In this free small business webinar on strategies and best practices to stay competitive and thrive in retail, BusinessAdvising.org hosted Joe Alexander, founder of Nest Bedding, one of the leading online mattress and bedding brands. In this free webinar you’ll learn about: How a customer-centric approach pays off Tools and strategies for small businesses operating retail brick-and-mortar and online storefronts How to stay competitive in today’s dynamic retail environment Joe Alexander is a pro bono advisor with BusinessAdvising.org, and the founder of Nest Bedding, one of the leading online mattress and bedding brands. His beds can be found in the homes of some top athletes and celebrities (and Pacific Community Ventures’ staff!) and he’s been lauded in publications such as the Huffington Post, Men’s Fitness and Refinery 29. In 2012, he bootstrapped Nest Bedding and grew it into a $20 million dollar a year force in the mattress and … Read More
Today’s blog post comes to us from Mark Engle, one of our expert business advisors here at BusinessAdvising.org, and a Managing Member of Four Corners Consulting Group. We’re honored to have Mark share his expert insight on the blog; read on to discover 15 ways you can start saving your business money today! Improve Your Accounting – You can control your expenses better simply by improving your accounting. If you are getting information back from your bookkeeper (even 15 days after the end of the month) it’s harder to control next month’s bills. By using online bookkeeping (in real-time view) you can do a better job of watching how you spend. Stick To Your Budget Like Glue — Having a budget (at least monthly) for expenses tends to force you (and your employees) to stick to the allocation. In addition to sticking to your budget, be sure to trim un-used … Read More
Seventeen years ago, we saw venture capital firms doing something to drive startups to greater success: pairing an entrepreneur not just with working capital, but an expert business advisor as well. Our founder Bud Colligan connected the dots: small businesses are the engine of job creation in America, but more of them fail then they should. His innovation in founding our organization was to bring the tools that empowered tech companies to brick-and-mortar businesses around the country. That lesson is more true today than it was even twenty years ago. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, half of all non-mentored small businesses fail within their first five years. And even then, only 30% of them make it to the ten-year mark. But for small business owners with an advisor or mentor, the difference is striking: 70% of those small businesses that work with an advisor survive: double the rate … Read More
In 2014, we scaled our BusinessAdvising.org small business mentoring and advising platform nationally. Since then, we’ve advised hundreds of entrepreneurs, helping them to grow their revenues and add jobs at 167% of the national average. At the same time, expert business advisors have volunteered tens of thousands of hours to help local businesses create jobs for working people across the country. Want to find a mentor, or sign up to be a volunteer advisor? Get started here.
For all small business owners, a business plan is core to your company’s success. It’s a written description of your business’s plans for the future, and explains to potential partners and investors how you’ll get there. These documents usually look ahead three-to-five years into the future, and outline the path your small business intends to take to grow its revenues. Drafting a business plan is more than just filling in a template. While there is a formula to follow, it is critically important that you take the time before you write to think through your business’ true, factual goals, objectives, and projections. The big reason? Investors, bankers, and other funders will hold you and your company accountable to the projections and proposals that your business plan contains. Some questions to consider before you start writing: Where do I envision my company in five years? How many employees will I have, … Read More
In this webinar, host Sherry Bijan (a seasoned veteran of the securities industry) walked small business owners through strategies to understand whether debt or equity was the right move for their businesses. Sherry covered topics like: Debt or Equity: Which is right for my small business? How to create an investor pitch deck What do funders look at when they’re looking at your business? You can watch the recording here: Sherry Bijan is a seasoned veteran of the securities industry, in the practice of investment advisement and management. She offers years of experience and devotion coaching investors in the capital markets as a Registered Investment Advisor. She strives to implement sound financial planning that is aligned with consumer’s interest and the need for advise, having helped develop informed self-directed entrepreneurs and consumers. Her experience is diverse and varied. In conjunction with her work as an advisor, in 1994 she helped launch and manage a family … Read More
In this webinar, host George de Bruin (an executive with 30 years of experience in the consumer goods industry) walked small business owners through ways to measure the financial health of their companies. George covered topics like: Does your company have a business plan, a long-term growth strategy, and a sustainable path to get there? How can you measure the health of your business? What should you look for when it comes to payroll and overhead? As in personal nutrition, understanding and measuring the health of your business is about sticking with a goal and being persistent. And: this applies to all businesses. In this free webinar, you’ll start planting the seeds and get a firmer direction on how to ensure you’re building your small business for sustainable growth in the long term. You can watch the recording here: George has provided the following Cashflow Template for small business owners to use. … Read More
Stay up to date on emerging trends and business innovations that could transform your industry – and the small business industry as a whole — with Business Reinvention. This podcast featuring BusinessAdvising.org advisor Nancy Lin keeps you engaged and in the know. The show helps you make sense of new technologies and business models, and helps you to understand their implications in an accessible way. Nancy’s in-depth interviews with experts empower you as an entrepreneur to think differently amd innovatively when it comes to your small business, and offer you inspiration and targeted business lessons. “Business Reinvention with Nancy Lin” is broadcast live every Tuesday at 8 a.m. Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Business Channel. Listen here: http://www.bizreinvention.com/ Nancy is an executive coach and a business consultant. Through her business radio show and her consulting practice, she offers her clients and her listening audience innovative thinking about emerging trends, as well … Read More
[This is a continuation of our Marketing 101 series] Google announced on their Webmaster Central blog that “Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal”. According to several sources, this seems to mean that sites which are not mobile-friendly will see their search rankings hit, and hit hard, by searchers using smartphones and tablets. There’s a lot more information going around about the update, and if you’re looking to get a deeper understanding of what’s happening there are already some great resources: Google has answered some pressing questions about the algorithm update Search Engine Journal has a summary of what this means for small businesses Moz had a great point-by-point breakdown of what we know about the update First things first: If you’re not sure how mobile-responsive your website is, there’s a quick way to check. Head to Google’s Web Master Tools site here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ and just type … Read More
The Sustainable Business Alliance, in partnership with the East Bay Express, has produced a new guide on “Good Local Money for Your Good Local Business”. This guide has all you need to find out what kind of money (loan? investment? crowdfunding?) you can get for your local business. It also includes lots of great information, including listings of local providers (like our parent nonprofit Pacific Community Ventures) and our partners, how much money you can get, and what the requirements are. It’s a great resource for Bay Area small businesses of every type, industry, and stage of development. Read on!