Help My Small Business Be More Profitable and Grow!

First there are legal considerations… what legal issues will I face? Type of legal business entity… why… what is best? What kind of local, county, state and federal regulations will apply? So my first step… would be to have a discussion with a qualified attorney. Not the last time but just the first time.

Next, I would consider the financial funding of the business. Before you approach a financial institution you need to have a “Business Plan”, which is really a marketing task to go about planning your goals, objectives, strategies, time schedules, plans, implementation schedules, costs, sales, and all the functions and ramifications of the business during the first one, three and five years of operation if possible. The more that you can estimate and project, the better off you will be. So now let’s say that you have completed your “Business Plan”. Did you have the marketing background, expertise and tools to accomplish this? Or did you need some professional assistance or tools to help you? We know that the latter is much preferred.

Now, we have our business plan, let’s begin interviewing banks and lending sources to determine what funding is available, at what costs, and on what terms. Let’s say that you come up with several options that appear attractive. Would it be helpful for you to have a CPA or Accountant with Tax Qualifications to assist you in evaluating the best funding program? Yes, most likely.

Now you are ready to determine the location of your business, which will raise real estate questions, tax questions, contractural and legal questions, and financial cost considerations… as a beginning. Where you decide to locate your business will also determine your local and county licensing requirements.

Wonderful… now we have a great location to work… and we need competent employees who would help this business be successful. Now you need to put on your Human Resources hat, get out all the government regulations that apply, develop a mandatory HR Handbook for your business, and begin interviewing… for the anticipated business functions that we planned for our business.

For a beginning business which serves the public your initial functions will consist of an office and business that will provide for Management, Sales, Service,Storage, Reception Area and Conference Room. In reality in order to effectively operate and manage this business you will also need a Legal Department, Marketing Department, Tax and Accounting Department, Collections Department, Human Resources Department, Technology Department, Management Department and Advertising Department. Realistically you will need to perform all of the above functions of a major corporation that has been in business for many years and has considerable resources.

The reality is that for your start-up small business as the owner you may be performing all of the above functions by yourself..personally… for an extended length of time until business volume or funding of the business allows all of these functions to exist and operate. This is a classic example of “I did this myself”.

So how does a small business maximize access and utilization of professionals to give advice on how to accomplish all of these activities efficiently and profitably? Is it possible? Yes, it is… however not too many small businesses know the secrets of doing so. That is the purpose of this document… to acquaint those who are interested with tools, techniques and resources that are vital but difficult to learn about.

The very best ways to do this are through the acquisition of talented people and businesses that offer these services on a very economical basis. With my 58 years of business experience with large corporations and small businesses, I have been fortunate enough to identify many economical tools and services that can benefit small business owners. I provide consulting services and market some of these tools for those who contact me personally. If you have an interest contact me for personal discussion as described below. Thank you for your interest.

Small Business IT on a Small Business Budget? No It’s Not Nonsense!

There are many small businesses that are desperate for good quality and reliable IT solutions to support their businesses. The problem is they do not believe they can afford to invest in infrastructure to provide a solid foundation for their company. As a result, many are using out-dated technology that hinders their productivity and growth, which for any business, small or large is a dangerous avenue to walk down.

Small Business IT on a Small Business budget is not fiction, it is a reality and implementing bespoke services and solutions is extremely straight forward. The financial implications are low because small companies can take a stepping stone approach to their IT and each solution actively improves your efficiency, security and net-worth.

From simple wireless or easy-to-use wired networking to provide added value assets to your office, using a corporate email account with a fresh website to promote your online credibility, centralised storage with backups for productivity and support from an external IT Department (because small businesses are just as important as corporate entities) are all available and most importantly, they will not break the bank.

Of course, not everything needs to be implemented in one go, but it is also a good idea to be able to have “Small Business IT in a box” that gives you what you need at a reasonable cost. The majority of individuals and companies will spend money on services if they are really needed and if the cost to obtain is not only affordable but worth it.

We have exceptionally good services that can be supplied organically to your growing company or an “all-in-one” solution through our Small Business Package. As part of our business services, we provide you with a consultation on a scalable approach to your small business IT structure and even how we can re-implement your existing architecture to improve your business.

Check out our Small Business Services on our website and get in touch with us before you start to walk down that avenue.

Could a SBIR Grant Help Grow Your Small Business?

Looking for funds to help support research and development for your small business? Do you have a good idea and are looking for financial support to turn the idea into reality? There is a great way to boost your small business with a grant program, yes – that means you do not have to pay it back.

Check out this two government sponsored program: the Small Business Innnovation Research (SBIR) Program.

The SBIR program is a highly competitive program that encourages small businesses to explore technology potential while providing the incentive of providing funds to research and then turn the concept into reality. SBIR funds the critical startup and development phases to serve a specific government need and then help the small business commercialize the concept into a product. And the small business maintains ownership of the product.

The SBIR program protects and enables it to compete equally with much larger companies. The program was enacted in 1982 and has helped thousands of small businesses to compete for federal research and development awards.

There are ten federal agencies that participate in the SBIR program:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Defense
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Transportation
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • NASA
  • National Science Foundation

Government agencies typically announce one or two solicitations per year. Only small, for-profit, American-owned, and independently operated businesses will be considered. There are two phases, with an initial six-month Phase I award up to $100,000 to test the scientific, technical and commercial merit and feasibility of a new product concept.

If Phase I is successful, the company may be invited to apply for a two-year Phase II award up to $750,000 to bring the concept into reality to at least the prototype stage. Following completion of Phase II the small business is expected to obtain funding from private sector sources for the final Phase III when the product is offered for sale to private and government sectors.

When you are attending a business matchmaking event you will want to schedule an appointment with a representative from one of the above organizations and ask them about about upcoming SBIR opportunities.

Don’t think you have the stuff to write this type of proposal? Sometimes it makes sense to hire a special grant writer who has experience in writing SBIR applications. Do a Google search to locate local grant writers who can provide you with references from other small business owners with whom they have successfully worked for.