Jan. 26, 2012
There’s more evidence that small business plays a pivotal role in creating jobs in Washington and other states, according to the Office of Advocacy in the Small Business Administration (SBA). The Office of Advocacy released small business data for each of the 50 states.
SBA believes the new data is “an invaluable resource for small businesses, legislators, academics, government officials, and policymakers in each state.”
“Small businesses are the foundation of economic growth in Washington and in our nation” said Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Chief Counsel for Advocacy. “By supporting policies that promote innovation and entrepreneurship, we help small businesses tackle these challenging economic times. These statistics are a resource for a path to economic growth.”
As for Washington state, the report explains “small business employment; business starts and closings; bank lending; business ownership by minorities, women, and veterans; and firm and employment change by major industry and firm size.”
Salient data about small business:
- There were 532,162 small businesses in Washington in 2009. Of these, 142,854 were employers and they accounted for 53.3 percent of private sector jobs in the state. Small firms made up 98.1 percent of the state’s employers.
- Throughout 2010, the number of opening establishments was lower than closing establishments and the net employment change from this turnover was negative.
- Washington’s real gross state product increased 0.7 percent and private-sector employment decreased 1.8 percent in 2010. By comparison, real GDP in the United States decreased 1.3 percent and private sector employment declined by 0.8 percent.
- Self-employment in Washington surged over the last decade. Female self-employment fared the best compared with other demographic groups during the decade.
To promote entrepreneurship, this week the Washington Policy Center sent state lawmakers in the 2012 legislative session these recommendations:
- Revisit the voluntary settlement agreement as passed by the state Senate in 2011 – $1.2 billion
- Reform the displaced worker retraining program
- Simplify sales taxes by using an ‘origin based’ tax (as opposed to a ‘destination based’ tax) and creating a flat rate for out-of-state businesses
- Review regulations to ensure that Washington rules don’t exceed federal regulations
- Enact Tort Reform
- Do no harm in transportation policy – do not reduce road lane capacity
- Do not follow Seattle in enacting statewide paid sick leave
In addition, Gov. Gregoire suggested her strategies to aid small business — business and occupation tax relief.
How has the Legislature responded? Lawmakers have ignored their $1.5 budget-deficit crisis.
Instead, lawmakers are considering other matters – mandating paid sick leave and safe leave, banning plastic bags, abolishing the death penalty and gay marriage.
When will Washington’s Legislature demonstrate wisdom?
From the Coach’s Corner, also read:
Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
Columnist Terry Corbell is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services (many are available online). For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule Terry Corbell as a speaker, why don’t you contact him today?
Why do seemingly great marketing plans fail to yield the desired results?
Well, one reason: Such plans don’t turn the ideas into reality because they’re not action-oriented. What counts is the scheduled specific footwork, and then tracking the results.
There’s a second reason, quality of execution, but more on that later.
Four action-oriented keys to success
Action key No. 1: Develop specific action items for each key piece of your plan with specific target dates to take action. In other words, if 12 big customers will largely solve your revenue issues, set a goal for each monthly interval. For example, write: “We will get one major client each month.”
Action key No. 2: List specific footwork to achieve your monthly goal of one new client. For example, write: “To get a major new client each month, we’ll have to look for new opportunities to network with our existing Centers of Influence and to create new Centers of Influence.”
If you belong to your local chamber of commerce or Rotary Club, ask your friendly chamber peers or Rotarians for two referrals: “What are the names of two people with your qualities who might need our product?” Then, while dropping the name of your friend, make the contact.
Consider other ways to enlarge your prospect list, and write something like this: “We will also get a list of business leads via…”
Action key No. 3: Benchmark your action items that can lead to the desired results. For example, write: “From our list of prospects, we will meet with three new prospects each week.”
It’s a numbers game, but rest assured referrals are usually the strongest leads – especially, if you use the right networking strategies.
So don’t worry about the results. Focus on taking steps. The results will take care of themselves.
Action key No. 4: Define your list of specific actions to meet your targets. For example, write: “I will telephone or visit 15 prospects a day asking for an appointment.”
Focus on making the contacts, but again, don’t worry about which doors will open. It might be a lost art, but here’s how and why to use cold-calling for higher sales. Here are eight tips for cold calling by e-mail and telephone.
Quality of execution
Despite all the hype about the benefits of social media, face time works best. If you have good branding, elevator pitch, and use the right sales steps, you will be successful.
Branding: Here’s a checklist to build your brand on a budget.
Elevator pitch: Here are the top 11 tips for a great elevator pitch.
Sales Steps: Here are the seven steps to higher sales.
You might also want to review the eight best practices in small business marketing.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are two advertising resource links:
- What are the Secrets for Success from Advertising?
- Checklist for Branding, Selling Your Biz as Green
“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.
Updated June 3, 2013
Do you need more evidence to be diligent in using best practices for security on the Internet?
Consider four examples:
1. According to a Web security study in 2013, Internet attacks are impacting businesses, with the majority of them reporting significant effects in the form of increased help desk time, reduced employee productivity and disruption of business activities.
2. As much as $1 million was reportedly stolen and given to charity after thousands of credit card numbers and other personal information were hacked from security think tank Stratfor by the furtive cyber group calling itself Anonymous. (Of course, all it did was hurt the charities because they had to expend valuable resources – time and money – in refunding money to the credit card holders.)
3. Bloomberg reported that commerce is active on criminal trading sites – as much as $3.50 is paid for each stolen credit card.
4. US-CERT reports that spear-phishing attacks have been launched on members of the United States Automobile Association (USAA). Cybercriminals are trying to trick USAA members into opening e-mails by using “Deposit Posted” in the subject line. The e-mails are designed to trick USAA members into opening attachments that contain malware. Once unleashed, the activated malware invades the victims’ computers searching for their sensitive personal information.
“Readers should remain on alert to keep safe from attacks by following the following three basic rules,” writes nationally recognized security expert, Dr. Stan Stahl of Citadel Information Group in Los Angeles.
His basic rules:
- Do not open attachments in emails unless the email is expected. Do not click on links in unexpected emails. Attachments and links can be booby-trapped. When in doubt check with the sender.
- Keep systems updated with the latest software versions.
- Keep anti-malware solutions up-to-date. Consider moving to advanced host-based intrusion prevention.
You can sign up for his “Weekly Patch and Vulnerability Report” and his blog at www.citadel-information.com.
Actually, most small businesses make you vulnerable to credit card fraud and identity theft. So businesses need to be diligent, too, and prepare with precautions and response philosophy.
(Note: I’m very familiar with Dr. Stahl’s expertise. He is a fellow member of Consultants West, www.consultantswest.com, a roundtable of veteran consultants in the Los Angeles area.)
From the Coach’s Corner, here are more resource links:
- Security Precautions to Take Following Citibank’s Second Reported Online Breach
- Why Many Healthcare Workers Are Responsible for Alarming Trend: Medical ID Theft
- Lesson about Passwords after Theft of 16,000+ UCLA Patient Records
“You can’t hold firewalls and intrusion detection systems accountable. You can only hold people accountable.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.