Welcome to Arizona's Workforce Connection! The Workforce Arizona Council (Council) has developed this website to provide easy access to the workforce development system in Arizona. Whether you are interested in learning about the Council or about the variety of resources available to both job seekers and businesses/employers, you've come to the right place. If you are looking to post a job or look for available jobs please use www.AZJobConnection.gov. Also available on this site is a listing of workforce events held statewide. And to help you find a One-Stop service center closest to you is the One-Stop locator.
Unique to this website, the Council has created a special feature for Arizona’s business community...the Workforce Prospective, which is a collection of short articles designed to provide businesses with alternatives methods to get the job done.
Current efforts from the Federal Government have increased funding to the Workforce Development System through stimulus dollars. We have created a stimulus update page so you can find out things that are happening with regard to the workforce programs around the State.
On the Information Super-highway, which one would you rather be? These days, you can choose from a dial-up or broadband connection:
- Dial-up means Internet access through a telephone line. This type of connection is "on" only when the computer is connected to the phone line. Dial-up is considered to be a slow Internet connection.
- Broadband refers to a high-speed Internet or fast Internet connection that is always "on." Today, various broadband technologies are available in most areas; two commonly used technologies are cable and DSL (digital subscriber line) broadband.
Increasingly, broadband is considered the "sixth utility," after water, sewer, electricity, phone and sanitation. In other words, paying for a broadband connection is rapidly becoming a basic business expense. How does broadband stack up against dial-up? See Broadband vs. Dial Up (ezinearticles.com) for a comparison.
And how about broadband service for businesses in rural areas? In those areas, access to cable or DSL might not be available. But there are still options, as described in Broadband for Rural Regions (Microsoft.com).
If you'd like more information, see Internet Access FAQS - Choosing an ISP (e-wisdom.com). It compares the types of Internet access, gives general price comparisons, and more. Before you know it, you can be zipping down the Information Super-highway like your competitors.
For any business to succeed-large or small-it's important to first define what "success" is. Yes, every business owner wants to make money. But more than that-what will you sell, and who will you sell it to?
Identifying the "who" part of that goal is an important part of the equation. That's your target market.
Let's say that you're selling skateboards. Then you can probably characterize your target market in this way: kids. Or let's say that you're selling bus tours. Who's your target market there? It's more likely to be adults, perhaps from middle age to retirees.
Why does the target market matter? It matters because you don't "talk to"-advertise, design packaging, choose sales strategies-kids when you're trying to reach retirees. And you wouldn't want to target all kids or all retirees. There are subgroups of people whom your product or service interests most. They read certain publications, they visit certain stores, they're comfortable with a certain price point for what you're selling, and more.
That's a very simplified look at target markets, but defining a target market is a process. For a step-by-step approach, see How to Identify a Target Market and Prepare a Customer Profile (eSmallOffice.com).
Have you heard of RSS? It stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it is just that: Through RSS, you can distribute or "feed" information from a website to a group of subscribers.
Let's say that your company website includes a blog. A blog (short for "weblog") is like an online journal where the most recent entries show up at the top.
In a blog, you write about pertinent topics. Perhaps a new product offering or a tradeshow where you'll have a booth. The topics are up to you-whatever new information will benefit people who read your blog. To be most effective, a blog should have frequent new and informative entries. For business purposes, those entries can and probably should be fairly brief. How often "frequent" is for your business is up to you. It might be multiple times a day, once a day, weekly, or less often. The goal is enough to hold interest, not enough to annoy!
Through RSS, people can click a button to subscribe to your blog. That means they'll get automatic updates when you post new blog entries. It's a wonderful way to drive people to your website.
But RSS is used for more than just blogs. For example, people can also subscribe to podcasts-one or more video or audio files that people can watch or listen to. Many companies use podcasts to broadcast news and information.
- For more information on RSS and podcasts, including how these technologies can benefit your business, see RSS & Podcasts (WyomingWorkForce.org).
- To learn more about the benefits of blogging and view some example blogs, see What a Blog Can Do for Your Small Business (About.com).
- To see a selection of top-rated business podcasts, visit this site: 100 Best Small Business Podcasts 2009 (smbtrendwire.com).
When you think of networking, what comes to mind? Handing out business cards? Sending a direct mail piece?
Yes, those things are part of networking-the process of communicating with potential and existing customers and suppliers. But for the entrepreneur, there are some specific techniques that are especially beneficial:
- Build on word-of-mouth. Your satisfied customers are your single best marketing advantage. Strive for happy customers, build a pleasant relationship with them whenever you can, and don't be afraid to ask for an endorsement.
- Reinforce your "brand." To do that, start by being clear and succinct about what your company does and who the target market is. For ideas, see The Art of Branding (Small Business Marketing Guide) and Define a Target Market for Your Small Business (Nolo.com).
What about pitfalls? Where is it easy for entrepreneurs to go wrong? One common mistake is to be perceived as always "taking" and never "giving." Your message has to be more than just "Buy from me."
In the world of online networking, common pitfalls include revealing too much and not coming across as professional. For more information, see Avoid the Pitfalls of Social Networking (Entrepreneur.com).
Of course, networking in today's business environment is increasingly done online, but you can also use many face-to-face venues, like local service clubs and business organizations, as well as participation in nonprofit organizations that relate to your business.
For more ideas on effective networking techniques, see How to Use Online Networks to Market Your Business (About.com).