Small Biz Accelerator: Tips, Trends and Resources for Entrepreneurs

By at 25 February, 2018, 5:21 pm


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

Operations and Management

#MeToo on Main Street: Small Business Can’t Overlook Workplace Harassment, CNBC. “A survey of more than 2,000 small business owners found that half of small-business owners have a formal policy on how to handle harassment claims. But at businesses with zero to four employees, only 39 percent had such policies, compared to 85 percent of businesses with 50 or more employees, according to the CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey.” SBE Council’s Karen Kerrigan is interviewed for this piece. Bonus from SBE Council: Online resources to help develop an anti-harassment policy.

How Tax Reform Will Impact How Your Business Engages Independent Contractors, Forbes. “These new tax provisions have created substantive advantages to operating as an independent professional. For businesses, that means that while the number of independents has been growing at a rate more than five times greater than the traditional labor force for several years, we’ll likely see an even greater swell of available independent workers in 2018. That’s a good thing.” But know the rules!

The Next-Gen Enterprise: AI, Automation Usher In Intelligent Work Solutions, TechCrunch. “The higher calling of these next-gen technologies, as they shift from consumer into the enterprise, centers around how they can automate the more burdensome and complex aspects of actual work—automating workflows, managing teams and projects, pulling numbers and filing reports, qualifying sales leads, onboarding employees, planning, tracking, and so on.”

Branding, Marketing and Sales

How Small Business Owners Can Take Advantage of Instagram, SCORE. “Instagram now has 800 million monthly active users…More exposure generates more leads, and more leads produces more sales.”

Digital Consumers in the Physical World, WerxBlog. “So the question is, what are you doing to create a reason to shop from you instead of from your competitors? What are you offering this brave new world of savvy digital consumers looking for solutions to very specific needs – from product needs to experience needs?”

How to Attract More Baby Boomers to Your Store, Small Biz Daily. “While millennials may get all the attention, boomers still control 70% of the wealth in the U.S. In fact, four out of five retailers report half their sales come from boomers, according to Chain Store Age. And a whopping 84% of baby boomers prefer shopping in a brick-and-mortar store, adds Chain Store Age.”

4 Reasons Your Business Should Use Email Marketing, SMBForum. “Email marketing sometimes gets ignored in favor of trendier marketing methods like social media and text messaging. But while it may be the granddaddy of marketing methods at this point, email marketing is far from dead. In fact, a recent survey reveals that Americans are hooked on email and don’t foresee giving it up anytime soon.”

How to Grow Your Business Through Persona-Based Marketing, CrowdSpring. “Persona-based marketing can help make sure you target your pitch perfectly for each unique groups of customer prospects. The value personas offer your business can be contained within the journalist’s ‘five w’s and how.’”

Marketplace Trends

To Survive a Challenging Future, Shopping Malls Look to the Past, Morning Consult. “Experts say retail spaces are returning to their community roots…While Class A malls are thriving, Classes B, C and D are the most at risk, according to the Cowen report. The two lowest tiers comprise 30 percent of all U.S. shopping malls. Class A malls also tend to be destination properties, offering more than retail. That, Hughes said, is where many malls have gone wrong — they have focused too much on the retail aspect of their business while ignoring the consumer experience.”

Amazon Plans to Open 6 New Cashierless Amazon Go Stores This Year, ReCode. “Amazon is hoping that by making convenience store trips even faster, it will raise the bar for brick-and-mortar shopping in much the same way that Amazon Prime did for online shopping and delivery.”

Upcoming Webinars

SCORE: How the New “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” Impacts Your Small Business

February 27, 2018

1:00 p.m. ET

Congress just passed the most comprehensive tax reform in over 30 years. And with that comes more risk and opportunity for small businesses than any time in the last three decades.

In this session, CPA and tax consultant Micah Fraim will explain:

●  Major changes to corporate taxes

●  Adjustments to business deductions and credits

●  The expansion of some individual deductions and elimination of others

●  Little-known changes with major long-term ramifications

Learn how to use all of these changes to your advantage! Register here.

Startups and Entrepreneurship

7 Key Components of a Perfect Elevator Pitch, Bplans. “Whether you are trying to raise money for your business or just want to perfect your business strategy, a solid elevator pitch is an essential tool for achieving your goals. An elevator pitch can be delivered as a speech (ideally in 60 seconds or less), a pitch presentation, or as a one-page overview of your business.”

More Women Are Entering Franchising – and It’s Changing the Industry, Entrepreneur. “The numbers tell a story of rapid change: Between 2011 and 2017, female franchise ownership jumped by 83 percent, while male ownership increased by only 13 percent. That’s according to FranNet, a company that matches individuals with franchise opportunities. (And yes, FranNet franchises, too.) Today, FranNet says, 26 percent of its placements are women, compared with 18 percent in 2011.”

Business Startup Checkup List – FREE Download, Bplans. “Yes, you’re going to have to work hard, and commit to working on it at all hours of the day, but actually getting set up is simply down to making sure you’ve ‘checked all the boxes,’ which is exactly what this business startup checklist aims to help you do.”

3 Marketing Techniques Every Startup Must Master, Startups. The temptation to chase a quick win or two to move the needle is strong, especially for early-stage ventures. Resist the allure of flighty trends, and focus your limited resources on developing a strategy that will sustain your business for the long haul.

Success and Inspiration

Blue Buffalo Family Reaps $860 Million Thanks to Airedale Terrier, Bloomberg. “Former ad-man Bill Bishop, together with sons Billy and Chris, founded Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc. in 2002 after their dog Blue was stricken with cancer. The family wanted to feed their sick pet better food and worked with animal nutritionists and a veterinarian to create the products. They added the name “buffalo” to signify a period where animals roamed free in the Great Plains and ate only natural food.”

Policy and Politics

Is Your State Friendly to Small Business? Check out SBE Council’s Small Business Policy Index 2018, released on Feburary 22. How does your state stack up?

Support or Join SBE Council Today!

Please make a contribution or join as an Advocate for FreeHelp us strengthen the environment for entrepreneurship and small business success.

News and Media Releases