5 Outdated Beliefs That Are Hurting Your Business

Take your time.  Read through the list and see if you had or still have any of these beliefs.  No shame in being honest, all of us have probably had at least one one of the listed items pass through our minds as we begun to conduct and operate our business.   So much has changed over the course of a few years and over various industries that we cannot continue to hold onto outdated beliefs, especially as business owners.  Everything goes through cycles, phases and re-boots.  Holding onto what we think is right is because it’s what we’ve known all long is the equivalent to throwing money away.  And no one I know is in the business of doing that.

OutDated

  1. Your customers can and will find you — The Great Recession (I love still calling it that) turned many people into obligated self-employed persons.  People started their own businesses because they had to in order to continue to earn a living.  Skipping over the personal metrics of what that all means — you are not the only person doing what you’re doing or offering what you’re offering.  I don’t care how well your website was designed, how quick you launched the business or how much money you invested.  You don’t exist until you let people know you’re in business.  Which means, you have to find your customer, not the other way around.  Ideas: marketing — traditional and online, networking, community partnerships and word of mouth.
  2. There is no “free” money out there for small business owners  – It seems like it’s no money out there, but there is.  A lot of the times, it’ll be in the form of a contest, and other times it can be a private grant.  Either way, if you want to raise money that you’ll never have to pay back again, just be willing to put in the time.  I probably shouldn’t say this, but I suggest staying away from the SBA and Grants.gov.  Most business owners aren’t professional grant writers, cannot afford a grant writer, don’t have the time and energy to read through the mess they call eligibility requirements and will not meet the guidelines imposed to receive the government funding available.
  3. The customer is ALWAYS right — If the customer is always right, then why are they coming to you?  No, seriously, think about it.  If the customer had all the answers and knew where to find all the resources, why are they knocking on your door?  This is not said to inflate our own egos, but just to help put things into perspective when we’re questioned by a customer or client about our capability and knowledge.  We never want to approach them defensively, but with a bit of enlightenment.  A reminder, so to speak, that we can do what we do because of how long we’ve been doing it, how trained we are at doing what we do and what we know about what we’re doing.
  4. If it worked then, it will work now  — Nope, nope, never.  The problem with this belief should be obvious, but maybe it isn’t.  If you haven’t heard it before, let me share it with you now:  The only constant in business  is change.  Your customers will change, your prices will change, your hours of operation will change, your employees will change and yes, how you do and conduct business will change because the economy and market are always changing.  Don’t believe me?  Fine, don’t change.   Come find me in six months to a year’s time.
  5. Working smart outperforms working hard — Uh, no.  You can work smart, but you still have to work hard.  There’s no way around that.   And we’ve all heard it before: Work smart, not hard!  Let’s be honest, someone had to work hard to come up with that, so what does that tell you?  There really is no substitute for working hard and working smart just means you’ve taken all that hard work and created a system for it.   That’s truly what it is.  Yes, many of us have been working hard only to spin our wheels and get nowhere.  So how do we avoid that trap?  Direction.  Work hard towards something, not just for the sake of working hard.

It’s easy to hold onto what we know and what we believed was working for us when there’s so much new untested crap being thrown our way.  However, we have to be wise and responsive enough to separate what sticks and what sticks to the fan.  The times are always changing.  We need to make we adjust, set sail and flow with it.

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)

“Get Your Own Damn Money” Administration

Fast forward about two minutes and 15 seconds into the clip and you’ll see the interaction where Roseanne and the other two characters have with the SBA representative.  The fact of the matter is that the SBA is designed to help people who want to go into business for themselves — start a small business.  But like any other resource you seek out, you must be — I hate saying the word “realistic” — you be AWARE.  Aware of the criteria you must meet in order for the SBA to be of assistance to you.  Aware of what you need in terms of a loan — or grants. The SBA’s website does state that the SBA does not provide grants, but there are federal grants that they point towards in case you’re interested and feel like jumping through hoops.

In all seriousness, no matter where you turn to for help, be prepared.  Know what’s required of you, know what you have to do and what standards you’re have to meet.

 

 

Tax Day Has Arrived!

April 15th, Tax DayYes, it’s April 15th and if you haven’t filed your taxes just yet, you’re probably kicking yourself in the you-know-what for waiting till the last minute to file taxes for your sole proprietorship or small business.  But have no fear, if you have a few minutes, below are some helpful links and tips to make the time before the long wait in line a bit more bearable!  Happy filing!

Tax Resources: 

Don’t Forget:

  • Keep ALL your receipts from every business expense, God forbbid, you may be audited
  • Transportation and travel can be a tax write-off, keep track of your mileage for all business commuting
  • The IRS is scrutinizing write-offs for business meals and lodging, make sure you can adequately prove so
  • Paying taxes every quarter instead of every year diminishes stress and bulk fees
  • If your business can afford it (even if you are your business), make charitable contributions throughout the year to allieviate the weight of paying taxes

(photo credit: Arvind Balaraman via freedigitalphotos.net)

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The Valley Business Expo ’13

The Valley Business Expo ’13

on Thursday, February 28th from 9 am to 2 pm
at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel and Convention Center

VEDC will be hosting a Loan Pavilion where you can meet with one of our loan officers in private to discuss you small business needs.

To register contact egass@economicalliance.org or call 818.379.7000 x110

 

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

{all information and images are credited to the Valley Economic Development Center}

Where’s Your City’s SBDC?

LA's SBDC 1

 

LA SBDC

 

Do you know where your city’s Small Business Development Center/ Corporations are?  You can find a Los Angeles’ Regional SBDC Network on Wilshire Blvd in the heart of Koreatown.  Located at 3255 on the corner of Wilshire and New Hampshire on the 15th floor, you’ll human resources and experience.