Category Archives: News

The 3 things keeping small business owners up at night.

Small business owners heading into 2018 have a lot to be happy about — but they’ve also got some major concerns about the continued success of their businesses.

Capital One polled small business owners about their hopes and fears, and here’s what the latest Small Business Growth Index has to say about their responses.

Positive Outlook

All told, small business owners feel good about their finances. Nearly half (47 percent) say their businesses’ sales rose in the past six months—the highest percentage recorded by the survey since the second quarter of 2013. Some 37 percent say their financial position has improved from one year ago, too.

But it’s not all sunshine. While small business owners are happy with their finances, they’re also wondering how long the good times will last. In fact, two of the top three concerns cited by entrepreneurs in the survey are financial in nature.  Continue reading

The Name Game – What should you call your company?

by Mary Marshall, CEO Coach

whats-in-a-name_-1-300x300When entrepreneurs start up a business one of the decisions to be made is the name. A large portion of our businesses are named after the owner (yours truly included). While this may be an easy way to get things started, it may not always be the best. As a recent New York Times article pointed out, there is both good and bad about naming a company after yourself.

On the plus side, you can build a powerful personal brand, there is a lot of recognition for you, the founder, and people like businesses that are associated with a person versus a static object or a made-up word. Assuming you have a good reputation, this can help get the word out about your new company and from then on YOU become the company and vice versa. In my consulting practice, it was easy, and it made sense as I could leverage the reputation I had built up over the years as an executive coach and strategic planner. This can also be powerful if you come from a well-known or famous family name, you can leverage the hard work of your parents or grandparents.

Read more on Mary Marshall’s website.

3 Essential Financial Statements for Your Small Business

Accurately tracking financial data is not only critical for running the day-to-day operations of your small business, but it is also essential when seeking funding from lenders or investors to take your business to the next level. In addition, keeping tabs of your finances can help ensure your products and services are priced right, identify what your margins are, determine your cash flow and make filing taxes easier.

Here are three basic financial statements that are important for your small business:

  1. Balance sheet. This statement provides an overall financial snapshot of your small business. As an equation, it looks like liabilities + owner’s equity = assets. The two sides of the equation must balance out. There are two types of assets: current and fixed. Current assets include cash or other holdings that can quickly be converted to cash within a year. These may include inventory, prepaid expenses and accounts receivable. Machinery, equipment, land, buildings, furniture and other essentials that you are not planning to sell are considered fixed assetsLiabilities can be broken down into current or short-term liabilities, such as accounts payable and taxes, and long-term debt such as bank loans or notes payable to stockholders. Owner’s equity includes any invested capital or retained earnings.  If you captured all of your accounting information correctly, both sides of the balance sheet equation should be equal. Download SCORE’s template to start setting up your own balance sheet.

Read more on the SBA.gov website.

Stop it with the “likes” already.

For years you would hear it and see it:

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK!!!!!

 
Looking at those numbers, particularly if they grew big and fast, could make you feel very good about yourself, and certainly gave you the kind of strokes you wanted if you were a marketer working for a company of any size.

Then the whole conversation shifted to, “What are all of those ‘likes’ getting us?“, which led to a number of uncomfortable pauses in the report. While getting the right kinds of measurements in place years ago was much more difficult, nowadays there isn’t the thrashing about there used to be around them. You still need to have a clear goal around what you’re trying to achieve online…of course, the end is to generate sales, but following the trail, building the relationships, etc. with your customers hasn’t changed. The platforms and practices have to a large degree, when executing a digital marketing strategy (as opposed to what your company might have done 50 years ago…..), but people are still people.  Continue reading

Ask SCORE: What are the first steps in starting a nonprofit?

There are many steps between the initial idea stage and an operating 501 (c) (3) organization and the process will usually span a period of a year or more.

After you come up with an idea for a service or a program that can best be developed on a not-for-profit basis, it is critical to find other individuals who share your vision for this idea. These individuals must be willing to share the work involved in getting your idea off the ground and serve as your starting board of directors.

It is also important that your board offer financial support, as the level of board support is a question that other funding sources will often ask. It is helpful if board members with specific skills can be recruited; e.g. an accountant and/or a lawyer as well as people experienced in the field of service you hope to provide.  Continue reading

What’s the most effective digital marketing channel for small businesses?

It’s not social media. — It’s not advertising. — It’s a website.

So says this 2017 survey of small to medium-sized businesses.

This actually makes total sense. Just as “all roads lead to Rome,” all digital marketing leads back to your website. It’s your business’s digital hub. Home base. A place that you have more control than anywhere else on the web.

Small business owners get this. It’s why websites are the most-used tool by small businesses.   Continue reading

Make your business soar in 2018!

Lunch and Learn banner

What’s the #1 thing you need to do to
make your business soar in 2018?

January 25 – Poulsbo

Speaker: Ken Sethney
Business Mentor, Kitsap SCORE

Topic: The Holiday’s are over. The new year is here.
It’s time to focus your energy on the things you need to do
to make this an extraordinary year. Start with #1.

Presented by Kitsap SCORE
Hosted by the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce
19735 10th Avenue NE, Suite S100, Poulsbo
Thursday, January 25 | Noon to 1:00 PM

Free to Chamber members and SCORE clients.
Bring your lunch and join us!

RSVP Today
admin@poulsbochamber.com