I am a fan of John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on HBO.  I find myself laughing frequently.  I also find the subject matter something that applies to businesses many times.  This last report on credit reporting was of a particular interest, not just because it was about credit reporting, but because it shed light on dispute resolution. You can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRrDsbUdY_k.

The credit reporting agencies have been mandated to create a dispute resolution process for consumers in case their credit reports are incorrect.   In fact all companies should create a dispute resolution process.

Today there are many ways for a consumer to complain— Twitter, Facebook and social media sites, then add in conventional methods of email, letters and phone calls.  With all the biggest issue is reputation.

Companies need to consider what their complaint process will be.  Is there a form to complete?  How many days will the process last? Is there one person or a few assigned to the task?  What does the negotiation look like and what guarantees do you want to live up to?

If direct negotiation does not work, then what?  Will you use an intermediary?  Is this process solely online with a chat?

As you can see you do need a methodology in place.  A form is a good place to start with name, contact information and nature of the issue and how the consumer would like a response.  A time period should be in place to resolve the issue- up to fourteen days may be needed if you need further information.   Negotiation training may be useful, too.

This also gives opportunity to make a list of the common complaints.  The one complaint for lawyers is their inability to get back to clients quickly. I am constantly working on methods to provide quick and efficient service.

At what point, and this may be a price point, do you want to involve mediation?  You may feel confident with issues below $10,000, but anything greater may bring too much pressure to resolve.

True North Business Consulting can help you create your organization dispute resolution police and help with negotiation training.


It is that time of year again when shopping becomes important on a personal level.  Black Friday heralds the time period that retail stores run in the black instead of the red.  If you are a service business how does this affect you?

If you do not offer gift certificates, then if you offer a wellness service, coaching service or consulting service you may want to consider doing so. Send out an email to your clients to remind them there is still time for them to make the purchase.  For the gift certificate itself, think about cardstock for a nice presentation with an envelope to match.  In addition, keep track of what you sell and respect Massachusetts laws that allow for a 7 year expiration date.

You may be thinking how you have gotten great deals on Groupon and Living Social.  Offering discounts with these companies can help your business, but remember you are entering a contract. This should be reviewed by an attorney so you understand your responsibilities.  You want to make sure there is a shorter expiration date on any of your offerings and if it is not used, then the amount can be applied to another service (just not at a discounted rate).  With Groupon the hope is that you will keep the client, but there is a low retention rate since many Groupon and Living Social shoppers are looking for the next, best deal.  

True North Business Consulting does not offer gift certificates, but we do have books for Health & Wellness Professionals and Contractors along with a DVD program that make great gifts!

Book & DVD offerings providing business education

The Business Guidebook for Contractors along with a new edition of The Business Guidebook for Health & Wellness Professionals are offered at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.  Both Business Guidebooks are filled with business information that is easy to understand and to follow with worksheets to show you the steps involved. We are also offering A Business Program for Health & Wellness Professionals on DVD!  All available on Amazon. FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY! If you purchase through the links above then you will receive $5.00 OFF using the following code: ZP682PK9.

For those unfamiliar with Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR and want to know more about it so that you can use it in your business, then I have created a course with Udemy (an academy of you).  The first 50 people receive $10 off, that is half price, but it is only for a limited time so take advantage NOW to learn about using  the processes negotiation, mediation and arbitration in an hour. Use code 10OFFADR at UDEMY.


I will be participating in the New England Chapter of the Association Conflict Resolution regional conference in June along with Jessica Nagle Esq. discussing the Utilization of ADR in Medical Billing Disputes.  We are both excited to talk about a topic we are passionate about—namely Alternative Dispute Resolution.

For those unfamiliar with ADR, it is when conflicts are resolved in a method that does not involve litigation. I would say that all of you have signed an arbitration agreement—cellphones, software and credit card agreements all have arbitration clauses.  Many of you though may not be familiar with mediation. 

As a mediator, I can tell you that this should be a go to choice for small businesses and for any time there is a conflict where you are unable to negotiate a resolution.  A mediator serves as a facilitator.  Both sides get to tell their side of the conflict and really understand what the issues are to try to come to an agreement that is mutually beneficial.  I have seen relationships where both parties were angry, then at the end of mediation conclude with a written agreement and the parties walking away on better terms.

With mediation you can have a lawyer present or not, since most people feel comfortable discussing from their perspective what is the nature of the issue. If you do not come to an agreement with mediation, you can still go to court, but what was discussed in mediation cannot be used. 

If you are in Sturbridge June 14th and 15th, then you are welcome to attend the conference or if you would like more information in our proposal, please feel free to contact me.

I believe in alternative medicine because I do not consider it alternative. Acupuncturists, Massage Therapists and Naturopaths have all helped me.  Both Acupuncturists and Naturopaths have graduate level degrees, which mean that they more than likely have student loans to pay.  What bothers me is that their education is limited on business and I wonder how they are expected to pay back those loans plus earn a living? For every business it is about earning a living, making ends meet and then growing.


True North Business Consulting wants to support health and wellness professionals by offering business classes and the True North Guidebook.  Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, but the official beginning of the school year for many New Englanders.  It is a good time to focus on short video seminars that are easy to access and cost effective.  True North’s program covers topics such as marketing, insurance needs and legal needs.  There are other important topics like retirement planning, a must for any business owner to consider.


These video classes are not just limited to health and wellness professionals but any business owner that needs some guidance.  You may be an expert in your field, but you have apprehension about running a business.  The True North program is designed for you.  Take advantage of it today.

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“I don’t know how to negotiate.” I hear this quite a bit. Many people do not know how to approach a negotiation, especially women. They are stuck with the idea of what they see on television or in movies, which depict one person coming on strong and the other person caving in. That is not negotiating. Does this sound familiar?

I believe in the collaborative approach where the parties prepare for the negotiation by thinking up options. If the other party does not want to try this style, then you can prepare on your own. You need to prepare because what I also see happening is that people do not bring any evidence that support their options.

Let me be blunt- you need proof. In a negotiation I would not believe another side’s idea is good because they told me so. I would believe it if I saw a chart or information on what someone else had done before (that had been successful). Take the time to do some research.

Let me give an example. You want to add a line of products to your office. The product representative contacts you and gives you general information to sign, but you are hesitant even though you really like the products.

1. Read over the cost.
2. What are the ordering procedures?
3. Find other people in the area who carry the products and talk to them. What kind of deal did they make?
4. Armed with this information you can now negotiate.

Without getting more information, you would have made a bad deal. By getting that information you can now support asking for a better deal.

True North provides negotiating coaching services so you can comfortably negotiate your way through any business deal.

Save Time, Money and Relationships

Most people will have an experience with mediation or arbitration at least once in their personal or business lives.

JOIN US! For a FREE Seminar hosted by Attorney Cynthia Pasciuto of True North Business Consulting, LLC.

· Learn the differences between mediation and arbitration

· Realize the benefits of conflict resolution

· Learn the steps involved

· Avoid common problems

· Know how arbitration is used today

This is not something you want to miss! Register now as space is limited. Register online at http://truenorthconsulting.eventbrite.com

You are an integrative health practitioner, an acupuncturist, a yoga instructor, a massage therapist, naturopath, or health coach. You help others, and are an expert in your field, having studied and worked hard to develop your practice. However, a practice involves business know-how. Entrepreneurs, Cynthia Pasciuto of True North Business Consulting and Laura Greer of Mandala Services have formed the Institute of Integrative Business Studies to provide online business education to health and wellness practitioners.
Cynthia and Laura are not newcomers to the health and wellness field. Cynthia has taught at the local acupuncture school along with teaching at the undergraduate level. Laura has helped practitioners start, grow and manage thriving health and wellness practicices, has worked for yoga studios and has been a yoga instructor for over ten years. They both noticed there was a need for business knowledge often being asked for advice on social media, marketing, management and legal assistance. They wanted the health and wellness practitioners to succeed.
The Institute of Integrative Business Studies℠ is launching The Integrative Business Program℠, a series of online seminars aimed at helping integrative health practitioners learn what it takes to start, maintain and grow a successful practice. The objective of the Integrative Business Program℠ is to educate integrative health practitioners in order to improve their chances for success and to increase the accessibility of qualified practitioners available to the consumer. The program teaches participants crucial business and practice management principles in the areas of Patient & Clinical Management, Marketing & Public Relations, Accounting, Insurance and Finance, and Business Law.

The Integrative Business Program℠ consists of a number of courses that run for a length of -6 weeks each. Weekly online sessions are 1 hour in length and each course is taught by an expert in the topic.

Courses start in September. Sign up today for a free introductory webinar on Tuesday, August 30th- Jumpstart Your Business: Top Ten Things You Need to Know! Sign up for the free webinar at http://www.integrativebusinessstudies.com/jumpstart

The Institute of Integrative Business Studies℠, where holistic health and business practices meet, is sponsored by the Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine Association of Massachusetts and The National Institute of Whole Health.

More information at http://www.integrativebusinessstudies.com or
Contact: inquire@integrativebusinessstudies.com

Stronger revenue results, more effective business relationships and clearer competitive differentiation are named as top issues of entrepreneurs, independent professionals and small business owners. Do those issues resonate with you?

Both women and men entrepreneurs are welcome at this special Business Development Event.

Business owners and entrepreneurs who attend will learn tools and systems needed to give new life to your business – or to build on your current success. If you are just starting a business, you will learn a direction and structure for growth.

All who attend will benefit from this informative, inspirational workshop and our business networking. In addition, we are launching Strategic Connection Groups for better business contacts in the following areas and markets:

* Architecture, construction, design and related fields.
* Catering, Restaurants, Food and related products and services.
* M2W – “Marketing to Women” with sub-groups in professional services and products and personal services and products.
* B2B – Marketing, Sales, and other services or products sold to corporations.

The featured speaker has the magic touch for recharging your batteries, building momentum and helping you stay focused on the results that matter most. Shelly Berman-Rubera is an award-winning entrepreneur, small business coach and President of SBR – Small Business Results. Shelly is a Certified Small Business Coach, Emotional Intelligence Leader, Lifestyle Management Consultant and Founder of four businesses.

Pre-registration is required, and the fee is only $25.00. Discounts available for companies sending four or more employees (email or call for details)
Information and Registration
Please forward this invitation to others who share your goal for better business results and stronger business connections.

I know you get a LOT of email – thank you for your attention to this invitation.

Please contact me with any questions or if you have difficulty registering. I look forward to seeing you on May 17.

Warm Regards,

Marie Warner
Warner Networking Events

CompassionistaGirl establishes self-respect and self-love in girls, allowing them to set and achieve healthy goals. Research shows that as girls transition through puberty into adolescence, profound shifts occur. A once thoughtful and self-empowered girl, shows confusion over what she knows and believes about herself and the world. Her identity is changing rapidly as she is bombarded by a wide range of cultural pressures and media portrayals of what it means to be a girl and a woman. Her sense of self becomes masked and she loses her authentic voice.

CompassionistaGirl was created to inspire girls to listen closely to their inner selves so that they can become inspired and empowered teenagers. Encouraging girls to explore their capabilities, they learn to share their strengths and ask for help when needed. Their personal voices are amplified and they recognize their inherent worth.

As girls recognize their potential, they not only benefit their own lives, but also the lives of those around them.

Women and girls are a strong force of positivity and compassion and have the ability to influence our world in fantastic ways when they believe in their self-worth and prowess.

Join us for a summer program that can change girls’ lives!

I will be presenting Advocating For Yourself at the following conference:

Gearing Up
Fifth Annual Career Advancement Conference for Professional Women
Gearing Up: Fit to Lead
May 7, 2010
Executive Dining Room LaCava 395
8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Bentley University Campus