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Established Businesses and Growth


  • Submitted on 30 January 2014

    Created on January 30, 2014
     

    Baldrige Performance Excellence ProgramThis post originally appeared on NIST Baldrige Award.

    Applications are now being accepted for the 2014 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for performance excellence. Organizations can apply for awards in three business sectors—manufacturing, small business and service—along with health care, education and nonprofit (including government agencies).

    Forms and guidance for applying for the 2014 Baldrige Award are now available from the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program (BPEP) at www.nist.gov/baldrige/enter/how_to_apply.cfm.

    All applicants will be evaluated rigorously by an independent board of examiners in seven areas defined by the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. To purchase the 2013-2014 Criteria, go to www.nist.gov/baldrige/publications/criteria.cfm.

  • Submitted on 22 January 2014

    Created on January 22, 2014
     

    CrowdFundingOn October 23, 2013 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted unanimously to propose rules under the JOBS Act to permit companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding.

    Crowdfunding describes an evolving method of raising capital that has been used outside of the securities arena to raise funds through the Internet for a variety of projects ranging from innovative product ideas to artistic endeavors like movies or music.  Title III of the JOBS Act created an exemption under the securities laws so that this type of funding method can be easily used to offer and sell securities as well.  The JOBS Act also established the foundation for a regulatory structure for this funding method. 

    SEC Chair Mary Jo White noted that the intent of the JOBS Act is to make it easier for startups and small businesses to raise capital from a wide range of potential investors and provide additional investment opportunities for investors. 

  • Submitted on 17 January 2014

    Created on January 17, 2014
     

    NetworkingOne of the most effective ways to grow your business is also one of the oldest: networking. While it may not get as much buzz these days as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, old-fashioned, face-to-face networking is still essential for building a business.

    Networking Success

    When we think of networking often times images of happy hour, spending an inordinate amount of time in the evenings at a restaurant or office building with a whole lot of chit chat that may yield little to no business at all.  While this type of activity can seem tiresome and unnecessary, it can be a great way to get your business off the ground.  This simple, cost-effective (sometimes FREE) way of advertising is a means of getting the word out about your business.

    » Read More on Networking Success

  • Submitted on 13 January 2014

    The U.S. Small Business Administration will present Not Just Contracts: The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, the first of a free, two-part webinar series on Jan.15 at 2 p.m. EST.  The second webinar will be held Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. ET.

    The hour-long webinars will cover:

    • Eligibility requirements for 8(a) certification

    • Technical assistance available through the 8(a) Program

    • Common misconceptions about the 8(a) Program

    • The top reasons why an 8(a) application is declined or returned 

    The first webinar will focus on how the 8(a) Program works, eligibility requirements, technical assistance available to small disadvantaged businesses and common myths about the program.

  • Submitted on 02 January 2014

    Created on January 2, 2014
     

    2014 Business ResolutionsLooking for New Year's resolutions for your business. No business, or business owner, is perfect, and there is always room for improvement. In case you missed it, here are 10 top articles on business resolutions to help you grow your business.

    10 small-business resolutions for the new year
    What could you do to make your small business better in 2014? Let these New Year's Resolutions from small-business owners and managers in the Shreveport, La., area inspire you to get started on a more prosperous 2014.

    11 New Year's Resolutions You Can Actually Keep
    Because after 2013, well, let's just say we all need more realistic targets this time around. What's the last New Year's resolution you actually kept? If you're better than us and have cut down on your spending, effectively managed stress, or lost ten pounds and actually used that gym membership, than you need not read any further. For the rest of us, we're going to try and make things a bit more manageable.

  • Submitted on 24 December 2013

    Created on December 24, 2013
     

    ConstructionThe U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued two final rules in the Federal Register today, revising size standards for firms in two North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors, namely, Utilities (Sector 22) and Construction (Sector 23).

    Size standards define the maximum size a firm can be and still be considered a small business. The revised standards reflect changes in marketplace conditions and public comments that SBA received to its earlier proposed rules. 

    New size standards will enable more businesses in these sectors to obtain or retain small business status; will give federal agencies a larger pool of small businesses from which to choose for their procurement programs; and will make more small businesses eligible for SBA’s loan programs.

  • Submitted on 05 December 2013

    Hospitality IndustryThroughout the years, the hospitality industry has grown through a series of transformations.  While many industries struggled with unemployment in 2011, new growth in the hospitality industry sparked a boom in the number of jobs created and economic opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the leisure / hospitality sector was second only to health care in the number of jobs created in 2011.[1]

    One key reason for this growth has been the rise of the gaming industry across the United States. Today, many states have either legalized or begun the debate to legalize casinos in their state. What was once an industry isolated in Las Vegas, NV has now expanded in some form to 38 states. As a clear sign of this growth, in 2012, the Chicagoland area is now the third largest market by revenue according to the American Gaming Association.[2]

    This rise also creates a number of economic opportunities for firms in the technology, manufacturing, and services industries. According to the American Gaming Association, “direct economic output by the gaming equipment manufacturing and technology sector rose to $13.0 billion in 2012 — an all-time high and 5.7 percent increase compared to 2011 figures. Approximately 31,200 workers were directly employed in the sector during 2012, earning $2.3 billion in salaries and wages.”[3]

    Food and beverage firms as well as hotel management firms are also in line for expanding opportunities as these segments account for approximately one third of gaming revenue.

  • Submitted on 26 November 2013

    Created on November 26, 2013
     

    Shopping BagsThe holiday season is quickly approaching, and the time is now to make sure you get the most of your marketing efforts to help secure sales success in the coming months. Here are a few budget-friendly ideas to help get you started.

    Social Media Contests

    If your small business has a social media presence, contests on Facebook and Twitter are often a popular way highlight your brand and engage with customers, reminding them that your product or service is available – and a potentially great gift idea. With a few rules, a clever hashtag and incentive such as a prize or discount on your offerings, you can drum up excitement about – and draw people in to – your business.

    Extra Appeal for Your Loyal Customers

    Take this time to make your loyal customers feel extra special – it may come back to you by way of additional business and referrals. Without breaking the bank, you can provide special offers, sneak previews, free shipping or secret sales.

  • Submitted on 22 November 2013

    Created on November 22, 2013
     

    BusinessUSAThat’s the core objective of BusinessUSA. Approaching two years since its launch in early 2012, BusinessUSA was created to provide businesses a better entryway into the host of programs and opportunities the federal government has to offer. Too often, interactions with the government are burdensome, frustrating, and confusing. BusinessUSA aims to fix that by providing a single point of access to those programs and resources relevant to business owners and exporters.

    It is BusinessUSA’s mission to ensure that potential and existing business owners have access to programs and opportunities that can help them grow and succeed. Agencies and Departments from across the federal government have collaborated on the site to ensure that users have access to many programs and resources they might not otherwise be able to find, as well as complementary resources from other providers. The site offers easy to use, step by step tools for starting or growing a business, starting or expanding exporting operations, getting disaster assistance, finding opportunities, and more. BusinessUSA is also a place business owners can go to get information about the new health care law.

  • Submitted on 12 September 2013

    Created on September 12, 2013
     

    KingonomicsOver 100 experts in innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment sought to educate and empower those who attended the Kingonomics Conference at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC, on August 23.

    The conference, which was held in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, included panel discussions, economic “boot camps,” and even an official casting call for ABC’s Shark Tank, a TV show where self-made multi-millionaire and billionaires give budding entrepreneurs the chance to potentially secure business deals that could make them millions. “This event gave entrepreneurs the opportunity to access micro-loans, meet angel and super angel investors and connect with venture capital firms,” said Dr. Rodney Sampson, coordinator of the Kingonomics Conference.

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