Small Business Accelerator: Tips, Trends and Resources for Entrepreneurs

By at 21 July, 2018, 12:06 pm

Here’s 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.

Marketing and Branding

The Psychology of Logo Design: How Fonts, Colors, Shapes and Lines Influence Purchase Decisions, CrowdSpring. “Nothing should be arbitrary. It’s in your best interest to make sure that every logo design choice is intentional and communicates the message you want to convey. Thoughtless design choices lead to misleading or confusing logos. Or, even worse, logos that don’t say anything at all.”

6 Copywriting Strategies You Need to Know for Small Business, Small Business Trends. “You can find someone on your team to write content for your business, or you can outsource the work to a freelancer relatively easily. However, creating a strategy requires a better understanding of your business, its customers, and its direction.”

Telling Your Brand Story Through Package Design, CrowdSpring. “If you sell products, invest in good packaging design (the packaging for your product) and package graphics (the graphics/content on the product packaging) to help your company succeed. Product packaging has the power to inspire us to purchase a product and can make us feel even better about the purchase we’ve just made.”

Market Trends and Revenue Opportunities

Top Twenty Products Your Business Can Sell on eBay, Small Business Trends. “… if you’re looking to build a business by selling on eBay, it can help to choose a product line that’s especially popular. So if you’re looking to build a steady income on the site right now, here are some of the top selling and top searched items to consider.”

Online Apparel Sales Jump, Small Biz Daily. “As reported in Retail Divethe most recent Internet Retailer Online Apparel Report shows more than one quarter (27.4%) of overall U.S. apparel sales in 2017 took place online, up from 23.5% in 2016 and 20.7% in 2015. Apparel retailers dominated Internet Retailer’s 2018 Top 1000 list (claiming 266 spots on the list—more than any other category, not even counting Amazon or Walmart), Retail Divepoints out. This is good news for both existing and aspiring small retailers.”

Intellectual Property (IP) Protection

Small Business IP Watch, Small Business Insider/SBE Council-Forbes Books Radio (Podcast). “As explained by Frank Cullen (at a recent Small Business Committee hearing), Vice President of U.S. Policy at the Global Innovation Policy Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce: ‘Intellectual Property, an umbrella term covering copyright, patent, trademark, and trade secrets, is often the secret sauce that gives a new, up-and-coming company its competitive edge. The loss of that edge, through theft or other appropriation, invites unfair competition that can devastate even a large company, much less a small one.’”  Listen to this great podcast to hear Cullen discuss the importance of protecting IP for our economy, entrepreneurship and small businesses. He provide useful information and tips for small businesses and entrepreneurs for protecting their IP.

STOP Fakes Roadshow Hits Seattle

U.S. Department of Commerce

July 24, 2018

8:45 a.m.  – Full Day Event

COST: $45 includes Lunch

Safeguard Your Intellectual Property Internationally and Domestically. Learn about IP and how to protect it Online, while Exporting and at Trade Shows.

This is an opportunity to learn the basics of IP protection and U.S. government resources available to help you protect your IP at home and abroad.

Ideal for:

● Entrepreneurs / Innovators / Inventors

● Small / Large Businesses

● Start-up Companies / Venture Capital Firms

● IP Attorneys

● IT/Biotech firms

This event will feature presentations by intellectual property experts and law enforcement officials.

Seminar Topics Include:

● The Basics of Intellectual Property Rights

● Recording a Copyright or Trademark with Customs

● How to Report IP Violations

● Protecting your Business from Trade Secret Theft

● Protecting your IP in Export Markets and Online

Attendees will have the opportunity to record your trademarks at the event and have one on ones with U.S. Government IP experts. To register or for more information, click here.

Portland, Oregon event is July 26!

Management, Operations and Strategy

Right to Refuse Service: What you Need to Know, Big Ideas for Small Business. “In today’s highly partisan environment, there have been numerous stories reported in the media of merchants and restaurants refusing service to certain patrons. Leaving politics aside, if you own a store, restaurant, or other business, can you legally refuse service. Does the phrase ‘we reserve the right to refuse service’ have any legitimate basis?” 

3 Tips for Thriving Among Industry Giants, Entrepreneur. “The trick for small companies is to act like a small business while demonstrating the power of a larger one. By using the right combination of tactics, startups can not only survive in this cutthroat environment, but also thrive.”

3 Critical Considerations to Weigh Before Using a Vehicle for Business, Small Biz Daily. “By doing enough research and planning, you’ll be perfectly positioned to start using your company car to drive profits.”

How Some Ventures Continually Stay Ahead of the Crowd, Startup Professionals. “…almost 90 percent of the Fortune 500 firms that existed in 1955 are gone. Conventional wisdom is that mature companies are their own worst enemies, too blinded by their success to see the world changing around them, and too focused on repeatability to see the need for innovation and leapfrog advances in technology.”

Want to Keep Your Best Employees from Quitting? Stop Doing the 7 Things the Worst Bosses Often Do, Inc. “In my research examining the leadership literature for nearly 20 years, I’ve ascertained that leadership in its purest and most unadulterated form comes down to one overarching theme: serving the needs of people so they can reach their fullest potential.”

Too Many Hats? How to Juggle the Different Roles of Owning a Small Business

SCORE Webinar – July 26

3:00 p.m. ET

Are you exhausted by wearing too many hats as a small business owner? Managing marketing and PR, to bookkeeping and sales, can prevent you from running your business.

Robin Blakely, CEO of Creative Center of America, will demonstrate an easy-to-implement strategy to stop common hat-juggling chaos, and establish a sense of professional calm.

You’ll learn how to:

● Focus on the hat that will positively impact your bottom line

● Remedy the hat issues that rob your energy and forward-motion

● Define powerful action steps that help secure your vision of success

● Identify the importance of creating a scalability strategy

Learn more or register for this FREE webinar here.

Startups and Entrepreneurship

6 Learning Strategies Today for New Venture Founders, Startup Professionals. “We all come from the era where our society and education prepared us for the labor market, meaning working for someone else as an information professional, factory worker, or retail associate. Now change is driving an opportunity society, where the next step is undefined, and entrepreneurs are in the forefront of the wave of people whose best skill is learning how to learn.”

8 Ways to Instill a Sense of Purpose in Your Startup, Startup Professionals. “Nearly 80 percent of customers say they are more loyal to purpose-driven brands than traditional brands and nearly three-quarters are more willing to defend them, or even pay a premium, according to the 2018 Cone/Porter Novelli Purpose Study.”

How She Went from Making Candles in Her Basement to Selling them at Urban Outfitters, Inc. (VIDEO) “Founder of P.F. Candle Co., Kristen Pumphrey, talks about starting her company, rebranding, and answers your questions from Instagram.”

Take A Free Franchise Course, Franchise Business University. Sign up to take this informative course today!

Policy and Government

Recent Survey Reveals Top Challenges and Concerns for Small Businesses When Complying with Employment Laws, Smart Hustle. “It is a fair assumption that the complexities related to compliance regulations very likely will increase. However, with the right tools and practical measures, small businesses are in a better position than ever to handle the compliance maze so they can get back to focusing on key priorities like revenue and growth.”

JOBS Act 3.0 Passes U.S. House with Massive Bipartisan Support, Small Business Insider/SBE Council. “On July 17, the SBE Council supported JOBS and Investor Confidence Act (JOBS Act 3.0) passed by a vote of 406-4. JOBS Act 3.0 is a package of bipartisan bills that will improve the competitiveness of U.S. capital markets and directly help entrepreneurs and small businesses access the capital they need to start businesses, scale their firms and more effectively compete and expand in the growing economy.”  Also, listen to SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan on a SBE Council/Forbes Books Radio podcast to learn more details about JOBS Act 3.0!

Triple Play Tax Break: New Opportunity Zone Funds Cut Your Taxes in Three Ways, Forbes. “About 8,700 O-zones nationwide, ranging from run-down inner cities to dusty rural hamlets, have already been designated. But investors who want to take advantage of the new O-zone tax scheme can’t plow money into these areas directly. Instead, they must do so through qualified opportunity funds, or O-funds.”

Small Business Success

Small Giants: The Best Small Companies of 2018, Forbes. “The third annual Small Giants list celebrates 25 standout businesses that favor greatness over growth: an ice cream shop that runs M.B.A.-style courses for staff, a law firm where junior attorneys can earn as much as partners, a beanbag chair maker that aims to hire former inmates and more. The companies are all privately owned, profitable, at least ten years old and were selected based on factors including community involvement, commitment to staff and industry excellence.”

Protecting Small Business, Promoting Entrepreneurship

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