You’re Invited to our open house.
Join Us on March 7th for an Open House at our New Location!
NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College
Brookdale Community College
765 Newman Springs Road
Lincroft, NJ 07738
ATEC Building/ Room 111
Friday, March 7, 2014
Join Us for Lite Fare and Networking!
2:00 pm – 5:00pm
The New Jersey Small Business Development Center (NJSBDC) at Brookdale Community College is happy to announce a new office location on the beautiful Brookdale Community College Lincroft campus in the ATEC Building-Room 111. As many of you know, The NJSBDC was previously located on the Lincroft campus at the Bankier Library. This new location provides the NJSBDC the essential ability to provide counsel to clients in-office as well as offering extensive research resources to small business owners. The new office also has additional meeting spaces for our specialized outside consultants to meet clients for one-on-one confidential counseling. The NJSBDC continues to serve as the premier resource to the Monmouth and Ocean County small business community and we welcome you to our new location.
Discussion at Atlantic Club Centers on Efforts to Improve State’s Business Climate
Jackeline Mejias–Fuertes, Director of the NJSBDC at Brookdale Community College which serves Monmouth and Ocean counties will be the speaker at the Business Breakfast on March 7th. The New Jersey Small Business Development Centers network provides comprehensive services and programs for small businesses in New Jersey, helping businesses expand their operations, manage their growth in New Jersey or start new ventures. Expert staff and practicing business consultants help small business owners and entrepreneurs develop business plans, find financing, identify new markets, find procurement and international trade opportunities and more through one-on-one pro-bono confidential counseling. This non-profit network is a federal-state-educational partnership, leveraging public and private funding sources to further maximize resources for the small business community.
Assemblyman Rible encouraged business owners to attend his business breakfasts which take place at 8am on the first Friday of every month at the Atlantic Club. While there is no charge for the breakfast, he requests that those planning to attend notify him by calling (732) 974-0400 or e-mailing AsmRible@njleg.org.
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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