Louisiana #SBDC Network Shares Its Rebrand Story

August 19, 2015

LSBDC drops old suit and goes red, white and blue

You’re not part of the team until you put the uniform on, and you’re not part of the family unless you share the name. The Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) took note and dropped its old colors to join the America’s Small Business Development Center (America’s SBDC) network theme of red, white and blue, as part of a rebranding effort that was completed in May, 2015.

LouisianaSBDC-logoThe rebranding was designed to connect closely with the national network, but the LSBDC mission remains the same – to provide comprehensive, high-quality assistance to small businesses, and to business entrepreneurs.

“Our new brand serves as a visual representation of the strong connection that we have with our national network of SBDCs across the country,” said Rande Kessler, LSBDC State Director.

The LSBDC worked with several Louisiana-based small businesses including Branded Company of Louisiana, LLC, to develop its print and digital collateral; NMD, Inc. & eMerge enhanced its web and social media presence; and Elephant Quilt Productions developed a series of training tutorials.  (more…)

How To Select A Franchise Attorney

August 18, 2015

legal-scalesAfter you have narrowed your search for a franchise business to THE ONE that best fits your personal and professional goals and financial resources, it’s time to engage the services of a qualified franchise attorney to review the associated Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and the franchise agreement contained therein. While you might be tempted to hire an attorney at a far earlier stage in the due diligence process (let’s be honest: navigating through an FDD is far from “reading for pleasure”), the investment is not warranted until you are ready to become part of a particular franchise system.

The Value of a Franchise Attorney

The Federal Trade Commission requires that the FDD be written in “plain English.” No such restrictions pertain to the franchise agreement itself, however. You will want an attorney, who is experienced in franchise law, to review the contract to ensure that it is within the norms for franchise agreements, which are notoriously slanted for the benefit of the franchisor. If there are some provisions that need adjusting, your attorney can negotiate those on your behalf. Additionally, your franchise attorney can help you determine the best legal entity for your franchise business, as well as assist you with the numerous other legal matters that accompany business ownership. There is no standard fee for the review of the FDD and franchise contract, and they can be wide-ranging. So, be sure to ask before engaging your attorney’s services.  (more…)

Amped Apparel – Taking Your Brand to the Customer

August 17, 2015

Amped-ApparelSuccess Story: Pennsylvania

“Try and go about it in the correct way. Consult with the SBDC. It’s easy to not want to spend as much money and time, but by taking the proper steps first, you’re establishing a brand that can grow.” – Adam Sitz, Owner, Amped Apparel

Impact of working with the Shippensburg University SBDC: Adam Sitz attended Shippensburg University to pursue a college education. While at Shippensburg, he continued to develop the Amped Apparel business that he started as a teen and that is celebrating its 6-year anniversary this year. Today, Amped Apparel is an action sport and lifestyle clothing brand. Amped also sponsors multiple athletes in various action sports. Amped Apparel’s products include t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, girls’ tanks, beanies, accessories, socks, bags, and eyewear.  (more…)

School’s Back In Session: It’s Time For A #Retail Refresh

August 14, 2015

retail-refreshThe summer’s winding down and parents everywhere are on the hunt for the best deals on back-to-school shopping. You know what that means: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are right around the corner. Back-to-school is the perfect time for small businesses to get a jump-start on their holiday marketing – especially when 15% of consumers start their holiday shopping as early as July.

Here are some ways you can get an A+ on your back-to-school marketing:

Don’t miss the first day of school. As you’re reading this, your customers have already started shopping. In fact, according to Google Trends, “search interest started trending up a week earlier than last year and a whole three weeks earlier than 2013.” Make sure your online properties – your website, Google My Business listing, and social media profiles – are updated to showcase what you have to offer.

Do your homework. Remember when you had to do summer reading homework to prepare for the first day of school? As a small business owner, your summer assignment is to study what your customers are searching for on Google Trends. This will help you stock and advertise your products accordingly – and even help you get ahead of the curve for the holiday season. For example, according to Google Shopping Data search results, combat boots are out and Disney Vans are in.  (more…)