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Government Contracts Can Give Big Boost to Small Business

Posted on April 01, 2014 at 1:42 PM
Tags: small businesses, veterans

Hot Ticket Events.jpgSelling goods and services to federal, state and local government offices and agencies can be profitable for all companies, no matter their size or target industries. But government contracts can be especially important for the stability and growth of small businesses.

That's why government at many levels takes pains to nourish small businesses by making sure they get a healthy slice of the procurement pie.



Bigfoot, Small Business Grants, and Other Myths

Posted on March 24, 2014 at 3:18 PM
Tags: small businesses

BigfootBigfoot ... the Yeti … the Chupacabra … the Loch Ness Monster … the Government Small Business Grant.

Each is a myth, a flight of fancy, an expression of wishful thinking, a figment of someone’s runaway imagination.

Of course, people can be forgiven for believing in such folklore. We humans seem to have a genetic gullibility when it comes to monsters and money.



The Income Forecast: Cloudy with a Chance of Profits

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 5:24 PM
Tags: small businesses

Forecast $$$$.jpgMeaningful financial projections are essential to business success. How much revenue will you take in? How much will be profit? Will the profit be enough to sustain the business?

No one should ever start or buy a business without a clear plan of profit and a realistic understanding of the sales volume needed to achieve it.



Count on It: You Need to Know Beans About Accounting

Posted on February 26, 2014 at 11:04 AM
Tags: small businesses

Head for Numbers.jpgWhat business topic can induce deep sleep faster than a cocktail of warm milk and Ambien? If you said “Accounting-ssssssnnnnnk-zzzzzzzz” and then dozed off, you nailed it.

By now, your lids may be drooping and you’re fighting back a yawn, so it’s time to get up, pour yourself some strong coffee, do some jumping jacks, slap yourself on the cheeks a few times, and clear your head enough to wrap it around this simple truth:

You can’t afford to be bored by accounting. Not if you hope to stay in business.



To Buy or Not to Buy? The Answer Starts With Questions

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 3:23 PM
Tags: small businesses

Business for Sale.jpgUp to now, we've focused on fundamental issues that anyone thinking of starting a business from scratch should understand before diving in.

But what if you've got your eye on an existing business or a franchise? Well, the same organizational and operational basics still apply. But before you even get to those, you have to know a whole lot more about the prospective business.

Careful evaluation of any business opportunity is an essential first step, one that is too often skipped entirely or given short shrift as over-eager entrepreneurs leap before they look, their judgment clouded by sheer excitement and warm-fuzzy hopes for the business instead of being guided by cold-blooded financial analysis.



Having a Good Business Story Pays? Do Tell

Posted on February 03, 2014 at 2:15 PM
Tags: small businesses

Good Story.jpgThere’s money in a well-told story.

And not just for best-selling novelists, Oscar-winning screenwriters and witty public radio yarn spinners. It’s true for small businesses, too.

Think about it. A well told story has the power to help you entice, win and keep customers. It has the power to convince lenders and investors to risk their money on your success.  It has the power to stir government to enact pro-business policies and laws. It even has the power to harm your business, if told by someone else. 



Some Prize Opportunities from Minnesota Cup

Posted on January 06, 2014 at 12:55 PM
Tags: small businesses

Hot Ticket Events.jpgMinnesota Cup, an organization focused on helping entrepreneurs, inventors and small business people conceive, refine, and commercialize breakthrough business ideas, will be hosting several upcoming seminars that should prove quite valuable to anyone who is contemplating a startup or has recently launched a business. All are offered at no cost.

Over the next few months, panels of experts will cover legal, accounting, financing, marketing essentials and more in a new series dubbed Minnesota Cup 101. And a half-day seminar slated for early March takes a comprehensive look at challenges and opportunities for women entrepreneurs.



Now Playing: Must-See Business Flicks

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 9:59 AM
Tags: small businesses

Business Videos2.jpgThat sluggish, sleepy period between Christmas and New Year's is a traditional time to recover from the frenzy and excess of the holidays by kicking back and watching movies.

Unfortunately, that kind of leisure just isn't an option for most small business owners. There's always work to do. Best get to it. But that doesn't mean you can't squeeze in a few must-see flicks between your chores. We're talking short videos for small business.  



A Holiday Gift for Manufacturers That's Made in Minnesota

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 3:50 PM
Tags: manufacturing, small businesses

Minnesota ManufacturersHere's one of those gotta-have-it gifts that hardworking manufacturers and suppliers all over Minnesota can give themselves this holiday season:  An online place to find - and be found by - more customers right in their own communities, regions and state. 

A Minnesota manufacturers supply chain database has been on the industry's wishlist for quite a while. And this year, manufacturers will find it neatly wrapped beneath their collective tree.



The Better Angels of Business Development

Posted on December 16, 2013 at 10:13 AM
Tags: manufacturing, small businesses, angel tax credit, business expansion

Angel FundA couple years ago, Lisa Lavin posed a question to a friend over lunch. “Do you have a patent burning a hole in your back pocket?” she wondered.

The inquiry wasn't entirely out of leftfield, considering that Lavin’s dining companion was Mark Kroll, an internationally recognized biomedical engineer who helped revolutionize implantable heart defibrillators, who holds more than 350 issued or pending patents, and who is widely considered Minnesota’s most inventive genius.



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