ASU Small Business Development Center Newsletter
SMALL BUSINESS NEWS
ASU-SBDC NEWSLETTER  

MARCH 2011

Greetings!

Even though we are in tax return season, tax preparation is year round process for a small business.  In our Business News section you will see links to register for three free tax webinars that you can take from the comfort of your home or office.


In February, two of our ASU-SBDC staff were honored as ASU Staff Excellence nominees: Peggy Hodges and Pedro Ramirez. Each year ASU honors these nominees for their hard work and dedication to their job. We're proud of the hard work that Peggy and Pedro put in every day to help small businesses and communities of the Concho Valley prosper and grow.


On March 2nd the ASU-SBDC honored our recent Small Business Management Certificate Program (SBMCP) graduates at our 3rd SBMCP Graduation Ceremony held at ASU. The graduates completed a yearlong program of gaining business acumen through training and advice.  Program Sponsors, Wells Fargo and Texas Bank representatives were in attendance, as well as Hope Barron and John Dugan of the Chamber, and ASU School of Business Dean, Dr. Corbett Gaulden. Thank you to everyone who attended and congratulations to our graduates! Your determination to completing this program inspires us and is a great step to preparing your business for success!


Many exciting training events are scheduled for March - May and we hope that you will take advantage of them. You don't want to miss Sales Tax (3/10), Tips for Tough Economic Times (3/22), Lean Manufacturing (4/14), or even How to Improve Your Customer Service (4/26).  And there are many more to choose from!


Keep in mind the value of mentors for your business.  A mentor is a trusted person who has experience in the line of business you are in. They can be a valuable source of advice. See advisor Pedro Ramirez's article below.


 Best Regards,
Dave Erickson
SBDC Director 

 

IN THIS ISSUE
TOP SMALL BUSINESS NEWS
TRAINING UPDATE
BUSINESS TIPS
SUCCESS STORY
IMPORTANT COMMUNITY SURVEY INVITATION

 

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Advising Services: (325) 942-2098
Training Services: (325) 942-2019
 
Website:
www.sbdc.angelo.edu

Proudly serving the small businesses of San Angelo and the Concho Valley for over 20 years.
TOP SMALL BUSINESS NEWS
By Kate Smith, Special to the Standard Times

The West Texas Trade Summit held Thursday in San Angelo focused on a development with the potential to heavily impact the city's trade and transportation, the Ports-to-Plains Corridor. "This is a connection from the heartland of America to Canada," said Elizabeth Grindstaff, San Angelo's assistant city manager. "We think this will be very beneficial to the community." ... read more.

 

taxtipsFREE TAX SEMINARS AVAILABLE TO SBDC CLIENTS

NASE (National Association for the Self-Employed) is offering a 3-part Webinar Series to all SBDC clients for FREE!

1. Top 5 Tax Questions for the Self-Employeed (March 16, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

This tax webinar will cover these key questions: What entity form should my business be? What should I do first? How to pay an dplan for estimated taxes. Automobile deductiona nd meals and travel.

Register Here

2. Tips for Saving on Your Taxes (March 23, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

Everyone wants to save as much money as possible when filing their return. This webinar will offer these tips on maximizing your deductions: Hiring your child, the home office deduction, retirement contributions, and more.

Register Here

3. Preparing an Audit Proof Tax Return (March 30, 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.)

No one wants to be audited by the IRS, but in case you do here are the top ways to come out clean. This webinar will help you plan your attack on your tax return: getting organized, search for deductions, bulding your paper fort, and more.

Register Here

The webinar speaker will be Keith Hall, National Tax Advisor for the National Association for the Self-Employed and a certified public accountant. Throught NASE Tax Talk, Keith offers personalized tax consulting on everything from incorporation and automobile expenses to the home-office deduction and travel expenses to thousands of small and micro-business owners every year.

 


TRAINING UPDATE

 
February - May Seminar Schedule
View the February - May seminar brochure.
View the entire FEB-MAY schedule 
HERE (Includes detailed seminar descriptions and online registration)

MARCH SEMINARS:

3/1/2011 (Passed)

Start Up Basics: Essentials of Starting a New Business

6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. / Rassman 100 / FREE!

 

3/10/2011

Sales Tax (Special Guest: Texas State Comptroller's Office)

 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. / Rassman 100 / FREE!

 

3/16/2011

Business Plan Basics: Your Roadmap to Success

6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. / Rassman 100 / FREE!

 

3/22/2011

Tips for Surviving Tough Economic Times

6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. / Rassman 100 / FREE!

 

3/23/11

Business Plan II: Focus on Financial Sections

6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. / Rassman 100 / FREE!

 

3/24/2011

LUNCH & LEARN: Workforce Solutions of the Concho Valley

 (Hosted by ASU-SBDC, SA Chamber, CVCED)

11:45 a.m. - 1 p.m. / Visitor Center 418 W. Ave. B

To register please call 325.655.4136

 

3/24/2011

Basics of Exporting: Take Your Business Global!

(Presented by ASU-SBDC International Trade Office Team)

6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. / Rassman 100 / FREE!

 

3/25/2011

YPSA: Spring Fling - Networking Event

(Young Professionals of San Angelo)

6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. / Black Swan Wine Bar / Event Flyer

 

3/29/2011

Basics Human Resources (HR) Issues

6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. / Rassman 100 / FREE!

 

3/30/2011

Finding Funding: Financing Options for Your Business

6 p.m.  - 8:30 p.m. / Rassman 100 / FREE!

 

3/31/2011

Basics of Designing Your Website: Do's and Don'ts

6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. / Rassman 100 / $20

 

 

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED. SEATING IS LIMITED.
REGISTER ONLINE:
 http://utsa.ecenterdirect.com/Conferences.action?CenterID=40
REGISTER BY PHONE: 325-942-2019 OR 325-942-2098
*Payments are collected at the door by CA/CK/CC.
Please make checks payable to "ASU-SBDC"
Register Online
BUSINESS TIPS ARTICLES

Standard TimesEach week, a member of the ASU-SBDC staff submits a Business Tips article for the San Angelo Standard Times business section. (Articles published Mondays). You can also find them here each month. 

 

pedroBUSINESS MENTORS GOOD FOR BUSINESS

By Pedro Ramires (3/6/11)

Starting and growing a new business is a challenge-filled endeavor. Often these challenges can range from obtaining financing to creating the identity of your business. One of the most daunting hurdles to overcome is the access to relevant experience when establishing your business. ... read more.

 

DETERMINE HOW YOU CAN BE COMPETITIVE

 By Jessica Lambert (2/27/11)

When owning and operating a business, you will undoubtedly experience competition. Whether it is a new online retail store or a new local company that opened up across the street, how can you make sure your business will continue to compete and be successful? ... read more

 

REDUCING INTERNAL THEFT

By Peggy Hodges (2/20/11)

 Ripped from the headlines: "Sentenced for Embezzlement," "Guilty of Embezzlement," "Accused of Embezzling $850,000." The business name associated with each of these headlines was eliminated to make a point.... read more. 

 

ADVISER GIVES HIS FINAL TIPS

By Pedro Ramirez (2/13/11)

After more than four years at the Angelo State University Small Business Development Center, I will be saying goodbye to the Center to pursue other interests on Feb. 18. During my time here, I've been able to see multiple entrepreneurs reach their goals of owning their own business. Therefore in my final article, I would like to take a few minutes to share the five most important tips that I've gathered...read more.

 

FIND WAYS TO BUILD TRUST WITH CUSTOMERS

By Paul Howard (2/6/11)

Small businesses typically find it hard to compete with their large counterparts. However, they can have a competitive advantage in at least one respect - trust. According to a 2007 Harris Interactive poll, 96 percent of consumers have either a "great deal of trust" or "some trust" in small businesses. No other private or public institution received this large a vote of confidence. Let's look at some ways in which to build trust with your customers...read more. 

 
FEATURED SUCCESS STORY
Derek McIntyreBLACK SWAN WINE BAR, DEREK MCINTYRE
By Pedro Ramirez, ASU-SBDC Advisor

Derek McIntyre has seen his travels take him from the comforts of West Texas, to the green landscapes of Denmark, to the buzzing metropolitan life of Houston, and right back home to San Angelo. During his travels, Derek learned to appreciate culture and fine wines, and he wanted to share his experiences with his native region. Thus Derek decided to open a wine bar.

But not just any bar. Derek wanted his wine bar to feature beautiful artwork in a matching venue. Soon, Derek found a partner sharing his vision in Susan Daniel, the owner of the Black Swan Art Gallery. The partners turned to the Angelo State University - Small Business Development Center and Advisor Pedro Ramirez for additional guidance in their new venture. During the process the ASU-SBDC helped guide them to the right agencies and helped them map out their new wine bar.

Today, the Black Swan Wine Bar is housed within the art gallery and helps highlight the art with its careful selection of fine wines. The building has been rejuvenated by the spirited young entrepreneur and will enhance the experience of visiting patrons to the San Angelo Downtown area.
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Read more success stories on our website and learn about the many ways the ASU-SBDC can assist entrepreneurs and small business owners just like you start or grow successful businesses.
SURVEY INVITATION
Parter Logos 
Dear Business Owner or Manager,

A cross-community team is developing a formal Business Retention and Expansion Program (BREP). The goal is to create a business-friendly environment that will support area companies as they become more efficient, more profitable, and/or expand operations.  Please help us identify the most critical needs of local business owners and managers, and gaps in existing business assistance programs and services. 

We are asking each local business owner or manager to answer a brief survey at the link provided below.  The survey will only be open from now through March 31st.  The BREP team is inviting contacts in their constituent groups, so your company may receive multiple invitations.  If so, please have a different representative from your company complete each survey submitted.

Survey responses will be used to design the BREP. The responses will be collected by a third-party administrator (FluidSurveys.com) and answers will be aggregated for an overall summary report provided to the BREP Team.  Survey answers cannot be tied to any one business or individual.

If you have questions about the BREP program, the information requested in the survey, or would prefer a paper survey, contact Donna Osborne at 325-657-9214 or Cindy Hartin at 325-942-2098.  If you want the BREP Team to contact you about becoming involved in the BREP efforts, please provide your contact information after question #10 on the survey. Again, this will not be tied to any survey answers.

Thank you for your help and your contributions to the economic health and future of our community.

http://app.fluidsurveys.com/s/SanAngeloBusinessClimate/


BREP Team Members
Economic Development Organizations
Downtown San Angelo, Inc.: Genora Young, Director
City of San Angelo: Shawn Lewis, Director of Community & Economic Development and Donna Osborne, Economic Development Coordinator and director of the CVCED-The Business Incubator
City of San Angelo Development Corporation: Randy Brooks and Chris Cornell, board members
San Angelo Chamber of Commerce: Phil Neighbors and John Dugan
Small Business Development Center at Angelo State University: Dave Erickson and Cindy Hartin
Education/Training Organizations
Angelo State University: Becky Brackin, Director of Community Relations
Concho Valley Workforce Development Board: Cathy Ballard and Johnny Griffin
Howard College: LeAnne Byrd, Provost
Business Owners/Industry Representatives
Ener-Tel: Darrell Gill, President
Gold Star Medical Billing: Lisa Maciejewski, Owner
San Angelo Community Medical Center: Tommy Hiebert, Community Health Alliance Director
Wells Fargo Bank: Jim Raymond, President
West Texas Fire & Industrial Supply: Kendall Hirschfeld, Owner (City Council Representative)

"The winner is the chef who takes the same ingredients as everyone else and produces the best results." -- Edward de Bono

Angelo State University SBDC
www.sbdc.angelo.edu - Training: (325) 942-2019 - Advising: (325) 942-2098
Mailing Address: ASU Station #10910, San Angelo, TX 76909
Office Location: Rassman Room 100, 2222 Dena Dr., San Angelo, TX 76909

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