Crowdfunding World Summit

Do you know about CrowdFunding?
CrowdFunding is a new law enacted by Congress that allows people to invest online in small companies. The SEC has just released rules opening up new ways to raise funds for your business.
We’d like to let everyone know about – and encourage you to attend – a great opportunity that’s coming up soon.

CrowdFunding World Summit is a complimentary online conference featuring in-depth interviews and presentations with over 65 CrowdFunding experts heard over two weeks, including:
  • Lawmakers who passed the new laws will clarify key elements of CrowdFunding.
  • * U.S. Senator Mark Warner
    * U.S. Rep. David Schweikert
    * U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry
    * U.K. Member of Parliament Barry Sheerman
  • Founders of the top CrowdFunding websites will explain how to raise money online.
  • * RocketHub Founder Brian Meece
    * Fundrise Founder Ben Miller
    * Community Leader Founder Joseph Barisonzi
  • Business experts will describe the steps they’ve used to grow their companies.
  • * Draper Fisher Jurvetson VC Tim Draper
    * Business mentor Jay Abraham and invited guests
    * Former NASDAQ Official David Weild IV
     
    It’s free to attend online for America’s SBDC members and friends, thanks to generous sponsorship by:
    Sponsors: Microsoft, Small Business Development Center, Small Business Entreprenuership Council, 99Designs, CF4ALL, etc.
    The CrowdFunding World Summit is a virtual event, broadcast online from
    December 3rd through 16th. You can listen from anywhere.

    This is the best way to become a CrowdFunding expert or learn how to raise money for your business with CrowdFunding.
    How to attend:
      1: First: Register here
      2: Then: Check your inbox on December 3rd for email instructions to log in to the Summit.
    That’s all!

    The Commerce Control List and Self-Classification

    Where do I find the Commerce Control list?; Do I need a license to export my good?; How to Reference the ECCN; Designation of EAR99; Source: Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS)

    The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers.

    Exporting Tool Review: SBA’s Export Business Planner

    by BizFilings Business Owner’s Toolkit

    Here’s a riddle for the export-eager entrepreneur: What clocks in at 192 pages and is free? Unless you have a habit of absconding with condensed Gideon Bibles, the only answer we have is the SBA’s Export Business Planner.

    This massive tool is designed for “business owners who are exploring exporting.” While we recommend other resources if you’re merely exploring the possibilities of exporting, such as export.gov’s “Export Questionnaire“ or “Basic Guide to Exporting,” the Planner remains the go-to tool when you’re past considering exporting and ready to commit resources to this aspect of your business.

    Once you download the tool (a PDF), simply skim the first few chapters as they contain largely fluff or information you should already know if you’ve come this far in the exporting planning process. We’ll cover the chapters that matter most.

    Creating an Export Business Plan

    From this point forward, none of the Planner will be particularly easy, and the Export Business Plan section is no exception. You’ll have to work through exercises such as:

    • a business analysis that forces you to examine the current state of your company and your position against competitor an industry analysis that provides resources to find where your
    • an industry stands among exporting statistics with the Census Bureau and various trade associations.
    • a products/trend analysis that helps you find which countries or areas are best suited for your product, and then limiting that list to markets with the greatest chance of success. These and other worksheets reference a number of outside sources (with links provided) as well as your internal data.

    Developing Your Marketing Plan

    Many entrepreneurs think they can hire a native speaker to translate their ads, adapt their marketing plan to a new region and wait for the exporting earnings to come rolling in. Coincidentally, many entrepreneurs’ forays into exporting fail.

    To help ensure your exporting marketing efforts are successful, the Planner provides a 45-page chapter on your marketing plan. Once you’ve identified top markets to explore, this chapter helps refine your marketing strategy and tactics through exercises such as a market factor assessment, distributorship/agent guide, customer identification and more. Like the Export Business Plan, these can be time-consuming and involve fairly extensive research.

    Financing Your Exporting Venture

    For you finance aficionados, you’re about to enter number-crunching heaven. For the rest of you, take a deep breath and relax. You can do this.

    The chapter starts with one of the most essential series of worksheets you’ll need to complete: forecasting the first five years of sales. This portion alone will show you if, financially speaking, you can support an exporting program, or where adjustments must be made. Everything else—export costing, marketing expense costs, projected income, etc.—will require the same detail and tenacity you put forth in other exercises.

    The Export Business Planner is so thick for a reason. Exporting shouldn’t be an impulse decision. It must be a calculated, deliberate endeavor. And there isn’t a much better preparation tool out there than this SBA offering.

    About Business Owner’s Toolkit
    With an emphasis on problem-solving dating back to 1995, Business Owner’s Toolkit™ (www.toolkit.com) offers more than 5,000 pages of free cost-cutting tips, step-by-step checklists, real-life case studies, startup advice, and business templates to small business owners and entrepreneurs. The site also offers a monthly newsletter, up-to-date news topics, and Ask Alice!, a column that closely follows industry trends and provides trusted advice to inquiring site visitors.

    Duty Tariffs – Computing Duties and Taxes

    A look at computing duties and taxes for your product in the many country markets where you will be selling.

    The Census Bureau serves as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people and economy. We honor privacy, protect confidentiality, share our expertise globally, and conduct our work openly. We are guided on this mission by our strong and capable workforce, our readiness to innovate, and our abiding commitment to our customers.

    Three Questions Worth Considering Before Opening an International Location

    With 95 percent of the world’s consumers located outside of the United States, expanding your operations outside our borders can be a smart strategy for your business. Can being the operative word.

    Your research may reveal a sizable market for your product or service in a foreign country. But before you open your doors in a different country, see how well you can answer these make-or-break questions.

    1. Is your local business strong?
    Most small business experts recommend achieving success at the local level before shooting for international stars. If you’re not already in business, you might be tempted to start from the ground up in a country with cheaper labor and fewer regulations. If those are your motivators, remember you’ll be doing business in an area with less consumer spending and a completely different culture. With very few exceptions, it’s always safer to start at home.

    Some entrepreneurs with struggling businesses will blame their current market. True, a better market for your business may exist beyond our borders. But running your business in a foreign country the same way you do stateside will likely produce the same—if not worse—results. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the border. 

    2. Do you speak the language and understand the culture?
    According to an Escape from America article, the number-one mistake eager foreign-bound entrepreneurs make is failing to speak the language or know the culture. The logic goes like this: If you have English-speaking contacts in a foreign country, those associates can handle contracts, forms, and conversations on your behalf. That means placing a lot of responsibilities on others with no way to verify their work.

    Lacking language skills is bad, but neglecting the culture is worse. Assuming your country of choice wants a business run the American way, products advertised the American way, and customer service the American way often means you’ll go home packing the American way. With everything from labor efficiency to government corruption differing, you’ll have difficulty creating a successful business presence without first-hand knowledge of the culture and the language.

    3. What will your tax obligation be?
    You may figure with all the news about America’s high corporate tax rate, you can open business anywhere and pay a lower corporate rate. You’re partially correct. But, odds are, you’ll be obligated to pay taxes to Uncle Sam and the foreign government. In some instances, the international double taxation burden can make a foreign presence a money pit.

    Some small business owners in this situation find relief through the foreign tax credit. However, the tax credit has specific parameters your business must fall within in order to qualify. Find an accountant who specializes in small businesses with foreign presences to ensure your international plan won’t create an overbearing tax burden.

    You’ll have myriad other considerations to weigh before you open a foreign location. But answering these will show if you’re on the right track—or if it’s time to turn the train around.

    About Business Owner’s Toolkit
    With an emphasis on problem-solving dating back to 1995, Business Owner’s Toolkit™ (www.toolkit.com) offers more than 5,000 pages of free cost-cutting tips, step-by-step checklists, real-life case studies, startup advice, and business templates to small business owners and entrepreneurs. The site also offers a monthly newsletter, up-to-date news topics, and Ask Alice!, a column that closely follows industry trends and provides trusted advice to inquiring site visitors.