Small Business Accelerator: Tips, Trends and Resources for Entrepreneurs

By at 29 April, 2018, 10:18 am

Happy NATIONAL SMALL BUSINESS WEEK (NSBW)!  While SBE Council celebrates entrepreneurs and small businesses every day, we are fully on board this national event that helps to focus our fellow citizens, elected officials, and policy leaders about the importance of small businesses and the critical role this big sector plays in our economy.

In this week’s edition of Small Business Accelerator, I’ve highlighted several opportunities for entrepreneurs to participate in NSBW online training and education events.  And our friends at Small Business Trends have put together “The Really Big List of National Small Business Week 2018 Events, Promotions and Deals.”

Of course I have added my regular roundup of the best content, business intelligence and “how to” information from various business and media platforms.

SBE Council is a proud partner of NSBW! Enjoy this week, dedicated to you, and please take advantage of some or all of the education and engagement events that have been put together by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Yours in small business and entrepreneurship,

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO 

P.S. Sign up for Small Business Insider, SBE Council’s weekly enews, and start receiving regular updates on our advocacy work, business intelligence and resources for your business.


National Small Business Week Virtual Conference – May 1-3

The U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE Association will host a free, 3-Day Virtual Conference during National Small Business Week. The conference will take place Tuesday, May 1 – Thursday, May 3 between 12:30 pm ET – 6:30 pm ET each day.

The Virtual Conference offers all the best parts of an in-person conference, but without the hassle of traveling. Watch 12 educational webinars, get free business advice from mentors, pick up free information and resources from sponsors and network with fellow business owners.

The webinars include:

● How Changing Consumer Behavior Impacts Your Business

● Addressing Discrimination and Harassment in the Workplace

● Get New and Repeat Business on Autopilot with Email Marketing

● Creating and Sustaining a Strong Social Presence

● The U.S. Economic Outlook and Its Impact on Small Businesses

● Managing Your Finances in the Cloud

● Grow Your Business in 2018

● Simple Steps to Choosing the Right Financing

● Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints & Keep Your Customers

● Sharing Your Story Through Video

● Pop & Play: How Opening a Pop-Up Shop Can Help Launch Your Retail Brand

● Fusion Marketing: The Next Generation of Marketing

Register today


May 4 #SmallBusinessWeek Twitter Chat

If you’re thinking about starting a small business, or you already own one, join the U.S. Small Business Administration – @SBAgov  on Twitter – May 4th at Noon ET. @SBECouncil will be an active participant in this chat.

The chat is part of National #SmallBusinessWeek, and the SBA team, along with numerous small business experts, will be sharing tips and resources to help small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs succeed.

To participate, head over to Twitter at Noon, ET, on May 4 and follow the hashtag #SmallBusinessWeek.


Sales, Marketing and Branding

5 Biggest Small Business Marketing Challenges (and How To Overcome Them), Crowdspring. “Small businesses do face unique marketing challenges. But, knowing that you may face challenges does not give you a free pass. It’s time to ask yourself what is holding your marketing back. Whether it’s lack of leads, knowledge, time, visibility or money, there are paths forward.”

Determining Good Leads from Bad, Small Business Daily. “The most important thing to keep in mind is that lead assessment is an ongoing process. Even when you have found a lot of potential leads, it is essential to assess the quality of them. The worst thing you can do is waste time with an unqualified lead without any hope of a conversion.”

4 Ways to Improve Your Online Storefront, Bplans. “Offline, a well-run store offers a clean, organized shopping experience and incredible customer service. This doesn’t change when you start an online store, but there are additional aspects you must keep in mind to keep your storefront is in tip-top shape.”


Raising Capital and Money Management

Perfecting Your Business Pitch, SAP’s Growth Matters Network.  Whether you are pitching a customer or trying to raise capital, it’s critical that you are fully prepared, concise and that your message is compelling. SBE Council’s Karen Kerrigan and Kristie Arslan share some tips in this video.

Three Keys to Successfully Raising Capital in 2018, Oracle SMB Blog. “Our economy appears to be on track. Make sure your business is organized and ready to take advantage of growth opportunities, which may require growth capital to leverage those opportunities.”

10 Points for a Memorable New Venture Funding Pitch, Startup Professionals. “The average length of a funding pitch to angel investors is ten minutes. Even if you have booked an hour with a VC, you should plan to talk only for the first fifteen minutes. The biggest complaint I hear from fellow investors is that startup founders often talk way too long, and neglect to cover the most relevant points.”

Is Your Business at Risk for Embezzlement? All Business. “Small business workplaces are often like families, and it’s hard to accept the fact that one of your family members may be stealing from you. But according to a study by insurance company Hiscox, the majority (55%) of embezzlement takes place at companies with fewer than 100 employees.”


Startups and Entrepreneurship

Business Startup Checklist, Bplans. “Starting your own business may sound like an undertaking of epic proportions. The truth is, it’s not.”

How to Pick a Business Model That is a Match for You, Startup Professionals. “It’s painful when you start a new business for the wrong reasons. As a mentor to aspiring entrepreneurs, one of my challenges is to make sure their idea is a match for them.”

How 3 Entrepreneurs Came Up With Their Business Ideas, Entrepreneur. “There isn’t one way to find the perfect idea or have the ah-ha moment that will start you on the path to entrepreneurship. You can discover opportunities by examining your own needs and bringing your personal experience to the table, or you can revive an old idea.”

8 Big Startup Myths The Hold Entrepreneurs Back from Success, Crowdspring. “It’s already difficult to get a new business off the ground. Staying real, and separating fact from fiction can help entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of starting a new business while staying grounded.”

Finger Print CEO Nancy MacIntyre: Thriving as a Startup Founder After 50, Forbes. “If you’re in a business where you’re going to need to fundraise, ‘it’s absolutely critical that you build a business plan and build out a financial plan’ that is believable, rational and defendable.”

The Top 5 Resources for Your Small Business, SBE Council. “Whether you are launching a new business or looking to take your current business to the next level, here are five free resources to help you.”


Management and Operations

Data Breaches and Small Business – How It’s Done, What to Do, SBE Council.  In this Business Success Strategies blog post, small business expert Barbara Weltman uncovers where data breaches and attacks on small businesses are coming from, what to do to prevent them, and how to respond if your data is compromised.

Ransomware: A Survival Guide, Bplans. “Ransomware now comes in many flavors. Some attacks seek out your most valuable files and encrypt them, and others just encrypt your whole hard drive. What makes this so much more frustrating than other malware is that even when you clean it from your system, the files are still encrypted. If you’re not prepared, this can freeze your whole operation. Getting this right is an important part of managing your small business IT.

The Definitive Guide to Chatbots: These Bots are Here to Serve, Entrepreneur. “So, whether you’re making a restaurant reservation for this weekend, scheduling next week’s calendar event or sending out personalized promotions to your customers, chatbots can free you from these mundane tasks. They offer practically unlimited opportunities for better and faster customer service, and for the quick, easy accomplishment of tasks.”

12 Things You May Need to Update Now in Your Employee Handbook, Small Business Trends. “Have you updated your employee handbook recently? If not, it could be out of date in regards to changes to local, state and federal laws, as well as other areas such as operations and company policies.”

The Peter Principle Can Kill Your Business and Career, Startup Professionals. “..recommendations on what to look for and how to select people [to hire in your business] with minimize exposure to the devastating effects of the Peter Principle, past and present.”

The Digital Resources Small Businesses Should Use Now to Grow, Bank of America- Small Business Community. “There are more tools than ever before to help small business owners run, market and scale their businesses. Digital resources give entrepreneurs access to capabilities once reserved for big corporations.”


U.S. Department of Transportation: Small Business Opportunities Day

May 16, 2018

Doors Open at 8:00 a.m. ET

By Invitation of Secretary Elaine Chao

This Small Business Opportunities Day event is open to all small business owners interested in learning about, competing for, or providing services or products at the state, local or federal government level.

Representatives from a variety of agencies at the state, local and federal level, as well as Prime Contractors, and Small Business Specialists will provide information through matchmaking sessions.  More than 40 government buying offices and prime contractors have been invited to present information and resources to small businesses.

● Attend matchmaking session bringing prime and subcontractors together

● Understand the federal procurement process to win contracts

● Learn how to market your business with Federal, State, and Local Government

● Meet acquisition and program officials

● Learn about DOT and other Federal resources

● Network and share best practices with other small businesses

● Participants will have the opportunity to talk and network individually with government officials.

To register for this event, please visit the following link:[external link]


Success and Personal Improvement

How Vineyard Vines Built a Giant Brand Without Raising a Penny of Equity, Forbes. “Shunning mainstream chains and online resellers, the company sells gear through its own website, at specialty locations like resorts, pro shops and college bookstores, and in a growing empire of stand-alone stores. The Vineyard Vines headquarters has a model showroom where the Murrays obsess over every detail: the clothing on the shelves, the decorations on the wall, even the music on the speakers–the brothers create custom playlists for every shop.”

The Number One Behavior that Turns Ordinary People Into CEOs, CNBC. “Delivering consistent results may seem like an obvious behavioral trait, but the researchers note that leaders struggle with this every day. Notably, it’s also rare to see this behavior celebrated in CEO profiles or in the business press, the authors write.”

Resolving Your Self-Doubts Removes a Huge Barrier to Business Success, Entrepreneur. “Women entrepreneurs represent some of the best business leaders the world has ever seen. Entrepreneurship, once deemed a man’s world, has slowly shifted. Despite the movement, women still encounter challenges.”


Tune In: SBE Council on ForbesBooks Radio

SBE Council has teamed up with ForbesBooks Radio to bring entrepreneurs and small business owners outstanding content about the state of small business and entrepreneurship, stories that detail the journey of entrepreneurs, the latest on policy and the economy, and today’s small business newsmakers. The team plans to post a new podcast at least once a week. Our content library is growing!

Next week is National Small Business Week, so why not listen to SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan’s interview with host Gregg Stebben on the importance of small business engagement with their elected officials and in the policymaking process. Karen provides a quick history of SBE Council and how small business owners have played a pivotal role in the success and effectiveness of the organization.  Listen to the podcast here.


Protecting Small Business, Promoting Entrepreneurship

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