It’s a bit of last minute news, but for those of you business owners who have the time this morning, Los Angeles City College is hosting a small business workshop and expo today, along with the Hollywood Business Source. It’s a free event, so if you have the time, there’s really no excuse, if you have the morning available. The campus is out for the summer, so no need to concern yourself with unruly students. And the college provides plenty of parking in their structures. Event starts at 10:00am. So, If you’re up, go get at ’em!
As I look back over the things I’ve done and learned while starting and building a business, there’s something I realized I’ve overlooked. I’ve ignored it or gave little thought to it and it’s surprising because this — I firmly believe — is the key to success. I’ve talked and written about what the keys are to success. I’ve argued there weren’t really any “keys”, but an adopted mindset and attitude. I’ve read numerous articles about what successful people have in common with one another. I’ve read those articles about the mindsets and patterns of millionaires. Not just because they’re millionaires, but because they must be doing something right in order to have become millionaires. Right? But in between the chatter and the musings and the research, what makes the business owner successful, what makes the entrepreneur a millionaire and what gets the start-up founder funded? A great marketing strategy? A knowledgeable board of directors? Deep-pocketed venture capitalists? The best idea ever?
It’s the investment. The investment you make in yourself everyday. You don’t have to have a whole lot of education, a whole lot of money to start, a whole lot of friends, or whole lot of anything . You do need to have the time to invest in yourself and seek out investments that will return for you. I mean, yeah, that may mean getting more education or building up a larger network. But it really boils down to being better than you were yesterday. It’s taking the time and looking at what you have offer and making sure you can offer it as best you can. Outperform yourself.
I’ve tried taking on multiple projects and services thinking that the more I offered, the more clients I’ll gain because the more people I’ll appeal to. Did NOT happen. One, it’s hard to spread yourself thin and still be the go-to person for 5,000 things. Two, I wasn’t equally interested or passionate about everything I was trying to offer. Thus, many services lacked luster. Just because I could do it, doesn’t mean I should’ve. And vice-versa. It was when I narrowed down what I could offer and would be willing to offer to just 3-5 services and sharpen those skills over and over again, that I noticed myself getting referrals, getting recommended — getting the kind of running start I wanted. Not because I was trying to be everything to everybody. But, because I invested in myself first. That, allowed me to better for my clients and it’s paid and continues to pay off.
How do I invest in myself?
- I sign up for community classes that are of interest to my business and professional goals
- I take community college classes
- I periodically attending networking events
- I explore the businesses in my community
- I talk to other business and aspiring business owners
- I read — a lot– of articles, magazines, books, blogs, any thing that strikes my fancy
- I search jobs on Craig’s List to see what employers (business owners) are looking for in candidates who do what I do
- I take some of those free classes on Coursea, Standford Online or Venture Lab
It’s seems never-ending, which is why it’s something I have to be passionate about. Because if I wasn’t, I couldn’t do it. And what would be the point?
Spend less for what you need . We know smartphones, tablets and laptops are not only helpful for businesses, small or otherwise, but critical in today’s market to effectively compete, close deals, complete transactions and conduct operations. And if you can do all you need to do for a fraction of the cost, wouldn’t you be all over that like white on rice? But let’s not forget items that we can use on business travel, recording imagery, communicating, the office or the employee lounge/kitchen and anything else we need to take care and manage business.
Through Costco/ Costco.com
- Samsung Galaxy S5 for your business for $99.99 with a 2-year contract
- Dell Inspiron 23 5000 Series Touchscreen All-in-One Desktop for $999.99
- Dell Inpsiron 17r Laptop for $ 849.99
Through Brad’s Deals (FYI: These deals to expire and sell out fast!)
- Refurbished Fijifilm AX655 Camera for $50
- 7- Piece Luggage Set for Travel for $100 plus free shipping
- HP Pavillion 10 TouchSmart Laptop for $285
- Apple TV (from BestBuy) for $100 plus a $25 Gift card
- Keurig K45 Brewer for $105 plus free shipping (and coffee cups)
- Rocketfish 3G Mobile HotSpot for $18
- RCA Charging Station for $14 plus free shipping
- Motorola Power Pack for $10
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (7″, 8″ & 10″ screens) for $109.99
- iEnjoy MyBolt Battery Charger for $11.99
- Blackberry Z10 4G LTE for $189.99
- Acer 15.6″ Touchscreen Notebook for $299.99
A penny saved is a penny earned…!
If you’re a service based business provider (B2B), you already know how challenging it is to find new clients. Even harder if you’re relying on them finding you. Forget about your website, forget about your online and offline marketing tactics, standing out in the sea of all others, is the equivalent to being the needle in the hay stack. So then, how in the world are you suppose to find clients if your business’ site doesn’t rank on Google’s top 10 or your clients don’t know who you are?
You find THEM!
One of the most simplest tactics that may turn some heads or raised a few eyebrows is browsing a site that is infamous for scandal and scam: Craig’s List. I know, I know — but bear with me here. Although Craig’s List is sketchy and has been known to make the headlines in a very bad way, it is also a good source to find leads — depending on what kinds of services you offer.
Under the “Gigs” tab on the Craig’s List home site, there are a handful of categories that fall under the types of gigs people are looking for help with. Being realistic here, you have to cast your net wide and often. You are not the only person who is scanning to see what’s available, so the more often you frequent this section, the more likely you’re gonna to stumble on a few worthwhile chases. Also, be aware that some people already have a dollar amount in mind what they’re willing to pay for what they need. You can negotiate if you feel the task is worth more or you can take what’s offered. Up to you. In other cases, you’ll be able to set your own prices. Depends on the agreement.
Avoid, as with any other posting, any listing that sounds like a scam, that gives you very few details or has a link that directs you to a more sketchy site. The goal is to reap clients from an unlikely source, not be taken by some con artist.
Craig’s List is not for everybody. Maybe the thought of doing of business from someone on Craig’s List disturbs the holy hell out of you — that’s completely understandable. It does take some time to feel comfortable navigating those waters. You may want to try Freelancer.com, People for Hire or Fiverr.com. Those sites are much more reliable, but work is harder to find because much more people are competing. If you want to see results and change things up a bit, you’re going to have to step outside your comfort zone. And Craig’s List does border outside the green zone. You know what they say, “In order to gain something you never have, you have to do something you never done.”
Check out these February events for those in the Greater Los Angeles area. No matter what business you’re thinking about going into, or if you’ve already started your own company, there are events here for all levels of business owners and entrepreneurs,
- February 4th – Taking Your Grant Writing Research Skills to The Next Level Event organized by eCivis, Inc. from 9am – 4pm PST. Event cost is $299 for the early bird fee, $349 for general admission.
- February 5th – FREE Self-Publishing Workshop located at 1246 Glendon Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90024 (Westwood Library Branch) from 6-8pm PST hosted by the Toastmasters District One Speakers Bureau Workshop Committe, for more info, visit http://bit.ly/1fOqo6d
- February 6th – FREE Website Building Tools Class hosted by the Valley Economic Development Center from 6-8pm PST located at 5121 Van Nuys Blvd., 3rd Floor Van Nuys, CA 91403; from more information or to register, email email@example.com
- February 6th – 8th – How To Sell To Women FREE Virtual Training Event hosted by Lisa Sasevich; to register http://bit.ly/1eHENio
- February 7th – Women 2.0 Founder Friday, located at the Regus 3415 South Sepulveda, suite 1100 Los Angeles, CA 90034 from 6:30 to 9pm PST. General admission starts at $22.09. Visit http://bit.ly/1er4gjT for more information and to register
- February 8th – FREE Marketing and Promotions Event organized by the Business Entrepreneurship Club. Event will take place the LA Mission College located at 13356 Elridge Ave, Los Angeles 91342 from 10am – 12pm PST. Contact Dr. Norris Dorsey at 818.402.5050 and/or register at http://bit.ly/ML8CIQ
- February 10th — FREE Start Up Dos & Don’ts/ Business Plan class from 6-8pm PST hosted by the Valley Economic Development Center located at 5121 Van Nuys Blvd., 3rd Floor Van Nuys, CA 91403; from more information or to register, email firstname.lastname@example.org
- February 10th – California Small Business Development Center is offering a How to Write a Business Plan Class for $40, hosted by Santa Monica College. Event takes place from 9am to 1pm PST on the campus. To register, visit http://bit.ly/1fzdI51
- February 19th – 2014 – 2015 Annual Economic Forecast and Industry Outlook hosted by the LA County Economic Development Corporation from 7 -10:30pm PST at the L.A. Hotel Downtown located at 333 Figueroa St, Los Angeles 90071; general admission is $155 if purchased by Feb. 14th. Register at http://bit.ly/1acMC3E
- February 26th – March 1st – Black Enterpise Women of Power Summit hosted by State Farm held at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida. Deadline to register for general admission is February 7th at $1395. After February 7th, tickets to the event go up to $1695. For more information visit, http://bit.ly/1ildZsN
(additional events may be added)
- January 1st – Exploring Business Ownership FREE SBA Webinar @ 9:30am EST/ 6:30am PST @hosted by Christ Herriman – http://www.sba.goc/tools/tools/content/exploring-business-ownership-19
- January 2nd – FREE Valley Development Economic Center Public Speaking for Small Business Owners/Toast Masters Class from 7pm – 9pm @ VEDC 5121 Van Nuys Blvd 3rd Floor, Van Nuys, CA 91403
- January 7th – Los Angeles Meet & Greet (Networking Event) @ the Star Entertainment Outlet from 5:30 – 8:00pm; http://www.eventbrite.com/e/los-angeles-meet-greet-tickets-9707428179?aff=es2&rank=4&sid=deae078f70f311e3b39622000a880143; General Admission is FREE
- January 9th – The Renaissance of Downtown Los Angeles: Opportunity Knocks Conference http://www.downtownla.com/2013-investors-conference.asp – from 7am to 5:15pm @ JW Marriot Los Angeles LA Live – tickets are sold out, register to join the wait list should tickets become available
- January 9th – FREE Business Plan Essential Class from 6:00pm to 8:00pm @ 5121 Van Nuys Blvd., 3rd Floor, Van Nuys, CA 91403 Contact # 818-907-9922
- January 10th – FREE Webinar “Advanced Budgeting & Financial Forecasting in spreadsheet models by Applying shortcuts to build a Valuable Financial model – An analyst’s View” @ 6:00pm PST; http://www.eventbrite.com/e/join-free-webinar-on-advanced-budgeting-financial-forecasting-in-spreadsheet-models-by-applying-tickets-9909898774?aff=es2&rank=8&sid=b3eed133711a11e3a0d622000a880143
- January 10th – Women 2.0 Founder Friday Los Angeles from 6 -9 pm @ the Regus3415 South Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 1100 Los Angeles, CA 90034
- January 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th – Daymond John Academy FREE Workshop @ Hilton Pasadena South 168 Los Robles Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, Hyatt Century Plaza, 2025 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA 90067, Double Tree by Hilton 120 S. Los Angeles Street, Los Angeles CA 90012, and Renaissance Hotel LAX, 9620 Airport Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90045, respectively – all are scheduled at 10:30 am to 2:30pm except for the January 12th date, which will begin at 4:00pm. http://sharkinla.com/details
- January 14th – FREE SBA Taking Your Business Global Webinar @10am -11am PST – Contact Charles Long # 813.228.2100
- January 15th – FREE VDEC Women Owned Small Business Certification Class from 9 – 11:00am @ 5121 Van Nuys Blvd. 3rd Floor, Van Nuys, CA 91403, register for the class via http://www.vedc.org/newsroom/eventreg.php?eid=2012
- January 16th – FREE SBA Webinar: Government Contracting 101; 2-2:45pm EST/ 11-11:45am PST Contact Kimberly Donahue @ (304) 347-5220 or Kimberly.Donahue@sba.gov for more information
- January 16th – Legal: Contracts – The Devil is in the Details event hosted by the Small Business Development Center at Santa Monica College; 3171 South Bundy Drive, Los Angeles CA, from starting at 7:00pm. Event is $25, http://www.eventbrite.com/e/legal-contracts-the-devil-is-in-the-details-tickets-9523473967?aff=es2&rank=19&sid=a570e2f3711b11e3873222000a880143
- January 17th – FREE Latino Leadership Roundtable Series Event held of the Southern Califonia campus of University of Phoenix, 6 Centerpointe Drive La Palma, CA 90623 from 11:00am – 1:00pm, sign up at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/latino-leadership-roundtable-series-next-step-orange-county-tickets-8326176819?aff=eanrec101&utm_term=eventcard&utm_campaign=attnews&utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&ref=eanrec102
- January 18th – How to Write a Business Plan; presented by the Small Business Development Center held at Santa Monica College 3171 South Bundy Drive, Los Angele CA starting going from 9:00am to 1:00pm; event is $40; http://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-to-write-a-business-plan-tickets-9523618399?aff=es2&rank=24&sid=7ab12b6b71db11e3bf8322000a880143
- January 21st – One-Day Workshop Conflict Resolution Seminar at Dale Carnegie Partner Location, Woodland Hills, CA 91364 from 9am to 4pm hosted by Dale Carnegie Training
- January 22nd – FREE SBA Webinar: Start, Run, and Grow: How to Budget and Forecast Your Business from 10am -12pm PST/ 1pm – 3pm EST; contact Support@bizcenter.org to register
- January 22nd – Entrepreneur Social hosted by the UCLA TECBRUINS, FREE event; beings @ 6:00pm to 11:00pm @ Barney’s Beanery: 1037 Broxton Ave Los Angeles, CA 90024 http://www.eventbrite.com/e/entrepreneur-social-tickets-7599693889?aff=eanrec101&utm_term=eventcard&utm_campaign=attnews&utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&ref=eanrec102
- January 25th, 26th – LA Entrepreneur Revolution 2-Day Live Boot Camp Event; tickets range from $795 to $1,092. Event will take place @ Courtyard Marriott LAX/Century Blvd 6161 West Century Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90045 starting @ 9:00am that Saturday morning and concluding at 7:30pm Sunday evening
- January 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th – Daymond John Academy FREE Workshop – Locations TBA; http://www.daymondjohnacademy.com/
- January 27th – FREE NAMCSC Who’s In the Room Mixer; located @ Flight Path Learning Center
6661 W Imperial Hwy Los Angeles, CA 90045 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm; http://www.eventbrite.com/e/namcsc-whos-in-the-room-mixer-tickets-9697219645?aff=es2&rank=34&sid=3bd5c7cf71dc11e399cb22000a880143
- January 28th – Leadership Training for Managers – Seven Week Workshop @ at Dale Carnegie Partner Location, Woodland Hills, CA 91364
- January 30th – FREE SBA Webinar – Start, Run and Grow: Entrepreneurship from 10am -12pm EST/ 7am-9am PST, Contact Support@bizcenter.org
- January 31st – Deadline for the Amber Grant for women in Business – http://womensnet.net/get-an-amber-grant/
Look for more update as January progresses! It’s a new year, take a leap and do what you need to in order to be and see success.
- FREE EVENT: Affordable Care Act for Small Businesses! (intelboutiqueblog.com)
Okay, listen up small busineses in the Greater Los Angeles area — the VEDC is hosting another free event regarding the Affordable Care Act and small businesses. We all know that come January 1st, everyone needs to have ample health coverage. But this isn’t just for individuals who are uninsured, it affects small businesses too! The Valley Economic Development Center — the VEDC — is offering this event to small businesses presented by City Councilman Curren D. Price, Jr. to learn more about what steps small businesses need to take to cover their employees and how to avoid penalties or fines with the law. The event takes place this Thursday, November 21st — sorry for the short notice — at the California Science Center, not too far from USC (if you’re familiar with the area).
Check out the VEDC’s website for more information! Also, stop by the SBA and learn more about the Affordable Care Act and Small Business.
(images and content are credited to the VEDC)