UPCOMING BUSINESS COMMUNITY EVENT:
Does the success of your small business rely on seasonal sales?
Attend this complimentary workshop and Get Your Head In the Game, prepare for your new and returning customers this season!
Hear from our expert speakers and learn how to prepare for this season with essential business tips including getting the most out of your social media.
Seasonal Business Workshop
Monday, May 5, 2014
6:00pm – 9:00pm
Where: Charley’s Ocean Grill*
Long Branch, NJ
*REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED!
To learn more about this event and to register click here or call 732-842-8685
THE NEW JERSEY SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER AT BROOKDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE RECIPIENT OF THE MODC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AWARD
RECOGNIZED FOR SUPERSTORM SANDY ASSISTANCE TO SMALL BUSINESSES
LINCROFT, N.J. (February 6, 2014) –It has been announced that the New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) at Brookdale Community College will be the recipient of the Monmouth-Ocean Development Council’s prestigious Silver Gull Award for Economic Development. The Monmouth-Ocean Development Council (MODC) will celebrate its 49th Annual Silver Gull Awards Dinner on May 1, 2014, 5:30 pm.
The NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College has been recognized for its commitment to guiding small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to create and expand their business enterprises, which will, in turn, result in sustainable growth, job creation and statewide economic development and prosperity. The SBDC has been working (and continues to work) tirelessly in assisting Superstorm Sandy impacted small business owners throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties, two counties that experienced significant devastation. The center provided over 870 hours of consultation services to over 250 clients facilitating over $4,000,000 in total financing within the last 9 months contributing to the positive impact on the economic development of Monmouth and Ocean counties.
“The NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College is proud to be recognized for our services as a business community leader”, says Jackeline Mejias-Fuertes, Director of the NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College. “The Monmouth-Ocean Development Council (MODC) is a highly respected advocacy group and it is an honor to be acknowledged for our hard work and dedication in supporting our small business community during a challenging time for all”.
Where: Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune, NJ
When: 5:30pm cocktail reception, followed by dinner and awards ceremony
Cost: $160 per ticket
To purchase tickets to the Silver Gull Awards Dinner and for more information about MODC, please visit http://modc.com/events.html
Wanting to take advantage of social media to improve their relationship-building efforts with customers, Bill Lashovitz, owner and president of RBA Homes in Red Bank, New Jersey, turned to the New Jersey Small Business Development Center at Brookdale for assistance. His timing was perfect, as the training and counseling delivered by the NJSBDC at Brookdale to Bill and his RBA management team coincided with the federal Small Business Jobs Act grant.
A New Jersey registered homebuilder, RBA Homes’ President chose to specialize in modular home construction, both as a builder and developer. The company, started in June 1986, represents numerous top quality modular home manufacturers and emphasizes custom designed floor plans, quality craftsmanship, full service and dependability. Over the years RBA Homes has become New Jersey’s leading custom modular homebuilder using modular technology in hundreds of homes throughout Monmouth, Mercer and Ocean counties. “We believe that modular construction can provide a quality built product at an affordable price, in less time than a traditionally built home,” says owner and President Bill Lashovitz. However, the Company can also offer the option to build a custom home using traditional on-site framing, which can provide more flexibility for larger-scale projects or for more elaborate designs.
NJSBDC professionals began providing customized business training using valuable social media education and instruction to RBA Homes’ employees in September 2012. The customized training at Brookdale specifically targeted the company’s business operations and values while helping the RBA workforce to implement effective social media practices and marketing strategies that would ensure the company’s future growth. The training allowed for the organization to continuously improve upon the level of service they provide their customers.
Like so many other businesses in Monmouth and Ocean counties, RBA Homes was impacted by Super Storm Sandy. However, due to the specialized training company employees received, RBA maintained a strong presence in the construction industry. The company has increased the number of employees from 8 employees to 13 employees and its sales revenues have increased by more than 100 percent reaching $6 million dollars-plus.
“We sincerely appreciate the customized training and help we received from NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College. The impact it has had on how we service our customers will follow us for years to come,” says Bill Lashovitz. “We can’t thank NJSBDC at Brookdale enough for their assistance and guidance in such adverse times.”
Bill Lashovitz, President
252 Broad Street
Red Bank, New Jersey 07701
There are TWO quick actions you can take to get ready for the Affordable Care Act as a Small Business Employer:
1) Determine (based on your company size) if you are required to provide health insurance for your full-time equivalent (FTE) employees.
2) Learn how to provide health care coverage for your employees.
Prepare your small business and your employees!
FOR MORE INFORMATION, Review this pdf link Affordable Care Act- 2 Quick Actions
Here are a few quick tips from the NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College to help your business grow:
1.Make sure your website is super Google friendly. Here are a few quick search engine optimization (SEO) tips straight from the mouth of a Google trainer: •keywords should be incorporated into your navigation menu •your phone number should be readable by the search engine (meaning that it should not be imbedded in a graphic) •page titles should be unique with keywords •have good searchable content •the H1 header should clearly tell the search engine about your business •get keywords in your URL if possible •meta keywords are a waste of time •the meta description is important (limit this to 160 characters)
2.Know, know, know about Cash Flow. It’s important to know that profitability and cash flow is not the same thing. According to Dunn & Bradstreet Small Business, 90% of small business failures are caused by poor cash flow. That’s significant. A company can be profitable, but without a clear understanding and plan for cash flow, that same business can run into difficult times. For more information about cash flow, check out Martin Zwilling’s article in Young Entrepreneur http://www.youngentrepreneur.com/startingup/business-management/10-cash-flow-surprises-that-could-kill-your-startup/ for some starting points on the topic.
3.Constantly educate yourself. Being wide-eyed and excited might be lovely for a Disney movie, but in business it just isn’t enough. Get familiar with business principles and accounting principles. Know what strategies have a direct impact on profitability. If pursuing a loan, know your business model inside and out and ask for help if you need it BEFORE approaching a lending center (SBDC can help you). What banks and investors don’t want to hear? That you are “hopeful” without putting in the real preliminary work. That you haven’t done you research. Passion for your business is essential…passion and “hopefulness” alone though won’t give you the tools you need to succeed. Never stop learning. Read relevant articles and books, watch videos, attend courses and ASK QUESTIONS.
4.Define your niche market/community and dare to be different. Marketing guru Seth Godin speaks to this point best. As discussed in A Town Hall Meeting with Seth Godin, last week at Brookdale Community College and in one of Seth’s recent posts, Seth says the following – “The thing is, though, that the only prospects you care about, the only people you have a shot of reaching, the only people who are going to use your service or join your tribe are weird. And everyone is weird, at least sometimes.” This means the real value is not in targeting “everyone” as your customer…it’s targeting the “weird”…those who are just like you in a very specific way. A targeted community will seek you out, the masses will not. Read more at http://sethgodin.com/sg/
5.Hire right. Might sound obvious, right? This is an area though, that could be a killer for a small company. Bringing in the wrong people who haven’t bought into your vision or who doesn’t have the talent or temperament for the position can be very costly. Having the right people in the right positions can make your company soar. Outstanding organizations are staffed with outstanding people.
6.Program profitability into your business. Curt Clinkinbeard, consultant and Founding Member of The Profit Think Tank, notes that small changes in several areas can have a big impact on profitability. Use a synergistic approach with modest changes in multiple areas can increase your profitability. For more information from Curt, visit http://profitthinktank.com/ and for more information on profitability, visit http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/222710#
7.Remember your mobile customers. Make sure your website is smartphone and tablet enabled and test it on various devices. Read more at http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226575
8.Overcome Fear. An entrepreneur needs the heart of a lion. That doesn’t mean being fearless. That means recognizing your fears and pushing through it anyway. There is a myth that successful entrepreneurs are all fearless and don’t mind taking risks. Usually this is not the case. They keep plugging ahead and take calculated risks. That means the entrepreneur has done the work, looked at the numbers, reached out for advice and support from their advisors and then took a calculated risk armed with solid information as opposed to jumping blindly.
9.Become an expert in your specialized niche/community. Share information and advice…that’s what building a community is about. Create compelling content about your area of expertise and have it come from your unique voice.
10.Planning and strategizing. A well thought out business plan can serve several valuable purposes. Not only is a business plan a necessary component of most small business loan applications, it provides the business owner the opportunity to think through and formalize objectives and strategies. Read more at http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228220
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