The last few weeks of the year tend to be incredibly exciting in the business world. Here are a few best practices from our staff to help you end 2016 organized and ready for a phenomenal business year in 2017!
By: Charlie Chambers, MBA, CPA, CMA Lead Consultant, Small Business Development Center
While there is nothing wrong with a vision to “save the whales”, the real reason for a business to exist is to MAKE MONEY! It seems like we are in a time where making money is somehow evil. Unless a business makes money, why should the owners go through the effort and hard work. While paying employees fairly is important and even necessary, the owners deserve the opportunity to make a return on their investment and create wealth. Think about it: If business owners do not make money, how do you think your retirement funds (is IRA’s) will grow. The investments inside the retirement funds require the owners to make money in order for the stock prices to rise, pay dividends, and reward their employees.
In summary, go make money. It will be the most effective way to “save your whales.”
By: Mike Smith, Key-Ads
It has been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I think it is normal for most business, big or small, to return to what they have done for years. It just seems to be easier that way. We are already familiar with it. We know the process. We can predict the results. The list goes on and on. Many times we have a difficult time admitting that the results are not what we had hoped for or even what they once were.
By: Emily Dammeyer, Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce
The Toledo Small Business Development Center (SBDC) was recognized as the Top Jobs Creator in the Ohio SBDC Statewide Network for the fiscal year 2016. The Statewide network consists of 28 centers, and the Toledo SBDC created nearly 500 jobs. The award is given based on metrics provided by clients of the SBDC. Clients must validate that the jobs were created in the community and attribute growth of their company to the help they received from the SBDC.
By: Colleen Kardasz, Director, Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network
To no one’s surprise, running a small business requires money. When that business also sells products or services internationally the investment generally increases. For Ohio exporters there is some relief in the form of the IMAGE grant. The Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE), funded by the state of Ohio and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is designed to increase exports and create jobs. The IMAGE grant offers financial assistance for small businesses to promote their products and services in international markets. The grant provides a 50 percent reimbursement up to $10,000 per fiscal year for qualifying activities. Qualifying activities can include attending international trade shows or trade missions, international advertising, website development and more. For last year’s grant eleven companies across the Northwest Ohio region of the Ohio SBDC Export Assistance Network received reimbursements through IMAGE. This year’s grant process is now open and interested companies can submit an online application to have their activities pre-approved prior to commencement. All grant eligible activities must be completed by September 29, 2017. Northwest Ohio companies who want to explore the IMAGE grant or other export services should contact the Chamber at 419-243-8191 or email Colleen Kardasz, Director, Export Assistance Network.
By: Aly Sterling, President, Aly Sterling Philanthropy
Many friends and colleagues think our work in board governance is fascinating.
They want to know about the extremes – from the strange case studies and the “no he didn’t” examples of bad boardroom behavior to what ultimately brings a board or executive director to call us and seek help.
They ultimately want to know which issues we see most often and if their own board experience is “normal.”
By: Colleen Kardasz, Director, Export Assistance Network
When I talk to other small business advisors, I often find myself discussing our reputation of sometimes “crushing dreams” or not understanding someone’s passion. When you meet with several hundred small businesses a year and around 20% of those businesses are pre-venture or in the planning stages of starting a business, as an advisor, you often find yourself telling people things they don’t want to hear. The millennial with no cash and no credit who wants to buy a historic building doesn’t want to hear about the $100,000 build out any more than the aspiring restaurateur wants to hear that she most likely won’t be able to open in six weeks like she had wanted given the amount of time it will take just for the inspection process. We as small business advisors do not want to crush anyone’s dreams we just think it is better that you as a potential business owner think through, plan and prepare for all the aspects of running a business. We want you to have a plan well before you’ve invested your time and money. What’s better for the individual and the community: ten businesses who open and close in their first year, or five business who take a little longer to open, but stay open year after year? We’ll keep breaking the hard news to people if it means that we are helping entrepreneurs be successful.
CPBB Teams with Toledo Regional Chamber to Bring Priority Based Budgeting to the City of Toledo, Ohio
Written by CPBB Co-founder Chris Fabian
At the Center for Priority Based Budgeting (CPBB), we're constantly impressed and amazed at just how innovative local government communities can be. Through our concepts of Fiscal Health and Wellness through Priority Based Budgeting, we've partnered with communities to define exactly what the community is in business to achieve and then prioritize scarce resources (tax dollars) to meet those community results. This work has allowed over 120 cities, counties, school districts and special districts across North America to completely redefine their communities.
Three Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce Members have been included on the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Whitacre Logistics, The Douglas Company, and Bolt Express are all located in the Toledo Region.