Category Archives: Business Basics

Your Budget: A Roadmap for the Year

by Kelly Deis of SoundPoint Consulting

It’s that time of year again. Most businesses are on a fiscal year which coincides with the calendar year. It is time to look back and reflect on 2017 as well as look forward and create a budget for 2018.

A budget is a roadmap. Based on where you have been, it can help guide you to the desired final destination for year-end.

If you stay on the current course – where will you end up? Alternatively, if you change the route – where will you be at the end of the year? It is up to you to decide which path is the most profitable and most likely to be achieved.

Here are a few things to think about as you prepare your budget.  Continue reading

It’s time you learned about the art of referrals.

You have a business, but are people talking about it?

man holding card referralsWord-of-mouth is just as relevant today as it has ever been. When a business asks you to talk about how great they are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on, that’sword-of-mouth. When you provide good content that others can share, that is also word of mouth. Today, potential customers are more likely to pay attention to people they know and a large general following (e.g., Yelp) than if they see the same commentary in a company advertisement.

In fact, they’ll pay much more attention. The Word of Mouth Marketing Association published some research a couple years ago that found “the value of a word of mouth impression is from five to 100+ times more valuable than a paid media impression.”

You don’t have to spend all day convincing people to spread the word about your new business on social media.

Continue reading

Ask SCORE: How can I use the business model canvas?

methodology-b5e4177c0e51a4b1c552fbec08455ccd8643b8ac6fcced615e7b2452e4d5563bThe Business Model Canvas is an entrepreneurial tool that helps you visualize, design, and reinvent your business model. It was developed by Swiss business theorist and author Alexander Osterwalder.

For a startup, using the tool can help you develop a clear view of your value proposition, operations, customers, and finances. As an existing business owner, you can use it to identify how the different components of your business relate to each other.

It can help you decide where you need to focus your time and effort.  Continue reading

9 tips for opening a food truck business.

From big cities to small towns and burgers to bánh mì, food trucks are becoming mainstream. According to National Restaurant Association’s 2016 Restaurant Industry Forecast, roughly two in five restaurant operators believe food trucks will become more popular within their segment.

Here are nine tips for potential food truck operators:

  • How to find your food truck. You can get a food truck for as little as $25,000 and for as much as $125,000. But don’t cut corners on your build, says Chris Johnston, owner and founder of Cheesie’s Pub & Grub and food truck in Chicago. It’s the only chance you have to create an efficient mobile unit for your business. To search for secondhand trucks, connect with the local food truck community, contact any company that has a fleet of used box trucks (such as FedEx, UPS, bread companies), or search eBay. A diesel truck may save on gas prices, so familiarize yourself with its engine and parts so you can save money by fixing small problems yourself.  Continue reading