Interview John A Cochran, Esq.

This weeks Interview John A Cochran, Esq. discusses a little about what his firm is experiencing due to COVID-19. John is an attorney in Greensburg, PA and has been in the legal field for fifteen years. As an accountant combined, he’s been in the tax profession for thirty-four years. He practices tax, estate, and business law.

John’s love of numbers and knowledge of all things taxes makes him a versatile attorney able to help individuals and businesses alike. Let’s see what John had to say about taxes and law during this Coronavirus situation in his Interview John A Cochran, Esq…

Interview John A Cochran, Esq. Image of John sitting at a desk in a dark gray suit coat and dark tie.
John A Cochran, Esq.
Question 1:

77 Design Co: Let’s get right to it. How has this COVID-19 stuff affected your practice?

John A Cochran, Esq: Oh, it’s drawn things to a crawl. Firstly, the government closed the IRS, or rather, they are working from home. This makes it difficult to get ahold of anyone. So, their responses are lacking.

They extended filing deadlines until July. This has stretched out what was due in April. A lot of businesses I work with are shutdown or constricted. As a result, that’s made my practice constricted as well.

Interview John A Cochran, Esq. Photograph of John sitting at a desk in a pink dress shirt.
Question 2:

77: You’ve been open through all of this? Why?

JAC: I’m a CPA as well as an attorney. Also, the Governors Order didn’t apply being that I’m the only employee.

Question 3:

77: So, can you explain a little about how this crisis changed taxes or tax laws?

JAC: There’s the Employee Retention Credit to keep employees on. That’s a 50% refundable tax credit. Filing and extended tax dates have been changed. Penalties have been waved for late fees. The second estimate is due June fifteenth, and the first estimate is July fifteenth. Go figure.

Question 4:

77: Further, do you have any tax advice for anyone reading?

JAC: Yea. I’ll say get your stuff done regardless of extensions. Don’t wait. Then, I will also say, in order for compliance for the PPP you have to file taxes. If you get a line of credit from a non-government source you’ll still have to have the taxes done.

Photograph of John A Cochran, Esq business card and calculator laying on tax forms.
John A Cochran, Esq business card and calculator.
Question 5:

77: Have you spoken to any of your local or regional colleagues? How are other attorneys doing through all of this?

JAC: Everyone I’ve spoken to, with the courthouses shut down, nobody really knows what’s going on. A lot have reluctantly laid off employees. It’s thrown everything out of whack. Meanwhile, hearings and meetings by phone or video, in some instances, is proving difficult on all parties involved.

Question 6:

77: Additionally, you mentioned business and estate law. Generally, how can your services help others with these?

JAC: Well, I can work on estate plannings. We still have to get their assets to the beneficiaries that they want them to get to.

With business, for example, everyone’s kind of upside down. Business is hurting everywhere. For that reason, I’ll give them whatever advice I can with a free consult. Any way I can help I will. I’ve been dealing with businesses for thirty five years, so there’s some experience there. Finally, if you need business law advice, give me a call.

Question 7:

77: We always end these interviews on a positive note. Can you tell us something positive that you’ve noticed during these times?

JAC: So, I think businesses in the U.S. are resilient. Look at the stock markets. People are still buying. Next, the U.S. economy is resilient. We will all get through this mess.

Interview John A Cochran, Esq. Image of the John A Cochran, Esquire sticker on his law office front door.
A word from 77:

Thanks to John for taking the time to talk with us for this: Interview John A Cochran, Esq. Here is John’s website. You can check out more about him and his services here: https://www.jacochranlaw.com

To sum up, we’ve mentioned in our last blog, law is of significant importance to us here at 77. We see what our attorney friends go through and the extensive amounts of work involved. There’s also reasons why hiring one is not always the least expensive thing you can do. However, we highly respect them and their dedication to their practice. When the dust settles, subsequently, it will be the attorneys and judges rulings that will define what is happening with these COVID situations.

On a daily basis, attorneys can help with almost any situation in life. Whether it’s a divorce, business, criminal, tax, estate, or the myriad other amounts of laws being practiced, they can be of great importance. Our advice, when you find a great attorney for any situation you need help with, treat them well. They could wind up helping you more than you’d ever imagine.

Conclusion:

77 Design Co. is committed to helping small business succeed. We want to help keep their doors open, and keep roofs over their family’s heads. Keeping your business alive during this mess is crucial.

Finally, contact us if you own a business, or know of a business owner that needs marketing help. We are volunteering work at heavily discounted rates (or in some instances free) to keep business stable in our county and local area. Any way we can help, we will.

Additionally, here’s our services: https://77designco.com/services-2/

77 Design Co logo

Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe

Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe. Bill is a criminal defense and personal injury lawyer. Dr. McCabe has been practicing law for 40 years. This year marks his 40th year. Congrats to him! Quite an achievement.

His firm, DeBernardo, Antoniono, McCabe & Davis, P.C. is located in Greensburg, Pa. The firm was founded in the late 1960’s. Dr. McCabe has been with them since 1986.

IInterview-Attorney William J. McCabe. Criminal defense law. Photograph of Dr. Bill McCabe in white dress shirt with gray tie.
Attorney, Dr. Bill McCabe

The law is something of great interest to us here at 77 Design Co. We rarely make a move without double checking first with one of our trusted attorney friends. Above all, we’d never want to do something wrong or illegal. Having the legal guidance and answers to what you can and you can’t do are critical in all aspects of life and business. Without law and great attorneys practicing law, our society would be lawless like the Old West, or worse, Nazi Germany.

In addition, you always want to protect yourself, your family, and organizations you are involved with. Thanks to Dr. McCabe for taking a few minutes to discuss some very serious matters with us. We certainly had substantial interest in what Dr. McCabe had to say regarding law during this coronavirus situation in our, Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe.

Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe. Criminal defense law. Image of purple and orange stained glass scales of justice.
Stained glass scales of justice.
Question 1:

77 Design Co: How has this COVID-19 stuff impacted your business?

Attorney William J. McCabe: So, it’s been impacted in two ways. Firstly, courts are closed. Therefore, all court proceedings that were scheduled are now rescheduled. It’s going to be crazy when they open back up. Additionally, throw in the social distancing and it will greatly impact the courts and cases.

Secondly is our office. We have been closed and a few have been laid off. They are back to work now though. So, we are also trying to avoid face to face meetings. Further, it completely changes the dynamics of how a law office works. We’ll have to see how this impacts the law profession in general.

Question 2:

77: Let’s talk criminal defense law and the Constitution here. What’s happening with these state orders? Are we, as citizens, at risk of being fined, detained, or worse…jailed, for leaving home or working under these orders?

Dr. M: I think anyone who violates the Governor’s Order or Department of Health is at risk for a violation. There’s a statute called the “Administrative Code of 1929” that they are using. There’s a link on the Governor’s website. A violation conviction can be not less than ten dollars, and not more than fifty dollars, plus court costs. If you are unable to pay you may be jailed for thirty days.

Additionally, there’s the “Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955” for quarantines and isolation. This is a summary case and can carry a fine, if convicted, of no less than twenty-five dollars, and no more than three hundred dollars.

However, I’d say there are other things a Governor can do also like restrict certain licenses. We’ll see how this plays out. Some are enforcing, some are not.

Question 3:

77: What should someone do if they are pulled over and questioned? To clarify, what’s your advice on this?

Dr. M: Well it’s the same as usual. Above all, cooperate with the police. Be respectful. I don’t think the police are going to debate you as to why they pulled you over. For example, just turn over your documents and answer the general questions. Just identify yourself and be courteous. Certainly, if you feel you’ve run into trouble contact an attorney.

Question 4:

77: We believe this may be the most important time in our lives to know our rights in detail. So, can you elaborate a little about our Constitutional Rights and what we can or can’t do during all of this?

Dr. M: Life hasn’t changed except these orders now say shelter in place. Executive Orders are a matter of law now. Consequently the highest courts in the land have ruled these orders are not unconstitutional. In short, as long as people obey them we’ll be fine. But, the problem is enforcement. We’ll see if they are enforced. There’s a lot of gray areas in all of this too.

Question 5:

77: Is there any peace of mind you can give anyone reading about the above topics?

Dr. M: Personally, I think the vast majority of people have the best interests in mind for everyone. You have to have faith in people. Eventually we’ll get through this.

Also, I’d like to add, a big benefit to workers. For a worker to be protected, the refusal to work must be based on a legitimate concern due to a pre-existing health problem which places them at risk if infected by the Covid-19, not just because they are afraid generally of the Covid-19 virus.

Question 6:

77: What other types of law do you practice?

Dr. M: Criminal defense law. Personal injury law. As I get older, I’m doing more estate administration too.

Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe. Criminal defense law. Image of Constitutional law and criminal law books.
A library of law books.
Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe. Criminal defense law. Image of Bill in a black sweater at a fundraising event with a BNI sign.
Dr. McCabe at a fundraising event.
Final Question:

77: We always finish these interviews on a positive note. For instance, do you have anything positive to add that you’ve noticed through all of this?

Dr. M: I think from a professional standpoint, as a result of this, we’ve learned we can operate remotely and effectively. It will change how we do business. Instead of driving seventy miles to a meeting, we can Zoom.

Personally, I’m amazed at our caregivers and medical professionals in hospitals. I see selfless people who care for others with the virus. It’s astonishing to see. What would we do without them?

Photograph of the DAMD sign.
DeBernardo, Antoniono, McCabe & Davis sign.

Dr. McCabe can be reached through his firms website here: https://damdpc.com

A word from 77:

We appreciate Dr. McCabe taking the time to discuss these important issues with us. This Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe sheds some light on criminal defense law. Many people wonder what the legalities are of what is happening within our state and country. Some are scared or worried. Some are unbothered. Yet others are vigilant or even defiant.

Even more, Dr. McCabe admits there are some areas of law within all of this that are not yet completely clear cut. We will all have to wait and see how this shakes out. Subsequently, our courtrooms will likely be full of cases once they reopen. Thanks again for the Interview-Attorney William J. McCabe!

During this crisis, 77 Design Co has been on a mission to get as many perspectives from local business owners as possible. Likewise if you know of a business owner in the area that would like to be interviewed about their business or industry, have them contact us. We’ll certainly carve out a time to talk with them.

Conclusion

77 Design Co. is committed to helping small business succeed. We want to help keep their doors open, and keep roofs over their family’s heads. Keeping your business alive during this mess is crucial.

Finally, contact us if you own a business, or know of a business owner that needs marketing help. We are volunteering work at heavily discounted rates (or in some instances free) to keep business stable in our county and local area. Any way we can help, we will.

Additionally, here’s our services: https://77designco.com/services-2/

77 Design Co gray and orange logo

Interview-Straight-Up Bar Consulting

Interview-Straight-Up Bar Consulting. Dee Bertison is the owner of Straight-Up Bar Consulting, LLC located in Johnstown, PA. She has owned Straight-Up for roughly six months. She received licensing at the end of September in 2019.

Interview-Straight-Up Bar Consulting. Image of Dee Bertison in a black sweater and blue shirt offering free bartending lessons on Facebook.
Dee giving bartending lessons on her Straight-Up Bar Consulting Facebook page. Give it a “like.”

In the same vein as many other businesses, these COVID-19 closures have greatly impacted her business. Certainly, bars and restaurants can benefit tremendously from her services and expertise once they all reopen. Most importantly, these establishments will need new ways to attract and retain customers upon reopening. Let’s hear what Dee has to say in this Interview-Straight-Up Bar Consulting.

Question 1:

77 Design Co: What is Straight-Up Bar Consulting? Tell us a few things you do.

Dee Bertison: So, I’d start with expert bar consulting. However, I also offer industry training, bar solutions, hospitality training, and beverage programs.

Question 2:

77: What’s your experience in the bar and restaurant industry?

DB: In short, I have twenty-five years of experience in the industry. I’ve seen a lot in that time. I’m an innovator in drink menus. Also, I can manage employees, customers, and spirits.

Photograph of Dee Bertison bartending with a dark gray hat and sweater on.
Dee Bertison bartending.
Question 3:

77: So, very much like the show Bar Rescue. Likewise, where do you draw the lines though from what they do on the show versus what you do?

DB: <laughs> So, first off I don’t yell at people! I’m a pretty nice person, I think.

Unfortunately though, I don’t do complete full bar makeovers. I love John Taffer’s program. He manages well. However, he also has a full staff behind him. I don’t have that full staff to handle complete renovations, manage demographics, traffic, and everything else.

Interview-Straight-Up Bar Consulting. Image of logo with red martini, wine, and whiskey glasses.
Straight-Up Bar Consulting, LLC logo.
Question 4:

77: Who would you like to meet? In other words, who’s the best connections for your business?

DB: Above all, bar owners. However, I would also like to meet bartenders and managers that make the decisions. They can connect me to the bar owner too.

Question 5:

77: Obviously with the COVID closures of bars, this means 0 work (or at least, minimal.) What can bar owners plan to do ahead of openings?

DB: I think right now, a deep cleaning. For instance, cleaning areas that may be overlooked during busy times. Secondly, I think construction and repairs should be done now too. Some of these get neglected during normal business operations. Bars can also be planning menus and events right now.

Question 6:

77: We try to keep things fun and positive. Tell us the craziest bar story. However, try to keep it PG-13 if possible.

DB: Oh my God! <laughs> I’m not sure I can answer this! Almost all the stories are not PG-13. I’ll just give one that I know isn’t too bad.

So, one night there was a line at the mens restroom. It was a busy night. While in line, one patron was becoming impatient and just punched the guy in front of him so he could use the restroom next. Knocked him out! He then took his place and just used the restroom.

As a result afterwards the guy bought the guy that he punched a drink. They talked and had a drink together. He wasn’t a complete jerk in the end.

Question 7:

77: Your favorite drink?

DB: I love Ketel One Vodka with water and a lemon. Or, I do like a good Lemon Drop too. Pretty simple.

Interview-Straight-Up Bar Consulting. Dee Bertison's favorite drink, an image of Ketel One Vodka and a yellow lemon slice in a martini glass.
Dee’s favorite drink.

77: Anything you’d like to add?

DB: I’ll end with our tagline, “Stay in Good Spirits!”

A word from 77:

We met Dee at a SCORE workshop several months ago. 77 liked her business model thought it was a great idea, and even more so now with bars and restaurants closed to patrons. These businesses will need all the help they can get. Upon returning to normalcy, Straight-Up Bar Consulting will be able to help provide new ideas and new beverages to these locations. This can essentially give customers a product and service they hadn’t had prior to this COVID situation. Thanks to Dee for the, Interview-Straight-Up Bar Consulting. Check out more about Straight-Up here: https://straightupbarconsulting.com

77 Design Co. is committed to helping small business succeed. We want to keep their doors open, and keep roofs over their family’s heads. Keeping your business alive during this mess is crucial.

Finally, contact us if you own a business, or know of a business owner that needs marketing help. We are volunteering work at heavily discounted rates (or in some instances free) to keep business stable in our county and local area. Any way we can help, we will.

Additionally, here’s our services: https://77designco.com/services-2/

77 Design Co gray and orange logo

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

Interview-Paul Nickoloff Fotorecord

Interview-Paul Nickoloff, Fotorecord Print Center. Fotorecord Print Center is located in Greensburg, PA. Paul has owned and operated Fotorecord since 1994. They offer print and direct mail services as well as alternate digital marketing campaigns.

Interview-Paul Nickoloff Fotorecord. Image of Paul standing on the print production floor in a gray shirt and dark tie with his hands on his hips.
Paul on the print production floor.
Question 1:

77 Design Co: How many employees do you have? Have you had to do any layoffs during this COVID-19 mess?

Paul Nickoloff: So, I’ve got twenty employees. Nope, no layoffs. However, I am running modified schedules. They aren’t working forty hours, but are working fifteen hours a week instead. I’m hoping that doesn’t last long.

Question 2:

77: What impact have the COVID-19 shutdowns had on your business?

PN: I’d say 85% of our clients are closed. This hit us in our second busiest time of the year. We do a lot of work with colleges, nonprofits, and everything in between. With everything being closed it’s impacted us greatly. Likewise the cancellations of spring appeals and fundraising events pretty much killed us.

Question 3:

77: So, much like us (77 Design Co) Fotorecord is in the promotional and marketing sector. Consequently, we’ve already seen the damage done, and continue to spread the word of how important it is to stay in front of your customers through this. What advice can you give other business owners to get through this?

PN: Run promotions to raise awareness about your business’s reopening. Running a direct mail program to let customers know about reopening dates can definitely help. Get started on them now, and we’ll only have to add a date and get the pieces printed. Then we can quickly send them out. Plan ahead.

Question 4:

77: What is your biggest selling product? Likewise, have you seen changes in sales with this product?

PN: Our biggest is production printing. Also, our second biggest product is direct mail. Both make up a large part of our business.

Paul standing at a drawing board with a light gray shirt and dark tie.
Question 5:

77: Is Fotorecord currently offering any sales or discounts to impacted businesses?

PN: Yea, there’s a ton on our website. Our “We’re Back Open” campaign can help clients save on their printing costs. We also have a business revival package and other discounts online.

Question 6:

77: We always try to end on a positive note. Therefore, has anything been good either personally or professionally through all of this?

PN: As a result of things being slow, I’ve been able to reconnect with clients more. We are working to develop new opportunities on the horizon. This time has made me a better salesperson also. Interesting things should come from all this. What I also expect out of this is building better relationships with clients and uncovering different new opportunities. Likewise, it seems everyone is working together as much as possible.

77: What would you like to add?

PN: I can’t wait to go to a restaurant! Above all I’ll also say let’s all just keep looking ahead. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone at a bar or restaurant soon.

Fotorecord tablets and marketing print laying on a table top. Interview-Paul Nickoloff Fotorecord.
Fotorecord Print Center
Conclusion

This Interview-Paul Nickoloff Fotorecord comes from both a professional and personal standpoint. 77 Design Co owner, Rob Hoffman has considered Paul a good friend and mentor for many years. Moreover, Rob also considers Paul to be one of the most legitimately honest and straight forward people he knows in business. If you are in need of print marketing materials, give Paul or his staff a call. Finally, check out more about Fotorecord Print Center here: https://fotorecord.com.

Print production.

77 Design Co. is committed to helping small business succeed. We want to keep their doors open, and keep roofs over their family’s heads. Keeping your business alive during this mess is crucial.

Finally, contact us if you own a business, or know of a business owner that needs marketing help. We are volunteering work at heavily discounted rates (or in some instances free) to keep business stable in our county and local area. Any way we can help, we will.

Additionally, here’s our services: https://77designco.com/services-2/

77 Design Co gray and orange logo

Analyze. Create. Achieve.

Marketing with a Small Budget

Email marketing Girl here. Hola, and Happy New Year! How do you market your business with a small budget?
When you think of small budget, let’s start real small…like free. Therefore, what are some marketing tools that are free? Social media, email marketing, networking, blogging, webinars, ebooks, etc.

Email Marketing Girl with dog Image 2
Email Marketing Girl and pup.

Numero uno. Social media.
If you are a business, you need social media. One of the first things people do when they research are Google and most likely Facebook. Depending on the company and demographic, it could be Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or some others. Be consistent on social media. Engage people on social media. Be proactive instead of just reactive on social media. By proactive, for example, I mean look for the audience you wish to make business with. Likewise, look up hashtags and follow those people who are liking or posting those awesome pictures you wish were your content. (Consequently, learn from those cool profiles).
Email marketing.
There are a bunch of free email marketing tools out there that can do some cool stuff. Most popular from my experience, would be Mailchimp. However, all you have to do is go back to your friend Google and type in free email marketing and do some research on what best fits your needs.

email button on keyboard.
Web mail computer keyboard button for business contact concept. Email envelope icon key in blue color.

Networking.
I know, talking to people can be scary. That is to say, if you find yourself at a free marketing happy hour, talk the talk! Have your elevator pitch ready and go into it with a positive attitude. Even if you don’t get a sale or a client right there, you have planted a seed. Continue to follow up and make a relationship. Certainly, networking can be a powerful way to grow your company.
Blogging.
Like what I am doing now? Yep! Have a landscaping business? Blog about the newest trends you are seeing for the summer. What about some fun tips for your garden? I mean, that sounds interesting to me!
Free downloadable resources.
There is so much free stuff on the internet. If you don’t know much about SEO, download a free ebook about it or register for a one hour webinar on it. Likewise, it’s the same thing with literally anything marketing. Like I’ve said before, just Google.
There are a lot of free marketing things and resources you can get away with to start off your strategy. Have any questions? Reach out!
Analyze. Create. Achieve.
77Design Co logo and business cards.

Client Interview with a Marketing Coordinator

Hi all,

Recently, while on a product photography shoot, we conducted a quick Q&A interview with a recurring customer. Chelsea is a marketing/sales coordinator for a local company we’ve worked with frequently over the last few years. A great company making fantastic one of a kind products. We candidly asked her what she likes about her role and some general marketing questions.

What’s your role in marketing?

Chelsea: “So, I’m the sales and marketing coordinator here. I help coordinate trade shows. I help with photographic shoots, and I also manage a product line with our company. It’s really exciting because we’ve gained some new customers recently. We have a trade show in Pittsburgh and then one in New York in a few weeks too.”

What’s the hardest thing about marketing?

Chelsea: “Umm, so, probably finding out what people will like. Trying to grab their attention. Seeing what gets peoples attention and why they’d want our product. Since we have a new product line, I’m trying to find out what’s going to make them want our products over our competition. Learning about what sets our products apart. There’s other products that are similar, well, more simplified versions, but ours are unique and I have to show that.”

If you had to put a number on it. What percentage about marketing, do you think,  is related to creativity?

Chelsea: “Wow!…Honestly? A LOT! You have to be creative. I would say, wow, 70-80% really.  Even if you are writing a simple email blast you have to have it creative. What’s going to make them NOT want to delete your email? Finding that creative niche, that attention grabbing moment is super important!”

How important are the images, or photography, to your marketing plans?

Chelsea: “Oh my!” Extremely important. So, yes. Crucial! You have to show our products in many ways, even in lifestyle settings. For example, we even found that we had older product photos and once we had new photos taken by you guys, we sold them! I mean we sold many older products that weren’t selling once we had new images of them. They were updated, better focused, and started selling a lot better.”

Image of camera lenses signifying photography.

That’s fantastic!

Chelsea: “Yea! Honestly. We’ve found that really high quality pictures are really really important!”

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned about marketing in your time here?

Chelsea: “Wow, I’ve learned a LOT. So, I came right out of college and I had no idea hardly what I was doing. College isn’t real world, it’s all like books, studying, book knowledge, and tests. It was hard at first. For instance, you take the concepts that you learn in school and apply it to your work in the real world. Getting a customers attention, like I first said, is probably the biggest thing.”

 

So, in conclusion, if your local business has a need for updated photography, design work, or a new website…drop us a line! 77 Design Co is here to help you grow your business and increase sales the only way we know how… through creative visual marketing!

77 Design Co logo

Analyze. Create. Achieve.