Growing a Business

Fresno’s WET-incubated Companies Raised $7M Last Year

Date
Wed, 2014-01-22 01:25

One of the region’s best-known hubs for business startup assistance, the Central Valley Business Incubator has recently assumed a new title with a revamped mission focused on helping entrepreneurs in the water and energy sector.

Since its establishment in 1996, the Fresno-based organization has been providing startup and expanding companies with business consultation, education, access to capital and even office space to help them make their ventures profitable.

Free Library Collaborative Workspaces are Hubs for Entrepreneurs

Date
Wed, 2014-01-22 23:15

The entrepreneur incubator, once the place in laboratory outposts of universities to grow startups, are now at the center of libraries throughout Arizona where there are fresh, expert resources available. Best of all—the library resources are free. 

The library’s co-working space, repurposed into collaborative workspaces, serve as the new hub for entrepreneurs or small business getting started and in need of people to help in the process.

Quick Facts:

My Biz: Mount Vernon Confections Owner Finds Sweet Success

Date
Thu, 2014-02-13 14:00

Mickey Miller doesn’t hesitate to admit that she hates to cook.

“I’m not a complicated recipe person,” she said. “But I have always loved baking. When I am in the kitchen I like to figure out how to make a recipe right and maintain the quality.”

Those are wise words coming from a woman who has spent the last couple of years honing her skills as a chocolatier.

Miller owns Mount Vernon Confections, a chocolate shop that prides itself on high quality, simple chocolate made from top of the line ingredients.

The SCORE Small Business Success Podcast features interviews with the best and brightest in the world of small business, covering topics such as business plans, financing, marketing, human resources, SEO, social media and more. Listen to this podcast to hear SCORE mentor Hal Shelton share his insights on developing strategies for your small business.

If you are planning to start a business, grow an existing business, or start a nonprofit, this podcast is for you. Wherever you are in your journey, you have a need to develop the knowledge and plans to guide you to a successful business operation.  While this learning and planning process takes many forms, shapes, and levels of intensity, it is all considered part of the business planning process.  Learn how a well thought out business plan can dramatically turn the odds in your favor.

Customers – and, yes, that means YOUR customers, too – are spending more time on social media and mobile devices than ever before.

As a result, small business owners are increasingly using social media as a way to not just communicate with customers, but to provide various forms of customer service as well. 

Using social media for customer service offers great advantages. It’s fast, for one thing, and lets you easily provide personalized responses that can also be seen (and appreciated) by others.

By monitoring social channels you might also discover customers with issues you weren’t aware of and might otherwise not have realized were a problem. Not everyone will pick up the phone or send an email to alert you, but they might comment on the issue in social media.

About the Author

Daniel Kehrer, Founder & Managing Director of BizBest Media Corp., is a nationally-known, award-winning expert on small and local business, start-ups, content marketing, entrepreneurship and social media, with an MBA from UCLA/Anderson. Read more of Daniel's tips at www.BizBest.com, follow him at www.twitter.com/140Main and connect on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/danielkehrer.

The role that pricing plays in the financial structure and competitive profile of a small business is often misunderstood.  Many business owners and entrepreneurs automatically assume that price increases put them at a disadvantage. But that’s not necessary so if you have a clear strategy for setting prices at your business. Some pricing experts, for example, argue that small, strategically targeted price increases can actually give a company a competitive edge. 

The key is to bridge the disconnect that exists between pricing strategy and profits for so many businesses, both large and small.  Proper pricing is more complex that most of us realize. Business owners usually see pricing as a mix of markups, margins and matching the competition – plus a modicum of “gut feeling.”

About the Author

Daniel Kehrer, Founder & Managing Director of BizBest Media Corp., is a nationally-known, award-winning expert on small and local business, start-ups, content marketing, entrepreneurship and social media, with an MBA from UCLA/Anderson. Read more of Daniel's tips at www.BizBest.com, follow him at www.twitter.com/140Main and connect on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/danielkehrer.

Surviving a Continued Slow Recovery

Date
Tue, 2014-02-04 17:55

Surviving a Continued Slow Recovery—Three Business Strategies

By Bruce Barrett – Certified SCORE Mentor

Ask SCORE

             I’ve been an independent media and public relation consultant for almost a year. As a first-time self-employed tax filer, what business deductions am I entitled to?

 

About the Author

         This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly
70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one
business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit
merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer

Branching out and making your business into a franchise is a great way to grow your brand and your revenue, but it isn’t without a lot of work. You’re dealing with several different managers and staff, different locations, but one overall budget. While you might have a solid plan in place about how you’re going to evaluate these managers, how you’re going to hire, etc., SEO and online concerns seem to fall into a weird place. Should you manage all SEO at the national branch level, or is this best put into the hands of franchisees?

About the Author

Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for the nationally recognized SEO Company HigherVisibility.com that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country. 

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