Small Business Expo & Workshop — Today!

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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!

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Social Media Isn’t Your Problem

Social media isn’t your problem.  You think it’s your problem, but it really isn’t.  If someone sat you down and showed you how to set of a few platforms, upload videos and photos, schedule posts, ask for likes and comments, and return the favor, you could do it.  It is much simpler than what business owners imagine it to be.  Granted, it does require a little finesse, above average writing skills and time –obviously — but, social media isn’t your problem.  Knowing how to engage with social media… that’s your problem.

Be honest, how many of us thought that just setting up a Twitter account and a Facebook account was going to be enough for our business?  We thought if we had one or two pictures, the business contact info and a little somethin’-somethin’ about the business, people would visit and magically all on their own, convert themselves from visitors to customers.  How well did that work out for us?

First off, “enough” is the word we never want to use in business.  Businesses that are doing just enough are going out of business.  So, let’s unwrap our heads around this idea of “enough”.  Secondly, treat social media like a person.  A person who we are conversing with — well, in person.  Aside from the spam bots, there are people out there behind those profiles, likes and comments.  Talk to them as if they were sitting right across the way.  Social media and online marketing are such a staple in conversations for businesses that I feel like I’m beating a dead horse when I bring it up.  But so many business owners — home kitchen chefs, garage engineers, bathroom mixers, attic artists, and back yard scientists — are not even giving their ideas and businesses a chance because they’re failing to use social media the right way.

LinkedIn — Don’t just accept or extend an invitation to connect.  Communicate.  Yeah, we may have over 500 connections, but if you don’t message, endorse or share worthwhile information, then those 500 plus connections are meaningless.

Google + — Yeah, many of us have added someone or something to a circle, but what does that mean?   What makes that circle and those group of people special or relevant?  Get personal and personalize.  Not everyone wants the same thing even if it’s from the same company.

Twitter — Just about everyone and their mama has a Twitter account.  But it sucks when people start un-following us and we have no idea why.  Maybe you’re not conversing enough or at all!  Twitter is all about the conversation.  So get to talking.  Ask questions, answer questions, search what your customers are looking for and share — again — useful info.

Facebook — The Godfather of social media, right?  If that’s case, then this is the social media we should be crafty with.  Visually.  If we don’t know exactly what to share on Facebook, log on into our personal account and see what our friends are sharing and reading.  Then see what their friends are sharing and reading.  We’ll find memes, photos and videos dominate Facebook.  So, get visual but remain informative.

Social media isn’t the problem, it’s all about how well we use it for our business.  If you took the time to build the business, take time to market the business.

February Save The Dates

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 6thFREE 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 hassali@vedc.org
  • 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 8thFREE 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 hassali@vedc.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 — Save the Dates!

 

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!

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.

Councilman
Curren D. Price, Jr.
presents

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT
TOWN HALL MEETING
FOR SMALL BUSINESS

Thursday, November 21, 2013
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

California Science Center
Donald P. Loker Conference Center
700 Exposition Park Drive (39th and Figueroa)
Los Angeles, CA  90037

THIS IS A FREE EVENT

Fro more information call (323) 846-2651 or email dorothy.randle@lacity.org.

               
VEDC  •  5121 Van Nuys Blvd., 3rd floor, Van Nuys, CA 91403  •  (818) 907-9977  •  www.vedc.org

(images and content are credited to the VEDC)

New Year’s In November

Happy New Year’s in November!  No, this isn’t a federally recognized holiday in which we all get the day — well, as if most of us take any days off.  New Year’s In November is a concept I started a couple years back to figure out a success route to the New Year’s resolutions we all make come January First.  Whether we want to lose weight, run a marathon, go into business for ourselves, travel more, make more money, quit smoking, stop drinking  — whatever it is — we all want to make those important changes to our lives to be better healthier, wealthier, well-balance people.  But instead, most of us fail.  Not because of the resolutions we make, but how we’re going about achieving them.   Everyone gets the ball rolling and stays on track for the first couple weeks in the month after the first.  About 3/4 of people who make resolutions will keep them for a little while.  But as time progress, fewer and fewer people will keep them.  It’s be estimated that about 50% of the people who started out with their resolutions will keep them until the end of June that year.  But what happens to the rest of the year?

What makes celebrating New Year’s in November any more promising?  Nothing — and everything.  It’s not about jump starting your resolutions two months in advance.  It’s about preparing yourself for those resolutions, those changes.  Taking small steps now.   Giving yourself two months of time to wrap your head around how you will accomplish your resolutions.

It’s a challenge.  A personal challenge that I open up to everyone that’s reading this.  I typically write for people who are in business for themselves or thinking about going into business, so let’s start with you guys.

Give yourself two months to get on the track to where you’d like to be come top of 2014, do what you need to now.  What steps are needed to take to get your business to the next level?  Start them now.  Much of it might be planning, budgeting, asking someone with more experience or knowledge for help.  You have the time now to figure that out.

Do it.  You have two months to decide where you want your business to be in 2014 and have the time right now to see it gets there.  Will you wait to for 2014 to plan for 2014?

25 Fears That Holds Us Back

  1. Our businesses won’t be successful and we’ll never get it off the ground
  2. We’ll never achieve the kind of success we want
  3. We’ll always have too few clients or customers
  4. People won’t be willing to pay for our products or services
  5. We don’t have a good business idea, it won’t be profitable
  6. We don’t have enough experience or education to go into business for ourselves
  7. We’re not personable enough for people to want to do business with us
  8. We need more money than what we have
  9. We don’t have a real office or place of business to do business
  10. We’ll never be able to get a loan to start our business
  11. We don’t know how to write a business plan
  12. We don’t know how or where to market our business
  13. Our business will not be able to sustain itself or support us financially
  14. Someone’s out there doing what we want to do and they’re better at it
  15. All the good ideas and businesses are taken or have already been started
  16. We’ll never have a social life or be able to start a family
  17. We’ll never earn the respect of a reputable business man/woman
  18. We’ll never grow fast enough to keep up with the times
  19. We can’t afford the software and tools to have a competitive edge
  20. We really don’t know what we’re doing
  21. We’re going after something that’s too big for us to succeed at
  22. We’ll let ourselves and those who supported us down
  23. We’re going to fail
  24. If most people who start a business fail, then why bother
  25. Maybe we’re not meant to live out our business dreams

If everyone let their fears hold them back, we wouldn’t have the society we have today.  It’s not perfect, but it  has been built by people who, despite their fears and doubts, pushed the boundaries, embraced the risks and marched on.  Fear is nothing more than an anchor meant to keep us from reaching our greatest potential.  We can let fear hold us down or we can hold down fear.