Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Business Sense: Why start a small business? - Albuquerque Journal

Business Sense: Why start a small business? - Albuquerque Journal


Business Sense: Why start a small business? - Albuquerque Journal

Posted: 30 Sep 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Brad Crowson is the regional manager for WESST, a nonprofit small-business development and training organization.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Earlier this month at his campaign stop in Rio Rancho, President Trump declared that New Mexico business registrations were up almost 30 percent this year, a clear indication people are feeling confident that now might be a good time to begin pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams.

Why do people decide the entrepreneurial path is right for them?

Many aspiring entrepreneurs are confident they're bringing something unique to the table that satisfies some unmet need or unsolved problem in the marketplace. They believe they can provide consumers value with what they feel will be an exceptional product or service.

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In fact, they've often fully fleshed out their business idea and validated it with potential customers before they ever invest significant capital or other resources.

These potential small-business owners are passionate about what they do, have sufficient start-up capital and experience, and are well-prepared to bring their unique talents and perspectives to the entrepreneurial challenge. All of the above are worthwhile reasons to start a business and indicate a considerably higher chance for success.

However, there are many that invest an abundance of time, resources and capital in starting businesses for what are often questionable reasons. Here are just a few:

• You hate your job…or boss: Remember that everyone has a boss or someone they answer to. As a small-business owner, you'll still be answering to customers, suppliers, employees, investors, lenders, regulators, etc. The list is pretty much endless. Also, remember that you alone are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the business.

• The money: There are tremendous challenges that arise every day when running your own business. Know that having the patience, resilience and stubbornness to keep moving forward is often far more difficult when you're in the early stages of the business and future profitability is uncertain.

• You'd like to work less and have more flexibility: Understand that being a successful small-business owner generally demands a tremendous commitment in time and energy. Expect to work longer and harder than you ever have if you want to be successful.

Being responsive to your customers is the only way you can remain competitive in today's market. You're never off the clock.

• You believe you have a great business idea but haven't vetted it fully: Do the legwork up front before you invest significant time or capital in the business.

Get out and talk to people. Find out if the market will support your business idea.

Are there enough potential customers to allow you to create a sustainable business model?

• For fun: Sure, operating your own business can prove to be incredibly rewarding and enjoyable, but not always. Enjoy the good times but be prepared for the bad. Be resilient.

Small business ownership is challenging, rewarding and comes with a high degree of risk. Take the time to do a full self-assessment, investigate the opportunity fully and make sure you move forward for the right reasons.

(Brad Crowson is the regional manager for WESST, a nonprofit small-business development and training organization.)

Small business is big business for Berks County [Column] - Reading Eagle

Posted: 07 Oct 2019 04:43 PM PDT

Written by John Scott

Kutztown, PA —

Berks County is thriving as small businesses constitute a large portion of the success, draw and economics of the region. Recently, you may have read about many new businesses opening in Berks County and many well-established businesses celebrating milestones and expansions.

In the Northeast Berks region alone, one can cite a few recent examples: DLB Donut Lovers Boom at 236 W. Main St., in Kutztown, reopened the main street donut shop in late August. Also in Kutztown, a pizza shop at 478 W. Main St., Luigi's Pizzeria, opened. Two businesses that experienced expansion and growth this year, were City Cuts Barbershop at 126 W. Main St., moving from the back of its building to the front increasing its capacity, and Silver Maple Veterinary Clinic located at 14993 Kutztown Road, expanded and renovated its facility.

In Reading, Platinum Cafe & Lounge, a Latin American Restaurant, located at 1925 Centre Ave. opened and Mi Casa Su Casa Cafe, a Caribbean Restaurant, located at 320 Penn St., is celebrating 12 years in business, recently remodeled its location and has announced a second location in West Reading. Homemade Cravings is a bakery located at 50 N. Fifth Street that celebrated its grand opening. Also in West Reading, earlier this year, Beer Wall On Penn, a restaurant featuring self-service beer taps, opened at 619 Penn Ave. Nearby in Wyomissing, Sly Fox Brewing Co. opened its first taphouse at 820 Knitting Mills Way. Lazy Dog Vintage, a furniture store in Hamburg, is moving to a larger space on State Street.

These examples are all small businesses, owned-and-operated by local individuals, families and partners employing local people. Small businesses make up the bulk of American businesses and also the bulk of job creation in the country. Small businesses are also innovators and develop emerging technology.

Small businesses have advantages over big businesses — they have the ability to be agile and overcome challenges. They can change and customize their service and/or product quickly and have long-lasting deep relationships with clients and communities. According to the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration, small businesses create two out of three new private-sector jobs. The SBA defines a small business as a business with fewer than 500 employees.

In Berks County, we have a great support network for small businesses. There is the Small Business Development Center which operates out of Kutztown University and Berks Schuylkill SCORE with many individual mentors and volunteers. Both of these organizations offer great workshops and offer assistance to start-ups and established small businesses.

The county is also supported by three chambers of commerce: Berks County Latino Chamber of Commerce, Greater Reading Chamber Alliance and Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce. Another valuable resource is the Small Business Administration website at www.SBA.gov. The local Berks County and Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development are providing resources, state and local support in navigating commerce, state regulations and local regulations.

Community Development, Main Street and Business Organizations such as Building a Better Boyertown, Kutztown Community Partnership, West Reading Elm Street, West Reading Main Street, Oley Valley Business Association, Our Town Foundation, Berks County Community Foundation and Community First Fund, are other resources for small businesses to gain support and education and to network and collaborate with other owners and get local support.

With all these resources, it's no wonder that according to the latest information from the state Department of Community and Economic Development and the SBA Office of Advocacy State Economic Profiles there are 31,995 Small Businesses in Berks County (measured by the business having less than 500 employees) and that makes up 99.93% of the total businesses in the county. The largest portion of small businesses has between zero and five employees. So whether you are an established business owner, starting your own business, work at a small business or shop at a small business, living and working in Berks County is made even better by all of these small businesses.

Remember that when you shop at your local small business, you are supporting your neighbor.

John Scott is president of the Northeast Berks Chamber of Commerce and vice president of community lending for Community First Fund.

10 Ideas for Starting and Building Your Business From the Ground Up - Small Business Trends

Posted: 14 Sep 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Running a business requires constantly finding new sources of inspiration. You might draw from other business experts, social media platforms or even exotic locations around the world. Whether you're just getting started in business or have years of experience under your belt, you may be able to benefit from some of these tips from the online small business community on staying inspired and motivated.



Understand Where to Find Inspiration

Great entrepreneurs need constant inspiration in order to stay motivated to do the necessary work on a daily basis. Inspiration can sometimes be hard to come by. But this CrowdsUnite post by Alex Feldman includes three tips you can use to get inspired when you're just starting out.

Learn About Building a Large Following from Instagram Influencers

You don't necessarily need a huge following on social platforms like Instagram in order to make a major impact. But it doesn't hurt. And who has massive followings that you can potentially learn from? Instagram influencers. Glean some advice from these popular accounts with the tips in this Social Media Revolver post by Ivan Kreimer.

Give Your Network a Connection Cleanup

Your professional network can be an amazing source of inspiration and motivation for your business — but only if you nurture it. If your network is full of stale contacts you haven't connected with in years, it could be time for a cleanup. Kate Hart details what the process looks like in this post.

Start a Business That Supports Your Lifestyle

Traveling to new locations can be an amazing way to stay inspired as a business owner. And certain types of businesses lend themselves perfectly to a traveling lifestyle. If this sounds like the business life for you, check out the options in this Miss Millennia Magazine post by Jamie T. Wiseman.

Rethink Customer Engagement

The way you interact with customers on a daily basis can make a major impact on your success. If you're having issues, it may be time to rethink customer engagement, as Tracey Ruff explores in this Userlane post. BizSugar members also shared thoughts on the post here.

Try Video Content Marketing

Keeping up a steady stream of content ideas can sometimes be challenging for B2B businesses. But these businesses can still benefit from video marketing and similar tactics. In this SmallBizDaily post, Mitt Ray offers some ideas you can draw inspiration from.

Understand the Basics of Business Ethics

Ethics are essential for building a business with sustainable growth and success. But there are some misconceptions about what building an ethical business actually means. If you don't want your business to get off track, read this post by Martin Zwilling of Startup Professionals Musings.

Consider Productivity when Designing Your Office Space

Your office space can make a major impact on your productivity and inspiration as you work on your business. By decorating your office intentionally, you can actually improve the way you work. Ivan Widjaya shares tips for setting everything up in this Biz Epic post.

Understand How to Use Color Psychology in Your Marketing

The colors you choose for your website can make a major impact on the impression you make with customers. In this post, Are Morch discusses the role of color psychology when it comes to hotel marketing. But the ideas could be relevant for a variety of businesses. See what BizSugar members had to say about the post here.

Follow Retail and Other Trends When Shaping Your Marketing Strategy

Black Friday and Cyber Monday may still be months away. But it's never too early for businesses to start planning. And another recent shopping holiday, Prime Day, could provide some clues for how to shape your strategy. Learn more in this Search Engine Land post by Andrew Waber.

If you'd like to suggest your favorite small business content to be considered for an upcoming community roundup, please send your news tips to: sbtips@gmail.com.

Image: Depositphotos.com

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