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!

Part Of The Community

I was extremely hesitant about writing any kind of response to the news of George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict.  I thought it would be very tasteless to try to work in some self promoting ideology about national affairs and businesses.  I didn’t want to make light of the news and I didn’t want to downplay it, and I definitely didn’t want to make is some kind of after school special in which ‘everything would work itself out for the better’.   But I do want to highlight the issue that stood out in a conversation I had with a colleague about this current event: COMMUNITY.  It’s something that every business owner, CEO, entrepreneur or wanna-be, is a part of.  And what takes place around us, affects the person we are and the businesses we run.

I’m not saying go out and hold up of signs of support or protests, march the streets and hold vigils.  But be aware of the community you are doing business in.  These people, your customers, your clients, are the same people who are affected day in and day out by the events taking place in their community.  And when we encounter those people, they leave these pieces of the community — our community– with us.  As either a reminder of where we are or who we identify with.

We may be business owners, entrepreneurs, freelancers, CEOs or whatever title we’ve awarded ourselves.  But we are also a community member.  And whether our community needs us to rally behind them for support or stand by them in protest, we should find ways in which we can best support the members of our community.  After all, our businesses are designed to be part of the community in which there is equal give and take.  And when we’re afforded the opportunity, let’s take the steps to build a better community in which fewer headlines like these make the front page.

 

NASA Commemorates Small Business Week

 

Some key facts about the relationship between small businesses and the US goverment:

  • Small business & entrepreneurs employ half of America’s workers
  • Small businesses create 2 out of every 3 jobs
  • 17.2% of NASA’s contracts go to small businesses

 

{video credit: NASAtelevison via youtube}

 

Event: Innovative Financing Alternative Forum April 26th, 2013

The Minority Business Development Agency Business Center operated by the University of Southern California in partnership with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy, in conjunction with UCBB and Hunter Wise Financial Group invites you to join in this:

Innovative Financing Alternative Forum

April 26, 2013
8:00 am – 1:00 pm

University of Southern California
Von KleinSmid Center Library
Room 105

For more information or to RSVP please call (213) 821-2541
or email 
info@mbdalosangeles.org.

{all information is credited is to the Valley Economic Development Center}

 

How Important Is Patriotism to Businesses?

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We dedicate weeks and days to small businesses asking consumers to shop small. We reiterate the importance small business have on our economy and job growth. But when we think about the roles businesses play in our lives, do we ever consider how Important it is to buy and support businesses in and from our home country? We shop small, we shop local, and on a number of occasions, we’re ask to shop patriotically. As owners of these businesses, should we remind current and potential customers that we’re home-grown? Does it matter and to what degree? Are we possibly neglecting international business when we brand our products and services with patriotism? Should pride in our citizenry go hand in hand with our business?

USC Bridges to Business Success Training Program

USC Bridges to Business Success
A Procurement Training Program
Funded by Citi Community Development

For more information call (213) 821-2541  between 8:30 am and 12:00 pm
or
Click Here to Register

{All information is provided and credited to the Valley Economic Development Center}

There’s a Reason Why Business Is Spelled With a “U”

With so many mixed messages telling companies the “do”s and “don’ts” of running a business, staying a float, attracting clients and customers and branding and positioning, it’s easy to lose track of the company itself.  All that wonderful mind-boggling information is great to know and read up on, but if customers can’t buy into what you’re providing, then it really doesn’t matter.  What matters to many customers is what you put into your business, namely, you.  Is there a real person that runs the business?  Do they have a heart and passion for what they’re doing?  Is there a human aspect to that business?

There are no multiple choices here, the answer should always be yes.

Your business should show your personal values (to some extent, ’cause after all, some things that are left a mystery is a beautiful thing).  I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase one time or another that a corporation (and all of its minions) reflects the person(s) at the top.  The same goes for anyone in business for themselves.  Whatever your work ethic is, your management style, or your leniency policy you’ve incorporated in your personal life will more likely than not slip into your professional role as a business owner.  And over time, those professional attributes will be tweaked and adjusted according to either your personal needs or professional obligations.  But that’s not that human side potential clients want to see in your business.  They want to see you.

Think of any company or store you regularly shop at, for instances……..

Everyone took so long thinking of a store, so let’s go with… BestBuy.  What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of BestBuy?  Electronics, hopefully.  Knowledgeable staff, perhaps.  What about the personable side?  Friendly and helpful associates, yeah.  Casually atmosphere.  A  lax mood to shop around without feeling uneasy or rushed, maybe.  Well, when you actually step foot in a BestBuy store you expect that all the things when you think of BestBuy, especially the human aspect of the store.  The same applies to your small business.

Are you outgoing and friendly?  Are you more reserved and intimate?  Do you have a lot of energy to spend?  Do you like making new friends?  Whomever you are, share a little bit of that in your business.  Let people feel they’re building a relationship with your company rather than conducting another transaction.  Sharing pieces of your personality in your business helps you stand out, sets you apart. In this competitive market, the last thing any company should allow themselves to do is fade against the background.  There’s a reason business is spelled with a “u”.  You can make or break your own company all by how little or how much you’re willing to put in your business.