PROTECTING SMALL BUSINESS, PROMOTING ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Small Business Accelerator: Tips, Trends and Resources for Entrepreneurs

By at 21 January, 2018, 2:53 pm

By Karen Kerrigan-

Incentivized by key provisions in the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” many large companies have announced new investments and large-scale spending plans for U.S.-based projects.  Apple’s recent announcement to invest $30 billion in U.S. facilities over the next five years, create 20,000 new jobs, and pay $38 billion in new taxes was the latest to make headlines. Many small business suppliers to large companies will certainly benefit from these big investment plans.  Has your small business considered doing business with a larger one?  If not, this may be the time to get started. Here are some “oldie but goodie” articles I pulled out from the archives, which provide some solid tips and advice:

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Attract Large Customers, Inc.

The Secret to Selling to Big Companies, Entrepreneur.

Small Business Advice: 5 Secrets to Help You Land Lucrative Contracts with Corporate Clients, Washington Post.

Also, most large corporations have supplier diversity programs in place. If you have not been certified as a woman-owned, minority-owned, veteran-owned or service disabled veteran-owned, or LGBT-owned business and you are interested in doing business in the corporate sector, it makes sense to get certified.  Most corporations with supplier diversity programs have a section on their websites dedicated to providing guidance and information. (For example, see ATT’s Supplier Diversity Matchmaking Portal here.)

Below you will find another great selection this week of marketing and branding tips, “how to” advice, upcoming events and other important information for starting and growing a successful enterprise. Enjoy!

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO

Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council

 

January is National Mentoring Month

Mentors and Entrepreneurial Success,  Small Business Insider, by Karen Kerrigan

Having a mentor (or network of mentors) makes good business sense. A study by UPS found that 70 percent of mentored businesses survive more than five years (compared to the 50 percent survival rate.)  All great entrepreneurs had mentors. Many of them say mentors were essential at key moments in their lives or careers, and to their overall success. In this Small Business Insider blog post, SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan provides some great resources for finding a mentor, as well as how to prepare to be mentored in order to maximize this important relationship.

AMERICAN SMALL BUSINESS CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 

Are you one of the best small businesses in America? SCORE celebrates these businesses through the American Small Business Championship and the SCORE Awards. $15,000 Grand Champion prize, publicity and training! Enter by 2/7/2018!   

Sales, Marketing and Branding

There are 83 Million Millennials in the United States.  Here’s How They Spend Their Money, Inc. “Millennials are the largest generation in United States history. They are also the first truly digital native generation…Millennials have some very different shopping habits from previous generations, and brands need to take note.”

Here are the Exact Words to Use on Social Media to Get More Customers, Inc. “How you phrase your calls to action on social media can be the difference between just racking up impressions online and actually generating sales.”

New Facebook News Feed Make Small Business Marketing an Even Greater Challenge, Small Business Trends. “Organic reach has declined significantly over the years, causing engagement to fall even when the content is solid. This leaves companies struggling to keep customers interested. And recent changes to Facebook news feeds being tested will make organic reach even harder.”

Why the Smartest Businesses are Turning to Troll Marketing, CrowdSpring. “Normally, marketers focus on positive emotions when promoting products and brands. Today, however, the most successful brands are experimenting with something different. They’re combining positive and negative emotions in a trend known as troll marketing.”

A LinkedIn Editor Reveals How to Get Featured and Go Viral on the Site, Inc. “If your blogs get featured enough times by LinkedIn’s editors and you get a lot of nominations from your readers, you could be chosen as a LinkedIn Top Voice and recognized as a top 10 blogger within your industry.”

Going Global: The United Kingdom (UK)

More than 40,000 US exporters sell to the United Kingdom market with the advantages of a common language, low trade barriers, and a business-friendly environment. Learn more about this market by using Export.gov’s Commercial Guide along with several video series to help you learn about this important trading market.

The U.S.-UK investment relationship is the largest in the world with cumulative bilateral stock in direct investment valued at more than $1 trillion in 2014. More than two million jobs, approximately one million in each country, have been created over the years to manage and drive this investment. More than 7,500 U.S. firms have a presence in the United Kingdom which is also the top location in Europe for U.S. regional headquarters covering Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.  Read (and watch) Export.gov’s United Kingdom overview here.

Bonus content: How Mobile is Transforming Global Trade, Global Biz Circle.

 

Management, Operations, Expansion

Using Technology to Work Smarter, Not Harder

SBA Twitter Chat

Thursday, January 25, 2018

3:00 p.m. ET/ Noon PT

#SBAchat

Please join the SBA and experts for a Twitter chat on “Using Technology to Work Smarter, Not Harder” hosted by the US Small Business Administration (@SBAgov). SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan will join SBA for the chat (@KarenKerrigan @SBECouncil). We’ll be sharing tips and resources to help small business owners start, grow and succeed. Follow along with the hashtag #SBAchat.

4 Simple Steps to Developing Business Systems, GrowThink. “Because as more and more of your business’ processes become systematized, and your systems become better and better, your revenues and profits will soar and your business will be the envy of your market.”

7 Tips for Running Your Business Like Billionaire Jeff Bezos, Fundera. “What lessons can you, as a small business owner, take from a billionaire with more than 300,000 employees? You’d be surprised.”

7 Guidelines for Funding New Research and Development, Startup Professionals. “…smart entrepreneurs often find personal funding for solution development, and save investor funding pitches for the larger scaling-up marketing costs later. Build solutions, not technology, and don’t waste your time and credibility talking to angels and VCs until you have something of interest to them.”

The State of Small Business Lending: Q&A with Lendio CEO Brock Blake, Fundbox. “In 2018, businesses seeking capital are more forward-looking, rather than backward-looking. They’re looking to generate opportunity. More are taking out a loan to hire, to expand, to open new channels, to increase marketing, to be more successful.”

New USPS Postage Rates Go Into Effect on January 21, Small Business Trends. “Come Sunday, regular mail, as well as shipping services, will be affected by the price hike. The cost of shipping has become a significant expenditure since the arrival of online commerce. For many small businesses looking to compete with large companies offering free shipping, even the slightest increase will hurt the bottom line.”

Market Trends

The Global E-Commerce Landscape: How Emerging Markets will Transform the Future of Online Shopping, Business Insider. “Emerging markets are going to be essential for e-commerce growth, as retailers in developed markets may soon reach saturation in terms of consumer growth.”

Top Trends from CES 2018, Small Biz Daily. “As usual, a lot of innovative products were unveiled and ideas discussed at CES. You can check the Global Biz Circle for some of what you missed. But there was a lot more. Since I couldn’t be everywhere, here’s a curated perspective of highlights from CES 2018.”

Craft Beer is the Strangest, Happiest Economic Story in America, The Atlantic. “Between 2008 and 2016, the number of brewery establishments expanded by a factor of six, and the number of brewery workers grew by 120 percent. Yes, a 200-year-old industry has sextupled its establishments and more than doubled its workforce in less than a decade. Even more incredibly, this has happened during a time when U.S. beer consumption declined.”

Beverage Trends 2018, Small Biz Daily. “Restaurant and hospitality consultants Andrew Freeman & Company (AF&Co.) predicts there will be a lot of changes in the food and beverage industries in 2018.”

Huge Jump Seen in Small Business Bought and Sold in 2017, Small Business Trends. “The BizBuySell 2017 Insight Report shows record annual small business transactions for the year, totaling 27 percent higher than those in 2016.”

Why Food Truck Businesses are Revving Up, Inc. “Getting food to people has become mobile, and most people are happy to have options so close by. In fact, food trucks are the fastest growing channel in the foodservice industry today.”

Startups and Entrepreneurship

5 New Venture Deliverables that Put You Ahead of the Crowd, Startup Professionals. “The ability to communicate effectively is critical to standing above the crowd. Good communication is not talking louder and longer than others, but practicing active listening, and providing a package of other elements to effectively to back up your words. Make yourself unforgettable, in a good way. This means adding value before, during, and after every interaction.”

8 Elements of a Mindset for Success in Your Business, Startup Professionals. “I assure you that if you follow these principles in your current career, and think like an entrepreneur, you will advance more quickly, get more done, and be a happier person. According to a recent article and many others, entrepreneurs running their own business still rank themselves happier than all other professions, regardless of how much money they make.”

Bootstrap Funding: Examples and How to Get It, Grow Think. “A survey of Inc 500 companies found that 48% started with $20K in financing or less, and 73% started with less than $100K in financing.”

The Economy and Policy

The Public Thinks the Average Company Makes a 36 Percent Profit Margin, Which is About 5 Times Too High, AEI. “How do the public’s estimates of corporate profit margins compare to reality? Not surprisingly they are off by a huge margin.”

Success Stories and Inspiration

4 Lessons from the Most Interesting Millennial Entrepreneur in America, Forbes. “Colin Wayne, as he prefers to be called, is a 28-year-old millionaire from Huntsville, Alabama and the CEO of Redline Steel. He is a high-school dropout and military combat veteran who was injured by an enemy rocket attack in Afghanistan. He is also a former male fitness cover model, social media savant, and he has built a multi-million-dollar industrial manufacturing business in only 18 months.”

What I Learned from 365 Days of Helping Women Entrepreneurs Raise Startup Funding, Forbes. “After a year in the game, I are more confident than ever that crowdfunding, coaching, and connections are the answer to getting women-led businesses off the ground. If you are harboring an idea, a dream, or a wild notion for how to make the world a better place, there is no better time to do it then now.”

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