Share your own Koenect.com Link

April 30, 2018How-To-Koenect Article, New Features, Newsletter Articles, Uncategorized by Janine Mslowsky  

Share your own Koenect.com Link to your Portfolio Page!
By Janine Maslowsky

So here is something new I would like to share with you that you may have not noticed on your Portfolio Page…

You, as a member, now have your own link that you can send to anyone, member or not, and they can view your Portfolio Page. It looks like this:

https://app.koenect.com/u/jane.smith

This link brings them directly to your personal Portfolio Page (another great reason to make sure your page is current and up to date).  They will be able to view all project you have either completed or still have in progress. They can see what your current interests are and where you would like to eventually take them.  How you wish to grow and change in your interests or skills and hopefully a Koenction can be made. They can view you pictures/videos…. everything you have on your Portfolio Page so get creative and make it your own! This is a great way to promote yourself and let people know all about you and your skills.  It is perfect for showing who you are as a person and make you stand out over the rest. Trying to get a job? Why not include your link to show a personal side of you that highlights your skills? What are you going to do to make yourself stand out? Let me know what other ways you are going to use your link for – I’d love to hear all about it!

It’s a Wrap! (Pt.1)

March 27, 2018Articles, Newsletter Articles by Janine Maslowsky  

It’s a Wrap! (Pt.1)
By Janine Maslowsky

So for those of you who have seen the latest addition to the Koenect site – the Project Page is up and running! (if you have not yet, I highly recommend that you do – https://app.koenect.com/projects) I was so excited to add my project to design a Koenect graphic that would go on a Jeep Wrangler promoting the Koenect.com site. Here you will see from beginning to end the process that I go through in designing the graphics, have them applied and then see the grand unveiling! Did it turn out as I had hoped or was it a complete flop? I would love to hear any comments that you may have which can be left directly on my Project Page.  

So why not create a project of your own?! You can solicit ideas or help from others or just use it to get feedback to see what they think about your project. All projects you create will stay as a part of your Portfolio Page in which you can use your personal Koenect.com link to give to others sending them directly to your Page. Here is where, in addition to your Portfolio information,  they can see all projects you have completed as well as those that are still in the works. Your Portfolio Page is your own platform to promote yourself – so put your best foot forward! I look forward to seeing your projects!

I hope you enjoy Pt.1 of It’s a Wrap!

It has arrived! – The Project Page

January 29, 2018Articles, New Features, Newsletter Articles, Uncategorized by Janine Maslowsky  

New Koenect.com Feature – The Project Page
By Janine Maslowsky

I am very excited to share with you a new feature that has arrived as part of your FREE membership on Koenect.com! We have now released the Project Page that we have been telling you all about!    https://app.koenect.com/projects.  Go ahead, post your projects and attract the people or skills you need to complete that project.  Just an idea or concept?  Put it on there and Koenect with that missing piece of the puzzle.  Just describe your project, state what you are looking for and fill out your keywords.  These keywords will send a notification to anyone else on the site with the same keywords, and a link directly to your project.

There are so many ways to use this feature. Want to run a contest and see who can come  up with the best idea or solution for a problem you ran into?  You can do that here.  

Converse back and forth in the Lounge with those who respond to your project wanting to help. Make the Koenections you have been looking for but did not know where to find them.  Oh, and did I mention that you can post your projects on Facebook or Tweet them with just a  click of a button?!  To get the most out of your project and get the most interaction, be sure to post or tweet your project after you submit it.  Keep in  mind, you can also send your Project Page Link to anyone you would like to send directly to your project.  

We are excited for you to try this new feature!  We would love to hear any feedback, issues or ideas to make it work better for your needs.(members@koenect.com) This is a ongoing project that will just get better and better…

New Login Features

November 13, 2017Articles, How-To-Koenect Article, New Features, Newsletter Articles  

New Login Features
By Janine Maslowsky

Some of you may have noticed some new and exciting changes as you login to your Koenect account.  Some of the biggest changes you will see is as you are creating or updating your account, there is now a visual series of explanations that will walk you through the process.  This is meant to be used as a guide to help you create your best portfolio for the type of Koenection you are trying to make.  Keep in mind, this is what everyone will see when they visit your portfolio page so you will probably want to put your best foot forward so others understand who you are, what you are hoping to accomplish and to whom you are trying to Koenect.  Also, the passion keywords you create is what will drive the Koenections made for you so these are a valuable tool for you to continue to tweak until you get the desired result.

User friendly, walk through explanation process when signing up or completing your portfolio page.

On a side note and as mention in a previous newsletter, we will shortly be introducing the Project Page.  This is definitely something you will want to check out since it allows you to enter details of a project that you are currently working on and would like to Koenect with some other skill sets.  You can post one of you own projects and choose to :

  • Ask for someone to Koenect it Forward and help you out of the goodness of their heart in which you will do the same for someone else at some point.
  • You can make the Koenection with someone and discuss how you wish to move forward among yourselves (the Lounge), whether it be trading services or agreeing upon a price. (Remember, we just make the connection so what you decide is completely up to you and solely between the parties involved.)

On the other hand, the reverse is true.  You can search through the Projects and choose to help someone out via the Koenect it Forward program or Koenect up with someone and decide amongst yourselves on how you will proceed on the project.  Either way it is up to you – we just make the Koenection!  Since we all know – it is all about who you know in business, the trick is knowing where to find them…

Spoiler alert!!!  The answer is Koenect.com!

Leadership 101

November 6, 2017Articles, Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Newsletter Articles, Productivity, Small Business by Chris Jordan  

Leadership 101
By Chris Jordan

Being a leader takes courage and fortitude. You must have the necessary abilities that will show people you are to be trusted and worth following. Leadership is not a skill that can be drilled into you. Margaret Thatcher said “Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.” If you sense that you have the distinctive traits to be a leader, here are some tips to keep you on track.

Stir the Team

How do you provide employees with coherent, concise and correct information so they know what is expected of them? Communication! Be clear about what their tasks are, where to get assistance and what the timeframe is. It is also critical that you listen to your team. Capturing the big picture around the mission is an important strategic driver to keep the group inspired and provide a boost to productivity.

Ethics and Integrity

You must consistently demonstrate high values and responsibilities. This will build trust and respect with your team. Being a professional means doing the right thing while also knowing that people will not discern that you did it or not. A leader also must impart a safe and relaxing environment for employees to allow for innovation, engagement and creativity.

Determine the Complex Problems

Be the one to set aside time for your staff to assess pressing problems. Provide them the supporting data and background information necessary to complete the tasks. It is very important to be part of the team and partake in the resolution of the challenging issues. A leader must also never quit on a problem. They embrace the challenges and find the best means to overcome the obstacles.

Results Driven

Identify the goals that are demanding, quantifiable and attainable. Furnish an atmosphere that allows for staff involvement with processes for setting goals and a rewarding, focused and supportive setting. Review the measurables with the team and congratulate on the successes while also staying positive on the negatives, keeping in mind a quick turnaround plan.

Upcoming Feature – ‘Project Koenect’

October 30, 2017New Features, Newsletter Articles by Janine Maslowsky  

Upcoming Feature – ‘Project Koenect’
By Janine Maslowsky

I am very excited to share with you a new feature that will be coming shortly to Koenect.com as part of your free membership.  You may have seen the article Koenect it forward (In case you have not seen it – check it out here:  https://koenect.com/koenect-it-forward/ ) where we express the importance of giving back.  This program gives you a platform to give back to another member who may not have the skills or resources that you may easily have at your disposal – and then possibly to have someone do the same back for you.  Have you ever had  a stranger buy you a cup of coffee or pay your tolls on the thruway? The feeling is just amazing! The first time it happened to me I just could not believe it.  Why would a stranger be so kind?! They don’t even know me!  It is a powerful thing that can grow, while creating incredible business relationships and even friendships along way.  

How does this program work?
Shortly we are introducing a new Project Page that allows you to post a project you are working on and explain the type of collaboration you are looking for.  You can click on a project to get more details, you can invite the member to the Lounge for further discussion of the scope of the project and then you decide where to go from there. How you choose to move forward as a team is completely up to you – we just help you make the Koenect-ion.

On this Project Page, you can also choose to use the Koenect it Forward option.  Each project will have a Koenect it forward button/icon that you can click on to let the member know you are offering your skills or services for free.  Again, the scope of this completely up to you. The hope is that the person being helped, will in turn do the same for someone else…hence, Koenect it forward.   It is kind of like buying a cup of coffee for a stranger –  a small deed that means so much!  Any member who uses this program to help another member and completes the task, will earn an icon on their portfolio page that proudly displays that they have graciously helped another member of the Koenect Community.  

 

This new feature has been in the works now for a while and we are very close to a release date.  I would highly recommend you check it out once released – you might read one of the project entries and relate, realize the value in helping another by doing something that may be small to you but large to someone else.  And at the end get the biggest gift of all, the feeling you get when you know you truly helped someone out, expecting nothing in return while enjoying the journey.

Stay tuned….

 

You’re Invited – Best Meeting Practices

October 16, 2017Articles, Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Newsletter Articles, Productivity, Small Business by Chris Jordan  

You’re Invited – Best Meeting Practices
By Chris Jordan

Ding! A meeting invite pops up on your desktop calendar. Some employees dread this as an unnecessary waste of time, while others view it as an opportunity to contribute to the growth of the company. It is up to the meeting organizer to ensure that the time they have requested from everyone’s busy schedule is necessary, focused, includes the correct audience and ends with the proper goals in mind. Here are a few tips to keep your meetings creative and worthwhile:

A Beginning and an End

We’ve all been there. Sitting around the conference table staring out the window watching the day march on wondering when the last invitee will finally step in. Don’t let the energy drain from your meeting before it even begins. Companies must have discipline and mutual respect for each other. If a meeting is set for 8:00 AM and you accept, be there before the start time. Leaders must act as leaders and set the example. The coordinator should have a set end time as well. Be sure to keep a watchful eye on the clock and stick to it.


Have a Set Agenda

There is nothing worse than going into a conference not knowing why you are there. Everyone attending the meeting needs to know why they have been invited. Provide a handout with the agenda or write it on a whiteboard. If necessary, break down a timeline of specific topics to be discussed and adhere to it. Even better, send the outline in advance so people can be prepared for the meeting.

Who’s In, Who’s Out

The host of the meeting needs to determine who must attend and who may not be necessary, to match the agenda. Keep control of the size of your meeting and be sure to have key decision makers in attendance. Keep in mind, some people may come with their own goals. It is the steward’s responsibility to keep the correct balance of ideas coming and inspiring everyone to say what’s on their mind.

Stay on the Rails

Now that all the important people are assembled, make sure to keep your meeting on the tracks. If some people are logging in via video conference, be certain that you know how to use the necessary software tools to sign them in. If you don’t, ask for assistance from an associate that does. Don’t allow yourself to be embarrassed by wasting time trying to figure out what cord goes to what port or why you can’t hear the person on the other end of the call.

Meeting Over – Now What

The end of any meeting needs to have defined next steps, responsibilities and specific deadlines. Near the conclusion, appoint someone to keep track of who is accountable for what items and when they need to be accomplished. Any other uncovered items can be investigated further and the group can reconvene for follow up discussions.

 

Sales Tips to Stay Ahead of the Competition

October 2, 2017Articles, Business Development, Inspirational, Newsletter Articles, Productivity, Small Business by Chris Jordan  

Sales Tips to Stay Ahead of the Competition
By Chris Jordan

No doubt about it, the sales game is a tough arena. There is no room for slouchers or slow-pokes. You must continuously keep yourself motivated to stay involved, remain competitive and always be selling. All of this must be done in an environment that is quick to seek out the newest, cheapest and most versatile products on the market. Any minute you are staving off your competitors, while also having to deal with an unpredictable consumer that shows no loyalty to a brand. Here are a few sales reminders to stay ahead of the game:

Focus on Opportunities

Focus on Opportunities

There is always going to be a lot of chatter in your market. Don’t get bogged down on roads to nowhere. Stay cognizant of your surroundings. Take advantage of leads by simply talking to people around you. This way you get to find the best prospects yourself. The top performing salespeople have garnered their top clients when simply conversing at informal gatherings. Remember to always be on the lookout for positive opportunities.

Stay Determined

You must be resilient to be successful in sales. Never stop trying to close a deal with a customer. I have been rejected for nearly a year by certain clients but I stayed the course, convinced them that what I was offering added value to their bottom line and eventually won them over. This should not happen with every opportunity. Trust your instincts and run with them when it feels right.

Know Your Product

Many customers will already be on guard when they see a sales pitch coming their way. Nothing is more troublesome than a salesperson who doesn’t have knowledge of their merchandise. You must avoid this by understanding your products better than anyone. Doing this will not only help your client to gain confidence in you but will show that you or your employer takes great care in staffing exceptionally trained associates.

 

Ears Open Mouth Shut…

Ears Open Mouth Shut

The best people in sales let the customer tell the story of what their needs are. The key is to listen to what their problems are. Once you have allowed them the time to explain their concerns you can focus your sale on how you and your team can help alleviate their obstacles. You will have a much greater success rate in sales by simply listening and being a problem solver.

 You can use these straightforward but sometimes forgotten tips to stay focused on sales. Never again allow opportunities slip past your guard. There is no magic formula, just continue to master your techniques and be prepared to have an outstanding year.

 

Koenect it Forward

September 18, 2017Articles, Inspirational, Newsletter Articles by Glenn Maslowsky  

Koenect it Forward
by Glenn Maslowsky

The power in giving back:
So once again, I am in line at the drive thru at one of the many Tim Horton coffee shops here in Buffalo. As has happened more times than I can actually count on both hands, I pull up to the window to pay and am greeted with the words that the person in front of me has paid for my coffee. I instantly begin to ponder why and might even get a little paranoid until I realize that they just wanted to buy me a cup a coffee. Maybe it is with the hopes that I might want to share the feeling I am currently having with someone else …that I might want to buy a coffee for the person behind me and pay if forward. Well it works, maybe too well.

Here at Koenect we believe that giving back is part of our culture, we are a community built on passion driven connections and we promote a collaborative working relationship between members. So why not offer a skill to another member that shares a passion and interest to yours or help support a project they are working on. That might encourage them to do the same…..That’s Koenect-ing it Forward.

Mud-USA Bike Stems

Mud-USA and Endless Innovations have different skill sets and passions and as these two members demonstrate, there are many ways to Koenect it Forward. Mud-USA was a designer and manufacture of high end cycling components Made in the USA. One of the core values that Mud-USA held high was promoting the understanding and appreciation for US Manufacturing. The shop was comprised of a Coffee shop/Bike shop that opened up into the design and manufacturing space. This offered the consumer the ability to tour the shop and observe the actual manufacturing of the components they could potentially purchase. All with the intention of bringing awareness to the design and manufacturing process.  This effort was highlighted even more when Mud was asked to help a graduate student, Lucas Mesmer at the University at Buffalo collect manufacturing data to support his thesis. The study is titled: Enabling supplier discovery through a part-focused manufacturing process ontology, I know right. But basically the paper presents a new approach to process and manufacturer discovery through the use of part features and characteristics developed in an engineering ontology called: Part-Focused Manufacturing Process Ontology (PMPO).

See the full publication: Enabling supplier discovery through a part-focused manufacturing process ontology

So in this example of Koenect-ing it forward, Mud-USA discussed the process utilized to produce the Nth-Degree Stems (see sections 4.2 and 4.2.1 of the study) based on the design features. This offering was to disclose the rational for the selection of the machine tool technology and manufacturing methods that made this product producible in the US and how the features on the parts drove the machine tool selection process. To help further support the Part-focused Manufacturing Process Ontology study, additional process evaluations and methodologies were also disclosed. So Mud-USA Koenect-ed it forward with a technical discussion to help validate the Thesis.

Nickel City Cycles

Endless Innovations took a different approach to Koenect it forward, they elected to offer the complete skill set within their shop to help another Koenect member. Nickel City Cycles, a small designer and fabricator of high end cycling frames and hardware needed to design and fabricate a conversion of their chain-stay jig into a fork jig (watch for upcoming video footage). This conversion would improve the manufacturability of their Fork production.

As with many of our members these are businesses driven by a passion and commitment to their craft.  They are not pursuing a path to the corporate arena of investors and profit margins that could impact the quality and value they build into every project and product. To keep the passion alive, these businesses models become very efficient at managing cash flow and performing as many tasks in house as possible. But there is a point of diminishing returns where you stretch yourself so thin that progress almost comes to a standstill and frustration starts to outpace the passion and you might consider giving up. This is where the Koenect community can really shine. Many of our members have a unique skill set and they all have a passion for what they believe in.  As we build this community, there will be many opportunities to work with and help other members maintain a drive by offering a skill, “On the House”  to keep the Dream Alive..that is Koenect-ing it forward…it will be one of the most rewarding contributions you can offer to someone that is chasing a Passion and a Dream..just like you ..It all started with a simple cup of coffee !!!