Category Archives: News

Get found online with these 3 SEO tactics.

Search Engine OptimizationSearch engine optimization (SEO) is more important than ever for getting found online—and getting customers to buy from your business. That’s because online search has become the primary way potential customers find local businesses.

Don’t believe me? A whopping 87% of people used a search engine to find a local product or service in the past month, the Local Search Association reports.

SEO was once a specialized skill that required hiring a professional to drive traffic to your website. Today, while SEO Is still somewhat of an art form, there are plenty of tools and tips you can use to improve your website’s SEO all by yourself—with excellent results.  Continue reading

How much cash should a small business keep in reserve?

piggy bank cashCash is the fuel that makes a business run. It is needed to pay salaries including your own, fund marketing programs to acquire and retain new customers, invest in equipment and facilities, pay rent, supplies and many more day-to-day activities. Most financial experts recommend three to six months of operating expenses, but using this for every business in every situation is misleading.

To determine how much cash you need, you must look at the following key areas.

How Much Cash Have You Been Using?

If you’re an established business owner, look at your monthly cash flow report (or go to the next paragraph if you’re a start-up). This report will provide an historical and seasonal perspective. Note the cash received from sales and the cash spent. The net of these two is often referred to as the “net burn rate.” For example, if you have $50,000 in sales and $30,000 in expenses, then your net burn is +$20,000

Your “gross burn rate” only takes cash expenditures into account; in our example, that’s $30,000 and is the more conservative amount, since it does not assume any sales are made. Historical spending patterns are a good starting point in considering future spending plans.  Continue reading

Volunteer Opportunity: Technology Coach Silverdale


Under general supervision, assist library users with one-on-one instruction about basic computer use, internet use, and access to the library’s electronic services including downloadable library content.

  • Guide library users with computer topics such as hardware components, keyboarding and mouse, basic operation system navigation, basic software navigation, file storage and file system navigation, using USB and other external storage devices, and helping with basic tablet and smartphone navigation.
  • Guide library users with internet topics such as web browsers, web search engines, basics of web-based email services, basics on online social media services, basics of cloud computing services, and basic internet safety and security practices.
  • Guide library users with library downloaded content using relevant software applications, which currently include downloadable library books, magazines, and music files.
  • Assist with program set-up and take down, including managing of furniture and equipment.

Continue reading


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The startup buzz is all around and entrepreneurs are bringing a new and exciting energy to Kitsap!  The Maker Movement, Creative Economy and Coworking and Maker Spaces are changing our local economy. Could you be one of these new entrepreneurs?

Join us on October 23rd at the Clearwater Casino Resort for KEDA’s Fall Forum: MAKERS, DOERS & DREAMERS; The Creative, Craft and Maker Economy in Kitsap. The event runs from 2-6pm and includes a hosted bar and appetizers!  Register at

Entrepreneurial guru and keynote speaker, Maury Forman, will reveal what makes startups fail and what they need to succeed!  Local entrepreneurs who have made the leap from home to storefront, and local experts will tell you what you NEED TO KNOW to launch your business and share info on resources to help you succeed.

And a Makers Showcase & Resource Fair featuring local Kitsap makers, co-working and maker spaces, and business resources will inspire and provide useful information. 

LEARN MORE! #StartupKitsap #Kitsapconnected #entrepreneurs

Building Influential Leaders – Measure Your Way to Success

One of our Kitsap SCORE clients is offering
an interesting workshop for business leaders…

leadership.jpg“If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” One of many gems of wisdom from Peter Drucker. Organizational leaders agonize over developing leaders – they’ve seen the reports. They know SOMETHING needs to be done. Our competitive labor market demands leaders up their game. But how? Leadership development can be expensive and is hard to quantify. Building influential leaders CAN be done and we’ll show you the secrets to this success.

In this session, you will…

  • Understand the power of influential leadership
  • Explore the connection between influence and outcomes
  • Gain insight into how measurement drives leadership success
  • Leave with concrete tools to open your team’s potential

This interactive session will leave you energized and ready to measure your way to success. Join us!

Date: October 18
Breakfast/Networking: 7:30 – 8:00 a.m.
Presentation: 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Presented by: Nancy Maki, Managing Partner, Open Gate Consulting

Nancy Maki is committed to building influential leaders. Her firm Open Gate Consulting offers a full range of employee development services – so leaders can invest in building strengths, skills, and excellence. Leadership is a lonely endeavor. Nancy believes it doesn’t have to be.

Nancy has a long history in leadership, management, and performance development. Nancy honed her leadership roles in the military, financial services, higher education and mental health. She earned a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology and contributed to a large-scale research study on workplace stress. Leaders throughout our region have gained from her guidance — diverse industries including government, manufacturing, technology, healthcare, tribal, and non-profit.


Prepare now for paid family leave law in 2019.

by Monica Blackwood, Columnist, Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal

The last half of 2017 saw companies scrambling to understand and prepare for Washington’s paid sick leave law, and employers continued to educate themselves on the new regulations into the summer of 2018. While that flurry of activity was happening, there was another bill which Gov. Jay Inslee signed: Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave Law.

We are now the fifth state in the nation to pass such a law, after California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York. And, the law’s “go live” date is fast approaching – employers need to comply by January 1, 2019.

A quick summary about this law: For the year 2019, funding will be built up into the plan. Starting January 1, 2020 eligible employees are allowed 12 weeks of family or medical leave. This includes mothers and fathers welcoming a child into their home either by birth or adoption; or to take care of themselves or a family member (defined as a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent or grandchild) who has a serious health condition, or for a family member injured due to military service. In some situations, that paid leave can be extended to up to 18 weeks.

Read the rest of the story here

Monica Blackwood is president and CEO of Westsound Workforce, with offices in Gig Harbor and Poulsbo. Contact her at

Don’t set (unrealistic) expectations for the value of your business.

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

Most business owners do not have a realistic idea of what their businesses are worth. Owners almost always think that their business is worth quite a bit more than the market would likely bear. There are several reasons for this.

1. Emotional Ties: Owners are personally and psychologically tied to their business.This is particularly true for long-running family businesses.

An owner has poured their heart and soul into their business. Where others may see a mundane business, owners – like proud parents, see their business as an apple of their eye. This emotional tie may cause a disconnect with the realities of the market.  Continue reading