Summer for Small Business

This summer has been hot.  With many days climbing into the upper 80’s and 90’s, it’s hard to find motivation to accomplish any amount of work.  All you want to do is hop in the pool, or sit on your couch with a fan.  It can even be hard to run a business in this heat.  Customers may not want to walk or drive to your store to avoid the heat.  Your employees may lose productivity as they take vacations or simply daydream about being outside in the fresh air.

However, you can still improve your business in the summer months.  Here are four ideas to help you keep your business running smoothly when even the air conditioning is struggling.

  1. Take advantage of “rainy days”.

I know many people still use the adage “I’ll save it for a rainy day.”  Generally this means they’re saving some money for when it’s tight, but it also means sometime when a job can be accomplished.  Luckily for us, this summer has brought many rainy days to accomplish tasks.  However, you don’t need to watch the sky to know if it’s a rainy day.  A rainy day can be any time that you can accomplish a task.  Is your business often quiet before 10 am?  Then schedule some time in the morning to work on that bookwork that’s been piling up.  Do five people call on Tuesdays compared to 20 the rest of the week?  If so, start using that day to update your client profiles.  “Rainy days” can happen at any time.

  1. Make sure all your systems are running smoothly.

This one is especially true if your business involves a lot of outside work or has many pieces of equipment.  The summer months are the best time to fix anything that may be broken on your office building or within your machinery.  Take this one from me as I have had to set fence posts into the cold ground on Christmas Day and also demolish a building in mid-May.  I would much rather demolish buildings all summer then set one fence post in December.  Your employees will thank you if you accomplish outside tasks during the warm summer months.

  1. Plan an employee or customer appreciation night.

This one can help you express your gratitude to loyal employees and customers.  Rent a park, picnic shelter, or even just offer up your house one night (assuming it can hold all your employees).  Your customers will appreciate the gesture, and it can help build comradery between your employees.  It can also be cheap, especially if it’s an outdoor employee potluck or barbeque.

  1. Take a class

This is a page right out of your college handbook.  If you get behind on your degree, take summer courses.  Running a business is no different.  If you’ve been running your business for a long time, taking a class that is focused on your business can give you new perspective on how to attract customers, create marketing schemes, or simply get you up to date with new rules and regulations.  There are many classes for business owners offered in the summer months.  If you are interested in this, check out www.iowasbdc.org/workshop-calendar/ for different classes, workshops, and seminars offered around the state of Iowa.

America’s SBDC Iowa: Who We Are, What We Do

America’s SBDC Iowa has been providing quality business counseling for small business owners and entrepreneurs since 1981. Still, many are unaware of the services we provide, and the benefits that clients experience. If you are unsure about receiving counseling from the Iowa SBDC, read on.

Our Mission

To support the collaborative economic development of Iowa by providing entrepreneurs and businesses with individual consultation and educational resources necessary to assist their businesses to succeed.

Brief history

The history of the SBDC can be traced back as far as the 1940’s, when some of the first University-based extension services were presented in legislation. However, it wasn’t until 1976 that the University Business Development Center, the first incarnation of the SBDC, was established at the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, CA. By 1979, the network had 16 participants, including universities in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Missouri. Then, in 1980, President Carter signed the SBDC network into law with the Small Business Development Act. The Iowa SBDC was established in 1981, as one of the first 20 centers added to the network.

For more on the history of the SBDC, click here

Overview of services

The Small Business Development Center was created to educate and support small business owners across the country through no-cost counseling. Because of the emphasis on client education, the SBDC program has been the largest and most successful technical assistance program the federal government has provided for small businesses. We provide consulting in the most vital areas of your business, including:

  • Business planning
  • Market research
  • Capital infusion
  • Legal requirements
  • Exit strategies

SBDC counselors bring years of experience in a variety of industries, and many of them have owned small businesses of their own. This helps them see things from the perspective of the business owner. Additionally, they can draw on their personal experience to help business owners and entrepreneurs avoid pitfalls that they may not see coming.

For more on the services provided by the Iowa SBDC, click here

Impact

The Iowa SBDC has consistently provided a significant positive impact on small business since 1981. In 2017, the SBDC impacted Iowa in the following way:

  • 293 New business starts
  • 1,845 Iowa jobs created
  • 4,044 clients counseled
  • $108,668,237 in capital infusion
  • $111,807,427 in increased sales

For more on the impact of the Iowa SBDC, click here

 

Testimonials

Clients have a lot to say about the SBDC. Here are some words of praise from Iowa small business owners just like yourself:

“Having access to the resources to help turn our idea into a business was a vital part that got us where we are today. How much interest the SBDC has in every business just goes to show how much they care and want us to succeed, which means a lot.” – Mikayla Sullivan, Kinosol SBC (Ames)

“We always met wherever and whenever. Communication was always great. They helped me with 3 year projections before I purchased the business. Within a short amount of time, they were able to help me with the foundation of the business. I don’t know if we would even be in business without the help of the SBDC.” – Theo Ramsey, Ramsey’s Market (Lenox)

“The SBDC is a great asset to rural communities that need help to build businesses in their communities.”- Jessica Kannegieter, Mud on Main Coffee Shop, Café & Roastery (Aurelia and Cherokee)

“The SBDC is a great resource to help put together a loan application and financial projections for securing a bank loan. They are there to answer questions and to bounce ideas off of, and are not afraid to ask you (the owner) tough questions to make you think about your business decisions.”- Terry Schnack, C.A.R.S. (West Burlington)

For success stories about the business above, and many, many more, click here

Whether you have a new business idea and don’t know where to start, or are an established business looking to grow, America’s SBDC Iowa has the expertise and resources you need to find success. Contact us today to schedule your first session, and just see how far you can go!

To request counseling from America’s SBDC Iowa, click here

GDSM Partnership to Host Pair of Events Focused On Business Funding

 

Contact:

Sam Hoyle

shoyle@DSMpartnership.com

(515) 286-4919

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2017

PARTNERSHIP TO HOST PAIR OF EVENTS FOCUSED ON BUSINESS FUNDING

GREATER DES MOINES, IA (Jan. 24, 2018) – Businesses looking to raise capital can attend one of a pair of events hosted by the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Small business owners, entrepreneurs and startups can begin the year with an injection of capital by attending either the Capital For Your Business Seminar or the Raising Capital Seminar.

The Capital For Your Business Seminar is on Feb. 22. This event is geared toward traditional businesses looking for bank financing types and expectations, alternate loans and grants and buying on contract. Types of businesses that may be interested in this event include restaurants, boutiques, medical practices, retailers, manufacturers and businesses in a trade industry. Businesses looking for working capital or capital to make large equipment purchases will benefit from this event. The Capital For Your Business Seminar will take place from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Partnership’s office, 700 Locust St., Ste. 100, Des Moines.

The Raising Capital Seminar is being hosted by Square One DSM, an initiative of The Partnership, on March 8. This event is geared toward entrepreneurs and startup companies seeking strategic long-term investors often referred to as angel investors, seed investors or venture capitalists. Types of businesses that may be interested include software, technology, agtech, artificial intelligence and fast-growth businesses. Attendees that will benefit from this event are those that are looking to know how to pitch to investors, grow their business quickly and sell or exit the company in five-to-seven years. The Raising Capital Seminar will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the BrownWinick Law Firm, 666 Grand Ave #200, Des Moines.

 

To register for these events, click here.

 

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 320 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

 

About Square One DSM
Square One DSM’s mission is to connect entrepreneurial needs with qualified community and state resources and to provide guided professional and business direction. Square One DSM helps entrepreneurs maximize their successes by helping them navigate resources, strengthen knowledge, improve skills, form strategic alliances and secure proper capitalization. Learn more at squareoneDSM.com.

 

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BETH COONAN TO PRESENT AT TOP FIVE FOR SMALL BUSINESS SERIES ON JAN. 24

Coonan, Attorney at the BrownWinick Law Firm, will present on the Top Five Ways to Minimize Risk when Disciplining or Terminating an Employee

 

GREATER DES MOINES, IA (Jan. 17, 2018) The Greater Des Moines Partnership has announced the next presenter in its Top Five for Small Business series. Beth Coonan, Attorney at the BrownWinick Law Firm, will present on the Top Five Ways to Minimize Risk when Disciplining or Terminating an Employee. The Top Five series features presentations to inform, educate and inspire business owners in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The events focus on a variety of timely topics that affect business owners and managers including legal, human resources, information technology, marketing, accounting and other pressing issues.

Coonan’s presentation will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24 at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, 700 Locust St., Ste. 100.

Employers often must spend valuable time managing employee discipline and discharge decisions. Coonan’s presentation will discuss best practices for creating processes that save time, setting expectations and reducing entity risk.
Coonan is a member of the BrownWinick Law Firm and serves as Chair of BrownWinick’s Employment Law practice group. Coonan represents clients in the areas of employment, workers’ compensation and business immigration law. She assists employers with policy development and enforcement, non-compete clauses and other restrictive covenants, business visas and compliance with immigration laws, litigation and workers’ compensation strategy and trainings on drug testing, harassment and FMLA issues.

Coonan also serves as an independent investigator for harassment and other claims. She counsels clients regarding discipline and termination situations and compliance with local, state and federal employment and civil rights laws and regulations. She represents clients in proceedings in front of various courts and administrative bodies including the Iowa Civil Rights Commission and the Iowa Division of Workers’ Compensation. Coonan also assists clients in dispute resolution using alternate forums and is a certified mediator.

The event is $15 to attend, which includes lunch or $10 to watch via simulcast. Click here to register.

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,100 Regional Business Members and more than 320 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

Contact:
Sam Hoyle
shoyle@DSMpartnership.com
(515) 286-4919

IRDC Newsletter Article, Nov. 2017: IRDC Expanding Their Impact

Since 1992, the Iowa Rural Development Council (IRDC) has been engaging partners and assisting small towns.  And there are steps being taken to boost the work of the Council and expand its impact.

The IRDC was created as part of an Executive Order and ensuing Farm Bill in 1992.  It received federal funding for many years and was later housed in the Iowa Department of Economic Development.  But both state and federal funding dissolved and the group has operated informally without paid staff since 2005.

In 2016, the IRDC hosted the first-ever Iowa Rural Summit, bringing together 300 individuals from more than 60 rural communities.  That event sparked a resurgence in interest among rural advocates and convinced IRDC partners, who include federal and state agencies, Regents’ institutions and community colleges, utilities, non-profits and statewide associations, to revitalize the Council’s ability to support rural development.

“This is an organization that has impacted rural Iowa for a quarter century and is positioned now to do more,” said IRDC chair Sandy Ehrig, who runs the Iowa Farm Bureau’s “Renew Rural Iowa” program.  “Our rural summit in Jefferson last year was a big step and the Council is ready to build on that momentum.”

Beginning in 2018, IRDC will develop sponsorship levels open to partners, including for-profit businesses, seeking to support strategies and policies that benefit small towns and rural places.  And that will allow the Council to bring on a paid executive director, former USDA Rural Development state director Bill Menner.

Menner, who served at USDA from 2009-2017, was previously economic development director in Poweshiek County.  He will help the IRDC connect with new partners, resource providers and innovative rural communities who can provide successful case studies for other places.

“Rural Iowa has so much, from engaged residents to committed leaders and forward-thinking businesses,” Menner said.  “But many times they start from scratch when they work to develop new ideas or address community needs.  Instead they could be just looking down the road for direction and I think the IRDC can compile and share those best practices.”

The financial resources created through sponsors and engaged members will position the IRDC to launch new programs that address rural issues, build capacity with small towns, and capitalize on opportunities that exist to enhance the viability of rural communities.

Those opportunities may revolve around issues the IRDC sees as central to rural development, from housing to workforce to broadband to entrepreneurship.

For more information about the Iowa Rural Development Council or the 2018 Iowa Rural Summit, contact Bill Menner at iowaruralcouncil@gmail.com or 641-990-4757.

Iowa Rural Development Council Leadership Team (left to right): Rand Fisher, Iowa Area Development Group; Mark Reinig, Iowa State University CIRAS; Bill Menner, IRDC Executive Director; Sandy Ehrig, Iowa Farm Bureau “Renew Rural Iowa”; Amy Kuhlers, Iowa Economic Development Authority; Jim Thompson, Iowa Economic Development Authority; James Hoelscher, University of Northern Iowa Institute for Decision Making; Gary Taylor, Iowa State University Extension.  Not pictured: Kathy Anderson, ABI; Sue Cosner, Iowa Area Development Group; Dave Duncan, Iowa Telecommunications Alliance; Zachary Mannheimer, McClure Engineering.

Iowa City Entrepreneurs are SBDC Award Winners

Contacts:
Tricia Janes, Iowa SBDC, (515) 294-5595, triciaj@iastate.edu
Paul Heath, University of Iowa SBDC, (319) 335-3742, heath@uiowa.edu

Iowa City, Iowa– The Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is pleased to announce that David Schwindt, owner of L8NT, Iowa City, is the winner of the SBDC’s Business of the Month Award.

Paul Heath, regional director of the University of Iowa’s SBDC, Iowa City, says the following about David, “He is an innovative entrepreneur who is an Iowa City police officer by day and a developer by night. He has developed a process for finding stolen cell phones, laptops, game consoles- any wi-fi enabled device.”

Schwindt’s software is designed to run “behind the scenes” on computer systems already installed in squad cars to detect signals of stolen devices within a few hundred feet away. “It’ll pop up on the screen notifying (officers) what the device is, what agency entered it, any notes on the case, and it’ll open up a Google Maps system where it will start plotting pins on the map.”

Due to Cloud technology, each department running the L8NT software has access to the database of known stolen items. Johnson Country Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek remarks, “Somebody could come here from Washington, D.C. that has a stolen device and all of a sudden we’ll see that it’s popping up in small town Iowa.”

The Iowa SBDC Business of the Month Award will be presented to David Schwindt in Iowa City by SBDC Regional Director Paul Heath. For more information on L8NT, visit their website at https://www.latentwireless.com.

The Iowa Small Business Development Center program is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s College of Business. Partially funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the organization has 15 regional assistance centers located strategically across the state. Since program inception in 1981, the Center has helped hundreds of thousands of Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs through no cost, confidential, customized, professional business counseling and practical, affordable training.

For more information on Iowa Small Business Development Center programs or services, call (515) 294-2030 or visit www.iowasbdc.org.

RACHEL EUBANK TO SPEAK AT FIRST FRIDAY SERIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017

 

RACHEL EUBANK TO SPEAK AT FIRST FRIDAY SERIES

President of Sticks, Inc. to Present on Oct. 6

 

GREATER DES MOINES, IA (Sept. 12, 2017) – Iowa Center for Economic Success’ Women’s Business Center and the Greater Des Moines Partnership will host their next First Friday Series event of 2017 on Oct. 6 at Iowa Center for Economic Success. The event features Rachel Eubank, President of Sticks, Inc.

 

The First Friday Series is an opportunity for savvy, successful business owners and entrepreneurs in Greater Des Moines (DSM) to share their stories. The First Friday Series gives a chance for attendees to catch some words of wisdom from women who have experienced entrepreneurship first-hand. Past speakers include Tricia Rivas of Trixie’s Salon and Dream Catcher Foundation, Julie McGuire of Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure, Leng Vong Reiff of Akili Design and Marketing Services, Liz Lidgett of Adore Your Walls and Emma Walsmith of Tikly.

 

Sessions are free and open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Friday of each month. Locations rotate among The Iowa Center, the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Gravitate Valley Junction. The October event will be held at Iowa Center for Economic Success located at 8345 University Blvd., Clive.

 

Eubank is the President of Sticks Inc., a Des Moines-based manufacturer of handmade home accessories and gifts. During her 14 years at Sticks, she has been in wholesale and national sales, marketing and events, development, retail operations, retail buying, sales management and operations. With recent launches of new product lines and categories, Eubank has focused on the development of the Sticks brand into additional product and price classes in addition to growing the licensing and brand awareness of Sticks within the open marketplace. Sticks is represented in a variety of gift and art galleries nationwide, as well as in commercial spaces such a hospitals, museums, clinics and libraries.

 

Click here to register for the event or register via email by emailing ekessinger@theiowacenter.org.

 

About Iowa Center for Economic Success

For more than 25 years, Iowa Center for Economic Success has been committed to empowering Iowans to pursue opportunities for financial success. Whether someone starts their relationship with us through our Education + Resources, Credit + Lending, or Advocacy + Networking programs, our commitment remains the same: empowering them to turn good ideas into strong plans that result in financial success. To learn more, visit: www.theiowacenter.org.

 

About Iowa’s Women’s Business Center (WBC)

Iowa’s WBC, a program of Iowa Center for Economic Success, is dedicated to helping Iowa women business owners as they launch and grow their businesses. The Iowa WBC provides classes, business seminars, networking opportunities, one-on-one coaching, and business counseling for women across the state of Iowa. In 2016, the WBC served over 1,000 clients. Iowa Center for Economic Success’ Women’s Business Center is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

 

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce and more than 6,000 Regional Business Members, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes Des Moines as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

Press Contact:

Emily Susanin Kessinger, Project Manager
Iowa Center for Economic Success
ebsusanin@theiowacenter.org
(515) 283-0940

Kyle Oppenhuizen, Communications Manager
Greater Des Moines Partnership
koppenhuizen@DSMpartnership.com
(515) 286-4972

JONATHAN PORTER WITH MCGOWEN, HURST, CLARK & SMITH P.C. TO PRESENT AT TOP FIVE FOR SMALL BUSINESS SERIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017

 

JONATHAN PORTER WITH MCGOWEN, HURST, CLARK & SMITH P.C. TO PRESENT AT TOP FIVE FOR SMALL BUSINESS SERIES

Sept. 27 topic is “Top Five Ideas You Wish Your Accountant Would Have Told You”

 

GREATER DES MOINES, IA (Sept. 6, 2017) – The Greater Des Moines Partnership has announced the next presenter in its Small Business Resources “Top Five for Small Business” series. Jonathan Porter, CPA With McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith P.C., will present on the “Top Five Ideas You Wish Your Accountant Would Have Told You.” The Top Five series features presentations to inform, educate and inspire business owners in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The events focus on a variety of timely topics that affect business owners and managers including legal, human resources, information technology, marketing, accounting and other pressing issues.

 

The series will take place once a month throughout the rest of 2017 at the Greater Des Moines Partnership, 700 Locust St., Ste. 100. Porter’s presentation is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 27.

 

Doesn’t everyone hate getting into a situation that could have been avoided? It doesn’t matter if a company is new or one that has been around for 10 years, the more knowledge it has, the better prepared its leaders will be. This presentation will cover accounting and tax topics that attendees will be thankful to know about if they ever happen.

Porter is currently a Manager at McGowen, Hurst, Clark & Smith, P.C. in the Business Advisory and Tax Services department. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree and a Master of Accounting degree in May 2011. Porter’s area of expertise is in small business accounting and taxation, along with consulting clients on their processes, procedures and technology solutions within their business.

Porter is a member of the AICPA, CPAmerica International and the ISCPA. Porter is also a past graduate of the Kansas Society of CPAs “20 up to 40” Leadership Program.

 

The event is $15 to attend, which includes lunch, or $10 to watch via simulcast. Click Here to register.

 

About the Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 23 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce and more than 6,000 Regional Business Members, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes Des Moines as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.

Press Contact: Kyle Oppenhuizen, E-mail: koppenhuizen@DSMpartnership.com, Phone #: (515) 286-4972

AMERICA’S SBDC IOWA ANNOUNCES NEW REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR ITS AMES CENTER Brian Tapp is the new regional director for the Iowa State University SBDC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

8/17/17

AMERICA’S SBDC IOWA ANNOUNCES NEW REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR ITS AMES CENTER Brian Tapp is the new regional director for the Iowa State University SBDC

AMES, Iowa – America’s SBDC Iowa (SBDC) is pleased to announce that Brian Tapp is the new Regional Director for the Iowa State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Ames. He started his new position on August 1, 2017.

Tapp will be advising and training entrepreneurs and existing business owners in Boone, Marshall, and Story counties.

“America’s SBDC Iowa is pleased to add Brian Tapp to our team of knowledgeable, experienced, and professional business advisors,” says SBDC State Director Lisa Shimkat. “Brian has considerable business and counseling experience and will provide excellent service to the region’s clients and promoting economic growth in Central Iowa.”

Brian has a wealth of experience in economic development. Previously he worked at The Bank of Missouri as an SBA Loan Officer and Southeast Missouri State University focusing on the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Most recently he was in a shared position with the SBDC and the Value‐Added Agriculture program at Iowa State University.

America’s SBDC Iowa is an outreach program of Iowa State University’s College of Business and the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations. Iowa State University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, sex, marital status, disability, or status as a U.S. veteran. Inquiries regarding non‐discrimination policies may be directed to the Office of Equal Opportunity, 3410 Beardshear Hall, 515 Morrill Road, Ames, Iowa 50011, Tel. 515‐294‐7612, email eooffice@iastate.edu.

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, America’s SBDC Iowa has 15 regional assistance centers located strategically across the state. Since program inception in 1981, the SBDC has helped Iowa businesses and entrepreneurs through no fee, confidential, customized, professional business counseling and practical, affordable training workshops.

For more information on America’s SBDC Iowa programs or services, call (515) 294‐2030 or visit www.iowasbdc.org, https://www.facebook.com/AmericasSBDCIowa, or https://twitter.com/IowaSBDC.

Press Contacts:
Tricia Janes, America’s SBDC Iowa, 515‐294‐2030, triciaj@iastate.edu