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Half of Millennials Want to Start a Business: Here’s How to Get Going

By Kali Geldis

Millennial businessIf you were born between 1977 and 1995, there’s over a 50% chance that you would start your own small business if you knew where to get help to make it happen.

America’s SBDC, the face of a nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), collaborated with the Center for Generational Kinetics to better understand how different generations view entrepreneurship. The findings indicated that millennials were especially eager to start businesses of their own, but there were some things standing in their way.

Millennials stated that they’d like help writing a business plan, and they rate money high on the list of things holding them back from starting a business. In fact, 45% of the study respondents said that finding capital to start a business was their biggest barrier. That’s not a huge shocker — there are more than 44 different types of business financing out there, and they come with unique interest and fee structures.

Here are five tips that can help any millennial, no matter their entrepreneurial dream, get started.  (more…)

Barton, Vermont Supermarket Keeping Up With Competition

Success Story: Vermont

VtSBDC Advising Assists Privately-Owned Grocery Store

Vermont SBDC SuccessAs large chain grocery stores continue to put pressure on small privately-owned markets, Vermont grocers are having to continually hone their business skills in order to compete against companies like Hannaford, Price Chopper and others. Raymond Sweeney, owner of C&C Supermarket in Barton, Vermont, knows that as well as anyone.

He said he got into the grocery business because “I enjoy what I do and my vision for the business,” but he admitted he could use some help projecting the future of his business. That is why he contacted Ross Hart, area advisor at the Vermont Small Business Development Center (SBDC). With a possible Wal-Mart opening up nearby, the two quickly went to work developing a reasonable cash flow model for the 71 Church Street market.

While the store was already known for great service, friendly staff, good prices, its fresh bakery and home cooked deli specials, as well as its produce department, meaty grinders and warehouse specials, Sweeney said Hart helped him create “a vision for where to take the business.”  (more…)

Email Marketing Strategy. Take the 15 Minute Challenge: GROW

(Part 5 of a 5-part series on email marketing strategy)

By Dave Charest

Email Marketing - banner

“I can’t wait to get more email today!”

Said no one ever.

So why would you ask, “Would you like to join our email list?”

This isn’t to say people don’t want to be on your email list

It just means that more email isn’t exactly a reason for someone to let you into their inbox.

But what if you had a script that allowed you to ask for email addresses with more confidence?

When you know exactly what to say to emphasize the value your audience can expect to receive, you’ll have more people joining your email list. Which means more people to do more business with you in the future.

Looking to learn more list growth tips? Join Constant Contact for a FREE webinar: How to Ask for Email Addresses, Anywhere. Can’t attend live? Register anyway and Constant Contact will send you a recording.

Before you get started with your script… 


Email Marketing Strategy. Take the 15 Minute Challenge: MEASURE

(Part 4 of a 5-part series on email marketing strategy)

By Bria Sullivan

Email Marketing - Measurement

If someone asked you how email marketing is helping your business, what would you say?

Chances are you wear a lot of hats at your small business or nonprofit, and maybe numbers aren’t your strong suit.

You’d much rather focus on connecting with people in person to sell more of your products and services — or raise awareness for your nonprofit.

How can you be sure that email marketing is worth your time?

Let’s take some of the dread and mystery out of measuring the impact of your email marketing, so you can be confident your emails are helping you achieve your business goals.

Want to learn more about measuring your email marketing results? Join Constant Contact for a FREE webinar, See the Impact of Your Email Marketing with Reports. Can’t attended live? Register anyway. Constant Contact will send you a recording.

Use the Triple-A Approach to Email Measurement
1. Analyze

To really be in control of your marketing, it’s crucial that you know how to interpret the results of your email campaigns.

Email marketing tools like Constant Contact provide easy-to-read reports that help you track your marketing success in real-time.

Here’s a look at what the Constant Contact reporting dashboard looks like:  (more…)

Health Food Company’s Distribution Channel Grows Beyond the Gym

Success Story: Idaho

Fit Wrapz, Idaho SBDC SuccessFounder Shige Toyoguchi started Fit Wrapz out of his kitchen, selling his products to personal training clients. With assistance developing a business plan at the Idaho SBDC in Boise, he decided to ‘go all in’ and moved into the SBDC-operated Boise Business Accelerator in 2012.

After raising over $1.3M of startup capital and with consultation from the SBDC, Fit Wrapz scaled its manufacturing out of the local food business incubator. Today, Fit Wrapz products are made in a world class USDA inspected, SQFIII facility.

Fit Wrapz provides convenient, delicious and healthy food, with a focus on “heat & eat” options for customers who lead active lifestyles. These nutritious products allow consumers to take the guess work out of what they eat.

Fit Wrapz has expanded distribution to grocery stores, hotels, coffee shops, natural food stores and university athletic departments across the country. Future plans include growing distribution through retail channels to reach critical mass, allowing the profits to fund product development and continued growth.

“I highly recommend utilizing [the SBDC’s] vast resources to grow your business,” says owner Shige Toyoguchi.

To learn more about Fit Wrapz, visit

To learn more about the Idaho SBDC, visit