SBA Reporter – Five Ways to Spring Clean Your Business

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The SBA Reporter, Smart. Bold. Accessible., Seattle District Office, Spokane Branch Office, Serving Washington State and Northern Idaho

March 22, 2017

Spring Clean Your Small Business

Five Ways to Spring Clean Your Business

Are you looking for new ways to boost sales, build your brand or get your business plan back on track? Consider giving your small business a much-needed spring cleaning this year. The following are five ways to spring clean your business:

1. Update your website: As of April 2015, if your website isn't mobile-ready, it won't appear prominently in Google's search results. Worse, an outdated website sends the wrong message to potential clients. Experts recommend a monthly sprucing and the inclusion of a blog in order to make your website more attractive to Google. 

2. Get your press releases picked up by the media: Connect your story to a breaking news story or some issue that is of interest already.Your aim should always be to show impact. Impact equals news.

3. Utilize the right social media to grow your business: Some businesses should stay away from certain forms of social media, for example, a Facebook page might not be appropriate for a medical doctor. A review of your target market and a short consultation with a professional can help you determine which social media is appropriate and most effective for your business.

4. Spring clean your business expenses: Pick a benchmark expense amount, for example $200, and look at any expenditures with an annual outlay above this amount to determine if the expenditure provided a direct benefit—meaning the expenditure is directly parlaying into revenue—or is absolute necessity. If the expenditure cannot do that, eliminate it or find a less costly way. You might even set some goals for expenditures—like how much you will spend on advertising for the year.

5. Refocus your marketing efforts on your target demographics: Not everyone is your customer. Take another look at the target market which was identified in the marketing section of your business plan. It helps to pay attention to where your competition is marketing; they may have done the research for you.

Read this entire post at www.sba.gov/blogs.

Free Workshop Thursdays

Free Workshops in Seattle to Start Your Food Business

Have you been dreaming of opening your own restaurant or food truck? Take one step closer to making your dream a reality by attending these free SBA-hosted food business workshops. 

Thursday,  March 23
All classes this day will be held in-person only at:
SBA Training & Education Center
2401 4th Ave. | Suite 450
Seattle, WA 98121

9 - 10:30 a.m.
Selling Food – Washington Permits & Licenses

11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Food-Focused Small Business Panel

1 - 2:30 p.m.
Starting a Food Truck Business: What You Need To Know


help wanted: summer intern

How to Plan for Your Summer Intern

The clock is ticking on your window of opportunity to plan for hiring interns this summer. The spring semester at many colleges ends the first week in May. 

Small employers will be competing with large corporations for talented students for summer employment, so starting early to line up summer employees can be helpful. Reach out to local colleges through their student employment offices.

Paid Interns

As a general rule, you can’t get free help from college students, it’s against the law according to the U.S. Department of Labor. If you plan to hire a college student, be sure to set compensation as dictated by the marketplace, your budget, and the law. Observe minimum wage rules in your state.

Unpaid Interns

You can use unpaid interns if you meet all of the following conditions:

  1. The internship, even though it includes actual operation of your facilities, is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff;
  4. By providing the training you derive no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion your operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
  6. You and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

Read this full blog post at www.sba.gov/blogs.


    Innoventures

    Innoventures
    Thursday, March 30
    6 - 9 p.m.

    Join the SBA and resource partner Ventures for "Innoventures," a night of inspirational business pitches and networking with a community of entrepreneurs at Optimism Brewing in Seattle.
    Registration required


    Grow

    Grow Your Small Business
    Tuesday, March 28
    3 - 4:30 p.m.

    This free workshop will be offered in English and Cantonese languages at Hing Hay Coworks in Seattle's International District. Advanced registration is encouraged.


    SBDC Idaho

    The following classes are low-cost workshops offered by SBA resource partner, Idaho SBDC. All classes to be held at:

    NIC Workforce Training Center
    525 South Clearwater Loop | Post Falls, ID  83854

    Thursday, March 30
    8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    Business Model Canvas

    Friday, March 31
    8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    Financial Management for Profit

    Friday, April 7
    8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    Planning for Business Success


    To see more upcoming workshops:

    SBA

    Benefit from other workshops and programs provided by our resource partners:

    America's SBDC Washington

    SCORE

    Women's Business Center INW

    Washington Center for Women in Business

    wwbc logo

    vboc