Small Business Accelerator: Tips, Trends and Market Intelligence

By at 19 August, 2019, 11:57 am

Here is our latest roundup of articles, blog posts, upcoming events, and “how to” content to help your startup or small business succeed!

Sales, Marketing and Branding

Looking for tips on how to attract or retain customers? Join @SBAgov and industry experts, including SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan, for a Twitter chat that will provide tips on attracting new customers and keeping the ones you already have. Join the conversation or follow along with hashtag #SBAchat.

10 Tips to Improve Customer Experience in Your Small Business, Small Business Trends. “If you want to keep customers coming back to your business, you need to create a positive experience. There’s a lot that goes into cultivating that experience, from bringing in customers online to automating parts of the process so that it’s easier for everyone.”

The 7 Keys to Delivering Exceptional Customer Experiences, Startup Professionals. “Lack of engagement is very expensive. According to Lederman, engaged organizations grew profits as much as three times faster than their competitors. Highly engaged organizations have been shown to reduce staff turnover by 87 percent, improve performance by 20 percent, and increase customer satisfaction by at least 12 percent.”

Engaging Early Customers of Your Mobile App Will Help Your Business Grow, Small Biz Daily. “Although it is OK for the first customers to explore the mobile app on their own, it is critical for your startup to get the product/market fit right when the app is in the beta phase. And, that can happen through increased engagement with the first customers.”

New Markets: How to Contract with the Federal Government

GSA Webinar Series

GSA’s Office of Small Business Utilization will hold a series of webinars to help small business owners contract with the federal government.

Getting on the GSA Schedule: What You Need to Know | August 22, 2:00 pm ET
This virtual training course will outline what a GSA Schedule is and help you understand the process for getting on the GSA Schedule. Register here.

Marketing Your GSA Contract | August 27, 1:00 pm ET 
There are many opportunities available in the federal procurement market. Developing a federal marketing and sales strategy can help you achieve success in the federal sector. Register for this webinar to learn how to create an effective federal marketing plan with a targeted approach to government procurement. Register here

Startups and Entrepreneurship

6 Tips for Starting a Business That’s an Instant Hit With Locals, Entrepreneur. “Looking to start a business that resonates with locals? Take a cue from Proper Hospitality co-founder Brian De Lowe, who makes sure each of his new hotels authentically reflects its community.”

10 Keys to Your New Venture Success and Satisfaction, Startup Professionals. “Many experts have tried to clearly lay out the criteria for survival in a way that allows you to judge your own situation and your own temperament, and make a rational decision before starting down this path. I recommend the ten points in a classic book by Bill Murphy, Jr., titled “The Intelligent Entrepreneur,” outlining the keys to successful entrepreneurship.”

3 Ways to Spot Franchise Trends, SBA/Joel Libava – The Franchise King. “It’s important to know what consumers and small businesses are spending their money on. But it’s even more important to find out why they’re spending their money on something. What’s motivating them to do it? What trend or trends?”

50 Low Cost Business Ideas with High Profit Potential, Small Business Trends. “If you don’t have a ton of money or resources to get your business up and running, you can still hope to create a profitable business. You just need to choose the right idea.”

70% of New College Grads Would Prefer to Start Their Own Business, CPA Practice Advisor. “The entrepreneurial spirit in America is alive and well.”

The Rise of the Virtual Restaurant, New York Times. “Food delivery apps are reshaping the restaurant industry — and how we eat — by inspiring digital-only establishments that don’t need a dining room or waiters.”

Forget Retirement: Senior Citizens are Founding Small Businesses, and Research Shows More of Them are Likely to Succeed than Young Entrepreneurs, Business Insider. “According to Babson College’s 2016 State of Small Business in America report, 51% of small businesses are run by people aged 50 or over, up from 46% in 2007. And those small business are staying open longer than ones founded by younger generations: 70% of senior-run small businesses are still running three years after opening, compared to only 28% of businesses run by younger entrepreneurs.”

The Most Important Hires You’ll Make are Your First Employees, So How Do You Spot a Good One?, Inc. “These are the top 4 qualities every early-stage founder should look for when hiring their first employees.” 

Access to Capital and Financing

4 Fast Ways to Fund Your Business (Without Venture Capital), Inc. “Luckily for founders, there are other paths to fundraising outside of institutional capital. Each has their own unique value proposition, and tradeoffs. These alternatives can be the difference between success and bankruptcy.”

6 Keys to Convince Investors of Your Competitive Edge, Startup Professionals. “To survive for any length of time against competitors, you need a “sustainable competitive advantage.” This requires that you demonstrate a competitive lead today, as well as a plan and strategy to maintain that lead over time as the market evolves, and competitors with deep pockets try to replicate your advantage.”

Management and Operations

Want to Play Music Legally at Your Small Business? Read This First, Small Business Trends. “The DOJ is reviewing two music antitrust consent decrees which have been around since the 1940s. And with this review, the way how music is played live, broadcasted and streamed could change. If the changes go through, it will eventually mean higher/more fees for businesses that play music in their establishment. But it also applies to online companies, movie companies and commercials.”

What are ARPs and How Do They Work?, Big Ideas for Small Business®. “The U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule that will expand accessibility of affordable retirement plans to small businesses…the final rule makes it clear that employers using an ARP do not have to be in the same industry or within the same geographic area. And sole proprietors and other business owners without employees can participate in an ARP.”   

The Economy

Consumer Sentiment Declined in Early August to its Lowest Level Since the Start of the Year, Survey of Consumers, University of Michigan. “Monetary and trade policies have heightened consumer uncertainty—but not pessimism—about their future financial prospects. Consumers strongly reacted to the proposed September increase in tariffs on Chinese imports, spontaneously cited by 33% of all consumers in early August, barely below the recent peak of 37%. Although the announced delay until Christmas postpones its negative impact on consumer prices, it still raises concerns about future price increases.”

July Retail Numbers: Solid Gains, SBE Council. “Since March of this year, solid retail sales growth have pointed to consumers feeling good. That was reflected in the second quarter GDP data as well. The July retail sales data point to consumer optimism continuing into the first month of the third quarter.”

Job Market Remains Strong: The Latest Data on Openings, Hires and Quits, SBE Council. “The job openings rate (i.e., job openings divided by total employment plus job openings) in June came in at 4.6 percent, and has remained in a record high range – from 4.5 percent to 4.8 percent – since April 2018. (As noted in Chart 1, this data set goes back to December 2000.)”

July’s Retail Data, the Markets and Economic Outlook

On August 15, SBE Council president Karen Kerrigan joined Fox Business to discuss issues impacting markets & the economy. This segment covered July’s positive retail data, small business confidence and where it may be headed, and what President Trump needs to do to fuel future growth. Watch the segment here.

Personal Improvement and Success

5 Self-Branding Tips for Small Business Owners, Small Business Trends. “Personal branding can help entrepreneurs become authorities in their field, separate from what their company offers. By becoming a public figure, business owners can develop new and fortuitous relationships and connections, recapture momentum if a business does fail, or even create entirely new businesses much faster.”

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