Monday, March 11, 2019

how to start a small business

how to start a small business

Organization in Iraq's Kurdish Region Helps College Graduates Start Businesses - Voice of America

Posted: 10 Mar 2019 03:13 PM PDT

One of the biggest concerns for university graduates in Iraq is finding a job. Young graduates often seek the government's help to find employment, but in the city of Sulaymaniyah in Iraq's Kurdish region there's another alternative. An organization called 5-1 Labs helps train and fund young graduates who want to start a small business. VOA's Rebaz Majeed attended the organization's first seminar and filed this report narrated by Bezhan Hamdard.

4 Steps To Coming Up With A Great Business Idea - Forbes

Posted: 09 Mar 2019 01:21 PM PST

By Rieva Lesonsky

You know you want to start a business. You can't wait to tell your boss, "I'm out of here" and become your own boss. Only one thing stands in your way: you need a business idea.

You might have a general idea of starting a business in a certain industry. For instance, maybe you've always wanted to open a restaurant, but should it be a chic dinner spot, a cozy breakfast cafĂ©, or an ethnic cuisine eatery? Or maybe you have no idea what type of business to start.

There's nothing wrong with that. Legendary stories aside, few entrepreneurs grow up knowing exactly what they want to do. If you aren't sure what type of business to start, that doesn't mean you can't be an entrepreneur. It just means you need to take some extra steps to come up with a business idea. Here are four helpful steps to get started:

Follow these four simple steps to come up with a brilliant idea for your startup.© Alistair Cotton- Adobe Stock

Step 1: Get your creativity flowing

Inspire yourself by gathering as much information as possible about business in general, small business, and trends that relate to business. If you're considering a specific industry, get lots of information about that industry, too. For example, if you think you might want to start a restaurant, read restaurant industry publications and websites. Visit every restaurant in your area. Visit competitors to restaurants, such as food courts, bars, grab-and-go eateries, and mobile food trucks. You never know where inspiration will come from.

Step 2: Consider the businesses you rely on in your daily life

What do your favorite companies have in common? Maybe you're hooked on Amazon because it makes your life super simple. Or you might be a fan of the local independent sandwich shop where the staff is so friendly and knows your order in advance. Perhaps there's a little boutique where you can always find unique gifts for your friends. Note down everything that comes to mind about why you keep patronizing these companies—amazing customer service, unique products, the best pastrami you've ever had, or whatever keeps you coming back.

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Step 3: Think about problems you face

In a typical day, what frustrates you? It doesn't need to be a big thing—even a little task you wish was easier to do could inspire a business idea. If enough other people feel the same way, you might have found your brilliant idea. If you and your family love sushi, but there isn't a decent sushi restaurant within 50 miles, what can you do? If there's sufficient demand, you could start a sushi restaurant, start a sushi delivery service, or offer to sell local grocery stores fresh prepared sushi daily. Survey your family, friends, and coworkers to uncover their frustrations and you'll get even more ideas. Some of the most successful businesses out there arose from unmet needs.

Step 4: Weed down your ideas

By now, you'll have dozens of possible business ideas. Now it's time to narrow them down. Get friends, family members, and business people you know together to see what they think. Then get some impartial people in the target market you're considering (such as sushi lovers) to tell you what they'd want to see in a business serving their sushi cravings.

Don't just talk to friends and family members about your business idea. They're not impartial, so they'll either shower you with praise or discourage you from taking the risk of starting a business. Find impartial prospects, business experts, and others you can ask for feedback on your brilliant idea.

With a little brainstorming, you can come up with a successful business idea that really makes it rain.

I am CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email me at, follow me on Google+ and Twitter @Rieva, and visit my website to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for my free TrendCast reports. Read all of Rieva Lesonsky's articles.

RELATED: How to Turn Your Side Hustle Idea Into a Real Business

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Facebook's Workplace App Targets Slack, Microsoft Teams...And Other Small Business Tech News This Week - Forbes

Posted: 10 Mar 2019 05:00 AM PDT

© 2016 Bloomberg Finance LP

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — Facebook's Workplace reaches 2M paid users and is targeting SMBs.


Used by some of the world's largest organizations, Workplace by Facebook has now amassed two million paid users, according to data just released by the company. When launching Workplace in late 2016, Facebook envisioned it as a corporate version of its consumer social network—a way to drive employee engagement, communication and collaboration. Since then, 150 companies have deployed Workplace to more than 10,000 users, and organizations such as NestlĂ©, Starbucks and Walmart have rolled it out to more 100,000 workers. (Source: Computer World)

Why this is important for your business:

Now that the application has matured, Facebook is turning towards the giant small business market, which is mostly dominated by collaboration apps Slack and Microsoft Teams. But there's certainly room to grow. The company plans to add reseller and other consulting partners (if your business in interested you can sign up here), develop a more robust mobile version and potentially change its marketing approach to appeal to this broader audience.

2 — Microsoft will start selling Windows 7 add-on support April 1 and will also release a new Windows 10 in April.

This week, Microsoft announced that it plans to start selling its Windows 7 add-on support—called Extended Security Updates (ESU)—on April 1. This will give enterprise customers more time to purge their environments of Windows 7. Beginning when Windows 7's support ends on January 14, 2020, ESU will provide security fixes for uncovered or reported vulnerabilities in the operating system. Also this week, Microsoft released a new Windows 10 preview with 9 bug fixes. It will be finalized for Windows Insiders this month and rolled out to the public in April. (Source: Computer World and Venture Beat)

Why this is important for your business:

This spring is a good time for you to review your network with your IT firm, clean out any old operating systems and upgrade to the most current versions.  It's not just a matter of performance and support…it's critical for your company's security.


3 — Google Cloud launches a fixed monthly fee plan for storage that smooths out cloud cost bursts.

Google Cloud will soon launch a storage plan called Storage Growth Plan which covers cost bursts by featuring fixed monthly pricing for a year. It gives enterprise CFOs more budgeting predictability related to cloud infrastructure costs, which can be volatile as data shifts locations and resides on different tiers. The Storage Growth Plan rhymes with data plans from wireless providers that roll over minutes, as well as with the way enterprises are used to buying IT infrastructure--based on a fixed dollar amount. (Source: ZDNet)

Why this is important for your business:

If your business is data intensive, then take a hard look at Google's Storage Growth Plan. It'll help you better budget and control your cloud storage costs.

4 — Phishing alert: one in 61 emails in your inbox now contains a malicious link.

Security provider Mimecast reported this week that the number of phishing attacks on corporate inboxes has more than doubled recently, with one in 61 emails found to contain a malicious URL. These harmful links are one of the key methods hackers use to conduct criminal campaigns, and the emails containing them are often designed to look like they come from legitimate senders, such as a colleague or a company. Their purposed is to deploy malware onto the victim's PC or to encourage that person to enter sensitive information into a fake version of a real service in order to trick him or her into revealing passwords and other data. (Source: ZDNet)


Why this is important for your business:

The best way to fight this problem is through training.  The vast majority of security issues happens due to user error – people clicking or downloading the wrong the thing.

5— DARPA is launching an accelerator for small businesses.

The Pentagon's research funding arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), just announced the launch of an accelerator for small businesses. It would accelerate private companies, so that they could sell their products, services, or research back to the government. (Source: The Sociable)

Why this is important for your business:

Here's a great way to get funding – and assistance – from the government. The goal of DARPA's program is to increase the participants' ability to move technology from the lab to a sustainable business that then sells new capabilities to the military. The accelerator will also provide funding to hire one entrepreneur-in-residence or business development lead who will offer the awardee direct support for a variety of business activities.



Gene Marks is a CPA and owns The Marks Group PC, a technology consulting firm based near Philadelphia.

CS Global Partners: Business Is Thriving in St Kitts and Nevis with US$3m Boost and Citizenship Programme Support - Associated Press

Posted: 10 Mar 2019 06:14 PM PDT

This content is a press release from our partner Business Wire. The AP newsroom and editorial departments were not involved in its creation.

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar 10, 2019--Local business in the Caribbean islands of St Kitts and Nevis is thriving as small and medium enterprises were announced that they will soon be able to access a US$3-million funding pool. According to a recent press release issued by the Office of the Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, the CARICOM Development Fund signed a concessional loan agreement with the Federation as part of the second cycle of the eight-year Country Assistance Programme.

The funding aims to facilitate entrepreneurs' access to technical and financial assistance, improve competitiveness and productive capacity, promote innovation, boost employment rates and accelerate economic growth on the islands. The beneficiary sectors include women and youth start-ups, light manufacturing, agri-business and agriculture, tourism, infrastructure and sustainability.

The financial support is important to address the problem resident business owners are said to be facing in accessing funds. Prime Minister Timothy Harris explained that "access to funding has been identified repeatedly as one of the main challenges to small businesses." As a result, all citizens of St Kitts and Nevis that qualify for the scheme are "encouraged to take full advantage of this opportunity," mentions the release issued by the Prime Minister's Press Unit.

Prior to this, an additional US$1.33m was agreed on for the Enhancement of Frigate Bay as another component of the second cycle of the Country Assistance Programme. A similar end purpose serves the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) under the twin-island nation's Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme. It channels funds from foreign investors seeking the country's valuable citizenship into socio-economic initiatives on the islands, such as supporting entrepreneurship or the development of tourism, amongst others. Every applicant contributes with at least US$150,000 to the SGF and the reason it works well is because it remains the most straightforward and secure route to St Kitts and Nevis' citizenship.

Increased foreign investment under CBI has been growing sustainably in St Kitts and Nevis due to the country's unrivalled experience as the world's longest-serving citizenship by investment programme. A recent World Justice Project report ranked it within the top 30 countries across the globe for rule of law, explaining why applicants looking to become economic citizens in a law-abiding system often opt for St Kitts and Nevis specifically.

CS Global Partners is the international legal advisory mandated by the Government to promote the Citizenship by Investment Programme.

View source version on

CONTACT: Thomas Kohn




SOURCE: CS Global Partners

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 03/10/2019 08:56 PM/DISC: 03/10/2019 08:56 PM

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