The first year of operations is a critical time for any small business, with decisions made about market focus, finding financing and hiring a team that will have a significant impact on the business’s success or failure in the future.
SCORE’s fall 2019 “Megaphone of Main Street” data report focuses on the challenges facing startups, which are companies in operation for less than one year.
This latest installment of the Megaphone of Main Street is the fourth in a data report series that presents a snapshot of the current American small business landscape. This particular report delves into the world of startup entrepreneurship, sourcing both qualitative and quantitative data directly from a diverse group of roughly 1,000 startup small business owners across the nation. Continue reading →
How often do you make changes in your business?
Like most entrepreneurs, I love “shaking things up.”
Here are 11 changes you can make in your life and your business for a more exciting, enriching and profitable future.
1. Update your business technology.
Tech tools enable small businesses to run as productively as big ones. Are you taking full advantage of them? Assess which technologies would help you do business more effectively in the coming year, whether that’s new computer hardware, switching to more sophisticated business apps, or using cloud storage and collaboration tools to streamline your workload.
2. Get organized.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, lighten the load by cleaning out your office. You’ve probably gone digital in many aspects of your business, but you might still have old folders or file cabinets full of paper documents. Purging those piles and files of paper will make you feel more focused. Shred what you no longer need; scan important documents you still need to save and store them in the cloud instead. If they contain sensitive financial or personal data, make sure they’re encrypted and protected from access except by employees who need them.
With business technology ever evolving, expanding our collaboration and communication capabilities, we can assume that more small business owners will want to seize opportunities to extend their customer base beyond U.S borders. With 96 percent of global consumers living outside of the United States (according to the U.S. Department of State), reaching a global market can fuel revenue growth and offer some protection against fluctuations in the U.S. domestic markets.Continue reading →
Is your small business thriving? Do customers from out of town ask if you’re going to open another location in their neck of the woods? Are you secretly yearning for a new challenge now that your business is running so smoothly? If you can answer “yes” to all these questions, it might be time to consider franchising your business.
But there are a few other questions you need to answer to determine if you’re ready to get serious about franchising your business.
Does my business have strong systems in place?
A good franchise has operational systems and processes that can be standardized and taught to other people to provide a consistent product or service across all locations. For example, if you own a sandwich shop, do you have a written system for all the steps of making a sandwich, such as:
Whether to put on gloves first
How much meat, cheese, mayonnaise, and other ingredients to use (such as “two ounces” or “one tablespoon”)
Here’s an email marketing message from one of our Kitsap SCORE clients. His company is focused on protecting healthcare companies’ data from ransomware attacks. The message and call to action are simple. How about yours?
Dear __________________ ,
You may not think it could ever happen to your company, but with the prevalence of ransomware and the rise of malicious attacks, it’s now just a matter of when it will happen in your business. The best line of defense is to prepare and plan, implement the most effective technologies to protect data and then invest to train all of your employees on how to avoid potential ransomware attacks at all cost.
We have the solutions and the expertise to help your business get proactive and stop ransomware from becoming a disruptor to your day-to-day operations.
Let’s schedule a call to discuss how we can help.
John Benjamin | CEO
Cavu Networks | View Website
As the old adage goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In reality, visual content like photos, images and videos are worth so much more in the grand scheme of your digital marketing strategy. Would you believe that you remember more of what you learn visually than what you read on-screen or in a book? In fact, studies have shown that people recall nearly 65 percent of the visual content that they see almost three days later; whereas, they only retain about 10 percent of written content in the same amount of time.
Of course, it goes without saying that written content is very important to your marketing program. A thoughtful mixture of written content and visuals will help your business show up more online, attract the attention of prospective customers, and convince and convert them into paying customers. For instance, on Facebook, images receive a 37 percent higher engagement rate than posts with text alone. Still not a believer? Here are 3 reasons to liven up your marketing with visual content. Continue reading →
Does your business have an amazing story to share? We want to hear it. The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest recognizes and rewards unique small businesses with grants up to $50,000.
Entering the contest is a chance to promote your business and get your fans excited to spread the word about you. It’s also a chance to become part of something bigger: a close-knit group of finalists and winners who support and share ideas with each other.
As a former CEO and software engineer (Citrix, XenSource, VERITAS, etc.), board member of GitHub (recently acquired by Microsoft), and lecturer in management at the Stanford Graduate School of Busines, a16z general partner Peter Levine is constantly asked “Why sales?” by entrepreneurs and technical founders. He himself used to hold the “engineer-centric” view that if you build a great product, customers will come. But the fact is, all world-class companies must have a strong sales force. So — how do they get there? How does a technical founder begin to build a top tier sales motion?
In this series of snack-sized videos — which you can watch all together, or mix-and-match for your particular questions and needs — Levine distills the fundamentals that every founder should know about sales. The 16 lessons in this “mini-MOOC” offer everything from definitions to concrete guidance for the following:
1. All Things Sales! 16 Mini-Lessons for Startup Founders [Introduction]
Viewing this webinar requires some basic information. This data is only used within SCORE and will not be distributed to any third parties.
A key to starting and building a successful business is planning. Sometimes, a business plan is required, but it’s not always the answer to creating a successful business. Sometimes, you need to think lean.
In this session, SCORE Mentor David Terrell will walk you through a Lean Canvas to help you create a “blueprint” of your business. He will provide practical tips and tools and teach you how to:
Determine the key categories of starting, testing and growing your business
Identify your target customers and what you need to do to get them to buy from you
Recognize your customers’ problems and how your product or service will solve them
Communicate your value propositions that set you apart from your competition
Test your solutions and get valuable feedback
Determine your cost structure, runway and revenue streams
Monitor key metrics to determine your business’s initial and ongoing success