Category Archives: Grow Your Business

We can help you become a government contractor.

If you have a successful business and would like to expand into federal government contracting, SCORE is here to help. SCORE is America’s premier source of free, confidential small business advice. It was founded in 1964 as a nonprofit resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Kitsap Branch of SCORE has volunteers who are experienced in government contracting. They are available to help you achieve your goals without charge. Our Subject Matter Experts have more than 29 years of government contracting experience.

They can help you get registered and certified to receive government contracts. They can assist you in understanding the pre-award requirements and steps you must take. When you have been awarded a contract, they can help you make sure you are meeting the contract’s requirements. And, at the end of the day, their goal is to help you get a great performance evaluation and more government contracts.

Meet our government contracting subject matter experts:

Terry Homburg
Paul Park

11 Changes to Make Your Business Better

same old thinking same old results

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. Continue reading

In 2012, I had an $87 Aha!! Moment.

Valarie Harris from Varris Marketing

by Valarie Harris, Varris Marketing

This story is all about my $87 Aha!! Moment.  I have been in Marketing since 2011, with an official launch of Varris Marketing in 2012. Things started off slow, but headed in the right direction, so I thought.  Year-end profit numbers came in and I only made $87.  I chalked it up to first year jitters. So, with the brand-new year here, I made some changes, thinking, hoping, and praying that my year end results would be better, I mean, they had to be right? To my surprise and amazement, my year ended making the exact same amount as the previous year, $87. Unbelievable right? I suddenly became frustrated and discouraged.

I decided to take the next year off to figure out what the heck was going on, what was I doing wrong and how to fix it, because not only was my business tanking, so was my personal life. I thought offering rock bottom prices would get me more clients and it did, but way too many.  I also thought that doing everything that operating a business entails would keep cost down and save money, wrong again, that just kept me working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, neglecting my clients, my home, my kids, my husband and myself. I had more money leaving my bank account than was coming in, and that’s when my AHA moment happened. Continue reading

Considerations and Resources for Small Businesses That Want to Sell Their Products Internationally

According to the most recent International Trade Association data available through the Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 97.7 percent of the U.S. firms that export goods to other countries. In fact, they account for over one-third of the United States’ known export value.

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

You Can Use Public Speaking to Grow Your Business

I frequently speak at events for small business owners, both in my area and around the country. I’ve logged a lot of frequent flyer miles! Traveling so much for events can be tiring, but it’s all worth it. That’s because public speaking is a great tool to grow my business. It can be just as effective for your business, too. Continue reading

Measure it to improve it.

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

As with many things in life – where we place our attention is what will change. But, if you try to focus on too many things at once, nothing gets done. The same is true for monitoring your business’ financial performance.

Monitor and focus your attention on those few key metrics that drive your business’ health through a dashboard tailored to your needs.

A good dashboard – often no more than one page, is a powerful visual of graphs and other data that provide a snapshot of the key components of your business. It monitors trends and tracks performance against goals, providing the ability to course-correct mid-year.

A customized monthly dashboard should focus on the key drivers of your business and help you quickly and easily assess the health and trajectory of your company. Here’s how: Continue reading

Is Your Business Ready to Franchise?

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.

franchise book

Ask yourself:

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”)
  • The order in which to assemble the items
  • How to wrap and package the sandwich

Continue reading