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Find financing for your small business | Business - PostBulletin.comFind financing for your small business | Business - PostBulletin.comTips and advice for small business owners on Talking Points with TPG’s Richard Kerr - The Points GuyThe Joys Of Owning A Self-Managed Small Business - ForbesFour Tips For Small, Local Business Marketers Looking To Up Their Game In 2020 - ForbesIN-STEP gives small businesses international opportunities - Country 103.9 WRBIFind financing for your small business | Business - PostBulletin.comPosted: 22 Jan 2020 02:30 AM PST Choosing the right financing option for your small business — and figuring out which ones you can get — can feel confusing or overwhelming. Over the past few weeks, I have received several requests for help regarding this topic from small business CEOs and entrepreneurs attempting to start a business.This column contains some great information given to SCORE by Nav Technologies Inc., one of SCORE's many content contributors. In thei…

Creating connections is crucial for small business | UNR Business - Reno Gazette Journal

Creating connections is crucial for small business | UNR Business - Reno Gazette Journal


Creating connections is crucial for small business | UNR Business - Reno Gazette Journal

Posted: 12 Aug 2019 08:00 AM PDT

Brad Scribner Published 8:00 a.m. PT Aug. 12, 2019

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Time that isn't well spent is wasted. Entrepreneurs, get an assistant so you can spend more time working on your passion and your small business. USA TODAY

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In any business environment, making connections and expanding outreach can have a massive impact on your company's bottom line. Along with increased market visibility, networking can bring opportunities to develop relationships with like-minded business owners and build a sense of camaraderie that can help sustain an entrepreneur through their darkest hours. If you've ever found yourself needing a resource, a new employee or just a fresh perspective, networking can connect you to those with answers.

"Small businesses need to continually think about connecting with people," said Pasquale Iovinella, founder of Pasquale Iovinella Neckties. "Networking is not only important for growing a customer base, but it is also important for small business owners to have a place to relate with other entrepreneurs and talk about all aspects of running a business. Networking can help you brainstorm new ideas, work through challenges, do market research and more."

When it comes to building your professional network, there are two main strategies to employ: one-on-one conversations or one-to-many engagement opportunities.

More: Online? On-site? Both are important for small business! | UNR Business

One-to-one connections

There is validity to the idea that great business ideas are discussed over a million cups of coffee. A series of individual conversations with potential customers, partners, investors and other entrepreneurs can help any business owner grow their business. These connections can start anywhere, from an introduction at a traditional networking event to a referral from a friend of a friend's neighbor. The more individual conversations you have, the more opportunities will present themselves. Everyone you talk to about your business will have insight or introductions to share, which leads to more conversations, more connections and ultimately, more success. While talking about your business is great, building genuine relationships is all about listening. Listening leads to understanding and that's when mutually beneficial opportunities begin to appear.

"Business is really all about making connections and maintaining those relationships," said Sarah Klagenberg, marketing coordinator for Davidson's Organic Tea.

More: Passing the baton in the small business world

One-to-many opportunities

In addition to engaging at an individual level, business owners also should seek out opportunities to engage with groups of like-minded people. Participating in industry associations or business memberships can yield many benefits, such as access to industry data and reports, introductions to potential partners or suppliers, and generally, it can add credibility or legitimacy to your business among other industry professionals. Associating your brand with others in the same industry or geography can open many doors, as it exposes your company to many people you might not have reached — or reached as easily — otherwise.

In addition, there are many other membership opportunities to consider. One example is the statewide marketing cooperative, Made in Nevada, which facilitates and emphasizes connections between Nevada businesses. Through digital marketing and introductions, as well as events like the quarterly BizBash and annual Showcase Nevada, Made in Nevada offers businesses the chance to showcase their product and connect with other business owners around the state.

No matter your business size, scale or sector, creating connections and alliances is crucial to business success. Whether those ties are as small as one impactful conversation or as large as an ongoing partnership, business success is built on connection. Collaborating makes all involved more empowered than they would be individually.

For help growing your network through introductions or association memberships, contact the Nevada Small Business Development Center (www.nevadasbdc.org) to set up an appointment.

Brad Scribner is the project manager for Made in Nevada. When he's not helping Nevada businesses connect with each other through events and programs, he enjoys connecting with friends and businesses one-on-one, usually at a local pub.

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Small Business Center Helps Entrepreneurs Determine Steps For Expansion - Long Beach Business Journal - Long Beach News

Posted: 12 Aug 2019 05:11 AM PDT

For aspiring entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a business but have no clear path on how to get started, the Long Beach Small Business Development Center (SBDC) aims to serve as a roadmap.

Hosted by Long Beach City College at 4900 E. Conant St., the SBDC is a product of the Small Business Administration (SBA), a United States government agency that provides support to small businesses. Offering services at no cost, the SBDC offers one-on-one consultations with specialists and hosts workshops to inform clients about growing their business. "We help clients understand how to prioritize what they should be doing so it doesn't become this massive exercise in trying to do this and trying to do that," Brad Pollock, director of the Long Beach SBDC, said.

Long Beach Small Business Development Center Director Brad Pollock
Brad Pollock, director of the Long Beach Small Business Development Center, said the center assists entrepreneurs with one-on-one advising. The no-cost center also offers specialized workshops throughout the region. (Photograph by Brandon Richardson)

In the event that someone is thinking of starting a business, Pollock often recommends attending SBDC workshops before meeting an advisor. He said most individuals who have thought of a business concept and attend the workshops realize they need to do more research or flesh out their ideas further. "They offer tremendously helpful information, all of which is thought provoking and allows people, we hope, to be able to make the right decisions," Pollock said.

The SBDC workshops include topics entitled "Starting A Small Business" and "Creating An Effective Business Plan." Hosted either onsite or at community centers throughout the county, the workshops are intended to deliver information such as start-up expenses and financing, outlining a business plan and expanding business ideas. The workshops are free. A full schedule is available at longbeachsbdc.org/workshops.

Seyed Jalali, City of Long Beach economic development officer, said the SBDC is part of the economic development operations of LBCC, which has served as the host of the center since 2006. As the center's legal entity, LBCC enters agreements or contracts and assumes the legal obligations of the SBDC.

The Long Beach SBDC is part of the Los Angeles Regional SBDC Network, which assists small business owners throughout Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. As such, the SBDC serves around 17 cities in the region with a team of about 12 advisors, Pollock said. According to the SBA, there are 64 SBDCs in the country.

Per a contractual agreement with the city, the SBDC receives $115,000 a year through a Community Development Block Grant to provide services at the site, according to Jalali.

Jalali said the city's economic development department and the SBDC work closely together to refer clients to one another. He added that the SBDC is a crucial ally in referring clients to the city's loan programs, for instance. "They are really the primary provider of technical assistance for the entrepreneurs who subsequently find their way to the city for access to capital," he said. "We heavily rely on partners, such as the SBDC, to provide that basic and fundamental training for our clients."

Two local businesses that have benefited from SBDC services over the years are WonderTent Parties and On Stage Music Academy.

Trish Healy is owner of the Los Angeles-based WonderTent Parties, a sleepover and special event company that serves kids and adults. After attending two workshops, Healy said she was assigned SBDC's Mike Huntley as an advisor. Huntley helped structure the mission of her business before she officially launched it in 2017. To this day, he still provides ongoing consultations with Healy about her business. "[The advisors] treat you like they [are] going to support you," she said. "No question was too silly. . . . He was really thoughtful, responsive and he just knew his stuff."

On Stage Music Academy, located at 2221 Palo Verde Ave. in Long Beach, was launched by owner Bill McRae in 2014. The academy provides music instruction, such as instrumental and voice lessons in private and group settings. McRae, who approached the SBDC a year before opening the academy, said the center was a significant part in determining if the business should launch. "We picked up a few things here and there [through workshops], but mostly their individual help is what kicked us forward," he said. "Having their expertise helped me move much quicker . . . as opposed to me doubting [the concept] and probably not doing it at that point."

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