As a business advisor for the Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC), I frequently encounter entrepreneurs with great ideas for new businesses.
Most often, they are convinced that they have a business model that will be successful in the marketplace. Whether it is high-tech or low, product, service, or a combination of both, they are convinced that it is a winner.
The holidays are over, and as we reflect on the weight gain, credit card debt, and family get togethers, one thing may be sticking out in your head. At least everyone loved my recipe for “fill in the blank.”
Maybe you are thinking that you should take your recipe that your family and friends adored so much and do something with it, like turn it into a business or a side hustle right?
Well, let’s take a closer look at all that is involved to take your idea for a food business and make it a reality.
Combining “the rich heritage of cooperatives with the promise of 21st century technologies, free from monopoly, exploitation, and surveillance,” is the definition of platform cooperatives as presented in the 2017 edited compilation, “Ours to Hack and to Own: The Rise of Platform Cooperativism, A New Vision for the Future of Work and a Fairer Internet.”
You may not be readily clear on what a platform-technology business is, but you have almost certainly been a consumer of one or more of these businesses, and maybe even a provider.
So much these days is written about entrepreneurship, but perhaps too little is written about the entrepreneur. What is an entrepreneur exactly?
In fact the word itself has seen dramatically increasing popularity in recent years, probably due, in large part, to colleges adopting entrepreneurship programs of study. But how do we define entrepreneur in dictionary terms?
Have you ever been bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, dreamed of being your own boss, have a business you'd like to buy or start --- but don't know where to begin? The Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is the place to go.
The Onondaga SBDC is a group of seasoned business professionals based in Central New York that provides aspiring entrepreneurs with high - quality business consultants and workshops. Their services include offering help with choosing the correct legal structure (entity), preforming market research, developing a business plan, creating a financial plan, seeking financing, crafting a marketing plan, hiring employees, setting prices, and conducting business operations. The SBDC provides these services to both start-up and existing businesses at NO COST in Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, Oswego, and Seneca counties.
Marketing is ideally suited for cooperative implementation among small businesses. Cost and time required are the two most obvious reasons that might make it harder for business owners to perform, hire, or contract for these tasks individually.
In fact, the U.S. Small Business Administration reports, according to a study by Marketo, that only 56 percent of small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) have a marketing plan.
Raise your hand if you can’t stop looking at your email when you are supposed to be on vacation.
As we all become addicted to our electronic devices and constant need for instant information, are we making things better or worse?
There is no doubt that being a small-business owner you probably put in more hours than the average 9-to-5 worker, but that is exactly why it is more important to be aware of the benefits of striking a work-life balance.
The best days that Central New York has to offer us weather-wise are upon us. Now is the time to get out, soak up the sun, and step away from the daily grind.
No matter what stage of entrepreneurship you are in, it is far too easy to get sucked into wearing many different hats, working too many hours each day, and never allowing yourself time to recharge. After all, isn’t this the reason you chose to become an entrepreneur? —to make your own schedule, allow inspiration and creativity, and spend more time with your families and friends.
Watch for the Five Ps in every small-business success story. This will not be the first time you have read about the importance of critical items to startup and early stage, small-business success.
After spending more than 10 years mentoring and coaching startups, I am equipped to opine on the most important Ps in early stage small businesses. These are things, in my opinion, that are essential to small-business success and I believe many of my associates would heartily agree.
Any business must make it a priority to focus on providing excellent customer service, along with an appealing presentation.
Several years ago, I remember sitting in a sales seminar and the speaker was making a point about the importance of presentation. He painted a vivid picture with his words, describing a favorite meal being served at a fine restaurant. He then told the class to imagine the waiter serving this fabulous meal on a garbage-can lid. Anyone hungry?
When we start to think about starting a business, there are so many things to consider. What are the steps to become legal? What are the proper filings I have to complete when established? How will I ever leave my job to go off on my own? Do I have what it takes?
There is so much to think about in order to be fully prepared to begin your venture. One thing you must evaluate is whether or not your business is part of a fad or a trend in the industry. This can be a difficult decision to make. That is why doing your research is so important to becoming a successful business operation.
Democratically owned and operated businesses are still a relatively little understood segment of the economy in Central New York.
But with initiatives underway statewide, the potential for employee-owned enterprises (EOEs) to bloom shows promise. This is considered an approach that can help control the “widening wealth gap, and displacement of people from neighborhoods,” according to the Cooperative Growth Ecosystem report published by Citi Community Development — a Citigroup companies initiative for achieving financial inclusion and economic empowerment.
Here’s a summary of two of the most promising developments in the burgeoning cooperative ecosystem surrounding us.
Scenario 1 – You just got out of a meeting with your boss and the HR representative. Surprise! Your job has been “eliminated”.
Scenario 2 – You retired early from your first career and still feel like working.
Scenario 3 – You hate your job and want to work for yourself.
In all three scenarios you have a choice to make – do you start your own business or try to get hired by an employer?
With over 50% of all business with employees currently in the ownership hands of the Baby Boomer Generation, our society is poised to experience one of the greatest transfers of capital ever.
In New York State alone, that translates to 181,370 businesses employing 1.6M people (from a Project Equity report using US Census, 2012 Survey of Business Owners).
With the New Year upon us, it is a time of reflection. We look back on our achievements and shortcomings from the past year.
Most of us have a desire to make changes and set goals for the New Year. Many people will decide 2017 is the year to pursue their passion and turn it into a business.
Before you take the plunge, quit your job, and dive into an entrepreneurial endeavor of any magnitude, take time to reflect on, and explore, key issues to make sure that your business idea is feasible and needed in the marketplace. Here are some important issues to consider and steps you can take.
What does MWBE stand for and what does it mean for your business?
Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises can be a great way to open up many new business opportunities within your industry. No, grants are not something you will automatically get with having this certification and no, it does not ensure you will get a bid on a job you are going for but, it will give you an edge over a company who is not certified and is trying to get opportunities with the government.
Ok, still confused by what it really means for you?
Yes, a business plan requires research in order to be a viable document.
Better to write nothing than to waste time committing to paper a lot of thoughts, such as “I think,” “I assume,” and “I heard.”
After all, this is your business you are describing; what do you know?
Onondaga Small Business Development Center. Partnership Program with the SBA, administered by the State University of New York. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.