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ELECTRONIC MARKETING

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Need To Raise Capital? HIRING

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opportunities.

In fact, electronic marketing encompasses e-mail mark on-line press release sharing, Blog advertising, article s search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, digital n marketing, free classified ads, video Blogging, discussi forum promotions, Webinars, social media networking, more. Understanding how to effectively utilize each one volume six issue seven these mediums to share information about your service product, provides the leverage, you need to propel your positioning, in the on-line marketplace.

contents INSIDE THIS ISSUE

After all, there are over one-hundred global search eng readily at your dispense.

many small business owners, lack the sk DOUnfortunately, YOUR LITTLE BIT FOR WORLD:to effectively optimize their electronic m andTHE knowledge AN INTERVIEW WITH plans; and often, opt to hire an out-source service prov ACTIVIST

who promises immediate results and ineffective ROI (R LEYMAH TIPS FOR Investment). GBOWEE REDUCING

7 Small Business News 11 Small Business Challenges

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COMPANY STRESS IS KILLING The annualYOUR Bryant Women’s Summit®, with its engaging workshops and internationally renowned keynotes, has drawn thousands of that how to utilize and implement effectiv executives to our small stateunderstanding of Rhode Island over the years. The ORGANIZATION’S PERFORMANCE 20th anniversary of the event was celebrated this year, with more

However, it has been my experience over the last two-y By Aileen McDonough

13 4 Business Trends To Look For In 2017

electronic marketing plans, can provide significant retur key, is knowing what steps to take to achieve your goal objectives.

than 1,000 women (and men!) attending. The 2017 Bryant Women’s Summit keynote speakers included Academy-Award® winning actor Geena Davis, leadership expert Mary Kelly, Ph.D., and Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee.

14 Team Of Trusted Advisors I remember meeting with the president of a $50M company a few years back, and he said, “...I wish I could come into work one hour later each day...” His daily start time was 7am! He had built a very successful business, and yet he felt the need to come in at 7 in the morning because he had too much work on his plate.

I was honored to be able to attend this valuable event once again, this time participating in a media roundtable with two of the keynote speakers, including activist Leymah Gbowee. During the interview, Gbowee, who travels the world to share her message of peaceful activism, mentioned that she had been on 3 continents that week alone. (And you thought your week was busy!)

“ Company stress starts at the top, and can be immobilizing for an organization, big or small. ”

15 Monthly Activities: Networking

The easy answer, and solution, to his wish would be to hire a $15-$20/hour person to do some of the work that really did not need his expertise. He could then focus on the $150/hour work that addresses the more strategic and tactical issues that face the business. Better said, he was one hire away from solving his problem. While that is the quick solution, the more important question focuses on the culture of the company that has resulted in him not being able to, or having the will to, delegate this $15-$20/hour work to someone else within the company.

16 Need To Raise Capitol

By Larry Girouard I remember meeting with the president of a $50 million company a few years back, and he said, “...I wish I could come into work one hour later each day...” His daily start time was 7am! He had built a very successful business, and yet he felt the need to come in at 7 in the morning because he had too much work on his plate. The easy answer, and solution, to his wish would be to hire a $15-$20/hour person to do some of the work that really did not need his expertise. He could then focus on the $150/hour work that addresses the more strategic and tactical issues that face the business. Better said, he was one hire away from solving his problem. While that is the quick solution, the more important question focuses on the culture of the company that has resulted in him not being able to, or having the will to, delegate this $15-$20 hour work to someone else within the company.

17 Do Your Little Bit For The World

If the president and management team are under stress to get all the day’s work complete, you can bet that this stress will trickle, or free fall, down to the rank and file. How can it not?Company stress starts at the top, and can be immobilizing for an organization, big or small.

19 RIDOT Mission 360

There are several things a business owner and the management team can do to reduce stress, but they have to be willing to make a few changes. Driving change is the Achilles’ heel for most small companies because management is change averse. We have always done it that way pervades the company culture. Change up, down and across the organization chart is resisted, and this resistance almost always starts at the top.

20 Investing In Tangibles

Below is a list of 5 suggestions for you to consider for reducing company stress, but like most lists, they only have value if an organization is committed to change. Many more suggestions could be added to this list, but I view these as near the top of the importance scale.

1. DECLUTTER YOUR ENVIRONMENT

A cluttered work space seems to be a “rite of passage” for most small business owners. Perhaps it is because of their entrepreneurial nature, but most of the small businesses I have toured often look like they have been snapped out of the TV show Hoarding. The statement “everything has a place, and everything should be in its space” is the mantra for the organized work space. There are many articles on organizing a workspace. Most rightly focus on the central idea that the important stuff you use every day to do your job needs to be at arm’s length for quick access. Those items used a little less frequently are placed in the general work space area, and the items that are rarely, if ever, used are located in a place far far away.

3. FOCUS OZN HELPING OTHER PEOPLE

Like setting company goals, if you help other peo this takes the focus off of you. Also, as an owner manager, your success is largely dependent on t success of your reports. While you certainly have some goals that are mutually exclusive from the people that report to you, most require the activit of employees to realize the goals of your position

4. TAKE ACTION

If business owners, and their management team take a few minutes to step away from the day to d “crisis du jour” and look at the business more holistically, it is easy to begin to identify things th can be improved. Rather than just talk about them take some action on one or two big issues and s to make improvements. By proactively acting to improve the current state you will regain control o business and begin to see the power of change. most important that the results of any change be quantified. This will validate the change process encourage more. Getting your employees involve with their input during the change process is a cr ingredient in making any changes sustainable.

If you know who your target market audience is, conne them on-line shouldn’t cost an arm and leg.

Gbowee is a force of nature and an inspiration. She worked for nonviolent solutions that helped bring about the end of civil war in Liberia in 2003, leading a coalition of Christian and Muslim women called Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. (You can learn more If the president and management team are under stress about her amazing story in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, and to get all the day’s work complete, you can bet that this in the documentary “Pray the Devil stress will trickle, or free fall, down to the rank and file. Back to Hell.”) She is currently a Company Distinguished at the Columbia UniversityHow can it not? stress Activist-in-Residence starts at the top, and affiliated Union Theological and a member of the Peace is can be immobilizing for an organization, big or Seminary small. Loud speakers bureau.

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After all, social media enables small business owners t effectively build ties to consumers. In fact, Facebook off a great marketing platform, such as “Facebook Pages”.

There are several things a business owner and the management team do that to reduce but theyviolent have and unsettled, Gbowee’s In a can world feelsstress, increasingly to be willing to message make a fewwas changes. Driving change simple: we must allisdo our parts for peace. Even as the Achilles’ heel for most small companies because small business owners, we can be part of peace and change in the management is change averse. We have always done it world, if we look beyond our own problems and do what we can. that way pervades the company culture. Change up, During the interview, Gbowee said, “I see these problems we have in down and across the organization chart is resisted, and world...racism, sexism, this resistancethe almost always starts at the top.misogynistic views, religion intolerance,

war, everything. So people will ask, how do you tackle this?” Her answer is simple: to do what you can, right here and now, to help solve the problem. No one can do everything. But we all can do something. At the end of the day, we want to be able to say, as Gbowee says, “I did my little bit for peace in trying to transform the world.”

You will find that by following this approach you will remove at least 60% of the items in your space. Now you have room to organize the rest of the items for quick access. Finally, develop and organize your “to do” list. This is the best way to declutter your daily activities. Everyone needs a “to do” list to best manage themselves, especially the business owner.

Every business owner needs a team of trusted advisors.

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As business owners, we do have the power to make change in the world. Our businesses can be a force for good, and so can we. So today, in your world, what is the “little bit” you can do to help solve the big problems? Can you make sure you have fair hiring practices to provide opportunities for all? Can you volunteer in your community, or support an organization that’s doing good worldwide? Can your company sponsor a kids sports team, or buy an ad in the program for a local kids’ concert? Can you run for local office? Any of these actions, ranging from small gestures to large commitments, can be done. Any of them can help. Any of us can help. And by doing what we can, we make the world better for all. Even if it’s just our little bit— it counts.

If you’re s a business owner, you are used to wearing a lot of Performance? 23 Stress Killing Your Organization’ hats. Still, you can’t be an expert at everything, which is why

2. SET CLEAR GOALS FOR MANAGEMENT & ALL EMPLOYEES While this item needs more than a few lines, setting corporate goals that all employees are aware of helps to take away everyone’s more internal focus and concentrate on these external goals. This will help to better align activities. While you may not have a strategic plan, you do have a vision regarding where you want to go. That is a great place to start.

5. SHARE YOUR PROFITS

If you look at your business from the standpoint who adds most of the value to the service or pro that your customers are buying, there is only one answer, your employees. Management in most companies is really overhead. Employees want to know where the “ship of state” is going, and wha their role is in getting there. When the goal is rea they want to share in the success.

Change itself will initially add stress to your organ tion, but this type of stress is constructive. If take seriously by the business owner and manageme team, the return on this investment in time, emot and money will be off the charts. Every journey s with the first step. It’s your move.

• Ask yourself:

Whom should you invite to be part of your network? While the members may vary depending on your strengths and weaknesses, your team should probably include some—or all—of the following professionals:

ON THE COVER

it’s important to build a network of trusted professionals that you can turn to for help whenever the need arises.

volume six issue seven

matter how successful you are, there are plenty of reasons 24 Electronic Marketing SavesNoMoney

to establish a professional network. In addition to exchanging contacts and referrals, there’s also the opportunity to share VIEW SAVES MONEY ideas and receive free advice from specialists in their field. And, much like getting a second opinion on a medical procedure, your network can act as a system of checks and balances by making sure you weigh all your options. A PERFECT

ELECTRONIC MARKETING

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29 Rhode Island Business Plan Competition

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Unless you have in-house council or a legal background yourself, an attorney—especially one with some experience in your industry—is almost a necessity. Among other things, an attorney can help defend you and your company from potential lawsuits, review contracts, and help with succession planning.

A Perfect View Of Your Finance

• Special Accountant: Edition:

O F

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While most people only use their accountant during tax season, business owners will find that an ongoing relationship can save them money in the long run. Not only can an accountant keep you from running afoul of the IRS, they can also show you how to structure your business and become a more tax-efficient operation.

Finance Issue

Need To Raise Capital? H I R I N G

Featured

• Attorney:

• Banker/Financier: As we all know, cash flow

is the lifeblood of any business. And in today’s www.risbj.com | restrictive volume six issue seven lending environment, having a banker in your corner can be a real boon. By providing easy access to credit, or

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SMALL BUSINESS

NEWS

PANNONE LOPES DEVEREAUX AND O’GARA PRINCIPALS ARE NAMED 2018 “LAWYER OF THE YEAR” IN METROPOLITAN/ PROVIDENCE BY BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA® Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC (PLDO) principals were recently recognized by their peers as “Lawyer of the Year” in their respective practice areas for Metropolitan/Providence over and above their selection to the list of 2018 Best Lawyers in America®. Best Lawyers is the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. PLDO principals and their practice areas for which they were selected as “best lawyers” and “Lawyer of the Year” include: •

William P. Devereaux was selected in the practice area of Criminal Defense – General Practice and White-Collar. Attorney Devereaux was recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” in the Criminal Defense: White-Collar category. Matthew A. Lopes Jr. was selected for his Mediation and Government Relations practice. Attorney Lopes was recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” for his Government Relations practice. William E. O’Gara was selected for his practice in the areas of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment and Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers. Attorney O’Gara was selected “Lawyer of the Year” for his practice in Employment Law – Management. Gary R. Pannone was selected for his practice areas of Administrative/Regulatory Law, Corporate Compliance Law, Corporate Governance Law, Corporate Law, Health Care Law, Mergers and Acquisitions Law, Nonprofit/ Charities Law and Securities/Capital Markets Law. Attorney Pannone was named “Lawyer of the Year” in his practice area of Mergers and Acquisitions Law.

to complex matters in a wide range of disciplines and industries The founders of PLDO were formerly partners in an international law firm and are trained in multiple disciplines. The primary areas of practice for the firm include business law, special masterships, government relations and legislative strategies, civil litigation, real estate development, commercial lending, municipal law, nonprofit law, health care, white collar defense, estate planning, probate administration and trust litigation. The core values of respect, integrity, quality service and responsiveness are stressed each day at PLDO and the firm is committed to supporting the community in a meaningful way. The firm is headquartered at 1301 Atwood Avenue in Johnston, RI with offices in Massachusetts and Florida. For more information, visit www.pldolaw.com.

Best Lawyers was established in 1983 and has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. For information about PLDO, visit www.pldolaw.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. About Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara (“PLDO”) attorneys are highly skilled with a proven track record of achievement representing clients with respect www.risbj.com | volume six issue seven

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AD V E RT I SE M E N T

Making Your Business Energy Efficient Is Easier and More Affordable Than You Think

Small businesses need to minimize costs to stay competitive. Efficiency upgrades in lighting, HVAC systems, refrigeration, and specialized equipment are just some examples of where small businesses can save money by reducing their energy bills. Fortunately, making these upgrades is easier, less disruptive, and less expensive than you may realize.

Small businesses will benefit from more than just having lower energy bills. Increased efficiency also lowers maintenance costs on equipment and lengthens its life span. Efficiency upgrades also provide a better working climate, increasing employee productivity. Saving energy is also good for the environment, which benefits everyone. Seeking energy efficiency should be a top priority, and here are four reasons why it’s easier than you think. Expert help is available to you

Minimal disruption of your operations

An experienced Energy Specialist will make recommendations for improvements, and work with you to select the right efficiency upgrades for your facility. After the appropriate areas are identified, he or she will work closely with you and your schedule to complete the work.

Efficient upgrades eligible under the Small Business Direct Install Program are minimally invasive, and take only hours to complete. This means little to zero downtime for your business operations.

It’s balance sheet friendly Up to 70%* of the costs of efficiency upgrades are covered by incentives from National Grid. Spend less to save more.

You can spread out costs Certain businesses may be eligible to spread out the balance of the project costs over time as part of their energy bills. The “on-bill” repayment option allows businesses to better budget energy efficiency capital investments.

Visit ngrid.com/smallbusiness to schedule an assessment of your business and start saving. *Restrictions apply. See website for details. Projects must be completed by December 31, 2017. These programs are funded by the energy efficiency charge on all customers’ gas and electric bills, in accordance with Rhode Island law.

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©2017 National Grid.


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Over-Challenged?

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A Consultant Can Help With Small Business Challenges | SMALL BUSINESS

A CONSULTANT CAN HELP WITH SMALL BUSINESS CHALLENGES by Bryan B Mason You may have some challenges in your business that you have been trying to solve. These might include the need to improve profitability, get more customers, make operations more efficient, improve service or seize some new opportunity. You might have thought about using a consultant to help you but did not understand how they work or how they could be part of the solution. So, how does a management consultant go about doing their work? The process usually begins with a phone conversation between the prospective client that has a problem to solve and the consultant. In my case, I listen carefully to what the prospective client has to say and then arrange a time to meet. During the phone call, I ask some probing questions to better define the context of their problem and how it fits into the other things going on with their business. I have found through experience that when someone reaches out to a consultant for help, they either don’t fully understand how to solve their problem or they have multiple issues where the solution to one aggravates another problem. I then think about their situation, and develop a long list of questions (typically five to six pages including space to make notes about the answers) that I want to ask at the first meeting. When we meet, I let the prospective client tell me in more detail about their situation. I make notes on any questions on my list that are covered in this part of the conversation. When appropriate, I begin going through my questions and gather lots of information. While this is all going on, I make a mental list in my head of what I think the real problem or problems

are. I may ask about issues not on my list. I often describe similar situations from my experience and look to see if the prospective client can identify their problem with what I am describing. This gives me good information. If it is similar, I add it to my mental list. If it is not the same, I ask different questions. I keep going until I think I have a reasonable understanding of the situation and enough information to come up with an approach. Back at my office, I then devise a plan that will allow me to analyze the facts and identify which analysis techniques will be most appropriate to do so. The purpose of the analysis is to identify and validate which of the problems on my mental list turn out to be the real set of problems. I then return to the prospective client and review my proposed actions and gain concurrence from the client. All of that is the first step. In future articles, I will talk about some of the different problems clients have faced and how the solutions were crafted and executed. Mr. Mason founded the Apollo Consulting Group in 2008 to help small and mid-sized companies in solving their challenges. Mr. Mason brings over thirty years of corporate, consulting and entrepreneurial experience in a variety of industries. He possess skills in general business management, analysis, strategy development, marketing, ďŹ nance/budgeting, operations, pricing optimization, workow optimization, process reengineering, project management, and information technology. Mr. Mason has two degrees in Economics and was a Volunteer Mentor for the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (RI-CIE). He writes a weekly blog on his company website at www.apollogr.com/blog.

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SMALL BUSINESS | 4 Business Trends To Look For In 2017

4 If you have plans to launch a business of any size this year, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is how you’ll be financing your business. In 2016, we saw the rise of crowdfunding and other online lending options — business financing trends that we anticipate will continue into the next year. Still, there are a few additional business financing trends you’ll want to be aware of as you contemplate your startup’s plans.

1 Bootstrapping (paying for your business costs out of your own pocket) isn’t something that everybody is fortunate enough to be able to do. Still, it’s becoming more and more popular, especially among entrepreneurs who want to simplify their financing as much as possible. As Census Bureau deputy director Thomas Mesenbourg noted in a release: “Most businesses are started by people who dig into their own pockets for at least some of

their start-up capital,” and more than one in five said they used no startup capital at all in 2007.

Perhaps more than ever before, having a great credit score can really pay off when it comes to financing your business. Lenders (especially banks) have become increasingly strict with their borrowing requirements, so taking the time to pull your credit score with all three major reporting

bureaus before you start applying for business loans is a must. By understanding how different inquiries and actions can impact your credit score, you can make financial decisions that improve your credit and increase your chances of being approved.

By funding your own startup, you retain 100 percent control of your company, and you don’t have to worry about interest, fees or monthly payments. At the same time, all the money you’re putting into your business is your own, although you risk losing it entirely if your business isn’t successful.

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4 Business Trends To Look For In 2017 | SMALL BUSINESS

3 Crowdfunding for businesses really took off in 2016, and it is only expected to continue growing in popularity into 2017. With websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, hopeful business owners can now pitch their business idea to the masses and collect financing from everyday people. The great thing about crowdfunding is that it doesn’t require quite as detailed and rehearsed of a sales pitch, and there aren’t any “formal” investors involved. Instead, a community of users fund as much or as little of the business as they feel

comfortable with. Plus, it’s not unheard of for a single campaign to raise tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. Before turning to a crowdfunding site to raise money for your business, though, be sure to know your target audience. Unfortunately, a large portion of the investing sector is still unfamiliar with how crowdfunding works or sees it as being too risky, so you may be pitching to a smaller crowd than you’d hoped.

4 These days, entrepreneurs are becoming increasingly web savvy, so going through the long and drawn-out process of applying for a “traditional” bank loan isn’t always ideal. As a result, banks and other lenders have begun to take their lending applications online — and have sped up the approval and money transfer process quite a bit. Today, with alternative online lending options, hopeful business owners can apply for a loan from the convenience of their computer, receive an instantaneous decision and have approved funding

transferred into their bank accounts in as little as one to two days. This is ideal for entrepreneurs who want to hit the ground running, or even those who may have been denied for a traditional bank loan in the past. Since alternative lending has gotten increasingly popular, the competition has as well. With literally dozens of lenders to choose from online, entrepreneurs have the luxury of being able to shop around for the best rates and loan terms.

Most businesses are started by people who dig into their own pockets for at least some of their start-up capital,” and more than one in five said they used no startup capital at all in 2007.

www.risbj.com | volume six issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | Team Of Trusted Advisors

Every business owner needs a team of trusted advisors. If you’re a business owner, you are used to wearing a lot of hats. Still, you can’t be an expert at everything, which is why it’s important to build a network of trusted professionals that you can turn to for help whenever the need arises. No matter how successful you are, there are plenty of reasons to establish a professional network. In addition to exchanging contacts and referrals, there’s also the opportunity to share ideas and receive free advice from specialists in their field. And, much like getting a second opinion on a medical procedure, your network can act as a system of checks and balances by making sure you weigh all your options.

• Ask yourself:

Whom should you invite to be part of your network? While the members may vary depending on your strengths and weaknesses, your team should probably include some—or all—of the following professionals:

• Attorney:

Unless you have in-house council or a legal background yourself, an attorney—especially one with some experience in your industry—is almost a necessity. Among other things, an attorney can help defend you and your company from potential lawsuits, review contracts, and help with succession planning.

• Accountant:

While most people only use their accountant during tax season, business owners will find that an ongoing relationship can save them money in the long run. Not only can an accountant keep you from running afoul of the IRS, they can also show you how to structure your business and become a more tax-efficient operation.

• Banker/Financier: As we all know, cash flow As you can see, there are a host of advantages to creating a network of professionals with expertise in their field. Best of all, it’s a win-win for all parties, so setting one up may be easier than you think.

This educational, third-party article is provided as a courtesy by Ted Donnelly, Agent, New York Life Insurance Company. To learn more about the information or topics discussed, please contact Ted at 401-276-8728 or efdonnelly@ ft.newyorklife.com.

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is the lifeblood of any business. And in today’s restrictive lending environment, having a banker in your corner can be a real boon. By providing easy access to credit, or letting you hear about the most favorable rates, a banker can be an invaluable addition to your team.

• Insurance agent:

A professional insurance agent can help you prepare for a number of critical business issues. Specifically, an insurance agent can help your business overcome the loss of a key employee, enhance your executive benefit package, fund a buy-sell agreement, and protect your family’s future by insuring your business interests.


Monthly Activities: Networking | PROFESSIONAL GROWTH

Professional Growth Monthly Activities Networking by Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro, PhD

One easy way to meet people who want to meet you, learn, have some great food (frequently), possibly win a prize and potentially even find a new customer, client, or supplier without spending a great deal of money is to attend business networking events on a regular basis. Now is a great time to focus on networking, too! After a relatively quiet summer, networking organizers and established networkers are eager to host numerous events and welcome business professionals and future business professionals who have never attended a business networking event. Attending business networking events is not painful. Indeed, it may be enjoyable and fun for you. You may meet some nice people, get to sample some great food and even win a prize!

Here is what you need to do: 1) Find out about the events. In Rhode Island it is really easy. For events offered by: Numerous organizations statewide read weekly newsletters which are distributed most Sundays (free). Two of my favorites are: • Uncle Jay’s Network. To subscribe send a note to Jay White: UncleJay@UncleJayNetwork.com to subscribe. • Speaking of Success. To subscribe send a note to Rich Austin: Info@SpeakingOfSuccess.us. Chambers of Commerce throughout the state check their websites or call and ask if they will place you on their mailing lists. A leading Rhode Island networking and expo organizer read newsletters (free) by:

• •

Pat Cruz Events. To subscribe send note to PatPaolinoCruz@gmail.com. DiscoverYou Events. To subscribe send a note to Susan@DiscoverYouEvents.com.

2) Register and pay a nominal fee in advance (ranges from $5.00 to $25.00) or, alternatively, pay at the door (but paying at the door may cost more.) Start with the less expensive ones! 3) Come. Bring some business cards (or if you are brand new, just print name and contact information on a few dozen sheets of plain paper trimmed to business card size) 4) Once you arrive at the event tell the host that you are a first time attendee and they will be very helpful. As you walk around the room simply say hello to people, tell them your name and ask them “What do you do?” Remember people like to talk about themselves and want to meet new networkers. Ask a few additional questions about what they do. They will quite likely ask you what you do also. Be prepared to answer in about a minute without sounding like you are trying to sell them something. Respond to their questions. Ask the person for a business card (if you want to stay in touch with them) and then move on to meet other people. Take time to enjoy the food and venue, too. Don’t worry if you don’t get to meet everyone. 5) When you return to your home or office send a note to people whose cards you have collected. Ultimately, nearly everyone is attending the event to sell something (though some people won’t admit it). Some may be attending the event to build their referral network for people who provide services that can enhance or complement their own offerings. Few are attending because they want to buy (though I have personally built several banking relationships, identified an automobile repair facility, discovered restaurants, a grocery store, etc. as a result of networking). Keeping this in mind, don’t try to sell. Don’t be a business card dispenser. Remember, as Steve Lombardi, the Executive director of the east Greenwich Chamber of Commerce says, “Networking is circular.” I may help you, you may help someone else, and that someone else may ultimately help me. If you have never networked before or if you have not networked in a long time, your professional growth activity for this month is simply to subscribe to the newsletters, join the FaceBook group and attend at least one networking event. If you are organizing a networking (or other) event, consider replacing random drawings for prizes with a version of The Game of States or another creative activity at one of your events (see figure). Try it at your August family reunion, too! I would like to thank Industrial Consultant Dr. Margarita Posada Cossuto for helpful comments.

Dr. Ronald G. Shapiro

Independent Consultant in Human Factors, Learning and Human Resources www.risbj.com | volume six issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | Need To Raise Capital

NEED TO RAISE CAPITAL

O R

S E C U R E

By Jack Cacchiotti Other People’s Money (OPM) is what makes real estate development and many other business ventures possible for the majority. Even the most successful projects relied on OPM to come to fruition. Raising capital can come from a variety of sources, including private investors, venture capitalists, bank financing, government programs, and so on. Many factors influence the ability to successfully raise capital and secure financing, including the amount of capital required, the stage of development of the company and/or project, numerous tax considerations, the necessity for liquidity and requirements of complex federal and state laws. Navigating these factors can seem daunting. While requirements vary from source to source, business

Business owners and developers armed with the most accurate data will ultimately be the best positioned to pursue their growth initiatives. 16

RISBJ | rhode island small business journal

F I N A N C I N G ? owners and developers armed with the most accurate data will ultimately be the best positioned to pursue their growth initiatives. If you need OPM for a new venture, expansion or initiative, you will first need to know what your business is worth. A Business Valuation is a comprehensive and accurate report that helps determine the current value of your business. It involves a certified professional analyzing your financial statements and sales history, studying relevant economic indicators, and assessing your customer base and potential market growth factors, as well as short and long-term projections for your business. In addition, you should consult with a CPA that knows your industry and how to best position your business in the marketplace in order to obtain financing, raise equity and capital, maximize tax credits and minimize tax consequences. Finally, don’t forget to include the impact of successfully raising capital or securing financing on your financial statements. You can avoid unwanted surprises and prevent a lot of frustration down the road, as even straightforward transactions can have major repercussions. If you have questions on raising capital or securing financing, please contact Jack Cacchiotti at 401-273-7600 or jcacchiotti@rm-llp.com. Jack Cacchiotti is a Co-Founder and Partner, Director of Business Valuation, at Restivo Monacelli. As a Certified Public Accountant with more than 25 years of accounting plus business experience, Jack leads the firm’s highly specialized Business Valuation and Litigation Support department. He is one of the few CPAs who have earned both the Accredited in Business Valuation designation by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Accredited Senior Appraiser designation by the American Society of Appraisers. Jack guides clients across diverse industries and delivers forward-thinking solutions that drive profitability and success.


Do Your Little Bit For The World | SMALL BUSINESS

DO YOUR LITTLE BIT FOR THE WORLD: AN INTERVIEW WITH ACTIVIST

LEYMAH GBOWEE

By Aileen McDonough

The annual Bryant Women’s Summit®, with its engaging workshops and internationally renowned keynotes, has drawn thousands of executives to our small state of Rhode Island over the years. The 20th anniversary of the event was celebrated this year, with more than 1,000 women (and men!) attending. The 2017 Bryant Women’s Summit keynote speakers included Academy-Award® winning actor Geena Davis, leadership expert Mary Kelly, Ph.D., and Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee. I was honored to be able to attend this valuable event once again, this time participating in a media roundtable with two of the keynote speakers, including activist Leymah Gbowee. During the interview, Gbowee, who travels the world to share her message of peaceful activism, mentioned that she had been on 3 continents that week alone. (And you thought your week was busy!) Gbowee is a force of nature and an inspiration. She worked for nonviolent solutions that helped bring about the end of civil war in Liberia in 2003, leading a coalition of Christian and Muslim women called Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace. (You can learn more about her amazing story in her memoir, Mighty Be Our Powers, and in the documentary “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.”) She is currently a Distinguished Activist-in-Residence at the Columbia Universityaffiliated Union Theological Seminary and a member of the Peace is Loud speakers bureau. In a world that feels increasingly violent and unsettled, Gbowee’s message was simple: we must all do our parts for peace. Even as small business owners, we can be part of peace and change in the world, if we look beyond our own problems and do what we can. During the interview, Gbowee said, “I see these problems we have in the world...racism, sexism, misogynistic views, religion intolerance, war, everything. So people will ask, how do you tackle this?” Her answer is simple: to do what you can, right here and now, to help solve the problem. No one can do everything. But we all can do something. At the end of the day, we want to be able to say, as Gbowee says, “I did my little bit for peace in trying to transform the world.” As business owners, we do have the power to make change in the world. Our businesses can be a force for good, and so can we. So today, in your world, what is the “little bit” you can do to help solve the big problems? Can you make sure you have fair hiring practices to provide opportunities for all? Can you volunteer in your community, or support an organization that’s doing good worldwide? Can your company sponsor a kids sports team, or buy an ad in the program for a local kids’ concert? Can you run for local office? Any of these actions, ranging from small gestures to large commitments, can be done. Any of them can help. Any of us can help. And by doing what we can, we make the world better for all. Even if it’s just our little bit— it counts.

www.risbj.com | volume six issue seven

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9TH ANNUAL OCEAN STATE BUSINESS EXPO 801 Greenwich Ave. Warwick, RI 02886

INFORMATION The Ocean State Business Expo was created to bring the small business community together to meet, inspire and build connections. The Ocean State Busines Expo, Rhode Island’s premier event for connecting businesses to each other, is scheduled for Wednesday, October 11th, 2017 at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick. Lt. Governor Dan McKee will kick off the expo at 11am followed by the opening of the expo and workshops at 12pm. The expo’s mission is to support the growth and development of Rhode Island’s business community. The excitement is building as we welcome more sponsors and exhibitors than ever before, The expo features over 120 exhibitor and valuable informational seminars throughout the day. Take a look at the Seminar Schedule so you can mark your calendar for the ones.

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Exhibitors - Meet with a variety of local businesses. Networking is key to business growth and potential oppurtunities. Attendees - Discover the small businesses in the state that have services that you can use personally or professionally. Admission - Free with a buiness card.

SCHEDULE Workshop schedule to be release soon. Check the website for more details. 11:00am - Kickoff With Lt. Governor Dan Mckee Join Daniel J. McKee, 69th Governor of Rhode Island, public service, buiness and non-profit organizations’ expert. 12:00pm - Expo Open Floor Services and products from the expert exhibitors are available throughout the day. The Ocean State Business Expo was created to bring the small business community together in meet, inspire and build connections. The event has become the premiere business event of the year!

SPONSORS

OceanStateBusinessExpo.com

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° 0 6 3 n o i s s i M RIDOT ? w o n o t p u y e h What are t

What’s new for the DBE community and what’s next? By Michael Brito A much focused event was held at Turino Group in Providence by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation and Mission 360 on Friday, July 21st which was promoted as a “networking & opportunity workshop”. For our readers not familiar with Mission 360 it is a supportive services coop branded out of both RIDOT & Mission 360 to provide each DBE with a business development action plan, assessment of the company regarding capability and needs, skill development, marketing assistance, technical & financial support, understanding the bidding process and much, much more!

be used in conjunction with all evaluated bids. RFP’s awarded based on cost and technical scores will now consider points based on MBE/WBE/DisBE’s participation! Bid submissions have changed: now requiring a MBE/WBE/DisBE participation plan in a separate sealed envelope to accompany the bid! This measure of accountability has already shown our community that Rhode Island officials are getting serious about how it plans to strengthen the bond between the Primes and Sub-Contractors of R.I. within the minority business community!

“The day wouldn’t have been complete without a look ahead at what the RIDOT has on the horizon regarding bid opportunities.”

Since 2007 Turino has been spearheading the DBE effort to achieve the RIDOT goal of overcoming the DBE’s misconceptions and distrust of working with a government entity. Through the ongoing effort of Mission 360 navigating the world of governmental contracting has been clearly understood through training sessions, seminars, networking events, and one-on-one mentoring!

The topic of creating a better and stronger version of our DBE’s was also reviewed by Mission 360 through the web based business assessment tool “Business e-Valuation” in this program the client can compare their score to the programs average “e-Valuation” score allowing a clear determination for a better direction.

At Fridays workshop some new topics were discussed as well as some old ones revisited such as: recruiting new firms for consideration into the program, there are always new opportunities popping up at the department for creative thinkers as well as existing areas where bids can be awarded by the new (implemented in spring of 2017) “point system” and not solely upon the bottom line items. This system will eventually

The day wouldn’t have been complete without a look ahead at what the RIDOT has on the horizon regarding bid opportunities. We all are aware of the type of work that has been before us as DBE’s but here we learned that some new possibilities are in the works such as…Facility improvements (additions, renovations and maintenance), Building mechanical, parking lot maintenance, catch basin reconstruction, painting, fence work, snow plowing and removal. the

attendees were also informed that the Department is (fingers crossed here) considering separating some of the larger projects into smaller value components (perhaps under $500,000.00) thereby making for lower bond limits which would help smaller companies, we all serve enter the pool! Among the +/- 20 companies in attendance were also RIDOT administrative personnel Vanessa Crum (Contracts Administrator) and Erin Wright (Acting Chief Program Development) as well as Lou Francis (Counselor) and Melody Weeks (Project Manager) representing RI Procurement and Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Although we haven’t seen much action from the Department regarding Turino/Mission 360 and our community since the new administration took the wheel this gathering was an exciting glimmer of hope that it may soon get its sails hoisted once again! I wish to thank David Giardino (Turino Group, Mission 360) and Byron Monge (Turino Group, Mission 360) for allowing me to assist in the presentation of content. Being a DBE Client Manager for Turino/ Mission 360, I am always thrilled to be a part of the process that helps build a better understanding between our DBE/MBE/ WBE community and the R.I. Department Of transportation. For more details into what bidding opportunities are available from RIDOT visit RIVIP http://www.purchasing.ri.gov/bidding/bidsearch.aspx be sure to download the projects to see what work is involved then pick up the bid disks at DOA, 2 Capitol Hill Room 108……See you on the job site!

www.risbj.com | volume six issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | Investing In Tangibles

Investing in Tangibles Making Money with - Paint and Superheroes

There is no question that the majority of everything today revolves around money whether it be earning, spending, or saving it. When it comes to saving, and earning money, your average financial advisor sends you down the path of stocks, bonds, and property, but with money spent wisely, tangibles can also be one of the most rewarding investment fields with large gains in shorter amounts of time. When investing in tangibles whether it be fine art, comics, or cars, markets are followed by professionals as if it were the stock market. When determining the future market potential of a painting or artist, there are many factors that go beyond the surface value of a painting. One rule of thumb is that there needs to be renewed or continued interest in researching the

artist. If no academic cares to research, exhibit, or collect the works of any said artist, odds are values will continue to fall instead of rise. That’s why Picassos and Pollocks aren’t going to be selling for $500 anytime soon. But as history is written every day, new artists are researched and discovered. So, if you see any museum or gallery doing a retrospective, pop in and peek. Those are the artists you want to be looking at to find at auction. When it comes to art, the story is half the battle. Who has owned the art, where was it exhibited, and where was it purchased, all add to what is called the “provenance” of a work, and significantly affects the value. That is why spending $350 for an unsigned landscape painting is a bad investment, when paintings by listed and exhibited artists are obtainable at any price point. On the flip side, this factor is why contemporary art can be tricky. It is very easy to get pulled into the lights and glam of a gallery that represents fifty to a hundred different practicing artists on a rotating basis. Unless advised by a specialist, most contemporary artists are hot one day and gone the next. One way in determining who is here to stay is by assessing the art as to if it is derivative or innovative. Finding an artist who is making an imprint on the history of art is a strong factor into knowing if you are making a sound investment. An artist who paints in the same style of an already existing master does not typically stand the test of time. Although the art market can produce monumental gains, it is typically a slow developing one in which significant growth takes decades. If the short game is more your style, hopefully you’re a fan of tights and capes.

Abstract Collage of Painted Papers by Fritz Bultman Sold for $23,750 new record for artist for type of work as of June 3rd, 2016

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Tights and capes? Yes! Because, today the comic market is hotter than ever before, and single book values exponentially increase on a quarterly basis. Just like with art, comic values are impacted by everything else surrounding a comic book. Both the Marvel and D.C. cinematic universes expand at a rate of one to three movies a year, with films scheduled into the 2020s. For example, Marvel’s The New Mutants issue ninety-eight featured the first appearance of Deadpool, the satirical action hero now played by Ryan Reynolds. In 2013


Investing In Tangibles | SMALL BUSINESS

a near mint 9.8 graded example could have been purchased for under $100. In 2003 that would have been $5. Today, that book in 9.8 condition is $1,000 and climbing at auction. Learning from the past and knowing history repeats itself, investing in comics, now, that are based on movies to be released in the future, is a sure bet. One book to keep an eye out for is D.C Comics Aquaman issue thirty-five, the first appearance of Black Manta. In today’s market, a graded 8.0 example can be purchased between $700 and $900 at auction, which for a Silver Age high grade key issue is very affordable compared to Marvel books of equivalent importance. With both the Justice League and Aquaman films planned for 2017 and 2018, there is bound to be renewed interest, on top of it already being announced that Black Manta will be the villain of the Aquaman film. It wouldn’t be unheard of for that book to be worth $2,000 or more in eighteen months’ time. Investing in tangibles is both an exciting and educational experience with a profit to boost. Why not add this to your financial planning and investment strategy? But, as with all matters of investment, don’t just dive in head first, get professional help. Become friendly with a reputable auction house and consult with their specialists. This is our business, and we are happy to show you what to buy and how to watch this specialized market.

Travis Landry Bruneau and Co. Auctioneers BruneauandCo.com

Marvel’s: The New Mutants Issue 98

POW!! D.C Comics: Aquaman Issue 35

www.risbj.com | volume six issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | Is Stress Killing Your Organization’s Performance?

IS KILLING YOUR ORGANIZATION’S PERFORMANCE

“ Company stress starts at the top, and can be immobilizing for an organization, big or small. ” By Larry Girouard I remember meeting with the president of a $50 million company a few years back, and he said, “...I wish I could come into work one hour later each day...” His daily start time was 7am! He had built a very successful business, and yet he felt the need to come in at 7 in the morning because he had too much work on his plate. The easy answer, and solution, to his wish would be to hire a $15-$20/hour person to do some of the work that really did not need his expertise. He could then focus on the $150/hour work that addresses the more strategic and tactical issues that face the business. Better said, he was one hire away from solving his problem. While that is the quick solution, the more important question focuses on the culture of the company that has resulted in him not being able to, or having the will to, delegate this $15-$20 hour work to someone else within the company.

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If the president and management team are under stress to get all the day’s work complete, you can bet that this stress will trickle, or free fall, down to the rank and file. How can it not? Company stress starts at the top, and can be immobilizing for an organization, big or small. There are several things a business owner and the management team can do to reduce stress, but they have to be willing to make a few changes. Driving change is the Achilles’ heel for most small companies because management is change averse. We have always done it that way pervades the company culture. Change up, down and across the organization chart is resisted, and this resistance almost always starts at the top.


Is Stress Killing Your Organization’s Performance? | SMALL BUSINESS

TIPS FOR

REDUCING COMPANY STRESS

Below is a list of 5 suggestions for you to consider for reducing company stress, but like most lists, they only have value if an organization is committed to change. Many more suggestions could be added to this list, but I view these as near the top of the importance scale.

1. DECLUTTER YOUR ENVIRONMENT A cluttered work space seems to be a “rite of passage” for most small business owners. Perhaps it is because of their entrepreneurial nature, but most of the small businesses I have toured often look like they have been snapped out of the TV show Hoarding. The statement “everything has a place, and everything should be in its space” is the mantra for the organized work space. There are many articles on organizing a workspace. Most rightly focus on the central idea that the important stuff you use every day to do your job needs to be at arm’s length for quick access. Those items used a little less frequently are placed in the general work space area, and the items that are rarely, if ever, used are located in a place far far away. You will find that by following this approach you will remove at least 60% of the items in your space. Now you have room to organize the rest of the items for quick access. Finally, develop and organize your “to do” list. This is the best way to declutter your daily activities. Everyone needs a “to do” list to best manage themselves, especially the business owner.

2. SET CLEAR GOALS FOR MANAGEMENT & ALL EMPLOYEES While this item needs more than a few lines, setting corporate goals that all employees are aware of helps to take away everyone’s more internal focus and concentrate on these external goals. This will help to better align activities. While you may not have a strategic plan, you do have a vision regarding where you want to go. That is a great place to start.

3. FOCUS OZN HELPING OTHER PEOPLE Like setting company goals, if you help other people this takes the focus off of you. Also, as an owner or manager, your success is largely dependent on the success of your reports. While you certainly have some goals that are mutually exclusive from the people that report to you, most require the activities of employees to realize the goals of your position.

4. TAKE ACTION If business owners, and their management teams, take a few minutes to step away from the day to day “crisis du jour” and look at the business more holistically, it is easy to begin to identify things that can be improved. Rather than just talk about them, take some action on one or two big issues and start to make improvements. By proactively acting to improve the current state you will regain control of the business and begin to see the power of change. It is most important that the results of any change be quantified. This will validate the change process and encourage more. Getting your employees involved with their input during the change process is a critical ingredient in making any changes sustainable.

5. SHARE YOUR PROFITS If you look at your business from the standpoint of who adds most of the value to the service or product that your customers are buying, there is only one answer, your employees. Management in most companies is really overhead. Employees want to know where the “ship of state” is going, and what their role is in getting there. When the goal is reached they want to share in the success. Change itself will initially add stress to your organization, but this type of stress is constructive. If taken seriously by the business owner and management team, the return on this investment in time, emotion and money will be off the charts. Every journey starts with the first step. It’s your move.

www.risbj.com | volume six issue seven

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SMALL BUSINESS | Electronic Marketing Saves Money

ELEC TRONIC MARKETING

SAVES MONEY by Bradley Fowler As a small business owner, understanding the benefits of electronic marketing can help you save money tremendously. After all, electronic marketing gives, you carte’ blanche to your target market, 24-7-365. It also provides exclusive networking opportunities. In fact, electronic marketing encompasses e-mail marketing, on-line press release sharing, Blog advertising, article sharing, search engine optimization, affiliate marketing, digital newsletter marketing, free classified ads, video Blogging, discussion forum promotions, Webinars, social media networking, and more. Understanding how to effectively utilize each one of these mediums to share information about your service or product, provides the leverage, you need to propel your brand positioning, in the on-line marketplace. After all, there are over one-hundred global search engines readily at your dispense. Unfortunately, many small business owners, lack the skill, time, and knowledge to effectively optimize their electronic marketing plans; and often, opt to hire an out-source service provider, who promises immediate results and ineffective ROI (Return on Investment). However, it has been my experience over the last two-years that understanding how to utilize and implement effective electronic marketing plans, can provide significant returns. The key, is knowing what steps to take to achieve your goals and objectives. If you know who your target market audience is, connecting with them on-line shouldn’t cost an arm and leg. After all, social media enables small business owners to effectively build ties to consumers. In fact, Facebook offers a great marketing platform, such as “Facebook Pages”. This

platform enables small business owners to effectively promote their services or products to those who “Like” the page owner’s Profile page. In fact, you can learn more about how to best integrate your marketing messages on your Facebook Page, by viewing the following URL (https://youtu.be/Jgo2jSKG2vY). Another effective electronic marketing tool, is utilizing on-line press releases. These are great marketing tools because, you can preschedule. In fact, one effective tool is PRLog.com. With this electronic marketing source, you can create an account, without cost, copy and paste your press release content from a Word.docx, and answer a few simple questions. This platform enables, you to target a specific city, state or country. To learn more about how this tool, log on to http://www.prlog.com . I also find utilizing a Blog for marketing, is beneficial. Blogs can be great tools to share news about products and services, gain feedback from readers, and review analytic reports, daily, monthly, and yearly. In fact, Blogger.com offers analytic reports, and provides easy useable Blog templates that help small business owners save marketing budget funding. The most invaluable asset of this medium, is the ability to add a list of contacts, you’d like to share your marketing messages with. By simply adding a contact list in your Blogger settings, you can begin sharing every Blog post, with those in your contact list. The best way to optimize this list, is to include local newsletter editors. Additionally, I find it beneficial to rely on free classified ads. In fact, using Google and these keywords: Free Classified Ads, will connect you with an unlimited source of Web sites, you can comb through and begin utilizing without cost. These are just a few resources, you should begin incorporating to save marketing budget funding. Learning to rely on concepts of electronic marketing, helps your business compete with your competitors’. Bradley Fowler, operates Construction EMarketing, an electronic marketing business that provides effective concepts of electronic marketing. To learn about this business, log on to the Web site at http://www.constructionemarketing.biz; Bradley also offers a six-week, e-learning course in Concepts of Electronic Marketing, without cost. To learn more about this course, or to register and begin completing this course, log on to: http://www.conceptsofelectronicmarketing.com. Bradley attained a Cum Laude Bachelor of Arts in eMarketing from Ashford University Forbes School of Business & Technology, a Summa Cum Laude Master of Arts in Teaching and Learning with Technology from Ashford University College of Education; and currently is completing a Master of Science in Cybersecurity at Bellevue University and a Doctor of Education at California Coast University. Additionally, he has a Paralegal Certification and Web site Developer Career Diploma. He is an active member of the Internet Marketing Association, National Cybersecurity Student Association, eLearning Guild, and Golden Key International Honour Society.

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To get started, visit navigantcu.org or call 401-233-4700. It’s free, and easy to set up. Federally insured by NCUA

www.risbj.com | volume six issue seven

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RISBJ | rhode island small business journal


2017

SMALL BUSINESS FINANCING TIPS: BANKS, FAMILY & ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

As an entrepreneur, you may rely on a variety of sources for capital — such as banks, family, personal savings or even angel investors. Regardless of the financing sources you tap or the stage of your business, securing and accessing capital is likely to play a critical role as you plan for future growth.

by Marc Eddy According to a recent Bank of America Small Business Owner Report, more than half of small business owners nationwide are planning to grow their business over the next five years. Below are three strategies to help secure financing, identify resources for capital, and navigate through emotions and financial arrangements when funding is provided by loved ones.

1. Get to know the “5 C’s” To increase your chances of securing funding, planning is essential — and a key component of that preparation is having a general understanding of creditor expectations. While each small business is different, there are generally “5 C’s” that creditors evaluate when making lending decisions: Capacity evaluates whether your business can support debt and expenses. Typically, you need enough cushion to absorb unexpected expenses or a downturn in the economy. Collateral can be offered as security for repayment and forfeited in the event of a default. Examples of collateral include accounts receivable, inventory, cash, equipment, and commercial real estate. Creditors may also take into consideration existing debt that your business may still owe on collateral. Capital takes a look at whether your business’ assets outweigh its liabilities, and how much capital you and other outside sources have invested. Conditions such as the economy, industry trends and pending legislation may be a consideration, although these are often out of your control. And finally, Character — your own character and the character of those tied closely to the success of your business — is critically important. Factors such as personal integrity, industry experience, and good standing can make a difference.

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2. Treat every loan as a contract Regardless of the source! When you’re starting out, the financial support you might receive from family and friends can make a big difference in helping to get your business off the ground. However, this can sometimes cause stress and awkwardness for everyone involved. To minimize this, it is important to create a contract for every type of loan you receive — whether it’s a financial agreement with a family member, friend or a bank. It can be immensely helpful to clarify up front with family and friends whether you are receiving a gift versus a loan, for example. To avoid unnecessary stress and confusion, it is important to know and write out the full terms of your agreement so you can focus your efforts and energies on making your business successful instead of worrying about misunderstandings.

3. Take advantage of resources There are a variety of available resources you can turn to for lending advice, guidance and support — family members, friends, your professional network, financial experts, small business advocates, online content and more. Take advantage of this vast well of knowledge. I also encourage you to meet with a small business banker. They are experts in small business lending and can provide advice about what is best for you and your business, both in the short- and long-term. Even if you are just starting out and don’t think you will qualify for a bank loan, small business bankers can give you guidance. There is also a treasure chest of free online tools and technology that can make life easier for business owners, such as SCORE RI and the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center.

Marc Eddy Small Business Banker Manager Bank of America

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