Resources for Iowa Small Businesses

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Presentation given to the Iowa Community Action Association Training Conference in June of 2012.

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  • Our program (MyEntre.Net) falls under the Business & Community Services division at the University of Northern IowaWe specialize in providing services to help small business owners in Iowa start or grow.The 11,000+ membership based community has access to free bi-monthly webinars, an e-newsletter full of tips for Iowa small business owners, and our business blogs.
  • Collaboratively driven grant contest, GOAL: Fostering broader awareness of entrepreneurship in the state of Iowa.We provide the online contest technology and administration. 7 statewide sponsors: IBA, Renew Rural Iowa, IEDA, Iowa Area Development Group, TAI, and VentureNet. Regional contest hosts: GCVCA, NE Ia Biz Network, IIG, Iowa Lakes Corridor, Mt. Pleasant Area Dev, Biz Innovation Zone$5,000 Online Regional Grant Contest$10,000 Statewide Grand Prize at EF!Last Year:142 Entries, 90k unique visitors, 550k page views, 1k+ comments, and 88k+ votes cast56 Radio/TV/News Websites, 90+ articles (IA, NE, MN), lots of social media coverageStill have partnership opportunities available
  • Services Include:Mailing Lists (Consumers or Businesses)Marketplace IntelligenceSocial Media MarketingBusiness ConnectionsCompetitive IntelligenceAnswers to Unique Business Questions
  • Almost 2,800 profiles of orgs, people, and programs
  • Collaboratively Driven Statewide Conference For Iowa Small Business OwnersSponsors include DMACC, Renew Rural Iowa, ABI, Alliant Energy, Iowa Area Development Group, Iowa SBDC, MidAmerican, IEDA, UNI and Iowa StateHeld in different locations each year (Cedar Falls, Coralville, Ames, Dubuque, and Des Moines).Consistently attracted 250 attendees to network and learn about topics like crowdfunding, marketing, finance, law, and state/regional programs to help them.
  • Resources for Iowa Small Businesses

    1. 1. Resources for Iowa Small Businesses Rob Williams MyEntre.Net Business Concierge University of Northern Iowa Business Analyst
    2. 2. www.MyEntre.Net• Online Community for Business Owners• 11,000+ Membership• Webinars, E-Newsletter & More!
    3. 3. MyEntre.Net Membership
    4. 4. Dream Big Grow Here• $5,000 Online Regional Grant Contest• $10,000 Statewide Grand Prize www.DreamBigGrowHere.com
    5. 5. Business Concierge• ‘Ask Us Anything’ Online Information Service http://bizhelp.myentre.net
    6. 6. Quality Referrals Who can we help you connect with?Good morning M,Back in October, you posted a message on my bulletin board on MyEntre.Net(http://www.myentre.net) asking for assistance in potentially exporting to Africaand Liberia. I left you a voicemail, but did not hear back from you. We recently dida webinar with Patricia Cook on Exporting Essentials for Small Business and Ithought this might be especially relevant to you. You can find a full copy of thatwebinar here: http://www.myentre.net/tabId/75/itemId/759/Export-Essentials-for-Iowa-Businesses.aspx.More importantly however, Id like to give you a personal referral to PatriciaCook. Patricia serves as an International Trade Specialist at the Des Moines officeof the U.S. Export Assistance Center (http://www.buyusa.gov/iowa/). This emailshould serve as an introduction for you to contact her; Ive copied Patricia to makeit easy for you to follow up. Patricias office provides free one-on-one consulting tosmall business owners like you who would like to get into exporting. Please giveher a call or follow up with an email to set up a time to learn more about how theycan help you get into exporting. Patricia Cook, International Trade Specialist U.S. Department of Commerce
    7. 7. Quality ReferralsHello D, Who can we help you connect with?My name is Rob Williams. I am the Business Concierge and part of the team at MyEntre.Net. Your email about thesmall business you are working to open in Hartley came to me and we are glad to be of assistance!There are many ways we can help you. First, check out the other business owners on MyEntre.Net(http://www.myentre.net). There are more than 8,600 small Iowa companies online there and more than a fewhousekeeping businesses. Many small companies find they can easily seek advice from other small business ownerson MyEntre.Net. Id encourage you to use the interactive map under the Find A..." tab to search for otherhousekeeping businesses in the state and ask some questions. Most folks are flattered to be asked their opinionand youll likely meet some other great small business owners doing exactly what you want to do.Most importantly however, Id like to give you a personal referral to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC)that serves small businesses in your region. Kelly McCarty is the SBDC Director who serves Hartley. This emailshould serve as an introduction for you to contact him; Ive copied him to make it easy for you to follow up. Kellysoffice provides free one-on-one counseling to small business owners like you. Please give him a call or follow upwith an email to him directly to set up a time to learn more about how they might help you.Kelly McCarty Kelly McCarty, DirectorNorthwest Iowa Small Business Development Center Northwest Iowa SBDC712-262-4213kmccarty@iowalakes.eduStarting a business is exciting and difficult, but youve taken the first good step in joining the community atMyEntre.Net. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance as you get started. You can always reach me byclicking on the Business Concierge icon at MyEntre.Net.
    8. 8. Quality Referrals Who can we help you connect with?State Requirements:I called over to the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade and spoke with someone in that office named Betty. Betty saidthat the group organizing this event should be getting you the tax documents. You might want to contact them right away to see what they say. Justin case they dont, I had her share with me what you will need to do for the state. The first application to check out is the Sales Tax Special EventApplication for the Colorado Department of Revenue. You can find that application here:http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?c=Page&cid=1214992372945&pagename=Revenue/REVXLayout. The document number is DR 0589. The taxreturn can also be found on that same page, under DR 0098, Special Event Retail Sales Tax Return.Local County/City Requirements:You will also be responsible for local county and city state sales tax. I called the City of Denver, Treasury Division (the option under Sales, Use,Lodgers, Occupation Priviledge, etc- http://www.denvergov.com/ContactUs/tabid/424604/Default.aspx) and asked them about local county and citysales tax collection. I talked with Carla Galletti. She said you will need to fill out the special event packet (attached to this e-mail) and return it. Ifyou have any questions about the local requirements, you can contact Carla directly at carla.galletti@denvergov.org or 720-865-7018.From what Carla shared with me, youre going to have to collect 7.72% tax on everything sold; then give 3.62% of that to the city of Denver, and theremaining 4.1% to the state. I was assuming you are only selling t-shirts, so these percentages may be different depending on what you will beselling.
    9. 9. FIRST TIME HOME BUYERSHigh Rent & Target Market Map
    10. 10. POTENTIAL PET PRODUCT BUSINESSObjectives: - Determine feasibility for this product in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls MetroKey Facts: - ~60% Households own Pet, also know what subset own dogs - Business was profitable in Cedar Rapids market - Know the market sizes and differences between two regionsFindings: - Waterloo/Cedar Falls not a strong market for this product now
    11. 11. Connections• Iowa’s First Comprehensive Database of People, Programs, and Organizations that Serve Entrepreneurs http://connections.myentre.net
    12. 12. EntreFest! Conference• Traveling Statewide Conference for Iowa Business Owners – http://www.entrefest.com
    13. 13. Thanks!Rob Williams319-273-4333rob.williams@myentre.net

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