Friday, September 30, 2011

Marketing tip of the day*

Trim Your Ads
Why have big ads and pay more money? Reduce the size of your ads so you can run more ads for the same cost. You may even be surprised to find that some of your short ads generate a better response than their longer versions.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Business tip of the day*

Don't Advertise Like a Big Business

Big businesses advertise to create name recognition and future sales. A small business can't afford to do that. Instead, design your advertising to produce sales. One way to accomplish this is to always include an offer in your advertising this is an easy way for prospective customers to respond to it and to get their attention on your product.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Disaster Loan Applications in North Carolina and SC Counties

SBA’s Deadline is October 18 for Physical Damage

ATLANTA – The U.S. Small Business Administration reminds homeowners, renters, businesses and non-profit organizations of the deadline to submit disaster loan applications for damages caused by the severe storms and flooding that occurred on Aug. 5, 2011. The deadline to file an SBA disaster loan application for physical damage is Oct. 18, 2011.

Anyone with insured losses should not wait for an insurance settlement before applying to the SBA. “If someone does not know how much of their loss will be covered by insurance or other sources, the SBA will consider making a loan for the total loss up to its loan limits, provided they agree to use insurance proceeds to reduce or repay their SBA loan,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA Field Operations Center East.

Low-interest disaster loans are available in Mecklenburg County, and the neighboring counties of Cabarrus, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln and Union in North Carolina; Lancaster and York in South Carolina.

Interest rates are as low as 2.5 percent for homeowners and renters, 3 percent for non-profit organizations and 4 percent for businesses with terms up to 30 years. The SBA sets the loan amounts and terms based on each applicant’s financial condition.

For additional information, call the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955;  (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET or send an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. Loan application forms can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at http://www.sba.gov/. Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Those affected by the disaster may also apply for disaster loans electronically from SBA’s website at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.

The filing deadline to return applications for physical damage is October 18, 2011. The deadline to return economic injury applications is May 19, 2012.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Kauffman Foundation Expands Global Scholars Program . . .

U.S. Graduates Invited to Apply
Media Contacts:
Barb Pruitt, (816) 932-1288 or bpruitt@kauffman.org


Applications available online, due Oct. 17, 2011


(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) Sept. 22, 2011 — A world-class opportunity awaits U.S. college graduates with innovative ideas for a new business. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is expanding its successful Global Scholars Program to include up to 10 recent graduates from U.S. colleges and universities who will join Scholars from around the world.


During the first five years of the Global Scholars Program, Kauffman hosted students sponsored by governments and organizations from five countries representing 11 nationalities. In 2012, the expanded Program will enable selected U.S. Scholars to learn and network with an international group of fellow aspiring entrepreneurs.


"It is essential that countries seek to educate global citizens whose vision, knowledge and reach extend beyond their own national boundaries," said Wendy E.F. Torrance, Global Scholars Program director. "By inviting U.S. Scholars into this Program, we can engage our next generation of entrepreneurial talent at a global level."


The Global Scholars Program is now accepting applications from outstanding U.S. college students or recent graduates with business ideas in the science, technology and engineering fields who are U.S. citizens or legal U.S. residents. Applications can be submitted at www.kauffman.org/USglobalscholars, and must be completed by Oct. 17, 2011. The U.S. Scholars will be selected in November 2011 and will begin the six-month Program in January 2012.


The participants will ultimately develop their entrepreneurial skills, ideas, competencies, and capabilities to start a business.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Some info on Twitter!

For you, the small business owner, Twitter is an amazing tool that can expand your reach to customers and potential customers. It can allow you to stay in touch and connect with thousands and thousands of people instantly. It can help drive your brand and communicate with customers in a way that you’ve never been able to before. And so much more.

For many mom-and-pop shops with no ad budget, Twitter has become their sole means of marketing. It is far easier to set up and update a Twitter account than to maintain a Web page. And because small-business owners tend to work at the cash register, not in a cubicle in the marketing department, Twitter’s intimacy suits them well

Small businesses typically get more than half of their customers through word of mouth and Twitter is the digital manifestation of that.

If you really feel you can’t or won’t be able to keep up with your Twitter page, you can always make it the responsibility of that young cashier who never seems to have enough to do, or ask your own teenager who I assure you is already totally aware of how to use social networks. They may even enjoy helping you promote your business and being able to teach you a thing or two about the digital world!

If you’re not ready to take advantage of all the free help Twitter can offer to your business, realize this: You can get benefit from Twitter in less than 10 minutes a month. Twitter is a free local, regional and internet listing for your business that takes less than five minutes to set up. So, first: Invest those five minutes and go set up your twitter page!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Already have a small business but thinking about hiring new staff? Here are some helpful questions that will help you decide who the best fit is for your company.

Once you have established your business, having an outstanding staff is essential for it to be successful.

Hiring employees is one of the most important tasks for a business owner. But how do you know who is the right person for the position? Who will bring the most into the company? Who will make the business succeed to your expectations? Anyone can put on a good act for 30 minutes and try to sell themselves as someone that will be the best fit, but how can we tell?

Here are some good questions that will help you see beyond the candidate’s responses:
  • Give an example of a time when you had to make a quick decision.
  • Give an example of a situation when you exceeded your manager’s expectations
  • What have you done that demonstrates your willingness to succeed in a job?
  • How would you convince me that you can adapt to a wide range of people, situations and environments.
  • Why should I hire you??
Remember: your business is only as good as your people.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

How to set up a facebook page for your business

Today, most companies worldwide use facebook to advertise their companies, so why not you too? Here are some basics you should know about setting up your facebook profile.

Facebook is a great way to advertise your business online; it already has over 300 million users. It offers a large platform to build up a company’s presence and target people that have interest in your industry. It also offers excellent and low cost marketing opportunities for every small business, so to save a little on advertising take advantage of this.


Once you have created your page, take some time to research your competitor’s pages to have an idea of how they are marketing their business. Notice how many fans/friends they have, how many people “like” them, what they are posting, photos, videos, etc. Remember, this is the face of your company, so make it as professional as you can so your clients will take you seriously.

These are just some quick tips for starting your own facebook page.


If you have not yet signed up for it, you should absolutely do so as soon as possible!!



-Caroline
The best tip to start your own business



Research..Research..Research!!!

The best way to help your business idea take place is doing the research. Without research you won’t even know what is happening in that industry. First, there needs to be 3 crucial facts you must consider. The business needs to be something you are great at and have the talent for. It also needs to be something you are absolutely passionate about, because you may be doing this for the rest of your life. And finally, the business needs to make sense. You may love to paint space helmets but if there is no demand for that, your business may not be the most successful out there. So start by opening books or using the web to get started!







-Caroline