Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A Small Business Star to be Born this Super Bowl

Calling all small businesses! This is your chance to shine and gain tremendous exposure for your business. This competition is sponsored by Intuit Inc., which is a company that makes software for small businesses. Intuit will choose one lucky small business to have their 30-second ad aired during a commercial break in the Super Bowl XLVIII. The Super Bowl usually draws in over 100 million viewers and cost up to $4 million per ad, according to last year’s numbers. Intuit will be paying for the commercial giving a small business a free ride to business advancement. This competition has several rounds that start with small businesses signing up at and telling their stories. From there the public votes on who makes it to the next round. The 50,000 companies with the most votes then continue telling their stories, with Intuit employees voting for the 20 best. Four of those will become finalists chosen by Intuit employees, and the public will then choose the winning company. RPA, an advertising agency, will be creating the ad for the four finalists, but only one business ad will have the opportunity to show during the Super Bowl. The runner-ups commercial will not go to waste, but will be used at other times. So if you are interested in gaining business exposure and possible investors; read the article in the link below and sign-up today.

Monday, July 29, 2013

HUB Zone Webinar

The Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program will be explained, along with providing other information on eligibility and certification.

Click here to see the flyer for this August 14, 2013 webinar, and for registration information.

Women Entrepreneurs Becoming Force in the Developing World
Women are becoming a huge force in the world of entrepreneurship. Many countries believe that women are going to be the ones transforming their local economies and changing the world. Organizations, such as Financial Independence through Entrepreneurship (FITE), are becoming a part of this movement by supplying microfinance loans to 30,000 women across 68 countries.  In the last year the La Pietra Coalition launched The Third Billion campaign to advocate for women’s advancement. This article describes this great campaign and how it has been a huge driving force in promoting women and identifying challenges that stand between them and equal opportunity.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hashtags 101
“71 percent of people on social media use hashtags, with 43 percent of hashtags users reporting that they think they’re useful and 34 percent using them to follow categories and brands of personal interest like your business.” According to this quote from America’s SBDC Biz Blog, businesses should be aware of how important hashtags can be and how to effectively use them for their benefit. Hashtags are not only a trend for Twitter, but has made its way to other social media networks such as Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. This article is a great overview of how to use hashtags and why they are important to your business.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Secret to Marketing

In these current times we face information overload which makes it easy for marketing messages to get lost. According to the article “The Secret to Marketing to Busy People Who Don’t Have Time to Read”, one way of getting your content noticed is through story-telling. Content marketing company, LookBookHQ, examined some elements of story-telling and how they affect marketing messages. This article explains five of these elements and provides a helpful infograph on how to successfully use story-telling marketing.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Where Start-ups Are, Matters More Than What They Pay:
Location! Location! Location! This is the key to success in most start up businesses. This concept is not only for retail or restaurants, but applies to all businesses. As long as a business is trying to attract people then they need to focus on where their target audience lives or works and not at the cheapest price. No matter where you set up it will still be a cost of doing business. Other factors such as access to raw materials, proximity to logistics centers, finding qualified work force, and determining if there is extra labor for growth also play a big role in determining business location.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Community & educational development

The American Grants and Loans Catalog is now available. Our new and revised
2013 edition contains more than 2800 financial programs, subsidies, scholarships,
grants and loans offered by the US federal government.
In addition you will also have access to over 2400 programs funded by private
corporations and foundations. That is over 5200 programs available through
various sources of financial providing organizations.
NEW: You will also have access to our live Database that is updated on a daily
basis. This product also provides daily email alerts as programs are announced.
The Database is also available with IP recognition. This allows you to login
without a username or password (Great for libraries or educational institutions
who want their users to access the database).
Businesses, students, researchers, scientists, teachers, doctors, private individuals,
municipalities, government departments, educational institutions, law enforcement
agencies, nonprofits, foundations and associations will find a wealth of information
that will help them with their new ventures or existing projects.
The document is a fully searchable PDF file for easy access to your particular
needs and interests. Simply enter your keywords to search through the publication.
It is the perfect tool for libraries and educational institutions to use as a
reference guide for students who require funds to pursue their education.

Contents of the Directory:
-Web link to program announcement page
-Web link to Federal agency or foundation administering the program
-Authorization upon which a program is based
-Objectives and goals of the program
-Types of financial assistance offered under a program
-Uses and restrictions placed upon a program
-Eligibility requirements
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-Regulations, guidelines and literature relevant to a program
-Information contacts at the headquarters, regional, and local offices
-Programs that are related based upon program objectives and uses

Programs in the Catalog provide a wide range of benefits and services
for categories such as:
Business and Commerce
Community Development
Consumer Protection
Cultural Affairs
Disaster Prevention and Relief
Employment, Labor and Training
Environmental Quality
Food and Nutrition
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Information and Statistics
Law, Justice, and Legal Services
Natural Resources
Regional Development
Science and Technology

CD version: $69.95
Printed version: $149.95
To order please call: 1 (800) 610-4543

Please do not reply to the sender's email address as this address is only for outgoing mail.
If you do not wish to receive information from us in the future please reply here:
This is a CANSPAM ACT compliant advertising broadcast sent by:
American Publishing Inc. , 7025 County Rd. 46A, Suite 1071, Lake Mary, FL, 32746-4753

Monday, July 15, 2013

Crowdfunding – Is it Right for Your Business? Where Do You Start?

Crowdfunding is the new option for financing that has become popularized over the internet. This alternative method raises money for businesses, real estate investments, and projects by creating a network of collective and cooperative people who pull their resources and money together. This is usually done via the internet; spreads the risk among backers; and builds a strong support system for a business or idea. Crowdfunding is also becoming easier for small businesses thanks to the JOBS Act which was set forth by President Obama in April 2012. This law will soon allow non-SEC-accredited investors (you and I) to finance start-ups. Although this law has not been implemented yet, there are some steps that businesses can take while waiting. For starters entrepreneurs should incorporate their businesses. Certain entities such as S Corporations, which are subject to a 100-shareholder limit, will not be able to take advantage of crowdfunding. So it is important to explore options and select the right entity. Another step is to write and refine a business plan to have an idea of how much financing is needed and outline business expectations to alleviate investor concerns. It is also very important to get accounting records in order and to get a CPA or accountant involved. One of the requirements for the JOBS Act is to follow the SEC-compliant guidelines which are to provide accurate and up-to-date financial statements. A CPA will need to review these statements and be a consultant to stay on top of legislation. In order to have a successful crowdfunding an entrepreneur should understand the commitment to this financing option and have a clear and careful strategy. They also need to have the necessary resources to sell their pitch and create a buzz around their idea. Another important tip is for entrepreneurs to be prepared to answer questions that investors might have such as: How do you plan to spend the money? Do you have an exit strategy?  So as you can see crowdfunding is a great source of financing and can be beneficial to small businesses. There are some existing websites that are probably the best option when it comes to raising funds. However, be aware that these third-party websites act as the middleman and may charge fees. So when in doubt consult a professional to make sure you are doing the right due-diligence.    

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

11 Important Factors to Consider Before You Buy a Franchise
Ever consider buying a franchise business? Well this is an article you want to read! Members of the Young Entrepreneur Council were asked a question that entrepreneurs should consider when evaluating a franchise opportunity. After reading this article you will be able to better assess a potential opportunity by taking the steps that entrepreneurs tend to overlook.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

More Firms Requiring Non-Compete Agreements: Efforts to Retain Employees Being Tested in Courts, Statehouse
Ever wanted to leave your current company to work for a competitor or start a business in the same industry? This may be harder to achieve and possibly cause legal problems. Today employers are incorporating non-compete agreements into their employee paperwork to protect their clients and retain their employees. Although the court is putting restrictions on such agreements, these documents can still create injunctions and fees for those who wish to change jobs. It’s best that an employee takes the time to read over such agreements with an attorney or use them to negotiate better compensation with a current employer.