SBA Wyoming District Office Newsletter - Jan. 2022

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Wyoming District Office  

u s small business administration

Deadline Approaching for National Small Business Week Nominations 

Illustration of a trophy with the following text, 2022 National Small Business Week Awards. Now accepting nominations. Visit sba.gov/nsbw

Nominations are continuing to be accepted for the 2022 National Small Business Week (NSBW) Awards. The NSBW Awards recognize the achievements of SBA-assisted small businesses and the contributions they have made to their communities and our nation’s economy.

All nominations should be submitted electronically by 3 p.m. EST on January 11, 2022. The awards will be presented during the NSBW Awards ceremony in the first week of May 2022.

To nominate a small business owner in your area or download related forms, criteria, and guidelines, visit sba.gov/nsbw. SBA Wyoming District Office team member Jordan Belser is available to answer any questions you may have about the nomination process and can be reached at jordan.belser@sba.gov.

Learn more here.

Other Headlines

SBA Surety Bond Guarantee Program

SBA Wyoming District Office to Host Free Surety Bond Event

Do you have limited or no bonding experience? Are you experiencing difficulty qualifying for bonding? Do you want to increase your bond limits? Please consider joining us for a free webinar that'll feature everything you want to know about contract bonds and surety bonding guarantees. Learn how to obtain contract bonds up to $10 million!

The webinar will be held Thursday, January 6, 2022 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. MT. For registration information, please email SBA Wyoming District Office team member Jordan Belser at jordan.belser@sba.gov. 

Illustration of a ship and cargo boxes with the following text, exporting basics for your small business. The SBA logo is at the bottom.

Exporting 101

By: Patty Brewer, Export Finance Manager, SBA

The transition from one year to another provides an opportunity for both reflection and planning. As a small business owner, you are looking at the past year’s challenges and developing plans for growth. For some of you, that growth includes international expansion. Exporting might seem exotic, but many struggling small businesses learned during the COVID-19 pandemic that sales diversification is a solid strategy. Research has shown that small businesses engaged in international trade grow faster, pay higher wages, and are more resilient during tough economic times. Nearly 98% of American exporters are small businesses generating $2 trillion in export sales. Maybe 2022 is the year you join the 300,000 small businesses that are already selling internationally.

How does a small business start exporting?

1. Do a Self-Assessment. What’s the current state of your business, finances, employees, supply chain, and production capabilities?

2. Call your network. There are a variety of federal, state, and municipal organizations ready to provide assistance on all aspects of business management and international trade. Start with the Small Business Development Center (Wyoming SBDC Network - Entrepreneurs Helping Entrepreneurs) for counseling and training, Manufacturing Works (Home - Manufacturing Works (manufacturing-works.com) for production efficiencies, Wyoming Business Center (Grow Your Market - Wyoming Business Council) for state grant and loan programs, and the U.S. Commercial Service (Colorado Denver (trade.gov) for market research.

3. Do your research. Who are your customers, what price will they pay, and who is your competition? What are the country restrictions for ingredients or packaging? How will you get your product to your customers?

4. Write an Export Business Plan that describes the product being exported, buyers’ countries and trade environment, logistics, landed costs, and sales projections.

5. Write your marketing plan. How will your customers find you, get the product, and pay you?

6. How will you pay for the international expansion: cash flow, grants, SBA loans, EXIM Bank, or venture capital?

Exporting is a proven strategy for generating growth and creating a resilient company. Will 2022 be your year to move into the global market?

Patty Brewer is an Export Finance Manager with the SBA’s Office of International Trade. Her territory includes Colorado, Montana, Utah, and Wyoming. She can be reached at 720-556-4664 or patricia.brewer@sba.gov.


Upcoming Events

Jan. 11: Time Management: Beat Procrastination & Improve Your Focus (Presented by the Wyoming Women's Business Center)

Millions of people swear by the life-changing power of the Pomodoro Technique, a popular time-management method. This popular time management method asks you to alternate focused work sessions with frequent short breaks to promote sustained concentration and stave off mental fatigue.

In this 30-minute webinar, you’ll learn about the Pomodoro Technique and what makes it effective. You’ll learn how to gamify your productivity to focus on consistency rather than perfection. Register here.

Jan. 12: PTAC Lunch and Learn – HUD Section 3 Business Registry (Presented by the Wyoming SBDC Network)

Please join Trent Lofts of the HUD Wyoming Field Office to discuss the new HUD Section 3 online business registry. As a partner in community and economic development, HUD has developed an online resource to help businesses and workers increase their access to economic opportunities that are generated from projects that receive certain HUD funds. Register here.

Jan. 13: 15 Offline Marketing Ideas for Your Small Business (Presented by the Wyoming Women's Business Center)

While online content is a valuable piece of any marketing plan, rural Wyoming’s small businesses benefit greatly from careful attention to an offline strategy. In this free, 30-minute webinar, we will explore 15 offline marketing ideas for your small business that will complement your online strategy and engage your community of customers off the web. Join us on Thursday, January 13th at noon to learn how to reach your local audience beyond their smartphone screen! Register here.

Jan. 18: Get Your Side Hustle On – Build Your Dream Job While Keeping Your Day Job (Presented by the Wyoming SBDC Network)

Surveys show that about half of working Americans have some sort of side hustle—a number that increased sharply during the pandemic. This webinar, presented by a long-term side hustler, will help you identify a hustle to supplement or replace your income or to just build a fun fund for travel or a specific purchase. You will also learn about important financial implications of managing extra income, marketing tips, and operational strategies to keep your hustle going and growing. Register here.

Jan. 18: 7 Options to Access Money for your Small Business (Presented by the Wyoming Women's Business Center)

We all know that small businesses need money to start or expand and grow. How do you determine the best funding options for your business? In this webinar, you’ll learn the top 7 funding sources available and what you need to consider for each.

From bootstrapping to venture capital, this 30-minute webinar will explain the landscape of funding for small businesses in Wyoming and help you plan your next step! Register here.

Jan. 19: PTAC Lunch and Learn – Selling Food and Beverage to the Government

Have you ever considered selling your food or beverage products to the federal government? Perhaps it’s not something you thought about…yet. Join Wyoming PTAC for an informal overview about applying to six federal agencies including DLA, Department of Commissary, Military Exchanges, USDA, Bureau of Prisons, and the National Park Service. We will briefly cover each agency, items they might procure, and a high-level overview of application processes for each. Register here.

January is packed with free trainings from our resource partners at the Wyoming SBDC Network and the Wyoming Women's Business Center, so please visit their websites to see all this month has to offer!


Wyoming SBDC Network Biz Tip

new business

“I’m about to start up a new business. Should I write a business plan?”

The answer to that question is a resounding “Yes.” I will qualify my response; however, with “but not for all of the reasons you think.”

During the past several years, much has been written about business plans. Many websites promise to either write the plan for you or provide all of the “magic materials” you need to create a successful plan – for a price. The result is that the aspiring entrepreneur assumes that a business plan is a ticket to guaranteed business success. A good plan certainly helps, but the actual process of developing the plan probably provides the most benefit to the entrepreneur. A comprehensive business plan will help you make the informed decisions that will lead to success. And, there is nobody more qualified to write that plan than you are, because all of the ideas and dreams for that business are yours.

Every business is a network of functions that must coordinate well to achieve success. As a start-up sole proprietor with no employees, your business will require the same basic operations as a large corporation. For example, the marketing department must coordinate with the purchasing or manufacturing department to be certain that there is enough product to fulfill demand created by the latest advertising campaign. The bookkeeping department must coordinate with the personnel department to be sure there is enough money in the bank to pay a new employee. All of these “departments” may be “you,” but any entrepreneur needs to understand the effects that any change in one area will have on the whole.

The Wyoming SBDC Network provides clients with a similar outline, regardless of the type of business. Why? Because every business has to think through the same necessary functions: marketing, inventory, recordkeeping, human resources, etc. The exact details of the plan may change the first day you open, but the business planning experience of thinking through every aspect of the business and planning how those functions will coordinate will help you throughout the life of the business.

Writing a business plan will teach you a new way of thinking about your business as a network of systems that work together. A change in one function may result in a change in one or more other systems and a change in your financial position. Writing that first plan will be a voyage of discovery and help you make the tough decisions that will result in success. Contact the Wyoming SBDC Network to receive business planning templates, industry research, comparable financials and more. Best of all, we will carefully review your plan so that the finished result is the best plan possible for your project.

Learn more about the Wyoming SBDC Network here.