How to Choose the Best Location for Your Business

“Location, location, location” is the classic rule for real estate business success. It might sound easy enough, but choosing the right location for your business is one of the most challenging decisions for entrepreneurs to make. The most obvious is to open your business where your customers live. That said, here are several factors beyond the obvious to consider: Demographics are in the details. Know how your product will fit in with Read More

Create Your Marketing Plan

Developing a marketing plan is one of the best ways to stay on message and on budget to reach your potential customers. Follow these guidelines to create a plan that works for you. Target market Start by creating a detailed description of each type of buyer who uses your product or service; consider market size, demographics, unique traits and trends that relate to demand for your business. Competitive advantage Define what gives your Read More

Should You Buy or Lease Your Business’s Assets and Equipment?

Your business will need special assets and equipment to operate—knowing to buy and when to lease the assets you'll need will impact how well your business will succeed. Here are guidelines to help you determine which assets you need, how to pay for them and whether you should buy or lease. Know the assets and equipment you need There are three basic categories of business assets: tangible, intangible and intellectual property. The first Read More

Building Your Business Using Social Media

Social media has become a very important tool in today’s business environment. Once regarded as places where disgruntled customers blew off steam, social media is now the go-to source for product, service and business recommendations. Social media is a significant peer influencer. One source says 71 percent of consumers are likely to purchase an item based on social media referrals. Using social media to engage customers or to find and convert Read More

Small Business Development Centers Provide Expert Guidance for New Businesses

You’ve made the decision to start your own business. After all, you’re good at what you do, you enjoy doing it, and you’re tired of doing it for someone else. But where do you start? Your local Small Business Development Center, or SBDC. SBDCs have been around for 35 years. With nearly 1,000 locations across the country, each provides small businesses and entrepreneurs with access to the essential resources to start and grow their new Read More

Managing Irregular Cash Flow

One of the most difficult facets of being a small business is dealing with income that is highly variable. It is also one of the most stressful aspects of being an entrepreneur. The lack of regular paychecks makes it nearly impossible to predict cash flow and establish a budget. Even a surplus from a fruitful month can be quickly used up keeping the business afloat if the next month or months bring a dry spell. While entrepreneurs and small Read More

Insuring the Future of Your Business

There is no single plan for starting a small business. Some businesses require more hardware, others more inventor y, still others a larger staff. One common need, however, is insurance. At its most basic, insurance is simply risk transference. The insured pays a premium to transfer the risk from themselves to the insurance company. And one of the most important types of insurance for small businesses is liability insurance. Much of the Read More

Taking It to the Streets

Street vendors are everywhere. From farmer’s markets to food trucks to flea markets and craft fairs, there’s something for everyone looking for something to buy, and multiple opportunities for those entrepreneurs who want to market their wares. It seems easy: identify a venue, register with that venue and rent a space, purchase a sign, set up a table, and you’re in business. Or are you? The fact is, there’s more to it than that. Becoming a street Read More

Planning Compensation Costs for 2018

The fourth quarter of the year is the time when many businesses begin planning for the coming year. With that season almost upon us, there are several factors business owners should take into account when budgeting for next year’s payroll. PAYROLL Most every employee expects an annual raise and most understand there are a number of factors that play into how large – or small – those increases are. Raises depend both on employee performance Read More

Celebrating the Power of Women Entrepreneurs in Ventura County

Contributed by Cheryl Heitmann, EDC-VC Board Chair October is National Women's Small Business Month, which calls us to recognize the leading role that women-owned businesses play in economic vitality and social equity. According to the Small Business Administration, nearly all (99.9%) of women-owned businesses are small business, and indeed their impact is mighty. They contribute more than $1.4 trillion in sales and 6.5 million jobs. Read More

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