News and Updates


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I'm Back!

Posted by scohenlmt on June 21, 2017 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

As reluctant as I am to admit it, I have been very lax in updating my specials here on the page.

Mea culpa.

But I'm back and I will be working hard to change that habit. Keep an eye out for new specials and click the Appointments page above to see what I'm offering now!

It's Summer

Posted by scohenlmt on June 10, 2013 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

It's been a very long time since this section was last updated, but you have my most sincere apologies.

In honor of summer and warm temps (not to mention my birthday!), choose from one of the following to celebrate:


 

  1. In honor of Father’s Day, all fathers get a FREE target hot-stone with a massage purchase, or a discount of $15.00 off any massage over 60 minutes long.
    (Purchases must be made by June 30th.)
  2. Share the love! During the month of June, book a massage and refer a friend for a 25% discount for you both!
    (Offer good for a single massage apiece. Cannot be combined with other discounts or promotions.)
  3. Book and complete 3 massages before August 30th and get a 4th appointment for 50% off!

 


Follow and share this link to book all appointments with the real-time calendar from your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone!

or simply click on the appointments link from this website at any time!

The Perils Of Home Buying

Posted by scohenlmt on November 19, 2012 at 12:50 AM Comments comments (0)

As those of you who are in our circles of friends and family already know, we bought a house this year.

Upon buying it, we discovered many problems with our house that were not disclosed to us at the time of sale.

These have been expensive to fix.

We want the seller to make this right. He's pushed back. Sadly, with the amount of money we've shelled out to make this house habitable (ie: making sure we had running water, flushing toilets, etc.), we've exhausted our financial cushion.

So in mild desperation, we're reaching out to friends and family (and hopefully their friends and their families) to help us.

We're looking to raise money to pay the retainer fee for a lawyer who will ensure that this can be made right. Sadly, we can't even ask for the legal fees to be reimbursed in the court case unless the seller is found by the judge to be in violation of the Consumer Protection Act.

So, please - $5, $10 or any amount that you think that you can give would really help us out.

Spread the word, help us make the seller make this right.

http://homehelp.chipin.com/legal-expenses

Caring For Your Hands

Posted by scohenlmt on April 17, 2012 at 12:05 AM Comments comments (0)

This past weekend, I was talking with a friend after he recieved a massage. My friend commented that my thumbs must be deadly with all the massage that I do. He said that he didn't know how I did it (massage) for so long. His hands got tired after a few minutes but he couldn't imagine how much strength of the hands it took to do it for an hour or more at a time.

And he was right, in a sense. After years of doing massage, I do have a decent amount of strength in my hands. But part of the reason that my career has lasted as long as it has is self-care. Hand massage is a wonderful thing and something a person can take 10 minutes to do for themselves with terrific results.

So, for other massage therapists and quilters, computer users and weekend warriors, here are a few tips:

What You'll Need:

 

  • Nail Brush
  • Soap
  • Hand Towel (2 are better)
  • Grapeseed Oil (Available in the grocery store.)
  • Golf Ball or SuperBall

 

What To Do:

 

  • Wash your hands thoroughly, using the soap and nail brush to get any and all dirt out from underneath & around the nails.
  • Dry hands throughly.
  • Rub approximately 1 teaspoon of oil into the left hand, being sure to get every crease of the hand's knuckles, the nail cuticles and down to the wrist.
  • Grasp the left hand with the right and gently twist from left to right & back at least three times.
  • Wrap the fingers and thumbs of the right hand around the left wrist & gnetly squeeze and release three times. Slide the fingers about 1/2" down the wrist toward the elbow & repeat the squeezing sequence. Repeat this process for about 3 inches.
  • Next, keeping the thumb straight and making a gentle fist with the right hand, begin massaging the left hand. By keeping the right wrist & thumb fairly still and using the elbow to move the hand, you'll tire less easily.
  • Work from heel, following a straight path to each fingertip of the hand. First do long firm strokes, then follow the same path by drawing small circles with the thumb.
  • Using the thumb, drag across the width of the palm in firm strokes, starting at the heel and working up to the knuckles.
  • Gently grasp the four fingertips with the right hand and stretch them backwards, holding the stretch for 5 seconds. Repeat with the thumb.
  • Repeat this process with the other hand.
  • Let the oil gently soak into the skin after the massage.

 

Repeat this sequence about once a week and you'll see an improvement in the aches and pains of the wrist and hands.


Love in an Elevator.... Business Love

Posted by scohenlmt on March 23, 2012 at 11:50 AM Comments comments (0)

An elevator pitch should bring the love to your company. For someone who loves to talk to people and share their knowledge or ideas, that can be a tough thing. Why would love be tough? Because of the premise of an elevator pitch.

What do you do (or your company) & why are you better than your competition? Now, squish that statement down to about 30-60 seconds, make it understandable by a 12-year-old or an 80-year-old. And that’s an elevator pitch.

What do you differently than you would on your website or print marketing? Just about everything, it seems.

Keep it short. 

Tell what you can do for your target.

Emphasize why you're so passionate about what you do.

As this business is just starting out, it was brought to my attention that I really need to develop an elevator pitch. Let's be honest, quoting statistics at people will likely bore them to tears, no matter how much they have dedicated themselves to the same target audience. 

The average adult these days has an eight-second attention span. So whatever I open with has to really grab their attention and hold it for the whole 60 seconds of my pitch.

This will be tough. 

Everyone seems to have the perfect recipe that they say will fit every business. So I’m giving links here to my favorites:

But the overall winner?

Harvard Business School’s Elevator Pitch Builder

 

Massage & Chronic Pain

Posted by scohenlmt on March 22, 2012 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

In the article, "Health and Exposure Concerns of Veterans Deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan," published in the May 2007 issue of Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, researchers note that "the majority of veterans (55 percent) had a mental health concern, most commonly, post-traumatic stress disorder."

Interesting additional article from the Veteran's Adminstration's Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development:

Complementary and alternative medicine use among veterans with chronic noncancer pain

 

Lauren M. Denneson, PhD, et al.

 

Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is commonly defined as treatment not generally considered part of conventional medicine and often includes massage, chiropractic care, herbal remedies, and acupuncture. While the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has moved toward making some CAM available as treatment options for pain, little is known regarding how many veterans with chronic pain have used and are willing to try CAM. This study addresses this gap and compares characteristics of veterans who have tried CAM with veterans who have not previously tried CAM. Implications for the VA and for clinicians treating veterans with chronic pain are discussed.

 

Volume 48 Number 9, 2011
Pages 1119 — 1128

 

 


Crossing Fingers Makes It Hard To Type

Posted by scohenlmt on March 22, 2012 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

So, it took me weeks of writing the details of my business plan before I was even able to get preliminary approval from StartSomeGood.

I have to say, dealing with my PoC, Alex, at StartSomeGood was really helpful. He had great questions and feedback for me. It really made me look harder at my messaging and what I wanted to focus on funding first, so I can't thank him enough.

I'm looking for a total of $7400. The tipping point (the point where people will start being billed) is $2400. Unless I hit that amount, I get no money and no one getes charged. As of yesterday, my campaign to raise funds for my new business went live. As of this morning, I've gotten 4 donors and $180. Not too shabby. Now I just have to stop checking the page every 5 minutes to see if it's changed, right?

This is where I'm crossing my fingers like crazy & hoping that this works. The plan will work, that's not the question. It's the funding. Here's hoping, because I can't massage with these fingers still crossed! 

She's Got The Look...... Or Not

Posted by scohenlmt on March 15, 2012 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

So, as you can see from this site, I've got a basic idea of where I want to go with the overall "look" of the business in terms of basic layouts. Marketing, website, FB page, mobile webpage - I've got to coordinate all of them. Clean lines are really appealing to me for this, as I'm sick & tired of seeing the fluffy, flowery massage sites or ones that are cluttered with a gazilion pages. I did that once. It failed.

So a visit to the local paint shop got me some grand ideas for color coordination.

Ace Hardware was my hardware shop of choice. (By the way, folks - this Saturday, March 17th you can get a free quart of Clark + Kensington Primer & Paint in the color of your choosing!)

After browsing through the hundreds of paint color cards from ACE and the other paint makers, I came up with a few that I liked.

I especially love the column on the left or the bottom row in the sheet.

But now that I've picked the colors that I want, I need to figure out a logo and decide if I want a design scheme for letterhead, web background, etc.

To start, I'm playing around with the Blue Star theme (for obvious reasons).

Beginning with this:

I played around with a few sites and got this:

Which expanded to this:

I think I like it. It's clean, not "froofy". The stripes kind of hint at the military angle without being full-out "anchors aweigh" or smooshing a flag onto a star, which would look tacky.

But I then found this and thought it had a lot of potential.....


It could be used for a web background, take out the foil finish for letterhead & then the shine in the foil would be a nice accent for gift certificates or business cards....

What do people think?


Finding Grants (and I don't mean Hugh...)

Posted by scohenlmt on March 13, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Okay. I've finished my business plan. Going to set up a meeting w/ a SCORE counselor to review it ASAP.

In the meantime, I'm looking to set up funding sources. My preferred source are grants are individual contributions which mean that I don't have to give up a percentage of my business to the investor.

Once I've tapped out those sources, I'm going to reevaluate the finances and see if I need to look for actual investors or loans. If I do that, I need to make sure that I'll be able to repay them within a very short time period, even if business is slow.

 

So, where does a person look for grants?

  1. Local SBA office
    Your first stop should be the Small Business Administration office in your area. They often know about smaller grants that might not be advertised on the internet and they can also point you in the direction of grants that are offered for your market area (such as if you were starting a personal trainer business, they would know leads on business grants for health and wellbeing types of businesses).
  2. Local SCORE office
    These "Counselors to America's Small Business" are invaluable. They not only can review your business planning documents for you (as they'll be doing for me), but help with funding sources.
    They may also have information on private grants that are occasionally provided by SCORE advisors.

  3. Local newspapers/magazines
    Check the local business-specific magazines in your area. Some will be free, others will require you to pay for a subscription. Do your homework.
    Don't expect to find a special page just for listing business grants. It could be a small tidbit mentioned in with the "gossip" collumn or it could be mentioned within an interview with a local business person who is donating to or is involved in the awarding of specific business grants.

  4. Searching online
    Everything's on the web these days. This means that the information may be out there, but it'll be very difficult to sift through.
    When searching, be sure to put "business grants" in quotes so it only brings up pages that specifically have that term in it. You can also add specifics, such as your state or city, or type of business you are starting. All these things will help you narrow down your search and find the pages that are much more relevant to for you.
  5. Local bank or credit union branch
    One of the most obvious places to look, few people actually ask their banker about area grants. They assume that the banker wouldn't know, as it's not going to provide a profit to the bank.
    But the banker will now because it will be included in all of the loan application paperwork from multiple applicants in the area.
    It doesn't hurt to ask and it shows that you're looking at multiple funding sources to fund your business, which is a responsible thing to do.

  6. Your accountant
    You might not think of the accountant as you would your banker, but s/he's one of the best resources out there.
    Without breaching confidentiality, they will know which of their other clients were already awarded grants and a ballpark of ho much those were.

  7. Local business groups
    The groups I'm talking about here are the Chamber of Commerce or even Toastmasters. Many local business groups offer their own business grants, although they are often for smaller amounts. But they will also very likely know about other business grants offered both for your city as well as for your state.
    The thing here is that they have no incentive to give away the information with no effort on your behalf. The next time that any of these organizations have their meetings, make a reservation to be there and show up. Network, get to know people and get contact information. These folks will have access to much of the information you're seeking.

  8. Expired grants
    Why bother with an expired grant? They're no good to you, right?
    Wrong. Many of these grants are annual things. If you see that one has happened, then contact the grantor. Introduce yoruself, letting them know where you heard of them and what you are doing. Ask them for deadlines and submission requirements for this year's grant. At a cost of maybe 20 to 30 minutes, you have either gotten a foot in the door for a new grant or you've made a potentially valuable contact.

  9. Business/trade organizations
    There are business or trade groups for nearly any business you can think of these days. Many of them also either provide grants or publish information on grants for that field.
    Can't find a organization for your business? Try to broaden your field a little. You make organic hand-rolled beeswax candles? Try broadening to candlemakers and even out to crafts.

  10. Friends
    I guess that this is something repeated almost too often.
    "Networking!"
    Talk to friends, former coworkers, your local coffee shop owner. You never know where you might find out more information. One of these people may have gotten a grane or knows a person who got one. Find out details (especially the name of the grant & who provides it) and you'll have one more door opened.

  11. Family
    Some companies actually have grants available just for family members of their employees. Because they are meant for employee families only, they aren't heavily advertised. Ask your family members to check with their HR to see if there are any grants available for employee families. Usually these types of grants are fairly small (in the neighborhood of $1000 - $5000) but can be helpful to those needing money for starting their business.


NH SCORE Offices

  • Merrimack Valley SCORE
    275 Chestnut Street- Suite #133
    Manchester, NH 03101
    Ph: (603) 666-7561
  • Monadnock SCORE
    34 Mechanic Street
    Keene, NH 03431
    Ph: (603) 352-0320
  • Mt. Washington Valley SCORE
    53 Technology Lane  -  Suite 101
    Conway, NH 03813
    Ph: (603) 447-4388
  • SCORE Lakes Region
    383 South Main Street
    Laconia, NH 03246
    Ph: (603) 524-0137
  • Seacoast SCORE
    215 Commerce Way
    Portsmouth, NH 03801
    Ph: (603) 433-0575
  • Upper Valley SCORE
    20 W. Park Street
    Lebanon, NH 03766
    Ph: (603) 448-3491

NH SBA Offices

  • New Hampshire District Office
    55 Pleasant Street, Suite 3101
    Concord, NH 03301
    Phone: 603-225-1400         Fax: 603-225-1409

MA SCORE Offices

  • Boston SCORE
    10 Causeway Street
    Boston, MA 02222
    Ph: (617) 565-5591
  • Cape Cod SCORE
    270 Communications Way  -  Suite 5B
    Hyannis, MA 02601
    Ph: (508) 775-4884
  • NE Massachusetts SCORE
    39 Dodge Street  -  Suite 318
    Beverly, MA 01915
    Ph: (978) 922-9441
  • SE Massachusetts SCORE
    60 School Street
    Brockton, MA 02301
    Ph: (508) 587-2673
  • W. Massachusetts SCORE
    Scibelli Enterprise Center
    1 Federal Square
    Springfield, MA 01105
    Ph: (413) 785-0314
  • Worcester SCORE
    446 Main Street  -  Suite 200
    Worcester, MA 01608
    Ph: (508) 753-2929

MA SBA Offices

  • Boston District Office
    10 Causeway Street,    Room 265
    Boston, MA 02222
    Phone: 617-565-5590
  • Springfield Branch Office
    One Federal Street Building 101-R
    Springfield, MA 01105
    Phone: 413-785-0484


Wrapping Up & Tweaking the Rules

Posted by scohenlmt on March 12, 2012 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Refining the Plan

(From SCORE)

For Raising Capital

For Bankers

  • Bankers want assurance of orderly repayment. If you intend using this plan to present to lenders, include:
    • Amount of loan
    • How the funds will be used
    • What this will accomplish—how will it make the business stronger?
    • Requested repayment terms (number of years to repay). You will probably not have much negotiating room on interest rate but may be able to negotiate a longer repayment term, which will help cash flow.
    • Collateral offered, and a list of all existing liens against collateral

For Investors

  • Investors have a different perspective. They are looking for dramatic growth, and they expect to share in the rewards:
    • Funds needed short‐term
    • Funds needed in two to five years
    • How the company will use the funds, and what this will accomplish for growth.
    • Estimated return on investment
    • Exit strategy for investors (buyback, sale, or IPO)
    • Percent of ownership that you will give up to investorsMilestones or conditions that you will accept

    • Financial reporting to be provided
    • Involvement of investors on the board or in management

For Type of Business

Service Businesses

  • Service businesses sell intangible products. They are usually more flexible than other types of businesses, but they also have higher labor costs and generally very little in fixed assets.
  • What are the key competitive factors in this industry?
  • Your prices
  • Methods used to set prices
  • System of production management
  • Quality control procedures. Standard or accepted industry quality standards.
  • How will you measure labor productivity?
  • Percent of work subcontracted to other firms. Will you make a profit on subcontracting?
  • Credit, payment, and collections policies and procedures
  • Strategy for keeping client base


Retail Business

  • Company image
  • Pricing:
    • Explain markup policies.
    • Prices should be profitable, competitive, and in accordance with company image.
  • Inventory:
    • Selection and price should be consistent with company image.
    • Inventory level: Find industry average numbers for annual inventory turnover rate (available in RMA book). Multiply your initial inventory investment by the average turnover rate. The result should be at least equal to your projected first yearʹs cost of goods sold. If it is not, you may not have enough budgeted for startup inventory.
  • Customer service policies: These should be competitive and in accord with company image.
  • Location: Does it give the exposure that you need? Is it convenient for customers? Is it consistent with company image?
  • Promotion: Methods used, cost. Does it project a consistent company image?
  • Credit: Do you extend credit to customers? If yes, do you really need to, and do you factor the cost into prices?

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