Small Biz Accelerator: Tips & Trends News

By at 23 September, 2017, 10:50 am

The past week’s roundup of “How To” articles, educational resources and future events, business news and success stories recommended by SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

Access to Capital

SmartBiz Loans Hit $500 Million Mark in SBA Loans for Small Businesses, Small Business Trends. “This milestone follows a series of recent successes for SmartBiz, including a fifth bank joining its software platform. The announcement also demonstrates the mainstreaming trend of such online lending marketplaces also including Biz2Credit, Fundera and others in the small business community. SmartBiz Loans is a combination of a bank-enabling technology platform and an online loan marketplace.”

New Crowdfunding Portal Startwise to Focus on Revenue Sharing, LocaVesting. “Grace Leung Shing and Catherine Yushina were working for a venture capital fund in Silicon Valley, when they were both struck by a puzzle: why was it that venture investors were willing to shower funding on startups with no revenues or traction—sometimes little more than idea—while many perfectly solid businesses couldn’t get funding at all?”


Resource of the Week: Focus on Going Global

Opportunities in the Global Marketplace, September 2015 newsletter edition

Sign up for the MBDA’s newsletter, and review various resources on how to go global including upcoming webinars:

SBA Exporting Webinar Series: FREE Technical Assistance Available for Minority Business Enterprises

Expanding Global Opportunities for Minority and Women-Owned Businesses

Setting Up a Successful Letter of Credit – “What Every Exporter Needs to Know” Webinar

USTDA Launches Bringing the World to #MadeInAmerica

Six-Part Webinar Series: Opportunities in the Caribbean Region


Global Small Business Summit, October 20, Chicago

E-commerce is booming and is considered the new retail. All companies must prepare for the digital age, like it or not, and in the global economy there is extraordinary opportunity for small to mid-size firms.  Learn more at the 3rd Annual Global Small Business Forum! SBE Council is a proud sponsor of this exceptional event.


Sales, Marketing & Branding

75% of Consumers Plan to Shop Local for the Holidays, GeoMarketing. “But local SMBs will have to capture shoppers’ attention via digital means in order to benefit.”

‘Woo, Wow, and Win’: Designing a Captivating Customer Experience, Knowledge at Wharton (Podcast and Transcript).  “Companies carefully craft the products they sell to customers, but rarely do they give the same thoughtfulness to designing what could be the most critical part of the sales process: customer experience.”

7 Signs it’s Time to Update Your Small Business Website, crowdSpring. “If your website isn’t well-designed, quick-to-load, and easy-to-navigate, you’re sabotaging your brand’s valuable online presence.”

The Starter Guide to Facebook Groups for Business, Entrepreneur. “These sub-groups within Facebook can be created by any individual or business on Facebook. They allow you to create group messages, conversations and community…When it comes to business, Facebook groups are a powerful tool.”

7 Important Packaging Design Trends, crowdSpring. “…smart companies have found that exceptional packaging can create brand value and a phenomenal customer experience.”

Marketplace Trends

Shoppers Plan to Spend 25 Percent More at Small Businesses Next Year, New Study Finds, Small Business Trends. “In addition to finding those positive trends for small business owners, the survey could also offer some potential tips for small businesses looking to appeal to more consumers. For instance, 60 percent of shoppers prefer to buy or interact with small businesses in stores. But 67% said it’s also important to them that small businesses have a website.”

Why Restaurant Sales are Sagging, and How Your Eatery Can Fight Back, Small Biz Daily. Experts cite two big reason why sales are weak “international travelers and fewer people going to the movies.”

Drones for High Value Deliveries, SmallBiz Labs. “Almost all new technologies start out being used in high value applications. This is because, generally speaking, new technologies are expensive. Over time as costs come down, the new technology spreads to broader use in lower cost and value applications. Like pizza delivery.”

Cycling Between Traditional Jobs and Independent Work to Become More Common, SmallBiz Labs. “Satisfaction levels for Independents are the highest they’ve ever been, but many will return to traditional work to gain new skills, cycling back to independent work several times. The first prediction – that by 2027 over half of the workforce will have spent time as independent workers – is based on data from the annual MBO Partners State of Independence study series.”

Startups & Entrepreneurship

15 Entrepreneurship Statistics You Should Know, Fit Small Business. “Without entrepreneurs, innovation would wither along with productivity and growth. If you’re looking to change the world, start with these 15 insightful entrepreneurship statistics that you should know.”

4 Fundamentals of Good Financial Management for Startups, Young Upstarts. “Here are some key areas of focus worth having in mind if you are running a startup company and aiming to strike the right balance between prudence and optimism when it comes to financial management and building sustainably for the future.”

How to Fund Your Startup Without Losing Control, Bplans. “If you’re like most startup CEOs, your startup has been your personal fiefdom and baby. You make all the decisions, when you want, how you want. When you accept outside money, particularly a private equity (PE) investment, however, that changes.”

8 Attributes of the Most Successful Startup Founders, Startup Professionals. “The most creative entrepreneurs create more value and wealth, not only in physical products and services, but also in their intangible assets such as their brand, reputation, network and intellectual property.”

The A-to-Z of Popular Business Startups: A State by State Guide, Small Business Trends. “Online equipment marketplace Bid on Equipment recently created an infographic showing the types of businesses that are most popular with prospective entrepreneurs and current business owners. Here’s a rundown of the findings.”

Small Business Master Class, October 17, Tampa

Join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council for the Small Business Master Class in Tampa on October 17. Network with over 200 small business owners and entrepreneurs while also learning the tools and strategies from experts on how to successfully grow your business in today’s competitive environment.

Featured speakers: Kevin Carter, Super Bowl Champion, NFL Pro Bowler & College Football Analyst; Leigh and Mike Harting, founders of 3 Daughters Brewing; and Amanda Brinkman, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at Deluxe. We will have a variety of other speakers including executives from Juxtapose Apparel & Studio, AC4S, Majesty Title Services, Inc., Mise en Place Restaurant Group, and more.

Friends of SBE Council will receive complimentary attendance with the code TampaSBEClick here to register.

SAVE THE DATE! The Phoenix Small Business Master Class will be held November  16.


The Economy & Policy

Americans Have High Confidence in Small Business, SBE Council/Gallup. “This year’s 70% confidence rating for small business is the highest in Gallup’s trend, giving small business the second-highest rating of any of the 16 institutions tested in 2017, slightly below the military.”

Startups Created Over 2 Million Jobs in 2015, U.S. Census Bureau. “The nation’s 414,000 startup firms created 2.5 million new jobs according to data from the Census Bureau’s Business Dynamics Statistics. In contrast, this level of startup activity is well below the pre-Great Recession average of 524,000 startup firms and 3.3 million new jobs per year for the period 2002-2006.”

Corporate America has Amassed a Record Amount of Cash, Bloomberg. “Corporate America has never been in better shape to put its cash hoard to use on everything from investment to acquisitions, share buybacks and dividends. Or just hold on to it.”

Time for Congress to Come Together on Joint Employer, NJ Biz. “That’s why H.R. 3441 is so important. It would immediately establish a clear, common sense joint employer definition that businesses can comprehend. And that’s all any entrepreneur or executive wants—to understand the law so they can run their business.”

Frank the Entrepreneur: White House “Gig” May Help Boost Entrepreneurship, SBE Council. “Whether he knows it or not, Frank Giaccio, the young entrepreneur who asked President Trump in a letter if he could mow the White House lawn, is a member of the “gig economy” – those self-employed entrepreneurs making a living or bringing in extra cash to support themselves or their families.”

Transformation, Inspiration & Success

How to Use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to Change Your Career, Fast Company. “Ten years ago, I was graduating law school and going to work in a mid-size law firm in Atlanta as a real estate finance attorney. If you had told me then that I’d go on to become a sports business analyst for ESPN and then found my own boutique publicity firm, I’d think you were crazy.”

This Freelance Designer Couldn’t Find Cute Shipping Boxes. Now Her Startup Makes Them, Forbes. “The company opened in early 2015, but, already, she and her team of 25 employees cater to roughly 11,000 business customers — some of them big names like Google, L’Oreal and Shopify. And though she declined to disclose Packlane’s annual revenue, she said it will exceed $5M in 2017. Brafman — who is just 26 — struck gold because she believed, along with scores of her clients, that customized packaging plays a key role in “creating a brand experience.”

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