10 Tips for Successful Networking

Despite the dominance of social media, nothing replaces in-person networking. You can’t share a firm handshake or see a sincere smile flashed in response on social media.  But effective networking requires work. Here are 10 tips intended to make your networking as effective as can be.   BE GENUINE. Remember, your goal is to build relationships that will be helpful to both you and those with whom you network. That requires honesty, and Read More

10 Tips for Staying In Touch with Your Customers

Businesses of all sizes need to stay in touch with their customers while striking the delicate balance between “enough” and “too much.” Here are 10 tips to help you stay in touch with both current and future customers.   TRUST THE TRIED AND TRUE. Email is one of the biggest drivers of conversions for small businesses, which means your email contact list is one of your most valuable assets. But use it wisely. Too many businesses pepper Read More

10 Tips for Reimagining Your Customer Service

Providing friendly, efficient customer service is vital for any business, but are your customer service policies adequate? What are your customer service objectives? Here are 10 tips to help you improve your customers’ experience.   PRODUCE A PLAN AND OBJECTIVES. The best source of information is your customers themselves, which includes vendors, and employees. Seek their input about your customer service, what they expect, and how it Read More

10 Tips for Negotiating More Effectively

Negotiating is a reality for virtually every small business owner, whether that means negotiating a lease, terms of a sale, or a new employee’s wages or salary. While few people are ‘born salespeople,’ there are ways that non-salespeople can improve their negotiating skills. Here are 10 tips. BEGIN WITH THE END IN MIND. What is the ultimate goal of the negotiation from your perspective? Envision the best-case scenario and map out what you Read More

10 Tips for Maximizing Your Company’s Mobile Web Experience

More than three-quarters of American adults – 77 percent -- own smartphones and over half own tablets, according to the Pew Research Center, and an ever-increasing number of those consumers are using their devices to surf the web. According to Google, 67 percent of consumers are more likely to buy from a business if it has a mobile-friendly website. With that in mind, here are 10 tips if you’re ready to “go mobile.” BEGIN WITH THE BASICS. Read More

10 Tips for Crowdfunding Business Investments

Crowdfunding is a popular way to raise funds for projects and new products but you may not know that, since 2013, crowdfunding can also be used to raise money for businesses, thanks to a provision of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act. Here are 10 tips for using crowdfunding successfully. KNOW THE TWO TYPES OF CROWDFUNDING. Crowdfunding sites like IndieGoGo and Kickstarter used to be exclusively for raising donations through Read More

Video Marketing on Social Media

Have you ever noticed you spend more time on a website when there’s a video to click?  Adding video to your website or social media can significantly increase engagement. These basic steps can help grow your business with a low-cost marketing strategy that yields a high and measurable return. DECIDE IF YOU ARE COMFORTABLE MAKING YOUR OWN VIDEOS. The benefit of making your own videos is that you control the creative, branding, look, feel and Read More

Getting to Know EDC-VC’s SBDC Santa Barbara County Director Julie Samson

Julie Samson, M.A., is the director of Santa Barbara County's Small Business Development Center and the Scheinfeld Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Santa Barbara City College. She also serves as deputy sector navigator for global trade and logistics in our region. Julie oversees partnership development and outreach, capacity building for the region's small business service offerings, and is responsible for effective program Read More

Fresh Coat Painters is an SBDC Success Story

After 10 years as a project engineer and project manager on large-scale construction projects, Justin Engelbach decided to pursue his dream of owning and operating his own business. Together with his wife, Michele, Fresh Coat Painters was launched as a family-owned commercial and residential painting company. With quality and customer service as the driving forces behind the business, Fresh Coat Painters quickly established themselves as one Read More

Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County Expands SBDC Advisor Roster

The Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County has added four new consultants to their team of 30-plus advisors providing free one-on-one consulting to local businesses to help area companies strengthen and grow their bottom line. The new advisors include Bruce Hazuka, business management; Erica Bristol, legal/compliance and intellectual property; Raja Subramoni, marketing; and Tony Alcock, entrepreneurship. The advisor services are Read More

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