Posts

Showing posts from February, 2016

OPERATION: START UP & GROW Veteran Business Conference, Syracuse, NY 3/16/16

Image
Do you want to start a business? Expand your existing business? Find all the resources in one location at this FREE conference for veteran entrepreneurs! Operation: Start Up & Grow is the premier veterans business conference in Upstate New York for our veterans and members of the military community who want to start or expand their own small business. The half-day event includes breakout workshops, networking sessions with guest experts and exhibitors, award ceremony, free breakfast and lunch.


Online registration is now open: REGISTER HERE.
Flyer (PDF)

Advocacy Report Examines Foreign-Born STEM Entrepreneurship

The Office of Advocacy, an independent office within the Small Business Administration, has released a report investigating the differences in STEM entrepreneurship between U.S.-born and foreign-born college graduates. The study finds that differences in educational attainment along with differences in the distribution of U.S.–foreign-born demographic characteristics explain most of percentage the gap.  Among immigrants who earned their highest degree in the United States, the rate of STEM entrepreneurship is almost 4 percentage points higher than for otherwise-similar native-born citizens. The report is titled Imported Entrepreneurs: Foreign-Born Scientists and Engineers in U.S. STEM Fields Entrepreneurship and is written by the noted economist, Margaret Blume-Kohout. It suggests several opportunities for policymakers interested in spurring new business creation and startup employment in new ventures focusing in STEM fields. The full report and research summary are located on Advoca…

2012 Economic Census, Survey of Business Owners, Company Statistics Series: Characteristics of Businesses and Characteristics of Business Owners

These reports provide selected economic and demographic characteristics of U.S. respondent firms and their owners. 

Data aggregates are presented by gender, ethnicity, race and veteran status of majority owners at the national level by 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), and employment size and receipts size of firm. Characteristics of Businesses and Business Owners statistics for both employer and nonemployer firms include, but are not limited to, types of workers, year the business was originally established, if the company owned a website, age of owner, owner’s highest level of education, and whether the owner was born in the United States.

Internet address:  <http://factfinder.census.gov/bkmk/navigation/1.0/en/d_program:SBO/d_data_orig_year:2012/text_search:SB1200CSCB*>.

Fast Food Restaurants Lead Franchised Businesses in Employment

Image
Franchised limited-service restaurants (NAICS722513), sometimes called fast-food restaurants, employed 2.6 million people in 2012 and had sales of $129.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. New car dealers (NAICS 441110), an industry solely comprised of franchises, employed 973,745 people and had sales of $672.5 billion in 2012. The 2012 Economic Census Franchise Report is only the second comprehensive and detailed report by the Census Bureau on this segment of the U.S. economy, with the first being released for the 2007 Economic Census. The report presents data for selected industries on the number of businesses with paid employees engaged in franchising, annual sales for these businesses, and employment and payroll. These data are broken out by industry in three categories: franchisor-owned businesses, franchisee-owned businesses and all businesses. The data are primarily national level, although state-level statistics are provided for limited-service restaurants and full-serv…

How to gain more positive results from your website

Image
Does your website seem to lack something?Maybe your'e not receiving the feedback or traffic on your site as you envisioned... well there are some simply ways to add more substance and glamour

SBA has 7 ways to do so- giving you the tools to reinvent yourself




5 Ways to Keep Your Small Business Growing

Image
by Felix Tarcomnicu at Bplans.com

This article offers a number of ideas on concrete steps to take to grow your business with some real world examples of successful businesses who survived their expansion.
Running a small business is a daunting challenge. Statistically, less than 50 percent of small businesses are still operational after five years. Globalization has increased the level of competition and introduced more turmoil to the business environment.

If you want to take your business to the next level, you’ll need to be open to the current realities of the new global economy, and get more creative.
Read more at Bplans

Small Business Success Story - Insulation Man

Image
Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the Binghamton SBDC appears in our 2015 Annual Report
Susan Gahagan & David Currie The Insulation Man Binghamton SBDC


When her boss at The Insulation Man told Susan Gahagan that he was going to retire and sell the business, she resisted the urge to panic and instead began to envision herself as the owner of the company that had employed her for 20 years. As Office Manager, Susan knew every one of the hard-working employees and had seen the business grow exponentially over the years. Susan shared her entrepreneurial thoughts with co-worker David Currie and they decided to buy the business. 

Susan and David knew that they could continue to provide residential spray foam insulation services. They also saw potential increased revenues and capacity if they expanded the business by selling to commercial customers and pursuing procurement opportuni…

How do I get certified as a minority or woman owned business?

From the Mid-Hudson SBDC:

In an effort to promote the integration of Minorities and Women owned business into the State’s procurement process, the Governor’s Office on Minority and Women’s Development was incorporated into the Department of Economic Development in 1992. This office is responsible for implementing the certification program to which any established business owned by women or minorities can apply. One important criterion for determining eligibility is that the business must be independently controlled by a minority or woman and must have been in operation for a year. Any legal form of business is eligible be it a single proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. Out of state entities may also apply.

What constitutes “ownership” in this case is defined as having at least 51% ownership by citizens or permanent resident aliens who are:  African American, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islanders, Native American, Alaskan Natives or women.

Completing the certification process req…

SBA Disaster Recovery Still Available for Hurricane Sandy

Image
If your business was impacted by Hurricane Sandy, you may still apply for disaster recovery assistance from the SBA.

Whether your business is small, large or non-profit, SBA CAN HELP!

SBA Disaster Loan Outreach Centers

The Three Step Process: Disaster Loans


5 Bad Decision-Making Habits That Can Destroy Your Business

Image
Decision-making may not be something that we look at closely. Something so important shouldn't be taken for granted. Larry Alton of Entrepreneur.com offers a run-down of bad habits that business owners can fall prey to:

"Decision making is like any other skill. When you first engage, you’ll be inexperienced, and as a result, your performance will suffer. But if you can gradually eliminate your bad habits and replace them with positive practices, you’ll set yourself up for much greater overall success."

Read more at Entrepreneur

Establishing Values for Your Business

Image
The values and culture of your company have a direct effect on your employees, customers and ultimately your bottom line. What are you doing to establish, cultivate and grow this precious commodity? This course will introduce you to the processes of implementing company values for your company by including input from stakeholders and customers. Learn about the steps in the planning process, potential problems you may face, and how to implement your company’s values using a strategic plan.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE COURSE

10 Essentials of A Marketing Plan in 2016

Image
Clearly, technology has changed marketing a lot. We fast forward through ads on television and block them on our devices. We have amplified word of mouth in social media. We pour over analytics and metrics. But what about the marketing plan? Has technology changed marketing planning?

One thing for sure: The fundamentals still apply. As much as ever, marketing is still getting people to know, like, and trust your business. As much as ever, marketing still needs defining target markets, knowing those market segments, reaching the right people with the right message. Pricing is still the most important message, and the lowest price is – as always – not necessarily the best price.

11 Tips for Focused, Effective (and Inexpensive) Startup Marketing

Image
by Briana Morgaine
Critical issues and decisions for start-ups are discussed:

"In a recent article, Palo Alto Software founder Tim Berry equates startup marketing to throwing darts at a dartboard. While existing companies can get away with throwing their “marketing darts” a little aimlessly, a startup has to be more careful and precise.

The established company just has to worry about hitting the dartboard; the startup needs to hit the bullseye.

If precision and focus are the name of the marketing game for startup companies, what is the best strategy for marketing your startup? I asked the members of the Young Entrepreneur Council for their advice on how to market startup companies most effectively.

All these entrepreneurs advocated for employing focus, consistency, and using a variety of unexpected sources, many of which are low cost—always a plus for a new startup.
Read more at: bplans"

7 Ways to Improve Your Website Homepage

Your website is your virtual place of business.  Just like your regular place of business, you want it to be neat, clean, attractive, inviting and professional looking. Here are 7 low cost ways to improve a homepage to meet today's standards -- and they may be easier than you think. 1. Freshen the Content Regularly
2. Make Sure It Has a Call to Action
3. Add Contact Information Prominently
4. Add Images and/or Video
5. Update Your Design to Current Standards
6. Improve Page Speed
7. Make it Mobile Responsive
Learn more at:  SBA

Small Business Success Story - Scorpion Fitness

Image
Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the Midtown Manhattan SBDCappears in our 2015 Annual Report



John Shams
Scorpion Fitness
Midtown Manhattan SBDC


 John Shams is a strength-and-conditioning coach and personal trainer. He has worked with New York's elite and is on the list of Gotham's annual 100 most successful bachelors list. In other words, John's expertise in the fitness arena has been well documented and he is not new to the fitness game. With the fast growing trend of boutique gyms in New York, which includes the likes of Soul Cycle and Barry's Bootcamp John saw there was an opportunity to provide a service that was not being offered by most boutiques. He found that the most successful boutiques offered a great experience but there was minimal focus on what really matters - results. With a wealth of expertise unmatched by most of his potential competitors, Jo…

Tax Tips: Many Happy Returns

“I am proud to be paying taxes in the United States. The only thing is – I could be just as proud for half the money.” — Arthur Godfrey, entertainerWith tax season among us it can become a chaotic time of the year for business owners. Provided is a surplus of articles to remedy the potential hectic process, easing you through what many business owners dread- lending you an extra hand.
Get It Right The First Time: Five Basic Tax Tips for New Businesses. Never Miss An Important Deadline Again: IRS's free Tax Calendar for Businesses and the Self-Employed Keep Up On The Latest Tax Code Changes: changes for the 2015 tax year hereDon't Leave Money On The Table: frequently overlooked tax deductions and credits taxes and credits tool Make Sure Your Returns Are Error-Free: eight tax mistakesAvoid Getting Audited: 

How to Write an Executive Summary

Image
Tim Berry at Bplans.com offers a clear and concise explanation of what an executive summary is and is not with links to related articles. It offers good advice on how to go about it and straightens out some confusing terms.

Your executive summary is your pitch. You’ve heard of—and probably even given—an “elevator pitch”; write your business plan’s executive summary like it’s an elevator pitch that you’ve had the time to edit to perfection. It should introduce you, your business, and your product, but the purpose of writing an executive summary is also to deliver a hard sell. Convince your reader here that you have a great idea they should invest their time and money in.


Read more at:Bplans

One Day at Panda Express.

On a bright day in the flats of San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles, the busiest restaurant around is a Panda Express tucked into a shopping center dominated by a Walmart. Running a fast-food operation isn't like other restaurants — here, we dive into the big picture, the tiny systems, and the daily struggles of keeping a quick-service shop humming.

Walnut Grove Avenue is a relatively barren stretch between the 10 and 60 freeways in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, some 12 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles. There are two big anchors to the suburb: a large Edison utility headquarters, and the corporate headquarters of Panda Restaurant Group, parent company of Panda Express. One of LA's few Walmarts looms at the end of a huge parking lot, flanked by a strip mall with a collection of standard-issue retail slots.

While many diners still think of Panda as a shopping mall staple, the chain — founded in 1983 inside the Glendale Galleria mall just a few miles to the northeast — has…

Are you or would like to be a veteran involved in the business industry?

Image
SBDC is a huge advocate for small  business development by our veterans. Here is how veterans are receiving a spark of support in entrepreneurial ventures.

To learn more about StreetShares visit:
Forbes



The State of Small Business: New York

For the entrepreneur, New York offers a stable environment, a large economy, and access to one of the world's busiest regions. Small business owners and professionals in the state don't expect that to change and are largely optimistic about what the future holds. While New York's economy has grown slower than the nation as a whole, it remains the third largest in the country at a GDP of nearly $1.4 trillion in 2014, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). That means plenty of business opportunity, both in New York City and outside, where there are large markets in places like Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse. New Yorkers are, on average, wealthier than their national counterparts as well, meaning more money to spend on the goods and services small businesses have to offer.

However, the heightened cost of living can prove difficult to manage. Still, entrepreneurs said that if they can overcome the steep expenses associated with payroll and rent, not to mention …

Small Business Success Story -Lake Champlain Physical Therapy

Image
Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the  North Country SBDC appears in our 2015 Annual Report

Leonardo Lopes-Gomes
Lake Champlain Physical Therapy
North Country SBDC
Lake Champlain Physical Therapy is a new clinic in Crown Point owned and operated by Leonardo Lopes-Gomes, a board-certified physical therapist. When working at a local hospital, Leo noticed that patients were willing to wait two to three weeks to schedule an appointment with him, and was inspired to start his own successful practice. After eight years at the hospital, Leo took the plunge and decided to start his own business. Lake Champlain Physical Therapy offers outpatient physical therapy treatments. Leo may expand the practice in the future to include other therapies and wellness services such as massage therapy, acupuncture, fitness classes and wellness programs. 
Due to limited collateral, the bank required an S…

Getting Better at What You Do

Image
There are so many options these days for learning opportunities, often for free. I have only listened or viewed a couple of these in the past but today checked out a course that our clients would be invaluable to a lot of our clients, in particular tech clients. I was searching for a podcast for training people on how to sell. A course on iTunes U that jumped out to me is How to Start a Startup by Sam Altman. It's free! There are over 40 lessons, some video-based units and some podcasts. I jumped to the unit on Sales & Marketing: How to Talk to Investors. It concisely works through the steps of what questions an entrepreneur needs to be able to answer. What to say, when to shut up, and what attitude to you need to be successful. This was a section that I thought would be very interesting for businesses starting out and trying to get funding. Other interesting units are on how to manage, hiring, accounting, and simply "building product and talking to users".

There is …

What to do when going back to the drawing board

Image
Have there been reasons to make drastic changes to your business? If you are in the stages of possibly rebranding the SBA has a STEP-BY-STEP process to help guide you back onto the road to success.Here is what you need to do when going back to the drawing board.


Rebrand Your Business, Step By Step





What Kind of Thinker Are You?

We all aspire to work better together. Technology is making some of that effort easier. But digital tools are only part of the answer. It’s people who ultimately make the difference.

The problem is that technologies for collaboration are improving faster than people’s ability to learn to use them. What can be done to close that gap? A year ago we set out to find the answer, drawing on the collective experience of dozens of collaborative communities and learning organizations. Here’s what we found.

In most organizations, there’s a standard set of tools we use to form, lead, and manage teams. These include personality tests, skill profiles, and team roles. When you put a team together, you consider people’s personalities: are they an introvert or extrovert, risk-taker or risk-avoider, analytical or intuitive? You consider their skills: What is their specific area of talent, experience, or expertise? And you consider their potential role on the team: What will their contribution be to the …

Four things every small business owner should know about taxes

Blood pressures are rising at many small businesses now that tax season is underway. Owners can make the process easier by being organized and watching out for tax pitfalls, accountants say. Here are four tax issues small business owners should be thinking about now and year-round:
Here are the major keys Star Tribune has to give:

Keeping records matters
Tax time, a teachable moment
Employees and freelancers
Your home office and car
To learn more visit:
Startribune

Create Success: 5 Proven Steps To Achieving Your Business Goals Now

You know the feeling: You’re motivated, excited and focused as you work toward your dream. Then, life happens.

The initial excitement you felt fades away. You want more traffic for your blog or website, but it becomes harder and harder to make yourself sit down and write.

You find yourself creating excuses. Days and then weeks go by. Those ambitious goals you dreamed up are nothing but far-off fantasies dancing around in your head.

You feel guilty for not following through, and you say to yourself:

-I’ll never be able to stick to my goals.
-I don’t push myself hard enough.
-I need to stop being so lazy.
-I’m a failure.

But, I have great news for you: Your dreams don’t have to fizzle out like a defective Fourth of July firecracker.

In this post, you’ll learn:
-Why getting crystal clear about your goals will amplify your results
-How to achieve goals by measuring your progress to stay on track
-How to break goals down into smaller, manageable chunks (so you don’t feel overwhelmed)
-How to prepare li…

Small Business Success Story - Creative Sports Concepts

Image
Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways.  This Success Story from the Albany SBDC appears in our 2015 Annual Report


Michael Taylor
Creative Sports Concepts
Albany SBDC


Creative Sports Concepts specializes in the sales, service, and rental of interior and exterior sports surfaces, primarily basketball flooring. Additionally, the company offers related equipment for sale and rent, special event production, and logistics coordination under its current service umbrella. Under the direction of owner Michael Taylor, Creative Sports Concepts has grown since its formation in 2012 into a trusted industry solution provider for organizations needing permanent court installations or floor resurfacing, as well as those pursuing high-end temporary events and customized private gymnasiums.

The company, a regional authorized dealer for Connor Sports Flooring, now has a national presence with mainstream customers like Under…