financial District, NYC - Midtown

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“As Told by Makers” is an event produced by Alice Chin of Your Other Half and the Supporting Strategies NYC team. The goal is to build a community of business people who want to support Makers as they develop their businesses. The event will be held on Wednesday, September 12th from 5:30 pm - 7 pm at WeWork on W 41st St. 

This is a structured Q&A event designed to give attendees the opportunity to listen, learn and ask questions. Each Maker is different and we want to give our guests and speakers the opportunity explore topics together.
 
What is a Maker?
For us, a Maker is someone who makes a tangible product that can be eaten, worn or held in your hand. We support this community of business people because they are making great things, improving our lives and creating local jobs.

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Case Study: Bookkeeping Services Help a Franchise Avoid Fines and Focus on Strategy

August 16, 2018 / by Michael Oberther posted in Small Business Advice, Manhattan Financial District, NYC - Midtown, Bookkeeping Services, Tips for Startups, Business Advice, Case Study Blogs

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In 2009 Steven Conyers acquired a CMIT (Completely Managed Information Technology) Solutions franchise in Brooklyn, New York.

Demand for his franchise’s services, which range from IT troubleshooting to data security upgrades, grew steadily. So did the demands on Conyers’ time. Desktop-based bookkeeping, which lacked real-time functionality or integration with his project management platform, was a particular drain. Supporting Strategies found a solution.

More Time — and No More Fines
Although he had an outside accountant, Conyers still had to input much of the bookkeeping information himself. He often fell behind, which proved costly. "Like most franchises, we have to report on a monthly basis," Conyers says. "I was reporting late, and the fines were costing me money."

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Checklist: How to Start a Business

May 29, 2018 / by Michael Oberther posted in Small Business Advice, Manhattan Financial District, NYC - Midtown, Bookkeeping Services, Tips for Startups

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One of the hardest things about starting a business is, well, just getting started. Here's a checklist to help you organize and prioritize.

Research your market:
You've been working at a sideline — more of a hobby, really — for years. Now you're finally ready to quit your day job and pursue it as a full-time business. Before you take that plunge, here's what you need to explore:

  • What is your target market?
  • Is your target market large enough? Are enough people interested in paying for your product or service for you to make a viable living?
  • Who is your competition? What can you do better than they do?

Write a business plan:
As this article suggests, your business plan doesn't have to be elaborate — nor will it ever truly be finished. Still, in order for you to get started, it should include the following:

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