The power of technology has made it possible to do business not only across town, but across the world. Who knows — your small business might not even have an office, complete with rent, a mail slot and utility bills. If your small business specializes in services or digital products, you may never even meet your employees in person!
Teams who work remotely have the flexibility to do great work regardless of location, time zone or method of transportation. Thanks to online collaboration tools and mobile devices, working remotely is just as routine now as using a fax machine was 15 years ago. Continue reading →
From one-person entities to Fortune 500 companies, no business can escape the dreaded task of bookkeeping. While it’s definitely not one of the more glamorous parts of the job, bookkeeping is at the heart of small business success, which means errors can be crippling.
To avoid the financial headaches that come with bookkeeping mismanagement, it’s important first to be aware of the pitfalls that can ensnare you. Continue reading →
With so many responsibilities as a business owner, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and fall short on what you want to accomplish. If you’re a new business owner who formerly worked for someone else, you may have discovered that managing time has become more challenging.
That’s natural. After all, you’ve gone from having your work schedule and priorities set for you to needing to prioritize every project and task related to running your business. Time management doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it’s an essential skill that can be developed with some attention and effort.Continue reading →
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.
by Rosalinda Maury and Misty Stutsman Directors, Research/Analytics and Entrepreneurship Institute for Veterans and Military Families
Today, women veterans comprise 17 percent of the post-9/11 veteran population and are the fastest-growing sub-population of the veteran community, according to data from the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF).
These veterans are also increasingly starting and growing businesses, even in the previously male-dominated STEM (science, technology, engineer, mathematics) fields. In fact, women veterans are twice as likely to pursue STEM-related occupations as their civilian counterparts.
IVMF research we’ve collaborated on also shows that high-performing entrepreneurs tend to demonstrate solid decision-making and high levels of confidence, independence and high self-efficacy, even within chaotic environments. Considering their military service background and exposure to multiple, often dangerous environments, veterans are well known to possess these skills.
Still, veteran entrepreneurs encounter challenges. In an IVMF/Syracuse University study, over 83 percent of women veterans surveyed cited obstacles in starting their own businesses, some unique to their status as veterans. That’s why taking advantage of the right resources can help them overcome barriers.
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
Let’s get back to the basics and best practices of networking.
Here are my three tips for effective networking – the old fashioned way.
First, you must be committed. You aren’t networking if you’re out for instant gratification. An effective network is built upon a solid foundation of relationships that are built over time. When you make a new business acquaintance, take time to learn as much about them as you possibly can. Don’t look at them with dollar signs in your eyes. Take time to get them talking by asking open ended questions and listening! Are there common interests you share? Do your children go to the same school? Remember, people do business with people they like — with friends.
Second on my list of best practices is to follow-up after the meeting and be the first to provide assistance. Stacking business cards on your desk or scanning them into your Outlook doesn’t create a network. Sending your new acquaintance a brochure or sales letter doesn’t develop a relationship. And calling to set an appointment or make a sale is really not going to do the trick. However, taking time to develop a relationship is. For example, let’s say I meet you at an event and during our conversation you mention you are a dog lover. Guess what, so am I. We have a nice conversation and you tell me you’d like to know more about creating a dog-friendly office environment. So what do I do? I go back to my office and send a “nice to meet you” email, but in addition I include a link to an article with advice for pet-friendly workplaces. Continue reading →