Manta Inc | Date: 2012-06-18
A system and method are provided for using a class H amplifier in a tester for testing protective relaying equipment, particularly useful in conducting end to end testing. The class H amplifier is configured to provide separation between the amplifier and the power supply of the tester using a DSP which also offers flexibility for programming algorithms to realize efficiencies in matching the waveform to the output rail. End to end testing is also improved by including expected results for the test case used by the tester to enable the tester to determine how close the results are to what is expected. This offers time savings and is less prone to error in that the expected results can be predetermined by a qualified/experienced professional.
News Article | April 17, 2013
Small business owners are also in need of business-focused platforms to help them connect with prospects and peers. More than half of small business owners say it was a successful first quarter for their business, despite the federal government's budget crisis in the first quarter, according to a Manta survey of more than 1,200 small business owners in the United States. Part of this may be due to the increasing number of small and midsize businesses (SMBs) getting the hang of social media marketing. Small business owners are taking an "independent and resourceful" approach to learning more about social media, the report indicated. Whereas only 18 percent of SMBs ask for social media help from third-party experts, twice as many (36 percent) turn to online resources. Their hard work appears to be paying off, as nearly 40 percent of small business owners are reporting a return on their investment, with 30 percent realizing returns greater than $2,000. "As a highly pragmatic and time-constrained group, small business owners are strategically adopting platforms that show real results for their business," Manta CEO Pamela Springer said in a statement. "However, social media is not a stationary phenomenon. As SMBs shift from the experimental stage to a results-focused phase, their social media usage will evolve to maximize the value."However, small businesses are also encountering obstacles along the way, with 18 percent of SMBs reporting Facebook is the most difficult platform to maintain, followed by LinkedIn and Twitter. Small business owners are also in need of business-focused platforms to help them connect with prospects and peers. The report revealed 36 percent of SMBs indicate the primary goal of using social media is to acquire and engage with new customers.Overall, with the potential to generate a compelling return on investment (ROI), social media involvement is trending upward in the small-business community. Nearly 50 percent of SMBs have increased time spent on social media compared to a year ago. In addition, more than one in three small business owners said they dedicate between one and three hours each week managing their social media channels, while 10 percent spend more than 10 hours. While more small businesses (nearly 26 percent) are investing in social media, online advertising and marketing, higher levels of optimism and business growth have not translated into an increase in employment, as only about 5 percent of small business owners said they plan to hire new staff this spring. This finding correlates with the results of a study by PNC, which earlier this month found American SMBs plan to delay hiring new employees or seek new loans amid cautious optimism about the economy. Three out of four (75 percent) small businesses said they expect their staffing to remain unchanged for the next six months, and nearly one out of three said they will choose to do more work with fewer employees. Social media can also act as a double-edged sword, according to an online survey from the authors of “Crucial Conversations,” a book exploring influential speech habits. The study found social media sites are fostering an increasingly hostile user base. Nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) of the 2,698 respondents reporting rising incivility online.
News Article | April 3, 2012
Manta, a website that connects customers and small businesses with company profiles, just raised $44 million. The company helps small businesses gain visibility and attract new customers, as well as create a community of small business owners. Think of Manta as a “LinkedIn meets Yelp for small businesses.” The service acts as a directory for businesses that exist all over the web. For example, one business profile is for an Etsy shop called Modest Chicks, with the founder’s name and location are displayed as well as a few of the products the shop sells. Like LinkedIn, you can write a recommendation for the company, and employees can even connect with their company. For small businesses that may not have a strong social media or web presence, Manta helps them get more customers. Customers can go to the site to search for a business based on location or category. Also like LinkedIn, Manta encourages business owners to connect with others to grow their network, share knowledge, and get advice. More specifically, Manta can help advise users about marketing or human resources. The company’s rivals include Angie’s List and MerchantCircle, both of which connect customers to small businesses within a local area. Likewise, Yelp and Facebook Page’s help small businesses get noticed, and because both services are so widespread people often to flock to them first to find and connect with businesses. Norwest Venture Partners led the round, which will likely be used to grow the company. Norwest Venture Partners’ Jon Kossow and David Su also joined Manta’s board of directors. Manta was founded in 2005 and is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. This is the first reported funding round for the company.
News Article | July 27, 2015
With 80 percent of small business owners using their mobile phone for business at least once a day, it is clear that mobile tech is here to stay. Approximately 80 percent of small business owners use their mobile phone for business at least once a day, nearly a 10 percent increase since 2012, according to Manta’s latest SMB Wellness Index. The study revealed a quarter of small businesses use their mobile device for business at least every hour, and not just when they’re on the road. Also, 78 percent of small business owners use their mobile device while in front of their computer (a 10n percent increase since 2012) for things like checking personal texts or email (48 percent) and speedier email access (25 percent). "Mobile technology has in some ways been a double-edged sword for small business owners’ work-life balance, making it easier to get away but harder in some cases to fully disconnect," John Swanciger, CEO of Manta, told eWEEK. "For example, according to our survey, 78 percent of small business owners check work email or other documents while on vacation, although most of them--64 percent--believe mobile access allows them to enjoy their vacations more." He noted with 80 percent of small business owners using their mobile phone for business at least once a day, it is clear that mobile tech is here to stay.The survey also indicated small businesses now rely on mobile phones for basic tasks such as appointment scheduling or communicating with customers (56 percent), creating notes or to-do lists (30 percent) and banking (24 percent)."Mobile tech provides opportunities for efficiency and business growth, but it can also place further demand on business owners to remain more accessible," Swanciger noted. "Having an open line of communication to the public 24/7, and helpful business tools readily available, coaxes business owners to make themselves more available and accountable, even outside business hours. As we’ve seen with the vacation example, this can be a threat to a small business owner’s work-life balance." The majority of small business owners (71 percent) report that 2015 has been a successful year so far, with business up 3 percent since last summer. Even more small businesses (82 percent) are optimistic about the remainder of the year, although less than last year are planning to hire new employees. This year’s figure of 30 percent compares to 35 % in 2014."Many small businesses can operate as lean organizations with consolidated resources," Swanciger said. "If they take the profit as is, without expanding their business, small businesses can sustain success without generating additional overhead costs of employing and training others in hopes of bigger gains."
News Article | February 14, 2013
"I know there are people out there who can start successful companies and still have time for great love affairs or deep meaningful romantic relationships. They can be a great business leader and a supportive and available husband or wife to their partner. I am not one of those people. Sadly, I have neglected every partner I have ever had for my first true love, work." That’s Sean Suhl, cocreator of Suicide Girls and cofounder of the recently released Let’s Date app. Given the demands of starting a new venture, you would think Suhl’s experience is par for the course for enterprising business people—male or female. But you'd be wrong. Stereotypes notwithstanding, plenty of evidence suggests the young, Type-A, tech-savvy self-promoter who regularly sleeps alone on the office couch isn’t your typical founder. Indeed, 70% were married when they became entrepreneurs and 65% were over 30 when they founded their first company. And now Manta, the online community for small businesses, finds that owning a small business can actually help your love life. Manta CEO Pamela Springer says 32% of respondents to their latest survey report their family life and relationships have gotten better with business, and nearly 60% of them would recommend working with their significant others. Venture capitalist Brad Feld and his wife Amy Batchelor, managing director of the Anchor Point Fund, know this all too well. In fact, they wrote the book on it. Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur sprung from their personal experiences of surviving a near-breakup more than a decade ago. "It’s repeated over and over that entrepreneurship is an ‘all-in’ experience and the partner of an entrepreneur has to accept that he is playing second fiddle to the entrepreneur’s startup," they write. "We completely reject this notion. We reject the idea that the more you work, the better the outcome. We reject that time spent on work matters more than having a fulfilling life." Instead, they contend, "both you and your startup will be more successful if you have a full experience on this planet." They acknowledge that relationships, like entrepreneurship, are really hard. Failure is to be expected—in both. And just as founders are told to fail fast, pivot, and charge ahead, Feld and Batchelor believe the same is true in love: "Own your mistakes, learn from them, and move on." One big mistake they’ve found is that entrepreneurs tend to be connected to their businesses constantly. "Technology is not always your friend. You do not need to do just one more email right before bedtime. Stepping away from the computer at least an hour before bedtime helps make this happen," they advise. Still, startup stress can have a disastrous effect on sex. Only 19% of small business owners surveyed by Manta say their sex life is most important to them, and a paltry 1% say that their life between the sheets has improved since they started their business. "Small business owners are finding it hard to improve their sex life partially because of increased stress, as they have to spend more time focusing on their companies since there are many uncertainties from the current economic climate and new federal policies in the pipeline," says Springer. For his part, Suhl vividly recalls a beautiful Italian woman named Christina smoking cigarettes in the windowsill of the Soho Hotel in London. Rather than turn to him amorously after their liaison, Suhl says she demanded to know whether or not he’d surreptitiously checked his notifications during an intimate moment. "She's getting married in the fall to someone who presumably has his priorities straight," Suhl says. "I just launched a new iPhone app, though. We really got all the details right. I obsessed over everything. Instead of that balance thing." Feld and Batchelor recommend a host of standard-issue solutions to keep both sex and romance thriving along with the balance sheet, from talking about sexual preferences and always answering your partner’s telephone calls to sending love notes when traveling. For the goal oriented, they suggest putting a dollar in a jar every time you have sex (or five if it's breathtakingly awesome) as a way of measuring progress. Ironically, while the percentage of new businesses that survive past five years is 51%, according to SBA statistics, and the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the divorce rate of first marriages is around 50%, it's not entrepreneurship that dooms most marriages. Springer says that an overwhelming majority of small business owners (82%) said owning a company did not a play a role in their separations. "This aligns with our data because most small business owners enjoy working with their significant others and many agree on most work-related issues. In fact, 60% of small business owners polled are married, which is almost 10% higher than the national average," she says. As for finding love in a startup, Springer says all that time spent together could make the sparks fly. While a previous Manta survey shows that 74% of entrepreneurs believe networking online is just as valuable as networking in person to grow their business, only 12% of them say they dated through social media. "This could mean that small business owners value direct, in-person interactions more than virtual dating when it comes to finding their significant other," Springer notes.