Small Business Accelerator: Tips, Trends and Market Intelligence for Entrepreneurs

By at 3 February, 2019, 11:45 am


Was it me, or did January 2019 fly right by?

In my recent conversations with business owners and entrepreneurs, some feel a bit behind in keeping up with their 2019 goals. Things in business sometimes do not go as planned, and that is why flexibility and resilience are incredibly important traits to have – and call upon – in the world of entrepreneurship.

In this week’s Small Business Accelerator, I share some solid content on innovation, and resources for understanding and learning about trends in the marketplace. Many areas of the economy remain ripe for disruption, and existing businesses can always innovate to gain a competitive advantage.

I always love a great entrepreneurial success story, and I’ve selected a few that provide inspiration and practical know-how. Enjoy these resources, and keep moving forward!

Karen Kerrigan, President & CEO, SBE Council

National Small Business Week Awards

The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended the deadline for the 2019 National Small Business Week Awards nominations.  Now, all nominations must be submitted no later than 3 p.m. EST, February 4, 2019. All nomination packages must be hand delivered or mailed to the nearest SBA Office.  Email submissions of SBA Awards forms will not be accepted as they contain personally identifiable information (PII).

Since 1963, National Small Business Week has recognized the outstanding achievements of America’s small businesses for their contributions to their local communities, and to our nation’s economy. A National Small Business Week award is one of the nation’s highest honors for small business achievement.

Submit a nomination 

Branding, Marketing & Sales

9 Ideas for Transforming Your In-Store Checkout Space, Small Business Trends. “Doing away with cashiers altogether is pretty extreme. However, in a recent survey by Zebra, 80% of retail decision-makers and 49% of retail associates believe new technology is making the traditional checkout area less necessary than it used to be.”

10 Keys to Innovative Branding, Startup Professionals. “It’s a major failure today to attempt a rollout of an innovative product or solution without an equally innovative digital branding strategy and plan. Even the best products won’t sell or be remembered if they can’t be found or differentiated by customers.”

The 16 Best Small Business Marketing Blogs You Should Read in 2019, CrowdSpring. “Wouldn’t it be great to cut to the chase and go straight to the best resources for great new small business marketing ideas?  We’ve got your back.”

Trends (and Opportunities) in the Marketplace

Restaurant Trends 2019: As Small Businesses Focus on Consumer Ease, Restaurants Follow, Bank of America. “Restaurant trends these days are more focused on operational efficiency The continued shift toward an on-demand society is forcing restaurants to provide customers with delicious food in a timely manner through delivery, and mobile order/pickup. This is happening in both QSR [quick service] and casual dining. Not so much in fine dining.”

Hot Businesses, Markets & Trends 2019

SCORE Webinar – February 7, 2019 – 1:00 p.m. ET

Whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to start a business or an existing business owner trying to grow, you need to know about 2019’s hottest industries, business ideas, products and markets.

Attend this session, presented by small business expert and best-selling author Rieva Lesonsky, to find out what specific businesses are poised to grow this year and which trends can help your small business grow.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

● How to market to baby boomers and Generations X, Y and Z

● Why consumer and B2B buying habits are changing

● Which demographic buys more “stuff” than any other

● How to get into the food business—for less

And much more!  Register for FREE, or learn more here.

The Sharing Economy is Changing Rules, Startup Professionals. “Yes, the sharing economy is changing the rules of business, and opening a wealth of opportunity for innovative entrepreneurs around the world. Those that recognize it early still have time to ride the wave, and those that don’t will lose out on a lucrative way of doing business. It’s time to start caring about sharing.”

6 Little-Known Startups Where Jeff Bezos Has Invested Millions, Inc. “Where is Bezos putting his money these days? Into a handful of companies you’ve probably never heard of. But chances are you will, especially now that they have the Amazon founder’s money and smarts backing them.”


5 Money Moves Your Business Should Consider in 2019, American Express. For entrepreneurs and business owners, the beginning of the year is a great time to review your financial habits and situation to help you earn more and leverage current resources. Five options are explored in this piece: From utilizing key provisions in the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” to lining up funding ahead of time rather that when you hit a cash crunch or need immediate resources to expand, the advice provided by these experts can help you stay ahead of the game in 2019.

These Red Flags on Your 2018 Tax Return May Spark Interest from the IRS, CNBC. “The one item that puts you most at risk for an audit is making a lot of money. If you earn more than $1 million, the audit rate jumps to 5.8 percent, IRS data show. However, even if your income is lower, don’t assume your tax return won’t generate attention — income isn’t the only consideration. Here are some things that could cause the IRS to look more closely at your 2018 tax return.”

The 50-Word Blurb and the 5-Slide Deck, Entrepreneur. “Your goal on this initial communication is to pique their interest to the point that they ask for more. Then you can ask them for the NDA. When they see the Spartan size of your initial presentation, you’re saying, ‘Don’t worry; this won’t take all night!’”

Save Time and Money by Automating Your Finances

SCORE Webinar – February 12, 2019 – 1:00 p.m. ET

Managing your money as a business owner can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be so stressful.

This webinar presented by Justin Krane, Certified Financial Planner ™ practitioner and Founder of Krane Financial Solutions, will explain how to take control of your money by using systems that prevent you from wasting time, help you save money, and take care of yourself first.

Join this session and learn about:

● Setting money aside for taxes to be prepared by April 15th

● Getting clear on where your money is going so that you don’t guess at making financial decisions

● Creating an automatic investment plan so your money works for you and doesn’t just sit

● The specific types of accounts to set up for your personal and business money

● The only way to pay yourself first

Learn more, or Register for FREE here.

Management and Growth Strategies

10 Thinking Methods that Foster Innovation, Startup Professionals. “As an entrepreneur, it’s your responsibility and your challenge to be the leader and role model in fostering and rewarding innovation-thinking in your business. Your long-term survival and satisfaction depend on it.”

Success and Inspiration

This Founder Declined a $9 Million Acquisition at Age 18 and Built One of the Most Trafficked Sites, Forbes. “Josh Abramson turned down a $9 million offer to buy his first business at just 18. Since then he has sold follow up ventures for tens of millions of dollars, and participated in funding other founders….Josh Abramson shares his journey as a founder and some of the most important learnings he got during the process of building and scaling multiple successful companies.”

How This Entrepreneur Went from Zero to $100 Million in a Year in Sales Within 24 Months of Launching, Forbes. “Taking Richard Branson’s approach to finding a really big category ripe for a cultural shift, the founding duo stumbled on the dish soap sector. Which at the time was a bland sea of unattractive bottles that would be hidden under the kitchen sink. That was probably the best place for the cleaning products of those days that contributed to so many childhood poisonings….With a little elbow grease Method Products was born at the apex of high design and green sustainable products.”

This Entrepreneur Hit Rock Bottom Before Building a Billion-Dollar Jewelry Empire (with Only $500), Inc. “The designer behind the eponymous jewelry company Kendra Scott was divorced with two small children when the Great Recession hit. So she made an audacious bet: to open her own store.”

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