New Years is a time to reflect on the past and plan for the future. There are many challenges small businesses face to survive in today’s economy but with the help of the DBE Supportive Services team we have come up with a list of tips to help you better position your business in 2020.
1. Maintaine Business Wellness – Ed Duarte, Construction/Public Works Specialist
As a small business owner it is imperative that you monitor your business growth. Ed Duarte is a co-founder of Aztec Consultants and has helped deliver over $450 million in public works contracts.
Ed’s recommendations for a 2020 to do list are as follows:
- Develop a Business Plan. It can always be upgraded and expanded as the business grows.
- Open a bank account with a DBA listing of your business name
- Secure an Employers Identification Number (Tax ID) to keep the business structure formalized and legal
- Prepare a Sole Proprietor LLC or a Partnership Agreement (if you have partners).
- Set up a formal set of books and learn to use QuickBooks ASAP. Graduate to using an accountant when economically justified.
- Secure any business licenses necessary to be able to operate.
- Develop a short-term (90-day) Marketing Plan to promote your services or product.
- Follow through with your plans and understand as a small business owner you will be working 24/7.
2. Stay Ahead of your Competition – Liz Brazil, Bid Specialist
Liz recommends, “get educated and don't be afraid to learn something new. Adapt new ideas and innovative processes. The DBE Supportive Services website contains vast resources such as expert articles, business templates, online webinars, and a robust events calendar. These resources are provided at no-cost to you if you are enrolled in the program.”
3. Invest Your Time Wisely – Charles Thomas, Business Planning Specialist
Being an Entrepreneur is not easy. Many business owners are faced with numerous challenges such as funding, retaining key personnel, handling expansion, knowing and understanding employer responsibilities, knowing how to seek and utilize key resources, etc. To combat these challenges, Charles recommends the following:
- Maintain strong customer service.
- Identify ways you can make others better! Find ways to give back, support your staff (internally) and get involved in the community (externally). For example, supporting a notable cause or sponsoring a local youth organization. Additionally, share best practices with your team, create recognition awards to show your appreciation for your employee’s efforts.
- Expand your professional network and utilize your connections.
- Read more, and cross-train yourself and your staff.
- Set deadlines and be consistent with your work ethic. Remember, you set the tone for your organization.
- Find ways to celebrate your staff and create a positive environment.
4. Fund your 2020 Marketing Campaign – Thomas Burns, Business Planning Specialist
Too many times, business owners have tremendous marketing ideas but abandon them because the investment of capital and time is simply too overwhelming.Here are a few funding sources available for small business owners.
- Angel Investors: One of the largest networks of Angel Investors. https://angelinvestorsnetwork.com
- Factoring: Selling Account Receivables for a discount, in return for advance payment. https://www.assetcc.com
- Peer-to-Peer Lending: www.Peerform.com www.LendingClub.com www.Prosper.com
- MicroLoans: Between $5,000 and $50,000 https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/small-business/california-microlenders/
These funding sources all have an upside and a downside. Doing some research to determine which, if any, of these funding sources can work for you is worth the effort. Just imagine the marketing/branding/sales potential if you can remove lack of money as an obstacle in your creative process!
We hope this article will help you elevate your business in 2020. Please don’t hesitate to use DBE Supportive Services as a free resource. We can’t wait to help you win more contracts!
Wishing you a Prosperous Business and Happy New Year!
DBE Supportive Services Team - Taylor Bowes, Ed Duarte, Liz Brazil, Thomas Burns, Charles Thomas, and SiewYee Lee