Category Archives: News

edg3 FUND Small Business Competition

Kitsap Bank’s edg3 FUND
Small Business Competition is Back!

Could you or someone you know use $25,000 for your small business?  Don’t miss out on this year’s edg3 FUNDcompetition!  Applications accepted July 1-31, 2019.

edg3 FUND is for entrepreneurs dedicated to contributing to their communities economically, socially and environmentally.

[  LEARN MORE ]

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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

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Warning signs your computer has malware.

With the rise of eCommerce and online banking, cybercrime has evolved. Like criminals who pull smash-and-grab jobs, they go where the money is. However, unlike bank robbers, cybercriminals do their best to avoid detection by letting malware do the work for them. Viruses and ransomware sneak into PCs to quietly steal passwords, financial credentials, and other personal information to be sold on the black market for profit. Not all malware is stealthy though. Here are some telltale signs.

Warning signs your computer has malware

With the rise of eCommerce and online banking, cybercrime has evolved. Like criminals who pull smash-and-grab jobs, they go where the money is. However, unlike bank robbers, cybercriminals do their best to avoid detection by letting malware do the work for them. Viruses and ransomware sneak into PCs to quietly steal passwords, financial credentials, and other personal information to be sold on the black market for profit. Not all malware is stealthy though. Here are some telltale signs.

Slow computer

Are your operating systems and programs taking a while to start up? Is your data bandwidth suspiciously slow? If so, your computer may potentially have a virus.

However, just because your PC is running slower than usual doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s infected, as there could be other causes to your computer slowing down. First, check if you’re running out of RAM. For Windows, open task manager (press Ctrl + Shift + Esc) and go to the Performance tab and check how many gigabytes of RAM are used up under the Memory section. For Mac OS users, you can open the Activity Monitor app and, under System Memory, you should be able to find out your RAM usage.

Other causes could include lack of space on your hard drive or even damaged hardware. Once you’ve ruled out other possible causes, then malware may have infected your device.

Continue reading at Cavu Networks…

The 3 Pillars of Business Value

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

Most business owners focus on increasing profit margins as the primary means of improving the value of their business. Profitability is absolutely important, but it is not the only factor to consider.

In fact, there are three components which can increase – or decrease, the value of a business: risk, profitability and growth.

Take for example a recent client. We determined the valuation of the business to be about $1 million.

We then illustrated that if they were able to incrementally decrease risk, improve profitability and accelerate growth, they would be able to realize as much as $300,000, or 30% of additional value.
  • Decrease risk (discount rate) 2 pts: +$80,000
  • Increase profitability 10%: +$100,000
  • Increase annual growth 2 pts per year: +$120,000

Now, will this client be able to realize the full $300,000 in incremental value? It really depends on the timeframe and level of effort that they want to put into improvements. It is a good idea to identify the range of opportunities and then prioritize activities.

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