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
According to a National Health Interview Survey, for the first time, more than half of Americans reported that they got the recommended amount of leisure-time aerobic activity.
Compare that to 2006, when only 43 percent of Americans hit that physical activity threshold.
That means that more Americans than ever are focused on getting/staying fit. And fitness franchise businesses are reaping the rewards.
Could a fitness franchise opportunity be the right one for you?
Businesses in Washington should be aware of a possibly fraudulent letter claiming to be an official bill for annual business registration fees.
One letter received by an Edmonds-based business directed the business to send $121.86 to a post office box in Olympia. The letter stated, “your state annual report will not be filed until payment is received.”
The misleading letter did not include the Office of Secretary of State logo, as an official letter from the Office of Secretary of State would – see the example pictured above. Continue reading
This Military Appreciation Month the SBA highlights our support for veterans as they enter the world of business ownership.
The following are three ways you can take advantage of SBA resources to start, grow and expand your veteran-owned business:
1. Visit your VBOC – the Office of Veterans Business Development (OVBD) is devoted to promoting veteran entrepreneurship. They oversee Veteran Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) across the country which offer free one-on-one business mentoring and business workshops.
What does “pro bono” mean? It’s fancy, law school lingo for “free.” 🙂
Have you invented the next best thing or process? Do you have an idea that could be monetized into valuable intellectual property?
Protecting your intellectual property is an important part of your business strategy.
When you are starting a small business, every dollar counts. One best practice that all small business owners should consider is liability insurance. Most of the information out there about liability insurance comes directly from insurance providers, so it is important to do extensive research to ensure that you are relying on objective information to make business decisions. Continue reading
The SBA has noted two important changes to its Surety Bond Guarantee Program that will increase contract opportunities for small contractors, supporting them to grow their business operations. The following changes will become effective on Sept. 20, 2017:
1. The SBA will increase the guarantee percentage ceiling in the Preferred Surety Bond Program from 70 percent to 90 percent. The SBA guarantee will be 90 percent if the original contract amount is $100,000 or less, or if the bond is issued to a small business that is owned and controlled by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals, veterans, service disabled veterans, or certified HUBZone and 8(a) businesses. All other guarantees will be 80 percent.
2. The eligible contract amount for the Quick Bond Application (Quick Bond) will increase to $400,000 from $250,000. The Quick Bond is a streamlined application process with reduced paperwork requirements that is used in the Prior Approval Program for smaller contract amounts. SBA review and approval requires minimal time, allowing small businesses to bid on and compete for contracting opportunities without delay.
For more information on the SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program, please visit www.sba.gov/surety-bonds.