If you’re a small business owner interested in exporting – or are already navigating the international arena – you know there’s a lot to get organized. The resources available from Export.gov can help you with all the stages, from training and market research to information about financing. Export.gov also offers a wealth of information about documents that are used in exporting. Here’s a rundown of a few of the most common. Common Export Documents Commercial Invoice: A commercial invoice is a bill for the goods...
Have you celebrated your small business’ accomplishments lately? In a few weeks, we’ll be tuning in to watch the Oscars – the Academy Awards – an occasion that acknowledges the finest achievements in the film industry in the last year. If you haven’t had the chance to step back and celebrate what you’ve achieved, here are a few ways this popular event can inspire you. From the movie business to small business… The Oscars feature categories that award many aspects of films – from the costumes...
Valentine’s Day is upon us, and we know that businesses large and small incorporate this holiday of love into sales and marketing efforts with the hope that customers will spread a little more love their way. But another great way to acknowledge this amorous day is to spread a little love yourself – back to the community that supports your business. Read on for insight about making the most of your volunteer efforts. Giving back through volunteering is a great way to show the value you place on your community – and your...
Did you know that nearly 96 percent of consumers live outside the United States? And two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power is in foreign countries. As the numbers show, the international marketplace is a big one. So if you’re interested in exploring the world of exporting – or have gotten started but could use some guidance – check out these resources to help. Export Assistance Centers Did you know that assistance centers across the United States exist to help small business owners and entrepreneurs exclusively...
Does your small business maintain a Facebook page? Are you thinking about venturing into social media with a presence on this ever-growing social network? Mari Smith, often referred to as “The Queen of Facebook,” offers some insight to help you use it most effectively. Understand the fundamentals Before jumping head first into Facebook, consider some fundamental questions. Ask yourself: Why am I on Facebook in the first place? What am I trying to do here? Am I trying to just generate fans and get better sentiment...
“Government contracting.” “Small business certification.” You’ve heard the phrases before, but what do they really mean? And does it really matter for your small business? Maybe – and maybe not. Let’s cut through all the noise and define these phrases in a meaningful way for your entrepreneurial endeavors. What is government contracting? Government contracting is the process that lets you sell your goods or services to the government and its various agencies. The government has a contract, or agreement...
2013 was a good year for independent workers – and the future looks even brighter. Self-described contractors, freelancers, consultants, temps, “solopreneurs,” and microbusiness owners surveyed for MBO’s Third Annual Independent Workforce Report are feeling optimistic about their employment status. Check out these positive figures if you’re thinking about joining their ranks. Independents have a positive impact on the economy The MBO study reports a 5% increase in independent workers when compared to 2012 –...
Is your small business part of SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program? Have you considered entering the Mentor-Protégé Program to develop your business and compete more successfully for federal government contracts? As either the mentor or the protégé, there’s a lot to be gained from participating. Here’s how it works and the requirements to participate. How does it work? The Mentor-Protégé Program fosters private-sector relationships between small businesses. It’s...
As a young entrepreneur, you may be looking for advice or guidance as you consider starting your own business. A great place to turn? A mentor. And January is National Mentoring Month. Every year, this month highlights the positive role that mentors have in helping shape the success of young people – from the classroom to the working world. Read on for more about why and how to get started with a mentor. Why should I have a mentor? According to the Startup Genome Report, statistics show that entrepreneurs and startups are more likely to...
If the new year could mean new hires for your small business, there’s a lot to think about. Here’s some insight to consider from experts interviewed for SBA’s Learning Center Series, “Strategies for Growth.” They’ve shared some lessons they’ve learned that can help you develop a plan for expanding your team. Short and sweet job descriptions Casey Wilson, Retail Industry Manager, Maryland Small Business Development Center, asserts the importance of a clear, well written job description: “The...
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