Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Join GobiernoUSA.gov and SBA’s Live Spanish Hangout on Business Tips for Young Entrepreneurs

Are you a young entrepreneur looking for tips on how to start a new business? The SBA and GobiernoUSA.gov will host a live Hangout in Spanish on September 25 to chat about SBA’s new online course for Young Entrepreneurs (J√≥venes Emprendedores), along with Sarah Farzam, owner of Bilingual Birdies. Farzam started the company in 2007 to help bridge the gap of cultural awareness for young children through language and music.
If you’re thinking going into business for yourself and you’re not sure of what it takes to start a small business, then this Hangout is for you. You can submit your questions (link sends e-mail) before or during the live Hangout.

More on the Course
Young Entrepreneurs: An Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Business is a free, self-paced online course in Spanish that gives an overview of basic business principles and introduces resources available from the SBA. Course highlights include how to evaluate your business ideas, how to choose the best financing options and how to legally register your business.
The course also includes useful resources that will help at each step of your entrepreneurial journey.
The course is accessible from the SBA’s Learning Center under the banner “Starting a Business”, and is also available in English. The Spanish version of the course includes a special video introduction. Young Spanish-speaking entrepreneurs will receive a personal greeting from SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet when taking the course.

Sarah Farzam, owner of Bilingual Birdies

Thursday, September 25, 2014

1:00 PM (ET)

Submit Your Questions to:
learning@sba.gov (link sends e-mail)


To watch live and join the conversation, go to: https://plus.google.com/u/1/b/109740293027006618740/events/cb3oitffipifl4t42t9bd7uq0f4 (link is external) No registration is needed to watch.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

How to Promote Yourself on YouTube

Trying to promote you or your brand and stand out from the rest? Tired of trying to get noticed on Facebook or Twitter with so many others doing the same thing? Read this interesting article about how promoting yourself on YouTube may be the way to go. It talks about how YouTube is almost a completely untapped site that small businesses can use to market themselves; and how it is so easy to start posting videos in minutes. This sort of thing can help separate you from your competition. Click the link below to help expand your brand:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Data Breach ... What to Do? How to Do It!


  Here it is .... the HOT subject that has merchants frustrated and customers extremely nervous! DATA BREACH! Don't think it can't happen in your business, because it can. 

     It may seem that you don't have the risk of that happening compared to a Target or KMart or Bank of America, because you aren't as big or visible a target. But it happens, and quite often. What can you do to prevent it from happening to your business? And what do you do if does happen? 

     The Small Business Council Council of The York County Regional Chamber of Commerce is hosting a workshop to give you information, tips, and advice on these questions and more. 

 Read the flyer to learn more!  Limited seating .... Register now! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

How to Stay Ahead of the Pack through Minitrends

Trends A key advantage for any business is to stay in the forefront of emerging trends in their particular industry. To do this successfully an organization must utilize its most valuable asset, its people. Assigning a few employees to focus on the unappreciated and actionable minitrends can help an organization tap into the top trends and achieve the best results. Here is a three step approach on how your organization can stay ahead of the curve, energize the innovation process, and succeed in an ever-changing business and technology environment.                                                                                                                                                     
Step 1: Recognize- Spark and encourage innovation, creativity, and imagination among your employees. Establish a team that regularly scans the environment for interesting and potentially profitable minitrends.

Step 2: Assess- Create a structure that will help you organize, analyze and rank potential minitrends for further consideration and action. Assess the likelihood of the trend’s success and how it fits with the organization.

Step 3: Strategize- Upon assessing your finds make sure to incorporate the most promising minitrends into your business strategies. This enables new opportunities depending on the size, nature, goals, and resources of your organization.  Some options to accomplish this includes: acquiring or partnering with other companies, building protection from competitors while growing the business, and creating new ventures.

Note: This information was derived from the article “Here’s how to stay on top of ‘minitrends’ and get ahead of the pack”, which was published by the Austin Business Journal. To read the full article refer to the following link:  http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/blog/at-the-watercooler/2014/09/how-to-stay-on-top-of-minitrends-and-get-ahead.html?page=all

Friday, September 5, 2014

How to Fix Your Business Plan

The business plan is the foundation for any business. The operations and steps that follow this strategic plan helps the business build upon its specified goals and objectives. Creating a weak or ambiguous business plan can result in costly mistakes or business struggles that could have been avoided. Here are some common problems that business owners have in regards to their business plan and how to fix these problems. 

1.     It’s Nonexistent- If you haven’t taken the time to write a business plan for the strategic growth of your company it is never too late to begin.

How to Fix IT: Start writing your business plan today with a fresh plan on where you company is and where you want to take it. Utilize the SBDC downloadable business plan templates to outline your strategic plan and projected future profits.

2.     It’s Ginormous and Therefore Useless-Your business plan does not have to be 40 plus pages. The need for a business plan to be all inclusive rarely applies to small businesses unless you are seeking funding from investors. Having an enormous document can be overwhelming and you may never actually take the time to review it.  

How to Fix It: Try creating a simpler plan. You may be the only person who reads your plan, but you want it to be readable and comprehensible. So stick to the basics and don’t strive for length. Just get to the point.

3.     You Never Look at It- You may have developed a great plan 5 years ago, but it is very likely that goals, products or other offerings have changed since then.  Generally, a business plan should be a living, working document that you regularly review and modify as needed.

How to Fix It: Take a look at your existing business plan and its structure. You are likely to see areas that need to be reflected upon and adjusted. Try to review your business plan 2-4 times a year.

4.     It’s Not Actionable- Maybe you have filled your business plan with fluff or established long-term goals with no measurable steps to accomplish them. Although you have your plan and take the time to read it, you don’t have a clue about what to do next.

How to Fix It: Amend your plan with action items that set up steps for how you can make your goal a reality. These steps need to be achievable and measurable so that the next time you review your strategic plan, you can see how far (or not) you have come toward achieving those goals.    

Note: This information was obtained from a Small Business Trends article, “How to Fix What’s Wrong With Your Business Plan – You Have One, Right?” To read the full article refer to the following link:  http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/09/whats-wrong-with-your-business-plan.html?tr=sm

Thursday, September 4, 2014

SC Small Business - Lender Match Maker Event

Calling all small business owners ...

 Are you ready and seriously looking for capital to expand your business or open a new business?  Then plan to attend a lender-borrower workshop that will address current lending practices. 

The Lender Match Maker event includes the opportunity to attend two of the following breakout sessions...
  • Start-ups and Access to Capital... Realistic options for getting your business off the ground. 
  • Expansion and Growth... Choosing the best financing resource for growing your business. 
  • Your Financial Statements... What story are they telling? 
  • Alternative Funding... Alternatives to a traditional bank loan.
Afternoon MatchMaking Sessions allow one-on-one meetings with up to ten funding resources. 

This will be the only Business - Lender Match Maker event in the state this year, so
space will be limited.  

  • $35 Early Registration price availale until October 8, 2014
    $50 Regular Registration price available online until October 21, 2014, and on-site the day of the event if seating is still available
    For more information, contact Tessa Monahan, SC Department of Commerce, (803) 737-1336 or via email at Tmonahan@sccommerce.com

Register today at 

                                                Sponsors include:
South Carolina Department of Commerce
SC Bankers Association
Carolinas Credit Union League
South Carolina SBDC
South Carolina Chamber of Commerce
USDA Rural Development
U.S. Small Business Association
NFIB ... the voice of Small Business
The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond