Small Business Accelerator

By at 5 January, 2019, 2:31 pm

Tips, Trends and Market Intelligence for Entrepreneurs

It’s National Mentoring Month! In this week’s Small Business Accelerator, SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan recommends her favorite mentoring organization: SCORE. The group’s regular webinars offer vital information and ideas to help startups and small businesses grow and succeed. Karen also provides some key resources and content on sales, marketing, and branding, as well as solutions and tips for business operations. There are some important trends to watch and act on for 2019, and her regular feature devoted to new entrepreneurs and startup ideas will hopefully get your creativity and risk-taking forces flowing.


Mentoring Works! Did you know that small business owners who receive 3 or more hours of mentoring report higher revenues and increased growth?  Find a SCORE mentor today!

Sales, Marketing & Branding

The Top Trends for Brands to Watch in 2019, Landor. “In 2019, the fundamentals of how we live, learn, work, shop, socialize, trade, and organize will continue to undergo massive change. Technology doesn’t just complement our analog world; it reinvents it.”

Customer Experience Lessons Retailers Can Learn from the World’s Best Companies, Small Biz Trends. “Just as most of us prefer to do business with people we like, we also prefer to do business with companies we like—that is, companies that create an emotional connection with us. Consumers’ emotional experiences with a business greatly influence how much and how often they spend.”

Square Appointments Allows Businesses to Reach Customers on Instagram and Google, Small Biz Trends. “For small businesses with a digital presence, this integration will make it possible to acquire new customers from their social media feed on Instagram or search results in Google. And if you don’t happen to have a website, Square Appointments still allows you to get discovered on Instagram and Google.”

Operations, Management and Expansion

7 Tips for Adding a New Service to Your Business, Small Biz Trends. “There are countless options — hourly, project-based, or retainer packages, for example — but how do you know which one is right for you, especially if you’re adding new services to your roster? To help you figure it out, we asked the experts of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC).”

Why (and How) Businesses are Investing More Into Productivity Measurement, Small Biz Daily. “In this article, we’ll offer suggestions on how to accurately track productivity in order to reach your goals. We’ll also be discussing how employee engagement relates to productivity, and how it can benefit your company.”

Equity Crowdfunding: A Primer, Business Insider. “Crowdfunding is a newer form of fundraising that has become more popular lately. In many ways, it puts the control back into the hands of startup founders, because they can raise capital on their own, bypassing institutional funding and retaining more control over their business.”

SCORE Webinar

Maximizing After Tax Profits on Your Tax Return

January 10, 2019     1:00 p.m. ET

Your real bottom line isn’t just profit; it’s what you get to keep after taxes that matters. While 2018 has ended, there’s still time to favorably impact your return.

In this session, Barbara Weltman, attorney and Founder of Big Ideas for Small Business, will help you maximize your after-tax profit for 2018.

Participants will learn:

● What’s new on your 2018 return

● What tax elections can be made to favorably impact your return

● What you can still do to lower your tax bill

● Whether filing early or on extension is better this year

● What questions to ask your CPA or other tax adviser

Register for FREE here.


The H-1B Visa Process is Set to Get a Makeover in 2019 – and What You Need to Know, Inc. “Unveiled on December 3 by the Department of Homeland Security, the proposed new rule would require employers to register candidates online for H-1B visas a full two weeks before the traditional application deadline of April 1. Only those whose online submissions are accepted will be allowed to submit a full application. The new process would also flip the order in which petitions are reviewed and allocated, which would favor candidates with a master’s degree or higher.”

Entrepreneurship and Startups

Make 2019 the Year You Buy a Business, Small Biz Daily. “Retiring baby boomers are a key factor in the growing number of businesses for sale, BizBuySell reports. The majority (53%) of U.S. businesses are owned by baby boomers. However, 60% of boomers plan to sell their business within the next two years or less, compared to only 32% of all small business owners. In other words, there’s going to be a steady supply of businesses for sale, BizBuySell predicts.”

Three Reasons Buying a Franchise Might Be Better Than Starting Your Own Business, Entrepreneur. “Franchises are systems that have been tested and refined and tested again. And gaining access to that system gives you, as a franchisee, the ability to start faster, reduce your initial investment, and avoid mistakes.”

Reis & Irvy’s Offers Yogurt Franchise Powered by Robots, Small Biz Trends. “Instead of a storefront or stand, the company operates a series of machine-operated kiosks. Instead of employees, every machine is powered by robots.”

SCORE Webinar

Lean Canvas: Create Your Business Plan Quickly

January 8, 2019    11:00 a.m. ET

A key to starting and building a successful business is planning. Sometimes, a business plan is required, but it’s not always the answer to creating a successful business.  Sometimes, you need to think lean.

In this session, SCORE Mentor David Terrell will walk you through a Lean Canvas to help you create a “blueprint” of your business. He will provide practical tips and tools and teach you how to:

● Determine the key categories of starting, testing and growing your business

● Identify your target customers and what you need to do to get them to buy from you

● Recognize your customers’ problems and how your product or service will solve them

● Communicate your value propositions that set you apart from your competition

● Test your solutions and get valuable feedback

● Determine your cost structure, runway and revenue streams

● Monitor key metrics to determine your business’s initial and ongoing success

Register for FREE here.


Why this Midwestern City Has the Highest Concentration of Women Entrepreneurs in America, Inc. “The Windy City’s startup scene–which launched RxBar, Groupon, and GrubHub–is boosted by a strong talent pipeline from local MBA and engineering programs. Female founders in particular are drawn to Chicago: a solid third of the city’s startups are run by women.”

7 Businesses You Can Start with Your Kids, Business Insider. “People are starting businesses all the time, and kids should not be excluded from that. There are so many business ideas that let kids express their imagination, wonder and skills.”

Trends & Innovation

20 Small Business Trends and Predictions for 2019, Business Insider. “These 20 key ideas will likely be important focuses moving forward and should be on every small business owner’s radar.”

States Suffering Multi-Year Population Losses, SBE Council. “Nine states actually experienced a decline in population in 2018, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. However, eight of those states have now suffered an uninterrupted streak of multi-year population losses.”

How the Internet of Things Data is Driving Product Innovation, Forbes. “While many businesses employ IoT technology to improve customer service through remote monitoring and diagnostics, the devices and the data they generate are gaining traction in product development.”

5 Technology Trends Every Entrepreneur Must Know, Small Business Solutions. “Staying one step ahead of your competition these days requires being up on the latest technology and the ways it can help your business.”

Where the Jobs Will Be In 2019, Forbes. HINT: Everywhere, but here are the strongest markets…“Each quarter, ManpowerGroup conducts an Employment Outlook Survey to determine the hiring plans of employers in America’s 100 most populated metro areas. When seasonally adjusted, the report for the first quarter of 2019 reveals a net employment outlook of 20%, a 1% increase from both the first and final quarters of 2018.”


Small Business Insider

Don’t forget to sign up for SBE Council’s weekly “Small Business Insider” newsletter. It will keep you up-to-date on the latest trends, policy, and economic news that impact entrepreneurship and the growth of small businesses!  Sign up here.

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