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 »
Entrepreneurs Benefit Everyone
This post first appeared in the Alexandria Times on July 14, 2016. Entrepreneurship doesn’t flourish by happenstance. Hotbeds of innovation – like Silicon Valley, Austin, and Boulder – seem to have found the mix of characteristics and attractions that lure the country’s most innovative entrepreneurs. While those examples are known as tech hubs, they have… Read more »
Why You Need a Plan….
The Alexandria SBDC is experiencing something this week that many small businesses see throughout their lifespan – the departure of a valuable member of the team. While technically an employee of our host organization, the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Amy Shields has worked with the SBDC for several years to initiate new programs, spearhead our… Read more »
Do’s and Don’ts of Business Development in Federal Contracting
The Alexandria SBDC held a seminar this week about business development in Federal Contracting, presented by John Boulware. The full PowerPoint presentation used during the seminar is available, but it is helpful to review his summary points about what to do, and what not to do, when trying to set up meetings and build relationships with… Read more »