Knowledge is power. Here, a guide for small business owners on where to find guidance, training and financing.
ACCIONAs a leader in U.S. microfinance, Accion empowers low-to-moderate income business owners through access to capital and financial education. With economic opportunity, these entrepreneurs can build assets, better provide for their families, create employment and strengthen their communities.
ASTIAFounded in 1999 in Silicon Valley, Astia is an innovative global not-for-profit organization that propels women's full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, fueling innovation and driving economic growth. Astia offers programs for high-growth startups and connects entrepreneurs to investors, industry leaders, advisors and service providers encircling the entrepreneur with a comprehensive value-ad network.
BUSINESSUSABusinessUSA is a government-sponsored online platform that is designed for businesses to more readily access the resources and financing they need in order to scale, succeed and thrive. It provides online training, mentoring opportunities and information on local workshops and networking events.
FASHION LAW INSTITUTEThe Fashion Law Institute--the world's first center dedicated to law in the fashion industry--is a nonprofit organization housed at Fordham Law. In partnership with the Council of Fashion Designers of America, it provides legal services for design students and professionals and offers courses in intellectual property, business and finance, ethics, international trade, and sustainability. The Institute also offers the community-at-large training opportunities, educational forums and resources for legal research relevant to the fashion industry.
GOLDEN SEEDSGolden Seeds is an investment firm dedicated to delivering above-market returns through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs and the people who invest in them. The firm also provides training in angel and venture investing through an academy consisting of over 30 educational modules. Started in 2004 and headquartered in New York, with offices in Boston and San Francisco, the firm also has investor groups in Los Angeles and Dallas.
GOLDMAN SACHS 10,000 SMALL BUSINESSESGoldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses is a business education program designed for established business owners with limited resources who have a company poised for growth. An applicant must demonstrate a commitment to growing their business and creating jobs within their community. In addition, businesses must be in operation for at least two years and generate revenues between $150,000 and $4 million in the most recent fiscal year.
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN BUSINESS OWNERSThe National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) offers its members a national and local platform to engage with other women-owned businesses, leadership development opportunities and community involvement through partnerships and alliances on the corporate level.
NATIONAL WOMEN'S BUSINESS COUNCILThe National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is a non-partisan federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The Council is the government’s only independent voice for women entrepreneurs. Members are prominent women business owners and leaders of women’s business organizations.
NETWORK FOR TEACHING ENTREPRENEURSHIP (NFTE)The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) provides programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, recognize business opportunities and plan for successful futures. NFTE believes that entrepreneurship education for all youth will grow the global economy and provide opportunities for young people to own their future.
PROJECT EVEProject Eve is a social media platform for established and aspiring women entrepreneurs, offering information, advice and mentoring. It allows members to collaborate across sectors, share ideas and access support as they start and grow their businesses.
RENAISSANCE ENTREPRENEURSHIP CENTERRenaissance Entrepreneurship Center is a nonprofit small business development organization based in the San Francisco Bay Area and dedicated to helping women and men who traditionally lack access to resources and information to achieve financial self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship. Renaissance provides training, support services, resources, and networks for business owners at every stage.
STARTUP AMERICAThe Startup America Partnership a nonprofit organization started to support and celebrate entrepreneurship and the growth of startup businesses in the U.S. The organization works on a locally-owned, regional basis in 22 states and the District of Columbia.
THE STORY EXCHANGEThe Story Exchange is a global video project empowering women to achieve economic independence through entrepreneurship. By telling the stories of successful women from all walks of life, The Story Exchange encourages others to create a lifestyle of their choosing and uncover their full potential. It has just launched the 1,000 Stories Campaign to make women entrepreneurs more visible in the media. Share your story of starting a business and it will appear on the website together with your company web address.
U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTER PROGRAMThe SBA’s Women’s Business Center Program is a national network of Women’s Business Centers providing business training, counseling and other resources to help women start and grow successful businesses.
U.S. WOMEN'S CHAMBER OF COMMERCEUsing a platform of influence, innovation and opportunity, the USWCC works with and for our members to grow successful businesses and careers.
WOMEN 2.0Women 2.0 is a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and established women innovators in technology. Its mission is to increase the number of women founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education.
WOMEN IMPACTING PUBLIC POLICYWomen Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) is a national nonpartisan organization which educates and advocates on the behalf of women-owned businesses in the American legislative process, creating economic opportunities and building bridges and alliances to other small business organizations. WIPP has reviewed, provided input, and taken specific positions on many economic issues and policies which affect its membership of over one million, including affordable health care, leveling the playing field for women-owned businesses, and the implementation of well-established federal law which seeks to encourage women in the marketplace, tax policies, energy, telecom, etc.
WOMEN'S INITIATIVE FOR SELF EMPLOYMENTWomen's Initiative assists high-potential low-income women who dream of business ownership. Through an intensive 20-session program — in English or Spanish — women are enabled to start or expand their business. Women's Initiative is a not-for-profit agency with a mission to build the entrepreneurial capacity of women to overcome economic and social barriers and achieve self-sufficiency.
The single most important goal you can set for yourself in starting a business, in everyday operations, and in growth planning...Focus.
A simple guide to success...Focus.
No question it is tempting to pursue or explore every interesting idea and business opportunity. "look at this verticle..." "If we work with this partner..." and on and on...
While you may see potential - it is not an opportunity until you have done your due diligence - which takes time. Research and planning - like the kind that went into developing your business plan (right??) helped you align your verticals, and the market opportunities. It doesn't hurt to remind yourself of what you are doing and why on a regular basis. You are creating your business to answer to a need in the marketplace. You created your plan to address the need with the best approach given all the available information. "XYZ" strategy is the best path to reach the goals. Ask yourself - "does such and such an idea help me reach our goals within our strategy?"
The reality is - bird walking of that nature takes us off track and keeps us from accomplishing our goals in a timely fashion. Practice saying "no!" and appreciate that nothing is forever, including "no." It's empowering to reinforce your goals by staying focused - by making a choice to stay focus. Then remember that no can simply mean - "not yet!"
It is easier to stay focused if you know what you want from the start. So make sure you set goals with achievable milestones to keep you on track. Instead of saying - I want this business to reach the stars, start with "In the next 6 months I want to see 10% growth in earnings." Then write down where you stand at the moment -so you have a clear idea of where you are going.
BY PAULA ANDRUSS | March 20, 2012|
brought to you by Entrepreneur Mag Online
There's no better way to dissect the how-tos of branding than to dig deep into the companies everybody knows and trusts. To accomplish this,Entrepreneur teamed with The Values Institute at DGWB, a Santa Ana, Calif.-based think tank that focuses on brand relationships, on a consumer survey that explored the reasons some brands manage to stay on top.
What became clear: Though they may not have the biggest sales or market share in their categories, today's most trustworthy brands have created relationships with consumers through experiences that trigger a visceral response.
"We're seeing more of an emphasis on brands building emotional relationships with consumers because it's powerful and it works," says branding consultant Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer of Procter & Gamble and author of Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World's Greatest Companies. "When you do it, you have a much stronger affinity, a much stronger business, much stronger growth and much stronger results.
"When we looked at brands [at P&G] that had a very, very strong emotional benefit vs. our competition," Stengel adds, "our shares were much, much higher. And the margin of growth vs. our competitor was much higher than those that had just a functional superiority."
By Scott Sehlhorst | January 24th, 2006
brought to you courtesy of Tyler Blain
They key to writing a great spec is knowing how to specify software that mets our customers’ needs.
It can be a daunting task. First, we have to define what our customer needs. High level requirements are just requirements that are too vague or high-level to be directly actionable. “We must reduce our cost of fullfilling orders by 20%” is a high level requirement. We can’t start writing code with only that information. In an early post, we talked about functional requirements being written at the right level – don’t confuse the level of clarity required for writing a functional spec with that required to define goals.
A market requirements document (MRD), as we discussed earlier, discusses the problems (to be solved) or the needs of the market. When working with a customer, that customer will identify one or more strategic objectives.
As an aside – this case study demonstrates use of the OST (objectives, strategy and tactics) approach to initiating and managing projects. Check it out for context. You can just skim the bold parts in the OST sections if you want to stay on topic with this post.
The question is – How do we get from an MRD to a great PRD?
A product requirements document (PRD) captures the capabilities of the software in order to address the market needs. From these key capabilities comes the design of the software. How do we get from needs to ideas?
This is an ideation task. A product manager must apply high level design skills when writing the specification. Haven’t we said repeatedly that requirements should not describe the implementation or design? Yes. Previously, we talked about the importance of asking why, this is the same issue, approached in the other direction – starting with the why and askinghow.
We’re not talking about specifying implementation details – just articulating capabilities. Here is a list of “market need : product capability” that demonstrate the transition from MRD to PRD.
Organizing, validating, and prioritizing these capabilities is the hard part. The output of this effort is a PRD. A product roadmap (a vision of what a product will be capable of doing, over time) is another potential output.
made possible by Shawn Livengood (what an awesome last name!) from BuildASign.com - Thank you!
3 CORE ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT
Brought to you by: http://www.webbizideas.com/social-media-marketing
Overlap of Acquisition and Engagement Items
ENGAGE: THINGS YOU DO AFTER YOU HAVE AN AUDIENCEEngagement through social media is absolutely essential for its success. As you expand the number of people on your fan list, it won’t make a difference to your business unless people are actively listening and engaging online with your brand. You must meet or exceed expectations to get (and keep) an engaged audience. We help you continuously add value to your audience by following guiding principals and determining unique ways you can make your company stand out. Some examples of this include: staying on top of what your competition is doing in social media, setting up communication schedules, and ensuring you are delivering on promises to your audience.
MONITIZE: HOW YOU MEASURE YOUR ROIPutting dollar values to social media campaigns varies greatly from company to company. However, based on your social media goals and strategy there are ways to measure the success of a social media campaign. First, we will look at what your market expects from you in social media communications. We will then analyze methods and frequency for monetizing your audience. (For Example: How often can you send direct offers and measure success based on purchases?) Whether you use coupons, utilize the Facebook store, or simply compare sales before and after social media efforts, it is essential to know your goals in order to understand the effects of social media marketing on ROI.
SEO Blogger: Optimize Your Posts As You Write
This is a forum of tips and links to best information to help to optimize your business - covering everything from SEO management to social networking & writing a press release to igniting a movement.