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Business Start Up Toolbox with Kristen Buzzaird

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Session provides an overview of the essential resources, tools and solutions that every Business Start Up needs to know about. I will cover resources, tools and solutions related to the following …

Session provides an overview of the essential resources, tools and solutions that every Business Start Up needs to know about. I will cover resources, tools and solutions related to the following areas: *Business Planning *Time Management *Financial, including securing capital,capital resources/options, financial planning and management *Marketing Strategy and Planning *Networking *Human Resource *Legal and how to avoid the top 10 mistakes when starting a business.


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  • 1. Business Start Up Toolkit Presented By: Kristen Buzzaird
  • 2. Agenda  Essential Resources, Tools and Solutions  Business Planning  Time Management  Financial Management and Planning  Marketing Strategy and Planning  Networking  Human Resources  Legal  Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Starting Your Business
  • 3. Business Planning  Is Entrepreneurship for you?  Owning you own business has numerous advantages such as being your own boss, setting your own schedule and making a living doing something you enjoy.  But, becoming a successful entrepreneur requires thorough planning, creativity and hard work.  Consider whether you have the following characteristics and skills commonly associated with successful entrepreneurs:  Comfortable with taking risks: Being your own boss also means you’re the one making tough decisions. Entrepreneurship involves uncertainty. Do you enjoy the thrill of taking calculated risks?  Independent: Entrepreneurs have to make a lot of decisions on their own. If you find you can trust your instincts — and you’re not afraid of rejection every now and then — you could be on your way to being an entrepreneur.
  • 4. Business Planning  Is Entrepreneurship for you?  Consider whether you have the following characteristics and skills commonly associated with successful entrepreneurs:  Persuasive: You may have the greatest idea in the world, but if you cannot persuade customers, employees and potential lenders or partners, you may find entrepreneurship to be challenging. If you enjoy public speaking, engage new people with ease and find you make compelling arguments grounded in facts, it’s likely you’re poised to make your idea succeed.  Able to negotiate: As a small business owner, you will need to negotiate everything from leases to contract terms to rates. Polished negotiation skills will help you save money and keep your business running smoothly.  Creative: Are you able to think of new ideas? Can you imagine new ways to solve problems? Entrepreneurs must be able to think creatively. If you have insights on how to take advantage of new opportunities, entrepreneurship may be a good fit.
  • 5. Business Planning  Is Entrepreneurship for you?  Consider whether you have the following characteristics and skills commonly associated with successful entrepreneurs:  Supported by others: Before you start a business, it’s important to have a strong support system in place. You’ll be forced to make many important decisions, especially in the first months of opening your business. If you do not have a support network of people to help you, consider finding a business mentor. A business mentor is someone who is experienced, successful and willing to provide advice and guidance.
  • 6. Business Planning  Key Questions to Ask Yourself?  Why am I starting a business?  What kind of business do I want?  Who is my ideal customer?  What products or services will my business provide?  Am I prepared to spend the time and money needed to get my business started?  What differentiates my business idea and the products or services I will provide from others in the market?
  • 7. Business Planning  Key Questions to Ask Yourself?  Where will my business be located?  How many employees will I need?  What types of suppliers do I need?  How much money do I need to get started?  Will I need to get a loan?  How soon will it take before my products or services are available?
  • 8. Business Planning  Key Questions to Ask Yourself?  How long do I have until I start making a profit?  Who is my competition?  How will I price my product compared to my competition?  How will I set up the legal structure of my business?  What taxes do I need to pay?  What kind of insurance do I need?  How will I manage my business?  How will I advertise my business?
  • 9. Business Planning  Key Steps to Starting Your Business  Create a project plan/timeline  Write a Business Plan  Get Business Assistance and Training  Choose A Business Location  Finance Your Business  Determine the Legal Structure for Your Business  Register Your Business Name  Get a Tax Identification Number  Register for State and Local Taxes  Obtain Business Licenses and Permits
  • 10. Business Planning  Understand Your Market  To run a successful business, you need to learn about your customers, your competitors and your industry. Market research is the process of analyzing data to help you understand which products and services are in demand, and how to be competitive. Market research can also provide valuable insight to help you:  Reduce business risks  Spot current and upcoming problems in your industry  Identify sales opportunities
  • 11. Business Planning  Understand Your Market  How to Conduct Market Research  Before you start your business, understand the basics of market research by following these steps:  Identify Official Government Sources of Market and Industry Data  The government offers a wealth of data and information about businesses, industries and economic conditions that can aid in conducting market research. These sources provide valuable information about your customers and competitors:  Economic Indicators  Employment Statistics  Income and Earnings
  • 12. Business Planning  Understand Your Market  How to Conduct Market Research  Before you start your business, understand the basics of market research by following these steps:  Identify Additional Sources of Analysis  Trade groups, business magazines, academic institutions and other third parties gather and analyze research data about business trends. Use Internet and database searches to find information related to your location and industry.  Understand the International Marketplace  Today’s economy is a globalized marketplace, so it’s important to understand the international factors that influence your business. These resources will help you to research potential international markets for your products or services:  Market Research Guide for Exporters-available on www.sba.gov Identifies resources for business owners seeking to sell their products abroad.  Country Market Research-available on www.sba.gov Reports on trade issues in countries across the globe.  BuyUSA.gov Helps U.S. companies find new international business partners.
  • 13. Business Planning  Business Data and Statistics  Get access to data and statistics on your competitors, industry and target customer groups.  General Business Statistics  Consumer Statistics  Demographics  Economic Indicators  Employment Statistics  Income Statistics  Money and Interest Rates
  • 14. Business Planning  Business Data and Statistics  Get access to data and statistics on your competitors, industry and target customer groups.  Product and Sales Statistics  Trade Statistics  Statistics for Specific Industries  Business Type  One of the first decisions you will make is the type of business you will open. Before making your decision, explore the opportunities that are available like a home-based or online business.
  • 15. Business Planning  Business Type  Nonprofit Organization  Nonprofit organizations use profit to improve services, rather than pay dividends to investors. If your business is registered as a nonprofit, you're eligible for certain government resources.  Green Businesses  Green businesses not only benefit the environment, but also use eco-friendly business practices as a means to market their products.  Startups and High Growth Businesses  Startups commonly are technology-based businesses and have high growth potential.
  • 16. Business Planning  Business Type  Home-Based Businesses  Many well-known companies like Apple and Dell started as home-based businesses.  Online Businesses  Establishing a business presence on the Internet can be a great way to sell and market goods and services.  Franchise Businesses  Franchises can provide an opportunity for ready-made business success, but they also come with a variety of challenges.
  • 17. Business Planning  Business Type  Buying an Existing Business  Buying an existing business can be less risky than starting one from scratch. However, know the terms of purchase before doing so.  Self Employed and Independent Contractors  Being a self-employed or an independent contractor can offer small business owners flexibility as well as challenges.  Women- Owned Businesses  There a wide range of federal programs available to help women- owned small businesses.
  • 18. Business Planning  Business Type  Veteran-Owned Businesses  Starting a small business is a tremendous opportunity for veterans. The federal government has programs specifically for veterans and the military community.  People with Disabilities  Starting a business can be a great opportunity for those with disabilities because of benefits such as work flexibility.  Young Entrepreneurs  Young entrepreneurs are the key to our nation's economic future.  50+ Entrepreneurs  Are you nearing retirement and exploring new business opportunities? Now is the time to explore the possibilities.
  • 19. Business Planning  Business Type  Minority-Owned Businesses  There are programs available to help minority-owned business owners.  Find a Mentor  When starting a business, advice from partner organizations such as SCORE Mentors, Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers can help you avoid common pitfalls.  Other Mentor Resources  Chamber of Commerce  Network Groups
  • 20. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  A business plan is an essential roadmap for business success. This living document generally projects 3-5 years ahead and outlines the route a company intends to take to grow revenues.  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Executive Summary  The executive summary is often considered the most important section of a business plan. This section briefly tells your reader where your company is, where you want to take it, and why your business idea will be successful. If you are seeking financing, the executive summary is also your first opportunity to grab a potential investor’s interest.  The executive summary should highlight the strengths of your overall plan and therefore be the last section you write. However, it usually appears first in your business plan document.
  • 21. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Executive Summary  What to Include in Your Executive Summary  If You Are an Established Business  If you are an established business, be sure to include the following information:  The Mission Statement – This explains what your business is all about. It should be between several sentences and a paragraph.  Company Information – Include a short statement that covers when your business was formed, the names of the founders and their roles, your number of employees, and your business location(s).
  • 22. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Executive Summary  What to Include in Your Executive Summary  If You Are an Established Business  Growth Highlights – Include examples of company growth, such as financial or market highlights (for example, “XYZ Firm increased profit margins and market share year- over-year since its foundation). Graphs and charts can be helpful in this section.  Your Products/Services -- Briefly describe the products or services you provide.  Financial Information – If you are seeking financing, include any information about your current bank and investors.  Summarize future plans – Explain where you would like to take your business.
  • 23. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Executive Summary  What to Include in Your Executive Summary  If You Are a Startup or New Business  If you are just starting a business, you won't have as much information as an established company. Instead, focus on your experience and background as well as the decisions that led you to start this particular enterprise.  Demonstrate that you have done thorough market analysis. Include information about a need or gap in your target market, and how your particular solutions can fill it. Convince the reader that you can succeed in your target market, then address your future plans.
  • 24. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Company Description  This section of your business plan provides a high-level review of the different elements of your business. This is akin to an extended elevator pitch and can help readers and potential investors quickly understand the goal of your business and its unique proposition.  What to Include in Your Company Description  Describe the nature of your business and list the marketplace needs that you are trying to satisfy.  Explain how your products and services meet these needs.  List the specific consumers, organizations or businesses that your company serves or will serve.  Explain the competitive advantages that you believe will make your business a success such as your location, expert personnel, efficient operations, or ability to bring value to your customers.
  • 25. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Market Analysis  The market analysis section of your business plan should illustrate your industry and market knowledge as well as any of your research findings and conclusions.  What to Include in Your Market Analysis  Industry Description and Outlook – Describe your industry, including its current size and historic growth rate as well as other trends and characteristics (e.g., life cycle stage, projected growth rate). Next, list the major customer groups within your industry.  Information About Your Target Market – Narrow your target market to a manageable size. Many businesses make the mistake of trying to appeal to too many target markets. Research and include the following information about your market:  Distinguishing characteristics – What are the critical needs of your potential customers? Are those needs being met? What are the demographics of the group and where are they located? Are there any seasonal or cyclical purchasing trends that may impact your business?
  • 26. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Market Analysis  What to Include in Your Market Analysis  Size of the primary target market – In addition to the size of your market, what data can you include about the annual purchases your market makes in your industry? What is the forecasted market growth for this group?  How much market share can you gain? – What is the market share percentage and number of customers you expect to obtain in a defined geographic area? Explain the logic behind your calculation.  Pricing and gross margin targets – Define your pricing structure, gross margin levels, and any discount that you plan to use.
  • 27. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Market Analysis  What to Include in Your Market Analysis  Competitive Analysis – Your competitive analysis should identify your competition by product line or service and market segment. Assess the following characteristics of the competitive landscape:  Market share  Strengths and weaknesses  How important is your target market to your competitors?  Are there any barriers that may hinder you as you enter the market?  What is your window of opportunity to enter the market?  Are there any indirect or secondary competitors who may impact your success?  What barriers to market are there (e.g., changing technology, high investment cost, lack of quality personnel)?
  • 28. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Market Analysis  What to Include in Your Market Analysis  Regulatory Restrictions – Include any customer or governmental regulatory requirements affecting your business, and how you’ll comply. Also, cite any operational or cost impact the compliance process will have on your business.
  • 29. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Organization and Management  This section should include: your company's organizational structure, details about the ownership of your company, profiles of your management team, and the qualifications of your board of directors.  Who does what in your business? What is their background and why are you bringing them into the business as board members or employees? What are they responsible for? These may seem like unnecessary questions to answer in a one- or two-person organization, but the people reading your business plan want to know who's in charge, so tell them. Give a detailed description of each division or department and its function.  This section should include who's on the board (if you have an advisory board) and how you intend to keep them there. What kind of salary and benefits package do you have for your people? What incentives are you offering? How about promotions? Reassure your reader that the people you have on staff are more than just names on a letterhead.
  • 30. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Organization and Management  Organizational Structure  A simple but effective way to lay out the structure of your company is to create an organizational chart with a narrative description. This will prove that you're leaving nothing to chance, you've thought out exactly who is doing what, and there is someone in charge of every function of your company. Nothing will fall through the cracks, and nothing will be done three or four times over. To a potential investor or employee, that is very important.  Ownership Information  This section should also include the legal structure of your business along with the subsequent ownership information it relates to. Have you incorporated your business? If so, is it a C or S corporation? Or perhaps you have formed a partnership with someone. If so, is it a general or limited partnership? Or maybe you are a sole proprietor.
  • 31. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Organization and Management  Ownership Information  The following important ownership information should be incorporated into your business plan:  Names of owners  Percentage ownership  Extent of involvement with the company  Forms of ownership (i.e., common stock, preferred stock, general partner, limited partner)  Outstanding equity equivalents (i.e., options, warrants, convertible debt)  Common stock (i.e., authorized or issued)
  • 32. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Organization and Management  Ownership Information  The following important ownership information should be incorporated into your business plan:  Management Profiles  Experts agree that one of the strongest factors for success in any growth company is the ability and track record of its owner/management team, so let your reader know about the key people in your company and their backgrounds. Provide resumes that include the following information:  Name  Position (include brief position description along with primary duties)  Primary responsibilities and authority  Education  Unique experience and skills
  • 33. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Organization and Management  Ownership Information  The following important ownership information should be incorporated into your business plan:  Prior employment  Special skills  Past track record  Industry recognition  Community involvement  Number of years with company  Compensation basis and levels (make sure these are reasonable -- not too high or too low)
  • 34. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Organization and Management  Ownership Information  The following important ownership information should be incorporated into your business plan:  Be sure you quantify achievements (e.g. "Managed a sales force of ten people," "Managed a department of fifteen people," "Increased revenue by 15 percent in the first six months," "Expanded the retail outlets at the rate of two each year," "Improved the customer service as rated by our customers from a 60 percent to a 90 percent rating")  Also highlight how the people surrounding you complement your own skills. If you're just starting out, show how each person's unique experience will contribute to the success of your venture.
  • 35. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Organization and Management  Board of Directors' Qualifications  The major benefit of an unpaid advisory board is that it can provide expertise that your company cannot otherwise afford. A list of well-known, successful business owners/managers can go a long way toward enhancing your company's credibility and perception.  If you have a board of directors, be sure to gather the following information when developing the outline for your business plan:  Names  Positions on the board  Extent of involvement with company  Background  Historical and future contribution to the company's success
  • 36. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Service or Product Line  Describe your service or product, emphasizing the benefits to potential and current customers. Focus on why your particular product will fill a need for your target customers.  What to Include in Your Service or Product Line  A Description of Your Product / Service  Include information about the specific benefits of your product or service – from your customers' perspective. You should also talk about your product or service's ability to meet consumer needs, any advantages your product has over that of the competition, and the current development stage your product is in (e.g., idea, prototype).  Details About Your Product’s Life Cycle  Be sure to include information about where your product or service is in its life cycle, as well as any factors that may influence its cycle in the future.
  • 37. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Service or Product Line  Intellectual Property  If you have any existing, pending, or any anticipated copyright or patent filings, list them here. Also disclose whether any key aspects of a product may be classified as trade secrets. Last, include any information pertaining to existing legal agreements, such as nondisclosure or non-compete agreements.  Research and Development  Outline any R&D activities that you are involved in or are planning. What results of future R&D activities do you expect? Be sure to analyze the R&D efforts of not only your own business, but also of others in your industry.
  • 38. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Marketing and Sales  Marketing and Sales Strategy  Define your marketing strategy. There is no single way to approach a marketing strategy; your strategy should be part of an ongoing business-evaluation process and unique to your company. However, there are common steps you can follow which will help you think through the direction and tactics you would like to use to drive sales and sustain customer loyalty.  An overall marketing strategy should include four different strategies:  A market penetration strategy.  Channels of distribution strategy.
  • 39. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Marketing and Sales  Marketing and Sales Strategy  An overall marketing strategy should include four different strategies:  Growth strategy. This strategy for building your business might include: an internal strategy such as how to increase your human resources, an acquisition strategy such as buying another business, a franchise strategy for branching out, a horizontal strategy where you would provide the same type of products to different users, or a vertical strategy where you would continue providing the same products but would offer them at different levels of the distribution chain.  Communication strategy. How are you going to reach your customers? Usually a combination of the following tactics works the best: promotions, advertising, public relations, personal selling, and printed materials such as brochures, catalogs, flyers, etc.
  • 40. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Marketing and Sales  Marketing and Sales Strategy  Sales Strategy covers how you plan to actually sell your product.  Your overall sales strategy should include two primary elements:  Sales force strategy. If you are going to have a sales force, do you plan to use internal or independent representatives? How many salespeople will you recruit for your sales force? What type of recruitment strategies will you use? How will you train your sales force? What about compensation for your sales force?  Your sales activities. When you are defining your sales strategy, it is important that you break it down into activities. For instance, you need to identify your prospects. Once you have made a list of your prospects, you need to prioritize the contacts, selecting the leads with the highest potential to buy first. Next, identify the number of sales calls you will make over a certain period of time. From there, you need to determine the average number of sales calls you will need to make per sale, the average dollar size per sale, and the average dollar size per vendor.
  • 41. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Funding Request  If you are seeking funding for your business venture, use this section to outline your requirements.  Your funding request should include the following information:  Your current funding requirement  Any future funding requirements over the next five years  How you intend to use the funds you receive: Is the funding request for capital expenditures? Working capital? Debt retirement? Acquisitions? Whatever it is, be sure to list it in this section.  Any strategic financial situational plans for the future, such as: a buyout, being acquired, debt repayment plan, or selling your business. These areas are extremely important to a future creditor, since they will directly impact your ability to repay your loan(s).
  • 42. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Funding Request  When you are outlining your funding requirements, include the amount you want now and the amount you want in the future. Also include the time period that each request will cover, the type of funding you would like to have (e.g., equity, debt), and the terms that you would like to have applied.  Financial Projections  You should develop the Financial Projections section after you've analyzed the market and set clear objectives. That's when you can allocate resources efficiently. The following is a list of the critical financial statements to include in your business plan packet.
  • 43. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Financial Projections  Historical Financial Data  If you own an established business, you will be requested to supply historical data related to your company's performance. Most creditors request data for the last three to five years, depending on the length of time you have been in business.  The historical financial data to include are your company's income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for each year you have been in business (usually for up to three to five years). Often, creditors are also interested in any collateral that you may have that could be used to ensure your loan, regardless of the stage of your business.
  • 44. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Financial Projections  Prospective Financial Data  All businesses, whether startup or growing, will be required to supply prospective financial data. Most of the time, creditors will want to see what you expect your company to be able to do within the next five years. Each year's documents should include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets. For the first year, you should supply monthly or quarterly projections. After that, you can stretch it to quarterly and/or yearly projections for years two through five.  Make sure that your projections match your funding requests; creditors will be on the lookout for inconsistencies. It's much better if you catch mistakes before they do. If you have made assumptions in your projections, be sure to summarize what you have assumed. This way, the reader will not be left guessing.
  • 45. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Financial Projections  Prospective Financial Data  Finally, include a short analysis of your financial information. Include a ratio and trend analysis for all of your financial statements (both historical and prospective). Since pictures speak louder than words, you may want to add graphs of your trend analysis (especially if they are positive).  Appendix  The Appendix should be provided to readers on an as-needed basis. In other words, it should not be included with the main body of your business plan. Your plan is your communication tool; as such, it will be seen by a lot of people. Some of the information in the business section you will not want everyone to see, but specific individuals (such as creditors) may want access to this information to make lending decisions. Therefore, it is important to have the appendix within easy reach.
  • 46. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Appendix  The appendix should include:  Credit history (personal & business)  Resumes of key managers  Product pictures  Letters of reference  Details of market studies
  • 47. Business Planning  Creating Your Business Plan  Information to Include in Your Business Plan  Appendix  The appendix would include:  Relevant magazine articles or book references  Licenses, permits or patents  Legal documents  Copies of leases  Building permits  Contracts  List of business consultants, including attorney and accountant
  • 48. Business Planning  Choose Your Business Structure  The business structure you choose will have legal and tax implications. Learn about the different types of business structures and find the one best suited for your business.  Sole Proprietorship  Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)  Cooperative  Corporation  Partnership  S Corporation
  • 49. Business Planning  Choose and Register Your Business  Choosing and registering your business name is a key step to legally operating your business and potentially obtaining financial aid from the government.  Choose Your Business Name  Register Your Business Name  Register With State Agencies  Obtain Business Licenses and Permits  To run your business legally, there are certain federal and state licenses and permits you will need to obtain. These resources will help you understand the requirements for your small business.
  • 50. Business Planning  Learn About Business Law and Regulations  As a small business owner, you are subject to some of the laws and regulations that apply to large corporations. These resources can help you understand which requirements do apply to your business.  Business Planning Resources  www.sba.gov  Small Business Portal  BizAid Program  Business Development  Business Education Classes  Business Solutions Center
  • 51. Business Planning  Business Planning Resources  www.liveplan.com  Business Plan template  Includes:  Dashboards  Track Progress
  • 52. Business Planning  Business Planning Resources  www.Score.org  Business Plan and Financial templates
  • 53. Time Management  Small Business Time Management Tips  If you want to win in business you have to be great at time management. You already know you need to cut back on the meeting, get better at scheduling and working your goals and cut back on the distractions. Putting this into practice however, can be something totally different.  Streamlining Communications  Google’s range of free apps is ideal for entrepreneurs and small business owners on a budget. The Google Calendar can be synchronized with other users in real time to enhance you scheduling. Google Docs will allow you to save time searching for documents and sharing them while you and your team can stay connected with Gmail Chat and have your calls forwarded to Google Voice for a one stop connectivity solution.
  • 54. Time Management  Small Business Time Management Tips  Project Management and Collaboration  Today’s new breed of business models with virtual staff all over the globe can lead to many management and collaboration headaches and time lapses. Bringing it altogether with a project management solution like Basecamp eliminates the need for dozens of emails, streamlines workflow and updates and makes delegating tasks a breeze.  Social Media Management and Analytics  Social media may be one of the most important and affordable marketing methods today but it is also one of the most time intensive, sucking up an incredible amount of hours on basic data entry tasks. Sprinklr’s SIREn enables organizations to management multiple accounts, publishing, conversations and monitor performance all in one place.
  • 55. Time Management  Small Business Time Management Tips  Stay Focused  Despite our best efforts, sometimes we just can’t resist engaging in time wasting tasks on the web. A Google Chrome extension, StayFocusd is your steroid pumped time guardian who won’t let you mess around. This time management tool will block your usage of certain activities after your allowable limit each day. Say goodbye to burning the clock on Farmville, Angry Birds Space, stalking your ex, looking for new love on Facebook and Googling yourself. At least until the weekend comes around.  Rescue Time  A favorite app of 4 Hour Work Week author Tim Ferriss, Rescue Time takes off where StayFocusd ends. A huge part of the time management battle can be identifying where you are wasting it. Rescue Time analyzes your time usage on the internet and delivers easy to read reports so that you can decide what you need to limit or block. Claims to save users 3 hours and 54 minutes a week.
  • 56. Financial Management and Planning  Borrowing Money for Your Small Business  Borrowing money is one of the most common sources of funding for a small business, but obtaining a loan isn't always easy.  Types of Funding Options (Traditional And Alternative)  Banks  SBA Lenders  Credit Unions  Factoring Companies  Venture Capitalists  Crowd Funding
  • 57. Financial Management and Planning  Borrowing Money for Your Small Business  Key factors a lender uses to analyze a potential borrower  Ability to Repay  Credit History  Personal and Business  Equity Investment  Management Experience
  • 58. Financial Management and Planning  Borrowing Money for Your Small Business  Questions Lender Will Ask  Can the business repay the loan? (Is cash flow greater than debt service?)  Can you repay the loan if the business fails? (Is collateral sufficient to repay the loan?)  Does the business collect its bills?  Does the business pay its bills?  Does the business control its inventory?  Does the business control expenses?
  • 59. Financial Management and Planning  Borrowing Money for Your Small Business  Questions Lender Will Ask  Are the officers committed to the business?  Does the business have a profitable operating history?  Does the business match its sources and uses of funds?  Are sales growing?  Are profits increasing as a percentage of sales?  Is there any discretionary cash flow?  What is the future of the industry?  Who is your competition and what are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • 60. Financial Management and Planning  Borrowing Money for Your Small Business  Lenders Will Require  Business Plan  Financial Statements  Profit/Loss Statements  Balance Sheets  Tax Returns  Be Prepared Before You Meet Lenders  Write a Business Plan  Organize your paperwork
  • 61. Financial Management and Planning  Borrowing Money for Your Small Business  Be Prepared Before You Meet Lenders  Determine how much money you will need  Be prepared to put your own skin in the game  Know your business numbers  Be transparent  Ask questions about the process  Read the fine print  Be yourself
  • 62. Financial Management and Planning  Financial Management and Planning Tools  Money-management software organizes your day-to-day financial life in a way that’s easy to grasp at a glance and automatically updates much of the data.  Even if you use a certified financial planner (CFP), financial planner or CPA, these experts focus on the big picture, not your day-to-day money matters. So money management software is still key for tracking your financial life.  There are dozens of money-management and tax-prep software programs on the market. Some are downloads or discs that are installed on your computer. Others are web-based and house your data online. Take an online tour or download a free trial version before making a purchase.  You want see that a program’s pages are logically designed, that the setup will work smoothly for you and that its features can handle your financial needs. Not all programs offer the same features, and some provide more bells and whistles than you may want or need.
  • 63. Financial Management and Planning  Financial Management and Planning Tools  Quick Books is a good tool  You can take classes through SBA and community colleges to learn the basics  Invest in an Accountant or Bookkeeper if you can afford it  Referral Sources  Austin Chapter of CPA’s  Local Chamber  Accounting Students  Remember that just like attorney’s and doctors, accountants have specialties as well
  • 64. Financial Management and Planning  Financial Management and Planning Tools  Does your business accept cash, credit cards and checks? As a business owner, you need to be smart about how you handle these transactions. Learn about how you can manage these transactions.  Accepting Cash Only  Accepting Checks  Accepting Credit Cards  Extending Credit to Your Customers  Online Payment Services
  • 65. Marketing Planning and Strategy  Marketing 101  Inbound Marketing Channels  Marketing activities that bring customers in closer to your brand  Blogs  Podcasts  Videos  Social Media Marketing  SEO
  • 66. Marketing Planning and Strategy  Marketing 101  Outbound Marketing Channels  Marketing activities where you have to go out and get the customer’s attention  Direct Mail  Flyers  Email Blasts  Telemarketing
  • 67. Marketing Planning and Strategy  Marketing 101  Web Presence  Without a Web presence, your business or organization might as well not exist.  A website is the modern equivalent of a business card.  Purchase a unique domain name and sign up for a Web host  i.e. Go Daddy  Create A User Friendly Website  If you feel comfortable doing this yourself  Go Daddy  Wordpress
  • 68. Marketing Planning and Strategy  Marketing 101  Web Presence  External Resources  Website developers  Local Chamber  College Students/Interns  Remember to make sure your website is mobile optimized  Search Engine Optimization  Is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine's "natural" or un-paid ("organic")search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine's users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search,[1] news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.
  • 69. Marketing Planning and Strategy  Marketing 101  Search Engine Optimization  Tools  Google Webmaster  Google Analytics  Bing Webmaster
  • 70. Marketing Planning and Strategy  Marketing 101  Search Engine Optimization  If you want to handle this yourself, there are classes you can take through SBA and community colleges  Digital Sherpa has a checklist document for small businesses  SEO Guide for Small Businesses- http://www.experian.com/small-business/rand-fishkin.jsp  External Resources  Website Developers  College Students/Interns  Digital Agencies who cater to Small Businesses
  • 71. Marketing Planning and Strategy  Create a Marketing Plan  A marketing plan is an essential marketing tool for every small business.  Information to Include:  Marketing Strategy: How will your marketing plan support your business goals?  Mission Statement: What are you trying to accomplish, and why?  Target Market: Who are you trying to reach with your marketing activities?  Competitive Analysis: Who are you up against, and where do you rank?  Unique Selling Proposition: What makes your business unique?
  • 72. Marketing Planning and Strategy  Create a Marketing Plan  A marketing plan is an essential marketing tool for every small business.  Information to Include:  Pricing Strategy: What will you charge, and why?  Promotional Plan: How will you reach your target market?  Marketing Budget: How much money will you spend, and on what?  Action List: What tasks do you need to complete to reach your marketing goals?  Metrics: How are you implementing, and where can you improve?  Templates  www.SBA.gov  www.mplans.com
  • 73. Networking  Networking Tips for Small Businesses  Social Media  Social Media IS NOT marketing! They are networking tools  Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn  Tips  Don’t post and log off  What makes social media successful is that you are “present” to respond to your tweets and posts  Create a communication cadence schedule
  • 74. Human Resources  Human Resources for Small Businesses  When you hire someone to perform work for you, you must adhere to laws and regulations that protect workers’ rights. Be sure that your hiring practices align with all laws pertaining to your industry.  Helpful Resources  www.sba.gov  Department of Labor  Society for Human Resource Management  Local Chamber  Blogs  Ask a Manager  Evil HR Lady
  • 75. Human Resources  Human Resources for Small Businesses  Third Party HR/Payroll Administrators  ADP  PayChex
  • 76. Legal  Legal Resources for Small Businesses  Lawyer Referral Service  www.Austinlrs.com  866-303-8303  1st Tuesday of Every Month is Legal Happy Hour  LegalZoom  DBA’s  Access to forms and templates
  • 77. Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid  Not Doing a Business Plan  A solid business plan as the single most important step in laying the groundwork for future success  Be Realistic About Costs  Don't shortchange your start-up when estimating the funds you will require or you'll just diminish your chances of success.  Hire the People You Need, Not the People You Like  As tempting as it may be to staff your new business with friends and relatives, this is likely to be a serious mistake. If they don't work out, asking them to leave will be very tough.
  • 78. Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid  Not Researching Your Target Market  The more you know about the people you want as your clients, the more focused and cost-effective your marketing plan will be.  Expecting Immediate Profit  New businesses usually take two years to become profitable. Make sure you have enough capital to carry you through, because in the beginning you will mostly be spending money, not making it.  Not Focusing on the Customer  Today’s economy is very people-driven. You need to focus on offering solutions and on your customers’ best interest – that is where your real profit lies. If your business provides them something of substantial value to their lives, they will remain loyal clients that happily recommend your services.
  • 79. Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid  Relying on Your Own Legal and Accounting Skills  Bottom line is, if you do not have years of experience practicing business law and keeping books, you probably should not trust yourself with something so critical as your own business. Experts are considered experts for a reason  Trusting Verbal Agreements  Having friendly relationships with service providers is terrific. Still, when money is involved, you need to have a written agreement to secure your interests. Contracts are not just a formality. When you sign one, make sure you actually understand and agree with its content.  Trying to do Everything Yourself  There are so many things to look after with a new business. Even if you’re planning a small operation, you will find yourself in need of assistance – even on a part-time basis. Seek out people whose abilities balance out yours, so that you can focus on developing your ideas and making deals.
  • 80. Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid  Sacrificing Personal Relationships for the Business  Most entrepreneurial efforts require around the clock attention, and can strain family and close relationships if you allow them to. You need the support of your loved ones, so don’t neglect them. Maintaining a healthy private life is crucial for your well-being. If you don’t, eventually, your business will also be affected by it.
  • 81. Time for Questions!  Contact Information  Kristen Buzzaird  buzzaird@yahoo.com  512-529-5268