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March 9, 2016 - entrepreneur@work Digest  
In This Issue
madrepMadREP. Urban League to Host Third Joint Summit
2016 Madison Region Economic Development _ Diversity Summit
Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) and the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM) will continue to focus on diversity and economic development during the group's third summit, to be held on May 9 at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center this year. The 2016 Madison Region's Economic Development and Diversity Summit reflects the organizations' shared goal of molding the region into a model of economic inclusion, said MadREP president Paul Jadin."We know that diversity spurs economic growth, while homogeneity slows it down," said Jadin. "Thriving regions across this country - those that we typically think of as top-tier - have embodied, embraced and encouraged diversity in all its forms. The Madison Region is poised to become one of those top-tier regions if we act upon the opportunities before us." Learn more about the event.
taxWhen It Comes to Tax Day - Think Long
tax forms
Nobody enjoys paying taxes, whether they're personal, corporate, capital gains, self-employment or something else - but they're a part of life that can't be taken lightly. And yet, playing games with taxes is common. The Fiscal Times reported in 2012 that back in 2006, businesses that logged income on individual returns - mostly small businesses - were $122 billion short in their tax payments. When choosing to minimize taxes, there are potential consequences down the line. Those are consequences you may pay when it's time to get a loan - or not get one. As a business owner, you may discover that you are trading short-term additional profits for the possibility of not being able to obtain the long-term loans that will help you grow your business or get it through lean times. Read more
rabbleRabble On: Tech Startup Aims to Boost Local Music Through Libraries
Yahara Bay music library home page
Thousands of book and record stores have closed since Seattle-based Amazon launched in 1994. These physical locations have had to contend with the lower prices and delivery services offered by online rivals, as well as the advent of streaming services and other "disruptive" models for consuming media. One place where people can still go to browse the shelves and chat with connoisseurs is the local library, which is somewhat insulated from the financial pressures that traditional shops face. Rabble, a Madison, WI-based startup, is running with that idea and aiming to turn libraries into hubs for local music. This could help fill the void left by the ongoing disappearance of mom-and-pop record stores. "Ultimately, what we're really going for is more people being able to connect to their local music scene and learn more about it," co-founder Preston Austin says. "We think local collections is going to be a complex area moving forward, in terms of Web technology." Read more
marketingHow to Give Your Local Business an Online Marketing Tune-Up
online marketing web
If you operate a "local business" (meaning one that gets most of its customers from your local area), don't overlook the Internet as an important way to attract new customers and stay top of mind with existing or past customers. According to Google research, having good online information gets more people to shop in brick-and-mortar stores and businesses. For local businesses, there are some specific ways to make sure that your business can be found by searchers in your geographical area. After all, you want local shoppers, so being found by local searchers is the name of the game for you - not just Web visibility in general. Here is a checklist of important steps to take for local SEO.
SBDCSBDC Success Story: Holzem Machine
Holzem Machine store sign
You can make the easy argument that Ben Holzem has always been good with his hands. He graduated from Chippewa Valley Technical College with a degree in machine tool technology and has been a part of the machine trade since 1986, having worked in multiple shops before starting his own self-described high-quality precision job shop in 2006 in Spooner, WI. Needing to write a business plan that would address expansion and a potential move, and having no formal business training, Holzem went in search of a business incubator. Instead, he found the Chippewa County Economic Development (CCED), which in turn referred him to the SBDC of UW-Eau Claire where he began a working relationship in 2013 with consultants Dave Kochendorfer and Luke Kempen. After completing his business plan, Holzem continued to work with Kochendorfer for business advice, financial projections, and to secure loans. "Working with Dave was a total game changer," Holzem said. "He really helped me figure out how to get my business where I wanted it to be." Read the full success story here
AroundAround the State. . . 
First Steps to Starting a Business: SBDC at UW-Stevens Point
Thinking about going into business? Attend a First Steps workshop at the SBDC at UW-Stevens Point. During First Steps you will explore your business idea and assess your business readiness through:
  • Identification of your own strengths and weaknesses as a business owner.
  • Learning how to determine the potential for your business.
  • Discovering what information you need and where to find it.
This interactive workshop, designed for those who have not yet started a business, will provide you with hands-on exercises and a multitude of resources. In addition, you will learn how to answer the following questions:
  • Do you have the right personality, skills and life situation to start and manage a business?
  • Do you have a good business idea that will meet a customer need and make a profit?
  • How realistic is your business concept?
  • What kind of investment will you need to launch your business?
  • What steps do you need to take to get started?
Register online for this workshop. 
Small Business Marketing on a Shoestring
When it comes to marketing for small businesses, money isn't everything. In this course, you'll learn how to use the same marketing tricks that big companies employ - without making a big dent in your wallet. As you build your own customized marketing plan step-by-step, you will:
  • Discover how to attract your target audiences, entice customers to buy your product/service, and keep buyers coming back for more. 
  • Find out how to generate the referrals that are crucial to your company's success. 
  • Get tips on evaluating your tactics, tracking your results, and fine-tuning your approach so it gets better every year.
Whether you're new to advertising or looking for a refresher, this course will make you a marketing pro. And by the time you're done, you'll have a personalized plan of action for increasing your sales - all on a shoestring budget. Click here for upcoming session start dates.
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The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a program of UW-Extension. Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.