LoudounPreneur entrepreneurial newsletter
 Information for the Innovative, Enterprising and Brave
February 2015

Register for Supplies and Equipment

Your business is growing so much that you now have to lease office space and hire staff. That means you'll need office furniture and equipment. Instead of buying it yourself, why not list what you need on a gift registry? Several companies now allow businesses to register for office supplies. And unlike funding your business through Kickstarter, it's not an all-or-nothing proposition.


On Amazon.com, you can create a "wish list" for the office products you want. You can include low-cost items - like toner cartridges or paper shredders -- or higher-ticket items such as cash registers.


At Target.com, you can create a "TargetList" and include everything from waste baskets and cleaning supplies to file cabinets and desks.


MyRegistry.com lets you add any product from any website to your registry. You can list the exact office microwave or coffee set you want, regardless of who makes it, or ask for coordinated wall art, curtains and rugs from your favorite store.


The key to getting everything you need is to promote your registry effectively. As with any crowdsourcing campaign, you have to get the word out repeatedly, and in as many ways as possible: 

  • Post a short video on your website, and link to it from all of your social media accounts.
  • Send personalized emails to friends, neighbors and former coworkers.
  • Offer incentives to gift-givers, such as product discounts or freebies.
  • Build on your momentum by thanking gift-givers publicly.
  • Post photos of you and your staff using the items you got as gifts. 

Using gift registries is not only a creative way to outfit your office, it's also a way to market your business -- and it gives supporters a useful and tangible way to contribute to your success. 

Events and Training

1 Million Cups

Join us for six-minute presentations from Loudoun business owners. Engage in peer mentoring by giving the presenter the benefit of your knowledge and experience in resolving business issues.

Date:   February 11, 18 and 25

Time:   9 - 10 a.m.        

Place:  Mason Enterprise Center, 202 Church Street SE, Leesburg

Cost:   Free


The Road Ahead for Government Contractors

The Northern Virginia Technology Council's Tech Law and Procurement Committee will present a panel discussion on issues such as procurement budgets, legislative trends that will impact government contractors, and hot regulatory issues for small business.

Date:   Thursday, February 12

Time:   7:15 - 9:30 a.m.

Place:   Sprint, 12524 Sunrise Valley Dr., Reston

Cost:    Members $45; nonmembers $90; register online.

Start Your Business

Arthur Thompson, a principal at Keyser Thompson Insurance Agency, will answer essential questions about successfully starting a small business. Highlights will include taxes and licensing, business plan development and sources of financing.

Date:   February 12

Time:   11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Place:   Loudoun Small Business Development Center, 202 Church Street SE, Leesburg

Cost:    $10 online; $15 at the door


Early-Stage Investment Advice for Entrepreneurs

The Northern Virginia Technology Council's Small Business and Entrepreneur Committee invites you to a panel discussion on how to meet and pitch investors, current trends in early-stage investing, and what investors consider when making an investment.

Date:   Thursday, February 19

Time:   4:30 - 7:30 p.m.

Place:  Disruption Corp., 2231 Crystal Dr., Ste. 1000, Arlington
Cost:   Members $25; nonmembers $75;
register online.


Small Business Taxes

The cofounder of Acumen Accounting, in cooperation with the IRS,will brief you on tax law updates, the Affordable Health Care Act, and record-keeping strategies.

Date:   Thursday, February 19

Time:   6 - 8:30 p.m.

Place:  GW University, 20101 Academic Way, Exploration Hall Room 101, Ashburn

Cost:   $25; register online

Contractors Academy

This five-week program is tailored to emerging small and minority-owned businesses in the construction industry. Learn about marketing, project management, cost accounting and other important topics from industry veterans.

Dates:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, March 3-24

Time:   4 - 6:30 p.m.

Place:  HITT Contracting, 2900 Fairview Park Dr., Falls Church

Cost:   Members: $175 Nonmembers: $250; register at 703-968-6205

Read It and Reap

How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business by Douglas Hubbard

Some things are obviously measureable, such as sales per quarter. But what happens when you're tasked with quantifying something that's intangible, such as customer satisfaction or technology ROI? While not demonstrating how to perform all of the calculations on every question you may have, Hubbard's intent is to show how to break down subjective concepts into measurable concepts. Hailed as a practical way to make better business decisions, this is an excellent book for calculating risk for any business. Check it out for free from the Loudoun County Public Library.

Gut Check From a Guru

"Success is a function of persistence and doggedness, and the willingness to work hard for 22 minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after 30 seconds." -- Malcolm Gladwell