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Established Businesses and Growth


  • Submitted on 28 June 2012

    Summer’s here and for most communities, that means the season of outdoor fairs, festivals and other events is underway. For a small business, community events like these can be a great opportunity to market your products and services to local residents and other event-goers. Here are some steps to get you started.

    Research what events exist in your community and nearby communities. Your options might range from local “fun runs,” chili cook-offs or classic car shows to surfing contests or music festivals that bring in attendees from all over the country. If you’re new to event marketing, you’ll probably want to start at the smaller end of the spectrum.

  • Submitted on 28 June 2012

    Travel Blog

    While growth in the travel and tourism business is still in recovery mode, the early warm temperatures across most of the U.S. coupled with an uptick in positivity over the future of the economy could make 2012 a good year for the U.S. tourist industry and the small businesses that support it.

    Commerce Secretary John Bryson and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced the Administration’s National Tourism and Travel Strategy [PDF] – delivering on President Obama’s call in January for a national strategy to promote domestic and international travel opportunities throughout the United States.

    The National Strategy is a blueprint for expanding travel to and within the U.S., laying out concrete steps to be taken in five key areas.  It sets out a goal of increasing American jobs by attracting and welcoming 100 million international visitors annually by the end of 2021, more than a 50 percent increase over the number expected this year. These international visitors would spend an estimated $250 billion per year, creating jobs and spurring economic growth in communities across the country.  Learn more about the strategy here.

    So, how can small business owners put the 2012 tourist and vacation season to profitable use? Here are some operational and marketing tips to help you start planning a successful season today.

  • Submitted on 27 June 2012

    Applying for a business loan and securing its approval can be a lengthy process. The actual approval time varies widely depending on the type of loan, its complexity, and the borrower’s timeliness providing the necessary information. This guide from SBA can help you gather the right paperwork, whether you’re applying for an SBA loan or a regular business loan.

    But knowing exactly what you’re signing up for is just as important as rounding up the details and completing the paperwork accurately. If you’ve ever purchased a car and found yourself surprised when extra line items turn up on your monthly billing statement, then you’ll know the feeling. With loan agreements, there are devils in the details. That’s why it’s critical to pay attention to the fine print, often found in the promissory note or security interest section of the agreement.

    Here are some tips for what to look for and how to avoid potentially costly mistakes:

    Common Details Buried in the Fine Print

    Some of the key terms that make up a loan agreement aren’t always as explicit as one might hope. The fine print, for example, can include detailed and complex technicalities, qualifications or restrictions of the agreement, and even vital information about the loan’s terms. Things to look out for include:

  • Submitted on 27 June 2012

    IRS YouTube Videos
    Preparing for Disasters:
     Spanish | ASL

    With the early start of this year’s hurricane season, the Internal Revenue Service encourages individuals and businesses to safeguard themselves against natural disasters by taking a few simple steps.

    Create a Backup Set of Records Electronically

    Taxpayers should keep a set of backup records in a safe place. The backup should be stored away from the original set.

  • Submitted on 20 June 2012

    Ninety-six percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States and represent two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power. U.S. companies that export enjoy business success with increased sales and profit potential. Exporting also helps businesses weather downturns in the domestic economy by being prepared to respond to foreign competition and global market trends.

  • Submitted on 07 June 2012

    Protect your business from con artists who try to fool you into paying for office supplies, business directory listings, or Internet services you haven't ordered.

  • Submitted on 16 May 2012

    Keeping RecordsWhen going on a trip, it doesn’t do much good to review a map if you have no idea where you want to go. You seldom plan a trip without knowing how much time you have to get to your destination and how much money you want to spend to get there. If you are like me, it is also helpful to have a map that shows key locations along the way; the number of miles between certain points; and the type of road you will be traveling on.

    The same is true in business. Your record keeping system is the map that tells you how far you are, what key points of interest are currently to be found in your business and helps give you some idea of how far and how long it will take to get where you want to go.

    If you’re going to develop an effective map (recordkeeping) system for your business, where do you begin? The best idea is to review those stops along the way that will give you the information you need to make decisions. This is usually done by developing a Chart of Accounts. A Chart of Accounts is no more than a complete listing of all of the accounts; assets, liabilities, equity, revenue and expenses that you have in your business.

  • Submitted on 07 May 2012

    EmployeesIf you hire employees there is information that you need to secure for your records and forms that you must complete.

    Eligibility to Work in the United States

    You must verify that each new employee is legally eligible to work in the United States. Have the employees you hire fill out Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification (PDF).

    Employee's Social Security Number (SSN)

    You are required to get each employee's name and Social Security Number (SSN) and to enter them on Form W-2. (This requirement also applies to resident and nonresident alien employees.) You should ask your employee to show you his or her social security card. The employee may show the card if it is available. You may, but are not required to, photocopy the social security card if the employee provides it. Record each new employee's name and social security number from his or her social security card. Any employee without a social security card should apply for one using Form SS-5, Application for Social Security Card (PDF). The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers social security number (SSN) verification and quick access to relevant forms and publications.

    Do not accept an ITIN in place of an SSN for employee identification or for work. An ITIN is only available to resident and nonresident aliens who are not eligible for U.S. employment and need identification for other tax purposes. You can identify an ITIN because it is a 9-digit number, beginning with the number "9" and is formatted like an SSN (NNN-NN-NNN). 

  • Submitted on 17 April 2012

    SelectUSA ScreenshotSelectUSA seeks to highlight the many advantages the United States offers as a location for business and investment. From a vast domestic market, to a transparent legal system, to the most innovative companies in the world, America is the place for business.

    Purpose: Client Resource, Business Assistance

    What you should know?

    • SelectUSA was created at the federal level to showcase the U.S. as the world’s premier business location

  • Submitted on 05 April 2012

    Trade.gov Screen ShotThe International Trade Administration (ITA) strengthens the competitiveness of U.S. industry, promotes trade and investment, and ensures fair trade through the rigorous enforcement of our trade laws and agreements.  ITA works to improve the global business environment and helps U.S. organizations compete at home and abroad.  ITA supports President Obama’s recovery agenda and the National Export Initiative to sustain economic growth and support American jobs.

    ITA is organized into four distinct but complementary business units:

    U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service — Promotes U.S. exports, particularly by small and medium-sized enterprises, and provides commercial diplomacy support for U.S. business interests around the world.

    Manufacturing and Services — Strengthens U.S. competitiveness abroad by helping shape industry-specific trade policy.

Did you know...

The percentage of clients with annual revenues in excess of $500,000 increased over the last five fiscal years.
Graph for MBDA Client Portfolio made up by SGI Clients

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