By Kali Geldis
If 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…)
Entrepreneur and SBDC Client Josh Fegles is hired as Academic & Government Channel Sales Director to increase market share of SaaS app LivePlan in the government and academic channels
The world’s leader in business planning, strategic forecasting for small business, and small business management software, Palo Alto Software, has announced the hire of entrepreneur Josh Fegles to lead the company’s government and academic relationships.
Fegles will be sharing LivePlan, a great critical thinking tool, with global academic and government organizations to help them increase their relevance among their small business clients and students. LivePlan helps students learn about how to start a business, and helps small business owners plan and manage their business better. Josh will bring LivePlan to SBDCs (Small Business Development Centers), SCORE offices, Women’s Business Centers, Veteran’s Business Outreach Centers, Chambers of Commerce, economic development organizations, accelerator and incubator programs, and academic institutions (high schools and higher education, including online universities).
“Josh is the perfect person to lead our relationships with SBDCs, SCORE offices and colleges and universities for many reasons. Most importantly, he’s been a long time client of the SBDC in Portland, Oregon,” stated Palo Alto Software CEO, Sabrina Parsons. (more…)
Every homebrewer who has sipped his or her own creations and tasted the satisfaction of a job well done has likely at least contemplated what it would be like to share their recipes with the world, or to make a living from their passion for handcrafted beers. And many Vermont brewers have taken steps to make that dream a reality. But there’s a lot more to a successful brewery than making great beer.
Vermont breweries like Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro and The Alchemist in Waterbury are garnering national attention and an almost cult-like following for their products. It’s easy to see why new breweries are popping up throughout the state and beyond. While rockstar brews like the Alchemist’s Heady Topper may make going into the beer business seem like a no-brainer, opening a brewery is a serious and often expensive undertaking that should not be delved into on a whim. (more…)
By Keith D. Yurgosky
Have you heard about Laura Beck of www.stripedshirt.com, the self-proclaimed “failed entrepreneur” whose kickstopper story has gone viral? At The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center part of what we do every day is help people understand that some planning and research up front can be the difference between a successful business and a failed idea. But it’s even better for you to hear it from someone who knows like Laura Beck.
I live in a house with four women, and work in an office with five women, in both cases I am the only male. So not only have I learned to put the toilet seat down, but I have also learned that women find wearing striped shirts unflattering. Somehow Mrs. Beck didn’t get this memo. If she had put together a small focus group of women before starting, I am certain this is something that would have come up. Pre-planning and some simple market research can save a lot of headaches down the road. In the case of Mrs. Beck, I am sure she had many sleepless nights trying to figure out how to unload the 21,000 striped shirts she had pre-ordered, or how to recoup the $210,000 investment she had made to start the business.
This is the same situation many entrepreneurs find themselves in on a daily basis and, when a loan is involved and the collateral is a person’s home, the dream of owning a business can quickly become a nightmare. The mistake admitted by Mrs. Beck was that she thought PR alone could sell the product. However, marketing isn’t only advertising, it’s finding the right product and being able to sell it at a price people are willing to pay for it. (more…)
One of the debates I hear most often revolves around the need for a Business Plan. Love them or hate them…everyone has an opinion. I’ve heard VC’s say they never do anything without one, and I’ve heard them say they are a waste of time.
My opinion? Yes. No. Absolutely. No way. Without a doubt. Maybe.
I think it all depends on what you are going to use it for. I’ve seen hundreds (and written dozens) of business plans over the years and I can’t think of one where everything went according to the plan that was so carefully written. So why bother with them? Simple. I think the highest value to be gained from putting thoughts to paper lies in helping the writer think through their models.
Top 5 Reasons to Write Them
1. Make mistakes on paper before you make them with dollars. It’s a really good exercise to really think through your business model. (more…)