Economy

Can Your Business Adjust?

by Christi on March 9, 2009


As I have mentioned before, I grew up in a family that owned small businesses. One thing that I learned from them is that, to be successful, you must be agile and learn to adjust. As an example, one of my families businesses in the ’70′s was selling RV’s, and campers. As you may recall (if your old enough) the late ’70′s were not friendly towards anything that used a lot of gas. With gas rationing and people standing in line on their appointed days to get gas, selling RV’s wasn’t working. The change? Sell motorcycles instead! They adjusted to the economic climate.

What does your business need to do. We definitely need to take advantage of the low cost opportunities provided by the internet. See what your competitors are doing online. Are they taking advantage of blogs and social media to connect with customers? Are you? Is there a niche opportunity for your business? Times are tough but let’s do everything we can to make our businesses succeed.

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Alert: Stimulus Scam

by Christi on March 3, 2009

flying-money

Got the following from Herb Lawrence, ASUBTDC Director:

The ASU Small Business and Technology Development Center just received an e-mail from our Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse (SBDCNet) concerning a new scam that has hit the Internet promising small businesses and individuals Obama Stimulus Checks AND Grants as part of the Federal Stimulus Package.

For $95 for the first month and $73 per month thereafter you can purchase “FREE” GRANT SOFTWARE” to get your share of the action. If you follow the ads you find pages with questionable advertising practices like fake blogs with fake comments and a fake “ads by google” all of these are attempts to relieve you of your money but you will never see any grant money or stimulus check. The economy has been hard on many small businesses in our area without being taken advantage of through this scam.

I am attaching a link to our SBDCNet website that provides the details about the scam at Scam Alert! There are No Obama Stimulus Checks or Grants that will provide you with more information.

To date the new stimulus bill DOES NOT include any tax refunds like we saw last spring/summer. What the new stimulus bill WILL DO IS put more money into existing programs to build infrastructure. Yes there will be some new grant money in the package BUT most of it is going to existing programs and to state or local organizations that already have grants or grant programs. Bottom line is that there NO GRANTS for small business start up or bail out.

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center Network is in the process of developing seminars around the state for small businesses to learn about legitimate opportunities for small businesses under the stimulus package. We anticipate rolling these seminars out in the next four to six weeks once the details of how the stimulus package monies will be allocated has been determined. Unlike the SCAMS these informational seminars WILL BE free of charge.

If you would like more information about these seminars as they are developed send me an e-mail at [email protected] and we will make sure you are informed about these as they come out.

Please feel free to forward this to any other small businesses you may know and invite them to sign up to our newsletter to receive updates on assistance and other small business news at it comes out.

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How Will Your Business Survive

by Christi on February 18, 2009

Making an Adjustment

Making an Adjustment


Growing up in a family that owned small businesses, I learned very early that businesses have to be flexible in order to survive. ASBTDC Director, Herb Lawrence, mentioned in his earlier post the importance of keeping up with your industry by reading e-newsletters, etc. I remember my father and grandfather reading the Wall Street Journal and other publications during any free moments they had. They watched for trends and adjusted accordingly.

So, how do you need to adjust for the current economic situation? Hopefully, you have always offered exceptional customer service, and, hopefully, you and your employees didn’t get lax about customer service while times were good.

Recently, I went to several local businesses to give them information about upcoming business seminars. Some of the businesses I visited won’t survive. In a couple, I had to search around to see if anyone was even there. At one location, the owner finally came out from the back and let me know I had interrupted his lunch! I was the only person in his store besides him and he missed an opportunity to make a good impression with customer service.

These days customers tend to look online for information about products even when they plan to buy them locally. Case in point: Last week I was looking for a product. The product was somewhat unique and I wanted to buy it locally if possible. I turned to the internet. I knew the stores in the area that might have the product so I wanted to look there first. After some time, I was frustrated by the fact that most of the local businesses didn’t have websites so I had no idea if they would have what I was looking for. I ended up ordering the product online.

So, just in the last week I have seen two great opportunities for local small businesses to adjust. Offer remarkable customer service and take advantage of the internet. How is your business adjusting for the current economy?

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