Referrals and Leads: How to Give, Get and Use Them This blog post was written by Ray Sidney-Smith, owner of W3Consulting and facilitator of the monthly Alexandria SBDC Small Business Roundtable. It’s become a well-regarded axiom among marketing professionals that people do business with, and refer business to, people they know, like, and trust. When… Read more »
Retail Hiring: Interview Questions
Retail Hiring: Interview Questions Recently, HR expert Patricia Frame of Strategies for Human Resources presented a comprehensive workshop on hiring, geared particularly to small retail businesses. The workshop covered all aspects of hiring, from defining the need and type of employee you wish to hire, through the sourcing of candidates, writing the ad, interview techniques,… Read more »
Are You Ready for the Unexpected?
If a hurricane or other natural or man-made disaster was to hit, would your small business be able to get back on its feet and open right away? To a large extent, that would depend on what you have done to prepare for an eventual emergency. In this area we have seen hurricanes, floods and… Read more »
Signage – Tips for Better Messaging
The City of Alexandria has asked the Alexandria SBDC to provide specialized assistance during the next year to our retail and restaurant small businesses to increase their opportunities for success. You will see several new workshops, videos and online information as we roll out this initiative. Recently, the City of Alexandria distributed new signage guidelines… Read more »
The Business Plan: An entrepreneur’s attitude adjustment
This post first appeared in the Alexandria Times on September 2, 2016. It is so easy to develop a negative attitude and self-doubt. All sorts of things can trigger the downward spiral: a clumsy mistake, a snide comment from a colleague, a missed goal, a perceived slight, just to name a few. When faced with… Read more »
Making Good Business Etiquette Good for Business
This article is written by Ray Sidney-Smith of W3 Consulting, who facilitated the August SBDC Roundtable discussion: “Good Business Etiquette Gets a Better Response”. Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities begins, It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,… Read more »
It is Time to Get Organized!
The end of summer is often a time when folks recall what they had hoped to accomplish in the calendar year and panic when they realize that there are only four months left. Where has the year gone? Why haven’t I finished any of the things that I started earlier in the year? The answer… Read more »
Support Small Business in the Summer!
Most of us are familiar with the push to support local small businesses during the holidays with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday promotions. In Alexandria, every season is small business season, and our colleagues at Visit Alexandria are promoting two special summer events to show our support. On August 13 – 14, enjoy Alexandria’s… Read more »
Advertising on Social Media Platforms
Social advertising, or advertisements published through Social Media platforms and networks, hit $23.6 billion in 2015. According to eMarketer, that spending is estimated to hit $35 billion in 2017. Just as the Social Media revolution took Small Business by surprise, so too is the Social Advertising evolution from purely content marketing to now a hybrid… Read more »
The New Overtime Rules
Most employers are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which includes the requirements for which employees must be paid overtime pay. This law has often been difficult for small employers. Many do not understand the rules covering which employees can be considered exempt from the law. This has resulted in both legal and regulatory… Read more »