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Welcome to the


Alaska Business Resource Guide

The annual Alaska Business Resource Guide is a valuable resource Alaska businesses have relied on for 15 years. First National Bank Alaska, the Alaska Small Business Development Center and the Alaska Journal of Commerce have teamed up to provide a resource for Alaskans who want to start a new business or want inspiration or guidance to expand an existing venture. Together, the three entities showcase more than 150 combined years of business expertise in the 49th State. In the following pages you’ll find success stories, tips and helpful tools. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll get to better know a network of Alaskans in the business community who’ll motivate you to take your business to the next level. This year we’ve introduced Augmented Reality to the guide. This technology gives you access to additional content through your mobile devices. The first step is to download the app at Once it’s downloaded simply open the app and position the device over the pages of this year’s guide to discover additional layers of digital content. This exciting technology takes you beyond print — expanding content and enhancing the experience through video, photos, social media and more. Read and enjoy this guide. Learn from it and then take action. Maybe get in touch with a local First National banking expert to learn about meeting your financial needs. Contact an Alaska SBDC business advisor to update your financial projections, attend a course on social media or take a first step toward that expansion project you’ve been considering for some time. Whatever it is, First National and the Alaska SBDC are here to help, and the Journal will continue to tell the stories of businesses big and small. Strong business is the engine of our local communities, and we’ll be here to help keep those engines humming well into the future. Here’s to all the businesses that help keep Alaska’s economy strong.

Betsy Lawer First National Bank Alaska President

Isaac Vanderburg AKSBDC Executive Director

Andrew Jensen Alaska Journal of Commerce Managing Editor 2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 1



Page 2 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

is looking to expand its database of local businesses to be included in our news, features, opinions, and our Book of Lists.

Are you


Tell us about your company! 2 0 1 4

Please help us by filling in your company’s basic information and submitting a survey to our research department. There is no charge to be included so please take a moment to make sure we know you’re out there. 2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 3

HOUSE OF BREAD ANCHORAGE House of Bread Anchorage 8130 Old Seward Highway Anchorage AK 99518 907-222-1352 Photo: Carson, Ginna and John Baldivez own and operate House of Bread Anchorage.

Freshly baked business sense House of Bread Anchorage owners named SBA’s Alaska Small Business Persons of the Year If you combine business hours and the time it takes to prepare for those hours, the House of Bread Anchorage seldom goes dark. The place is almost always hopping — or at the very least, always baking. Ginna and John Baldiviez and their three sons opened House of Bread Anchorage more than three years ago. They did so with a few personal goals in mind. The Baldiviezs wanted to make Anchorage and Alaska better places to live while also being their own bosses. A can’t-miss recipe for success so far, the Baldivezs were awarded distinction as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2014 Alaska Small Business Persons of the Year. “What an honor, it’s so exciting,” Ginna said.

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“We’ve been invited to Washington, D.C., for the national celebration, and I think we’re going to go.” Baldiviez said she hopes the SBA recognition might inspire others to take a chance on owning and operating their own business. “You’ve got to live and make things happen,” she said. “So many people are inherently afraid to step out of their comfort zones. I guess I’d tell them not to be.” A FAMILY AFFAIR

House of Bread Anchorage is one of eight bakery/cafe stores connected with the House of Bread franchise based out of San Luis Obispo, Calif. The Baldiviezs opened their shop near the heart of South Anchorage’s busy business district. Sons Carson (manager) and Sterling (head baker) currently work in the shop and son Dillon was also involved in building the bakery/cafe itself. “The franchise helped out with suggestions about what the layout should look like and best ways to maximize customer traffic and such things,” John Baldiviez said. “Then we did most of the work ourselves, the boys, Ginna and me. House of Bread Anchorage prides itself with using all-natural ingredients. Fresh, high-quality, natural ingredients like high-protein flour and honey are featured in House of Bread Anchorage’s recipes. The bakery also houses more than 25 different varieties of bread. Examples include wholesome Honey Whole Wheat, decadent Apple Cinnamon Swirl and irresistible Garlic Cheddar. The shop also offers cinnamon rolls, scones, muffins, and caramel rolls. Everything is baked fresh daily. Sterling Baldiviez and an assistant baker arrive at 2 a.m. each day to begin making everything from scratch before customers start arriving when the doors open at 7 a.m. BUILDING FOR MORE THAN TWO DECADES

Since 1990, Ginna and John Baldiviez have made their mark on the Alaska economy. It started with John and his partners opening the doors to Ditomaso’s, a local produce wholesaler. It continued with the couple operating The Mangy Moose Bed and Breakfast. They also promoted healthy eating options by creating The Alaska Carrot Company, the first local produce production facility in Anchorage. After selling the Alaska Carrot Company in 2004, Ginna casually mentioned to John that it would be fun to open a bakery and that was all the fuel John needed to begin their quest. “Some people relax by watching television, others like to shop online, but I like to hop on the Internet and see what businesses are for sale,” John said. They decided, after living in Anchorage for the last 30 years, that South Anchorage needed a bakery café. Then it was “just finding the right bakery to open.” “We decided that if we were going to open a bakery, it had to have the same values that we hold,” Ginna said. “We would have to use quality ingredients, the prices must be reasonable and we needed a little freedom to be creative to ensure

_________________________ See Bread, Page 6

2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 5

Bread Continued from page 5 ______________________ that we are able to give Alaskans what they want.” With that, they found exactly what they were looking for with the House of Bread. “When I found the House of Bread, I knew it was going to be the right fit,” John said. “The other thing we knew was that it was going to be a family affair.” From putting together the oven, to installing flooring and even doing the rock work on the fireplace, John, Ginna and their sons put in many hours of hard work to get the bakery up and running. “It’s more than just wanting to do it ourselves,” Ginna said. “It’s about making the bakery ours — about putting 100-percent of ourselves into it and making it reflect our personality. “We wanted to create the type of establishment that we would like to relax in with a nice environment, a great sandwich and a good cup of joe.” PART OF THE COMMUNITY

Now with more than three years

Each year on the business’ anniversary, a 100-pound cinnamon roll is baked to share with customers.

under their belt they have succeeded in making a name for themselves. “Our goal was to become part of the community,” John said. “And I think that is something that we made happen with the support of our loyal customers.” The support goes both ways. House of Bread’s commitment to Alaska is as bountiful as the freshly-baked breads and other treats the bakery’s customers enjoy on a daily basis.

BUSINESS MANAGER® IMPROVES CASH FLOW, SAVES TIME AND MONEY Before Ginna and John Baldiviez reached Small Business Administration Alaska Business Persons of the Year status, they learned the business ropes over several years. First National Bank Alaska’s Business Manager helped them along the way. The service allows companies to sell commercial invoices to the bank and, at the same time, outsource payment processing. Learn more about Business Manager by calling First National Bank Alaska’s Tim Breeden at 777-5607 or visit Page 6 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

From mentoring a high school student who later became an employee to donating food and other items to a multitude of schools and organizations, the Baldiviezs have proven to be caring and integral members of the Anchorage and Alaska business landscape. WE’VE STAYED WITH FIRST NATIONAL

Positive relationships don’t only extend to charitable organizations. Ginna and John have worked closely with First National Bank Alaska Senior Vice President Bill Inscho for more than 15 years. During that time, the Baldiviezs prospered with the use of First National’s Business Manager®. The banking service assists companies with their cash management needs, invoices and payment processing.

“It’s been wonderful to have both Bill and the bank to trust,” John said. “He’s become a real friend of ours and very supportive. There’s no mystery to why we’ve stayed with First National all this time.” Prepare your senses when it comes time to visit House of Bread Anchorage. Eyes, ears and especially noses are in for a thrill from the first step through the door. The smell of freshly-baked goods wafts through the air and the room’s usual hustle and bustle encloses patrons in a warm, welcoming environment. “We’ve certainly put in the work, but we’ve also been kind of lucky,” Carson Baldiviez said. “Our products kind of sell themselves and our customers spread what we’re doing by word of mouth.” Clearly, the Baldiviezs and House of Bread Anchorage have earned those tasty testimonials.

Thank You Katie Griffiths Project SEARCH graduate and employee of Mat-Su Regional Medical Center

We thank employers, such as Central Peninsula and Fairbanks Memorial Hospitals and Mat-Su Regional and Providence Alaska Medical Centers, who have discovered the largely untapped potential of Alaskans with disabilities. Employing people with disabilities is good for business.

For more info:

2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 7

SEASIDE DIESEL REPAIR 1802 Mark Alan St. Juneau, AK 99801 907-321-3840 Seaside Diesel Repair’s Travis and Heidi Koski.

A smooth ride Seaside Diesel Repair keeps Southeast Alaska engines running As it became more and more evident Seaside Diesel Repair needed to expand, owner and mechanic Travis Koski figured befriending a banker or two couldn’t hurt his chances of building up the business. Little did Koski know his new financial friends would potentially need assistance from him once in a while. Koski met First National Bank Alaska Assistant Vice President Jaime Kissner soon after Kissner joined the bank as a Loan Officer in 2010. As Kissner helped Koski secure loans needed to buy commercial property and refurbish the workspace in Juneau, the duo found they shared a lot in common. “We both get out on our snowmachines a lot, but I’m not all that mechanical. I can hop on the sled and get it started,” Kissner said. “If it breaks down, I sure hope Travis is there with me.”

Page 8 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014


At work or out in the Southeast Alaska wilderness, Koski and Kissner seem to work well together. With the financial backing of First National, Koski and Seaside Diesel Repair have flourished – going from working by himself in a rented space to a operating a popular commercial fishing vessel and heavy machinery repair shop with four other employees, including Koski’s wife Heidi. “I knew we really wanted to make a big jump in terms of what we were doing,” Koski said. “We were looking for that commercial property and I went around to quite a few banks. Once I sat down with Jaime and (Vice President) Luke (Fanning), they described some of the Small Business Administration (SBA) options and benefits, like the possibility of lower down payments. “They really took all the headaches out of the process.” QUALITY WORK

Koski, 32, grew up part of a Montana logging family. He worked on farms, remembers each one of the shop

classes he took and has attended technical school. He’s always worked with his hands. After arriving in Juneau in 2000, Koski found himself on out-of-town jobs making sure industrial machines and commercial fishing vessels could be counted on for the workers who needed them. Once back in Juneau, he landed more and more jobs fixing commercial fishing boats. News of Koski’s quality work spread around the region by word of mouth. “There were a lot of boats and a lack of people to do the work,” Koski said. “For a while, it was just me and one other guy.” As time moved on, Koski kept busy and started Seaside in rented space. He worked on boat engine and transmission jobs during each fishing season and spent offseasons on long-term boat maintenance jobs and heavy machinery. “While getting to know Travis and Seaside, we had a sense of the growth potential,” Kissner said. “Looking at where he was headed and what he

_________________________ See Seaside, Page 12

WORKING WITH A KNOWLEDGEABLE BANKER IS A GREAT RESOURCE Seaside Diesel Repair’s Travis Koski hit it off with First National Bank Alaska Assistant Vice President Jaime Kissner right away. By creating and maintaining a solid, quality relationship with a knowledgeable banker, an entrepreneur like Koski has a great local resource to help better understand ways to use business funds more effectively. Learn more about building a great relationship with an expert local banker like Kissner on Page 16.

To speak with a local business banking expert, call First National Bank Alaska at 777-4FNB (4362)/1-800-856-4FNB (4362) or visit 2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 9

DENALI VISIONS 3000 CORP. Mile 248.4 Parks Hwy Healy, Alaska 99743 907-683-2793 Jason Motyka and David McCarthy raise a glass to 49th State Brewing Co. and Denali Visions 3000 Corp.

Business is brewing 49th State Brewing Co., Denali Visions 3000 thriving in Interior Alaska The summer solstice, when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky, is cause for celebration in the 49th state. Not far from the entrance to Denali National Park and Reserve in Interior Alaska, the 49th State Brewing Co. was certainly hopping during solstice last summer. The breweryrestaurant and four other businesses that comprise Denali Visions 3000 hosted the inaugural Solstice Brew Fest. The week-long festival featured live chats with all forms of “beer-fully” great knowledge, music and food. “Everything went very well,” said David McCarthy, one of Denali Visions 3000’s co-owners. “More than 1,500 people showed up for events over the course of the week. For a town of some 996 people, that’s pretty impressive. It allows us to think we’re doing something right.” The solstice soiree near Healy proved a great success for 49th State and showcased the continued growth and popularity of Denali Visions 3000. The corporation is made

Page 10 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

up of 49th State Brewing Co., the Denali Park Salmon Bake restaurant, Prospectors Historic Pizzeria & Alehouse, Sled Dog Groceries & Liquor and McKinley RV & Campground. The 49th State Brewing Co. opened in 2010. The brewery and restaurant feature award-winning handcrafted beers, sustainablyproduced food that often includes the beers among the ingredients and an energetic atmosphere right in the heart of Alaska. McCarthy and Jason Motyka are coowners of Denali Visions 3000. Originally from Anchorage, Motyka first arrived in the Healy area about 12 years ago. A Chicagoan and chef by trade, McCarthy never planned on living and working in Alaska. He was about to open a restaurant back in the Windy City when a vacation and a classified ad looking for summer help brought him to Denali in 2007. A year later, Denali Visions 3000 was named the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Team of the Year. “The recognition was certainly a big deal for us,” said McCarthy, 38. “We had a vision for what we wanted to do in the area and to create good will in our community. The demand was there to expand, to open

additional restaurants like 49th State. “We had a productive system in place and looked to duplicate the system for the other businesses.” ENTER FIRST NATIONAL BANK ALASKA

Managing five separate businesses during a mostly seasonal time (May-September) each year in one of the nation’s most beautiful locales brings unique challenges. A few examples include hiring and maintaining staff, upkeep and expansion of infrastructure and all financial matters. And while those don’t read differently from the job of running any other business, Denali Visions 3000 starts each year anew. “Almost from scratch,” McCarthy said. “Some of the businesses close down completely in the offseason, no water, no electricity. It’s like we reopen from the ground up each spring.” McCarthy and Motyka said a healthy, long-standing relationship with First National Bank Alaska has eased many concerns related to the financial aspects of keeping the businesses in line. Motyka

_________________________ See Brewing, Page 19

Money can work more efficiently Make your money work faster and more efficiently as it comes into your business. Accepting credit and debit card payments is a huge convenience for your customers. Many business owners find this an easier way to reconcile their accounts each month, saving time and frustration. Other ways to put your money to work quickly and efficiently include Lockbox Service, for collection of customer payments, Wire Transfer, 24-hour deposit drop boxes, ACH Debit Origination, Contract Collections and Business Manager®.


Learn more about these tools by visiting or contact First National cash management specialists at 777-4685 or 1-800-856-4FNB from communities outside of Anchorage. 2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 11

Inside the Seaside Diesel Repair shop in Juneau.

Seaside Continued from page 9 ______________________ needed to get there, it all screamed SBA 504 loan. The SBA program works for land acquisition and construction and allows for smaller down payments and fixed rates for 20 years. “It was good fit for Travis.” Seaside’s new facility was completed in March 2013. It includes room for engine overhauls for boats and larger spaces for trucks and extended-boom forklifts. “A lot of room,” Koski said. “It’s really nice.” “DOWN TO EARTH AND PERSONABLE”

Koski and his Seaside crew generally work Monday through Saturday, eight to 10 hours a day. Kissner said the business’ revenue stream surpassed seven figures for the first time earlier in 2013. Page 12 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

“We’ve so busy, which is good, but it hasn’t really allowed me to reach the part where you can enjoy it all,” Koski said. “Someday, we’ll hopefully expand some more and add on. I know First National will be there when I need it.” In addition to the volume of commercial fishing vessels serviced by Seaside, Koski recently secured a servicing contract with Alaska Electric & Power, Juneau’s electric utility. To think, Koski’s business started small – in cramped, rented spaces. He worked alone. The expansion – a larger, refurbished facility, more employees and much more work – came about not long after Koski struck up a relationship with First National. “What’s really stuck out to me is how down to earth and personable Jaime, Luke and everyone at the bank have been,” Koski said. “First National makes it all go as painlessly as possible.”


CASH MANAGEMENT Meet your cash flow needs


Incoming funds Make incoming funds work faster and more efficiently as they come into your business.

USING YOUR FUNDS Maximize your profits and control operating costs by making use of available cash.


OUTGOING FUNDS Keep your money working for you, with just-in-time disbursal.

Monitoring cash management well is a crucial element to any successful business. But according to the Small Business Administration, cash management is one of the most overlooked items in business models. So what is good cash management? Knowing when, where and how your cash needs will arise and what tools you will use to meet those needs. Whether your money is coming in or going out, the right cash management tools can help you build and maintain a successful business. To learn more about these tools, visit or contact First National Cash Management specialists at 777-4685 or 1-800-856-4FNB (4362) from communities outside Anchorage

2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 13

A multi-faceted family business Scott works with First National to purchase multi-family property

Monster Wash

2195 W. Dimond Blvd. Anchorage AK 99515 907-561-3636 Before starting his own family, Tyler Scott helped manage multi-family properties he and his parents owned.

Everything is relative in Tyler Scott’s professional world. Or better yet, most of what he does is about relatives. Scott and wife Alexis manage the Monster Wash and Publix Self Storage facilities owned by his inlaws in Anchorage. On any given day, he may play a role in cleaning a hockey mom’s van or making arrangements for an employee to travel Outside to visit a sick father. Working with First National Bank Alaska and Multi- and Single-Family Home Loan Officer Mike Scott, Tyler Scott (no relation) purchased a 29-unit apartment complex in the Spenard area of the state’s largest city in 2013. Over the holidays, Scott left his home to rush over and fix a tenant’s leaky faucet. These are just a few examples of Scott’s entrepreneurial spirit. One based on a simple premise. “You have to care about families if you claim to be a family business,” Scott said. ATTENTION TURNED TO ANCHORAGE

Scott, 39, grew up in a San Diego family that owned numerous rental properties. He spent many

Page 14 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

years managing the various apartments, warehouses, duplexes and triplexes. After meeting Alexis nearly a decade ago and relocating to her hometown of Anchorage, Scott spent some time commuting between Alaska and Southern California. When the Scotts welcomed twins twoand-a-half years ago, Tyler’s real-estate attention turned almost exclusively to Anchorage. “I was talking with my accountant, also a friend of mine, to make sure I had a sound strategy and plan in mind,” Scott said. This led Scott to surname-similar Mike Scott and First National. “THE LOCAL ASPECT OF FIRST NATIONAL”

In early 2012, Scott started looking in earnest at commercial multi-family apartments. He had an idea of what kind

of property would be the best fit for his portfolio. Finding the right one is often easier said than done. “I’d probably been in some 400 apartments around all parts of town, and I would’ve been willing to buy many of them if not for all sorts of different reasons,” Scott said. “I’ve always appreciated the idea behind rental and property appreciation. My wife’s always telling me she couldn’t put in the amount of time I do to take care of everything.” For years, Scott’s in-laws banked with First National and Loan Officer Jason Criqui. As Scott shopped the loans needed to purchase rental properties, it only made sense to continue working with Alaska’s largest Alaskan-owned bank. “Without question,” Scott said. “I

_________________________ See Scott, Page 20

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431 E 45th AvEnuE 2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 15

Know your banker

When you’re working hard to build a thriving business, you need to establish a good relationship with someone who offers the financial support you need in order to take the business to the next level. A knowledgeable local banker can do just that. Finding a good fit The first step in building a relationship with a banker is to find one with history and ties in the community who has experience dealing with your particular type of business. This person will understand the ebb and flow of your business activities and, in turn, will be able to help you understand the financial tools needed to help you succeed in your industry. Make sure to also find a banker you can trust and with whom you are comfortable discussing your financial details. Maintaining a good relationship A good banker stays abreast of issues and information relevant to your industry to better understand your business challenges. You can also help them understand your business and better serve you by keeping the lines of communication open.

By Jaime Kissner Assistant Vice President First National Bank Alaska Valley Centre Branch, Juneau

TALK Like maintaining any healthy, flourishing relationship, ongoing communication is the key. Tell your banker when there are changes to your business, good or bad. This will help your banker understand where your business stands in order to offer you sound financial options and help you make the right decisions for your business. Update your loan file Make sure your loan file is as up-to-date as possible. Your loan file drives the decisions that go into approving a loan. It should be updated at least once a year and include the following: ✔ Current financial statement for the business and any guarantors ✔ Year-to-date profit and loss statement ✔ Complete copy of the most recent business tax return Not only does this information help you and your banker stay connected, it is crucial if you ever find yourself in need of quick funds for your business. If your banker has your updated financial information on file, often times you can get a decision on a loan very quickly. Whatever the next level is in your business, there’s a good chance your banker can help you get there and the more they know, the greater your chances for success. To contact an Alaska business banking expert, visit FNBAlaska. com or call First National Bank Alaska at 777-4FNB (4362) or 1-800-856-4FNB (4362) from communities outside Anchorage.

Page 16 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

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The 49th State Brewing Co. opened in Healy in 2010.

Brewing Continued from page 11 ______________________ either visits or calls the bank’s Healy Branch almost daily and is always pleased to chat with Branch Manager Marty Crow and the branch’s staff. Senior Vice President Bill Renfrew has worked closely with Denali Visions 3000 throughout the years, solidifying lines of credit and financing for needed equipment. Renfrew is based some 110 miles away in Fairbanks, but Motyka said the banker has always treated him with the helpful nature of a next-door neighbor. “On a personal basis, Bill, the entire bank seemingly, really believed in us,” said Motyka. “When we decided what we were going to try to do, I called about a line of credit. I was just some 25-year-old guy. “The bank had to be asking itself if we knew what we were doing. It took a chance

on us, and we can’t thank people like Bill, Marty and (Healy Branch Operations Supervisor) Julie Shorey enough.” “WE’RE ALL IN”

A master brewer as well as a chef, McCarthy takes the beer-brewing process seriously. The 49th State Brewing Co.’s beer selection includes eight house specialties, some seasonal selections and the five-beer Hibernation Series. The beverages feature names like “Solstice IPA,” “White Peach Wheat” and “Dubbel On Tundra.” It all sounds pretty tasty. But McCarthy and Motyka don’t spend their days pouring themselves pints. “We always make the same joke with one another – we have to make sure we’re all in,” Motyka said. “Every time we’re up repairing a roof or cleaning out a septic tank, we look at one another. “Yep, we’re all in.” 2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 19

Scott Continued from page 15 ______________________ believe I worked with Mike Scott on one of his first loan transactions after he moved into multi-family. Our last names being the same and all, I’ve often joked with Mike that he’s one of my cousins. “(First National’s) Mike Scott made an excellent first impression and is very attentive to our needs. When and if I call and Mike doesn’t answer, I’m entirely convinced he’s busy with other duties. But he always calls me back in a reasonable amount of time.” The business relationship has grown into a social one as well. Mike Scott and Tyler Scott often run into one another on the recreational-league indoor soccer pitch. “Whether it’s Mike or Jason (Criqui), I’ve really learned to appreciate the local aspect of First National,” Tyler Scott said. “Everything is done in a timely, very stand-up way. “It’s clear why the bank has thrived for so long in Alaska and is so respected.”


Providing customers convenience, service and value have been the key factors in First National building up nearly a century of trust and tradition in Alaska. Tyler Scott takes a similar hands-on approach to working with his customers and tenants. He’ll personally meet with Monster Wash customers who want to know more about the washing process. In the Publix Self Storage offices, Scott may take a turn sanding the sidewalks out front, ordering supplies and negotiating terms with any of a number of vendors. When it comes to multi-family properties, Scott is the one meeting with and determining if a potential tenant is desirable. He’ll also make that late-night visit to fix the leaky faucet. “When you’re in ownership, it always depends on your perspective,” Scott said. “You’re either always working or never working. In the grand scheme of things, there are very few hats that don’t get worn.” In a lot of ways, that’s a family tradition for Scott.

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH ACH SYSTEM Most businesses work at their best when providing excellent service to customers. They do so knowing timely payments to vendors have been made with the Automated Clearing House Credit Origination system. The system transfers funds electronically between accounts at almost any financial institution in the country and makes direct payments to vendors. The AHC system provides business with a tool to transfer funds electronically between accounts at almost any financial institution in the country and makes direct deposit payments to vendors. Save time and money with ACH.


To learn more about the ACH system, visit or contact First National cash management specialists at 777-4685 or 1-800-856-4FNB from communities outside of Anchorage. Page 20 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

The Cyber Threat REVISITED How secure is your business?

By Michael Mason Assistant Vice President Product Support Manager First National Bank Alaska

Hackers have become more emboldened in both their methods of attack and in the scale and sophistication with which they attempt them. Cyber intrusions are on the rise. Since 2009, cyber-security experts and other officials report there has been a 17-fold increase in computer crimes against American infrastructure and business. The majority of these attacks were initiated by criminal gangs, hackers and other nation states. In this new threat environment every business owner needs to ask themselves, “Is my company doing enough to protect our customer data and financial or intellectual assets from attack?” Today, your business faces a greater-than-ever risk of having privileged data compromised, or of becoming the victim of a cyber attack by criminals attempting to initiate fraudulent transactions. What plan do you have in place to actively stay ahead of cybercriminals? You can bet that they are developing plans right now in an effort to circumvent inadequate security measures either through technology or by social engineering in order to pull off their next heist. Take action now to secure your intellectual and financial assets against those who commit crimes to profit at your expense. Businesses must adapt to the new fraud environment and implement multiple layers of prevention and defense in order to stay ahead of the curve. Prevent your employees from becoming easy targets. Address both technical and human vulnerabilities in thoroughly written and enforced computer security policies that govern employee behavior. • On the technical side: Establish policies to ensure the security of all technologies used, including internet and email servers, databases, firewalls, internal routers and other embedded network devices, remote access points, custom and off-the-shelf applications and digital telephone systems. Patches and updates should be addressed in this policy. • On the human side: Secure employee access levels and permissions, ensure that both employees and business partners take computer security seriously, and that they understand the risks involved with doing business online. The criminal element has procured enterprise-grade hacking tools in order to compromise computer systems in a rapid and automated manner and they employ advanced social engineering techniques in order to gain the trust of unwitting employees. Scammers may send a phishing or spear-phishing email to an employee, set up a fake payment website to lure in a wide net of

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Cyber Continued from page 21 ______________________ targets, or use social engineering to gain sensitive data from an employee through a direct call. Whether they occur as a result of clicking on a link, opening a document attached to an email, or by giving out your IP address to an unknown caller, almost all cyber attacks share one common characteristic – they exploit vulnerabilities in commonly-used programs and abuse trust to take advantage of typical human responses. Make the choice to avoid becoming a victim and follow cyber security best practices.

Cyber Security Best Practices Educate employees to increase awareness Establish basic security practices and policies for employees. These should include rules that require the use of strong passwords. Clearly outline appropriate internet usage and define how to handle and protect sensitive data. Employees should know how to recognize suspicious emails or abnormal program behavior, who to contact if their PC does become compromised and the potential risks of a compromise. Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication Require employees to use unique passwords and change them every three months, passwords should never be shared amongst employees under any circumstances. Consider implementing multifactor authentication, such as a physical Secure ID token, which requires additional information be input beyond a simple password to gain entry. Check with vendors that handle your sensitive data to see if they offer multi-factor authentication login solutions. Use separation of duties as a control to protect against fraud The National Automated Clearing House Page 22 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

Association recommends that companies who process electronic payments (e.g. ACH or Wire transactions) separate the job duties of their payment staff. One individual should not be capable of autoinitiating payments without approval by a second staff member. Users with administrative access should also be placed in dual control. If possible use a standalone computer for banking that is never used for browsing or email. Safeguard information, computers and networks Multiple layers of protection should be in place, security patches applied as soon as possible and all PC’s protected by anti-virus and a firewall. According to a 2012 report on Exploit Protection by NSS Labs, 75- to 85-percent of the North American market is poorly protected because of missed patches or inadequate anti-virus protection. The ideal anti-virus software provides realtime protection and is set to run a scan after each update. Updates must be performed frequently for anti-virus to detect a threat and even then anti-virus alone is often inadequate for protection against the newest exploits in use today so care must be taken with how the PC is used. Firewalls should be continuously adjusted based on the threats faced by the business and intrusion logs monitored by qualified IT personnel. If employees work from home, their home system should also be protected by a firewall and the connection method must be properly secured by encryption and strong passwords. Curb data access and limit software installations Do not provide any one employee with access to all data systems. Instead, employees should only be given access to the specific data systems needed to perform their job duties. No employee should be able to install software without permission. Java should be disabled unless absolutely necessary for the employees to accomplish their daily work.

Do not provide any one employee with access to all data systems. Instead, employees should only be given access to the specific data systems needed to perform their job duties. No employee should be able to install software without permission. Java should be disabled unless absolutely necessary for the employees to accomplish their daily work.

Limit physical and logical access to your computers Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Lock up laptops when not in use and ensure staff report lost or stolen equipment. Create a separate user account for each employee and require strong passwords. Ban outside USB devices and put endpoint device control measures in place to prevent unauthorized use of USB flash drives by employees. Administrative privileges should only be granted to the IT staff and key personnel who require that level of access.

reduce your risk of becoming the victim of a data breach. Restrict employee payment card access Credit or Debit cards issued to employees pose an additional risk to your business. Determine what spending behaviors are necessary for employees to perform their job duties while reducing unnecessary exposure in the event that their card is compromised. By simply lowering the credit limit, restricting merchant category codes, or by limiting cash advances you mitigate these risks by reducing the fraudster’s opportunity to steal.

Shield your Wi-Fi networks from unauthorized access If you have a Wi-Fi network for your workplace, use the highest possible level of encryption and hide the network from attackers. To hide your Wi-Fi network, set up your wireless access point or router so it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID). Ensure the router is not set up with the default administrative password as this is a common weakness of Wi-Fi.

Be cognizant of the mobile threat Mobile devices can create significant security and management challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access the corporate network. Require users to password protect their devices, encrypt their data and install anti-virus and security applications. Establish reporting procedures for timely notification of lost or stolen equipment.

Secure your payment processing terminals Work with banks like First National Bank Alaska to ensure that your credit card terminals and procedures for accepting card payments are in compliance with industry standards. Using approved terminals, encrypting transmitted data, and protecting stored payment information are some of the basic steps that will significantly

Regularly backup all important business data Regularly backup the data on all computers to an encrypted location. Critical data includes business documents, electronic spreadsheets, databases, financial data, and human resources files. Backup data automatically and take steps to mitigate the risks of intentional or inadvertent data loss or compromise. 2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 23


By Lauren Riley Marketing and Program Specialist Alaska Small Business Development Center

When Facebook first announced that their algorithm was changing to decrease the organic growth for business page posts, a lot of people were angry. Most business page owners had already seen a steady decrease in the number of people who saw their posts and then Facebook released the following statement: “We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.” The problem is, many businesses have already invested in promoting their page to gain likes and now they find they need to pay for those who like their page to actually see their messages. So how can small business owners work around the changes? Here are a few tips: 1. Ask your fans to opt-in to your email list. Ask those who follow you on Facebook to opt-in to your email list. Email is a great way to reach your customers and you are able to choose which of your clients get your content instead of relying on Facebook for views. Make sure that your clients know how often you will be sending emails and what kind of information will generally be included. Most people are “spam” adverse and need to know what value you will be bringing to them with your emails. You can also use contests, giveaways and coupons to incentivize people to opt-in. 2. Choose one other social media outlet and start investing time there. Although Facebook is still the most popular, there are many social media sites out there that can help you reach your target market. Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr are the top 5 most populated sites after Facebook according to eBizMBA Rank. What works for you will depend on your business and your clients. Businesses with a lot of naturally visual content that people like to share (restaurants, clothing stores, photographers, etc.) do well on sites such as Pinterest and Instagram. B2B companies can often engage with potential clients on Twitter. Start by blocking out 15 minutes a day to build your presence on one site other than Facebook and you may be surprised by the results! 3. Build Facebook into your marketing budget. If you can’t beat them, join them! Even with the recent changes,

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Facebook is still a good place to market your business. Use your marketing budget to sponsor stories instead of to get new likes. This will increase the number of people who see the posts you boost and will give them a greater chance of going viral. Compared to traditional marketing channels such as television and radio ads Facebook is still a less expensive option and allows you to target your customers. Make sure to track where the bulk of your referrals are coming from and invest primarily in that channel (whether it be Facebook, another form of social media, TV spots, or something else).

this post and be entered into a drawing for a free workshop!”) you may lose followers. Additionally, Facebook has caught on to the “click like if” post type and has started penalizing businesses who use it too often. 5. Share updates that are text only with no links. If you want to make sure that as many of your fans see your post as possible, make sure that it is text only (no pictures, videos or links). Facebook’s newest algorithm changes now favor

Even with the recent changes, Facebook is still a good place to market your business. Use your marketing budget to sponsor stories instead of to get new likes. This will increase the number of people who see the posts you boost and will give them a greater chance of going viral. 4. Create more engaging posts. Create content your fans will want to share. Look at the Insights from your previous posts. Most likely, there is a common thread between the posts that were most popular. Find what works for your business and duplicate it! When I started at the AK SBDC I posted a wide range of material to our Facebook page without much of a result. One day, I posted a graphic encouraging people to buy local and to click like if they supported local small business. The response was incredible! Our clients are proud small business owners and small business supporters who wanted to show their love for buying local so this resonated with them. It also included a “Call to Action”- we asked them to “Like” the post. Calls to action are a great way to increase engagement but should not be used in every post. If used too frequently or in a way that does not benefit your Fans (“Share this post so your friends will like my page!” versus “Share

posts that are text only while before they favored picture posts. If you go this route, keep in mind that although this type of post may show up in more of your fans’ newsfeeds, it may not catch their eye compared to the picture of their best friend’s new baby and a funny video shared by their coworker. Although it is now becoming a “pay to play” marketing channel for businesses, Facebook’s push towards paid posts is not the end of the world for small businesses. If you would like to learn more about marketing for your business, request counseling with the AKSBDC or register for one of our marketing workshops at Lauren Riley is the Marketing and Program Specialist at the Alaska Small Business Development Center. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and is currently pursuing her MBA. She has worked with nonprofits and small businesses to develop and increase their social media presence. 2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 25

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NETWORK OF PROGRAMS The Alaska Small Business Development Center (AKSBDC) offers free, one-on-one, confidential business counseling, low cost workshops, and small business resource libraries. Whether you’re starting a business, growing an established business, moving into government contracting, seeking free online marketing or web presence tools, have questions on innovation and research, or are looking to create a world-class business, the AKSBDC (or one of its partner programs: BuyAlaska, PTAC, ROPE or TREND) can help you on your journey. AKSBDC staff members are certified business advisors who offer entrepreneurs assistance and tools to help their businesses succeed. Experienced AKSBDC advisors cover topics like business planning, financial analysis, marketing, accounting, cash flow projections, and new business feasibility.

TEAMWORK BuyAlaska BuyAlaska strengthens communities and economies throughout the state by making the infrastructure available to shop local vendors. Through its web portal – www. – the program provides a free Internet presence to any business with a brick and mortar location in the state, thereby establishing a continually growing searchable database of more than 3,500 businesses in 131 Alaskan communities. By offering the ability to post news and specials and interact automatically with a variety of Social Medial platforms, the program has created a powerful marketing platform for members to self-promote their products and services. Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) PTAC helps businesses secure federal, state and local government contracts. PTAC can help with services such as bid and proposal assistance, negotiation support, cost accounting, Federal Acquisition Regulations, pricing principles, subcontracting, supplier certification, and marketing strategies. PTAC’s mission is creating and keeping jobs, fostering competition and lower costs for government agencies, and helping sustain readiness for U.S. armed forces. Technology Research and Development Center of Alaska (TREND) TREND helps Alaska small b usinesses and entrepreneurs develop new products and services to support government research efforts. TREND assists with pre-market strategies for businesses and independent inventors commercializing technology through the Federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.

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By Julie Nolen Assistant State Director Alaska Small Business Development Center

Starting a small business is already a challenge, but especially so when funding is an issue. Although the economy has started to improve, lenders are still cautious when it comes to approving loans. Obtaining funding for start-up businesses, which are defined as less than 24 months of operations, can be especially tricky. One of the most common inquiries received through the Alaska Small Business Development Center is regarding business grants. Clients are often disappointed to learn that small business start-up grants are a bit of a myth, with a few exceptions. For example, the Mat-Su Health Foundation has a grant program in place for local non-profit business offering services to significant health-related problems impacting the citizens of the Mat-Su Borough. Additionally, some of the Alaskan native corporations offer start-up grants to their members. The National Association of Self Employment also offers a grant program to their members. is another trusted resource that may offer grantseekers some information on possible grant opportunities. Another common myth is that the government has grant money available to women-owned businesses. Back in the 80s, the Small Business Administration realized that the majority of small businesses in the U.S. were primarily owned by males. So, the SBA offered an incentive program to encourage women to become business owners. The program was a great success which resulted in a nearly even split of men and women who currently own small businesses. Today, both women-owned and minority-owned businesses can qualify for preferential treatment when it comes to government contracting. Generally, the industries that are more likely to obtain grants include public health services, educational services, green business solutions and renewable energy solutions. Usually grants are awarded to nonprofit agencies rather than for-profit businesses. Business owners should tread cautiously when surfing the internet for business grant information. Entrepreneurs should be especially leery of any grant opportunities that require a financial commitment up front as there are plenty of scams out there. Remember to follow the tried and true advice of our elders — if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Julie Nolen is an Assistant State Director with the Alaska Small Business Development Center. Julie has been involved in family businesses since she was 8 years old, first with her parents and now assisting her husband with his business and as a silent partner in the family restaurant. Her mother was a life-long entrepreneur who felt it was very important to introduce the values of a strong work ethic and business ownership from a young age. Julie joined the SBDC team in 2009. Her areas of expertise include: business plan development, marketing, event planning and restaurant management.

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SMALL BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AND THE GOVERNMENT MARKETPLACE By Carolyn Pratt Program manager, Alaska Procurement Technical Assistance Center A partner program of the Alaska Small Business Developemnt Center

Multi-million dollar federal government contracts awarded to large firms get a lot of media attention, but not all federal contracts are awarded to large corporations. There are plenty of opportunities for small- and medium-size businesses as well. Many think the process of being a federal vendor is perplexing and has become too competitive. However, with an understanding of the process and the market, a business can see great success in the federal market. The federal government is the largest single customer in the world spending more than $500 billion per year on goods and services. Each year, the federal government aims to send 23 percent of its contracting dollars to small businesses — more than $90 billion in total. Large federal contractors with prime contracts must also subcontract to small businesses. And, there are small purchases that can impact a business’s bottom line at the end of the year. That’s a lot of opportunity for a smaller firm. Does the government buy what you sell? The government buys everything from industrial supplies, machine parts, construction, and remediation services to furniture, electronics, and food service. Assessing what the government is buying (market research) is a critical readiness factor in doing business with the municipality, any borough, the state of Alaska, or a federal agency. Whether you are a large, medium or small business, chances of success will increase if you take the time to get to know the agency and understand the context in which your product or service could be used. Researching the government marketplace will require you to set aside a few hours a year, but is an effective use of your business development time and money that can have a positive impact on your bottom line. It can

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PTAC Continued from page 29 ______________________ increase your success rate, requires only a computer, a pencil and a piece of paper. And it’s free. Good market research can: • Identify trends that affect sales and profitability • Let you know which contracts are due to expire, to be rebid, or terminated • Identify your competitors • Tell you which agency buys your product or service. Some agencies have decreased budgets, some have not. Which agencies are those? It is extremely valuable to know budget decreases or increases being projected not only for this year but also for 2015. Knowing the purchasing trends of any agency is one of the best ways to get to know your government customers. Getting to know contracting personnel is also valuable because there are usually several players involved in the buying process. If you have the right contact information for government decision makers or access to a good list of government agencies, you could be one step ahead of the competition. Anticipated spending forecasts allow your business to be ready for shifts in the government’s demand for the products and services you offer, and those shifts need to be part of your business planning. How does the government buy? Understanding the market is as essential as understanding how the government buys if you want to be successful. The government uses a variety of methods to purchase goods and services – from multi-year negotiated complex billion dollar contracts to simple commercial item credit card purchases. Many businesses overlook these credit card purchases. Government purchases of up to $2,500 in individual items or multiple items whose aggregate amount does not exceed $2,500 are classified as “micro-purchases” and can be made without obtaining competitive quotes. Agencies can make micro-purchases using a Government Purchase Card (typical credit card). The Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act (FASA) of 1994 is intended to simplify government buying procedures. It removed many competition restrictions on government purchases of less than $100,000. Instead of full and open competition, agencies can use simplified procedures for soliciting and evaluating bids up to $100,000. Government agencies, however, are still required to advertise all planned purchases over $25,000. Simplified procedures require fewer administrative details, lower approval levels, and less documentation. Legislation requires all federal purchases above $2,500 but under $100,000 to be reserved for small businesses, unless the contracting officer cannot obtain offers from two or more small businesses that are competitive on price, quality and delivery. So, don’t overlook the opportunity small purchases have for your bottom line. If you are willing to take the time to learn the local, state and/or federal procurement process and responsibilities, your company has the potential to be competitive and more successful. The Alaska Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) can help. A partner program of the Alaska Small Business Development Center, the Alaska PTAC has helped businesses across the state navigate the often complex and difficult process of qualifying for and winning government contracts. The Alaska PTAC has offices in Anchorage and Fairbanks, and delivers services throughout the state. Learn more at Page 30 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

Using financial projections to make a passion into a business Felicia Keith-Jones first approached the Alaska Small Business Development Center in Soldotna in 2010 and met with Bryan Zak to discuss the launch of her distillery in Sterling. Keith-Jones envisioned a distillery that coupled “Old World” distilling methods with roots in Ireland, Scotland and Northern Ireland with technologically advanced German and American micro-distilling equipment in order to create ultra-premium spirits for Alaskans. When Felicia came to the AKSBDC, she had written the narrative for the business plan and had a strong marketing plan. Now she was looking for assistance with the financial projections. Zak assisted Keith-Jones by going through the financial projections step by step to make sure they had a solid idea of what it would cost to launch the business. Zak also registered her for the Profit Mastery class so she would have a firm grasp on what the numbers of her distillery were telling her about the financial health of the operation. Together, Zak and Keith-Jones worked to prepare the financial projections over a period of several months. Keith-Jones brought the completed business plan and financial projections to First National Bank Alaska and was able to secure a loan to cover the cost of launching the distillery.

HIGH MARK DISTILLERY 37200 Thomas Street Sterling, AK 99672 907-260-3399 Felicia Keith-Jones opened High Mark Distillery in 2011 and has seen high demand for her products such as Nickle Back Apple Jack, Blind Cat Moonshine and High Mark Vodka. Already, High Mark Distillery has been awarded the 2013 Taste of Kenai’s People’s Choice Award for Favorite Microbrew. High Mark Distillery has been popular from its inception because of its creative recipes and quality products. High Mark Distillery makes it easy for retailers to purchase their product wholesale by offering low-minimum order requirements and providing information on each of the brews on its website. Website visitors can also request a tasting, purchase High Mark Distillery gear and see all of their upcoming events. 2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 31

Taking the mystery out of financial statements The Alaska Small Business Development Center offers a variety of workshops and webinars to assist small business owners in many aspects of their business. One of the most highly-praised classes offered at the AKSBDC is the Profit Mastery program. This 16-hour training easily explains the financials of a business and takes the mystery out of what they’re trying to tell you. “Anyone who is a business owner, regardless of how long you have been

countants, and other financial players on your team. The Alaska SBDC goes a step further after Profit Mastery ends by helping clients in free one on one confidential business counseling sessions to go over the information provided in the course and help the business owner apply it directly to their business. Our Advisers

“Anyone who is a business owner, regardless of how long you have been in business, owes it to themselves to take advantage of the ‘Profit Mastery’ program. The investment is small and the benefits are HUGE! This class helped me understand the difference between running a business and having your business run YOU!” –Angela Pekich, Alaska Premier Closets in business, owes it to themselves to take advantage of the ‘Profit Mastery’ program. The investment is small and the benefits are huge! This class helped me understand the difference between running a business and having your business run you.” – Angela Pekich, Alaska Premier Closets As a financial management tool, Profit Mastery helps business owners improve their ability to make business decisions based on the financial implications. It also demonstrates how to communicate more clearly and with greater knowledge with lenders, acPage 32 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

help attendees understand their financial statements, determine the root cause of low or declining performance and control spending and pricing with up-to-date financial reporting. The fee to attend Profit Mastery is typically $395 however, due to some funding from the SBA state Jobs Act, we are able to offer the class for $200 for a limited time, a $195 savings for the attendees. For more information on the AKSBDC and available workshops, visit

Pouring themselves into their work Port Chilkoot Distillery thrives in Haines Inspired by the rustic setting of Southeast Alaska, Port Chilkoot Distillery is a labor of love for owners Heather Shade and Sean Copeland. From the building, to the recipes, to the bottle designs, Shade and Copeland have built the business themselves from a shared passion. Located in Haines, Port Chilkoot is Southeast Alaska’s first distillery and primarily produces whiskey, gin and vodka. The most-popular brews include Icy Strait Vodka, “a smooth, sipping vodka with a hint of salty Southeast Alaska air” and 12 Volts Moonshine, “an un-aged, raw corn whiskey distilled and rested for a smooth, drinkable spirit.” Still in their first year of business, Shade and Copeland frequently work long distance with the Alaska Small Business Development Center in Juneau. Before launching, AKSBDC Assistant State Director Ian Grant, worked with Shade and Copeland on their business plan and financial projections. They were able to use this information to obtain a grant from the Alaska Historical Society. They used the funds to restore the former Fort Seward Bakery, built in 1904 and a perfect location for their new business. Copeland did much of the handiwork himself, putting his 20-plus years of experience in carpentry and woodworking to good use. Shade and Copeland were also able to use the plan to obtain additional financing from First National Bank Alaska to cover the costs of the equipment. “The guidance and support we received from SBDC kept us on the right path when there were so many decisions to make for our new business,”

PORT CHILKOOT DISTILLERY 34 Blacksmith Street Haines, Alaska 99827 907-314-0838 Shade said. “Ian worked with us throughout our start-up and helped us plan for the unique challenges of building a small-scale manufacturing business in rural Southeast Alaska.” Port Chilkoot Distillery is now up and running and a hot spot for tourists who come to Haines via the cruise ships. Not only are they producing spirits, but offering tours of their facility and operations. Not in the Haines area? You can find their wares statewide in a number of different liquor retail locations and restaurants. You can also follow Port Chilkoot Distillery on Facebook at

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Businesses evolve just like humans - they progress from birth to death with life achievements along the way. As an entrepreneur, your small business is always in one of the life cycle phases. Whether you’re just thinking of a business idea, launching a new business, going to the next level with an existing business or contemplating selling your business, the Alaska Small Business Development Center offers an array of options to assist you on your journey. Knowing where you are in the business life cycle will help your business thrive. Let’s briefly take a look at each stage to help you decide where to focus. Think You are thinking about owning your own business, researching the potential of your idea and looking for the resources to assist you in turning your idea into reality. During the think phase the Alaska SBDC can assist you in organizing your thoughts and vision into a viable business plan through our tools and workshops. We have the resources and expertise to help you to realize the entrepreneurial dream. How do you develop your idea into something that may turn into a business model? Ask yourself the following questions: 1. What is your idea or your niche to stand out from competition? 2. Is the idea feasible and do you have the skills and resources to operate? 3. Who will be your market? Why will they pick you over your competitors?

_________________________ See Cycle, Page 36

By Lynn Klassert Anchorage Center Director Alaska Small Business Development Center

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Cycle Continued from page 34 ______________________ Launch You are in the “start-up” or “commitment” business stage (typically this means you have been open 2-3 years). The business has in place working capital, all the necessary operating documents, a working relationship with a bank, has generated sales, developed a customer base and is managing daily business operations. As an owner, you are building assets, and have a solid financial plan, competent personnel and a working marketing plan. The AKSBDC Advisors can help you during this hectic and exciting time as you navigate business ownership. Grow The next stage in the business life cycle is the grow stage. Typically, this means you have been in business more than three years and you are increasing both your volume of sales and profits. In this phase you are planning to grow at a sustainable rate, developing your employee ‘A’ team, analyzing efficiencies, strategizing and setting goals to increase market share, and working on your financial plan to raise capital. Visit your local AKSBDC for assistance on your financial plan or to strategize on the best way to manage growth. Reinvent Fundamental changes in your business model are often inevitable – you need to plan for them. The reinvent stage is different for every small business owner. In order to recognize it, take time to understand your market, research new opportunities and think globally. Ask yourself if you should expand or remove existing products or services and make sure to do it at the right time. Analyze your financials and plan ahead. One way to reinvent your business is to begin exporting to foreign markets. The AKSBDC has a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional who can help you get started. NASBITE is the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators. Exit Eventually a time comes to think about exiting the business. Do you: sell, merge, liquidate, divest, segment, transition, file for bankruptcy or just close the business? Take the time to evaluate what your business is worth and what the best business valuation formula is to determine it. How much “good will” do you have? What are the legal and tax considerations to sell the business? Who will you consult during this transition? For more details on each of these business cycle stages and to get more information on how the AKSBDC can assist you throughout the life cycle, visit our website at Lynn Klassert is the Anchorage Center Director for the Alaska Small Business Development Center. Klassert has 40-plus years of experience and knowledge as a business manager and owner in the retail industry and business banker in Alaska and Washington. He specializes in financial statements and projections as well as preparing small business owners to approach banks for funding. Klassert also has a background in exporting and importing from specialty retailing in duty free and duty paid businesses. Page 36 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014


By Andrew Mitton Owner Vellum LLC

The 2013 BizBuySell report stated a dramatic increase in small business sales in 2013. The increase is due mainly to aging owners, a spillover of sales held off in the recession, a stronger economy, more qualified business owners, and an improvement in small business performance. This trend should continue throughout this year. So now is a good time to figure out how this process works and to get your documents in order in case someone comes knocking at your door interested in buying your business. Confidentiality Agreement The buyer needs to see financial and business information to determine if the business is a good investment. Sellers won’t give out that information unless the buyer agrees to keep it confidential. So the buyer and seller typically enter into a confidentiality agreement. Some sellers hesitate to provide the information under a confidentiality agreement for fear that the buyer will use it against them. That’s a risk the seller has to take if they want to sell the business. It also allows the seller and the buyer to come up with a price for the business. Sale Price The buyer and seller can use the information provided under the confidentiality agreement to come up with a price. The price can be based on book value, a multiple of earnings, or an appraised value. There are lots of other ways of coming up with a price, but these are the main methods. Letter of Intent Typically the parties will choose to sign a non-binding letter of intent for any of the following reasons: they don’t want to take their chances that one of the parties will change the basic terms; they want to exclusively negotiate a deal; or they want to create a moral obligation to negotiate a deal in good faith. The letter of intent should be nonbinding. Otherwise it makes sense to just negotiate the final business sale agreement. Financing The buyer can pay for the business with cash, savings, money from family and friends, or a bank loan. Another option is owner financing where the buyer

_________________________ See Business, Page 38

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Business Continued from page 37 ______________________ makes a down payment and signs a promissory note to pay the remaining amount. The seller secures the loan with cosigners on the note, a personal guarantee, first or second mortgages on the buyer’s home or other real property, a security agreement on personal assets, the right to take back the lease, or a pledge of stock or LLC membership interests, etc. Stock/Membership Interest Sale or Asset Sale The buyer and seller choose either an asset sale (including trademarks, copyrights, liabilities, customer lists, etc.) or a stock sale if it’s a corporation or membership interest sale if it’s an LLC. The buyer will more than likely want an asset sale. The advantages of buying the assets include tax advantages with depreciation, the ability to exclude unattractive assets, and removing the company’s debts and liabilities from the deal. The disadvantages to an asset sale for a buyer are losing valuable assets such as a lease or contract that can’t be transferred to the new owner. The seller typically wants to sell the entity to pay capital gains rates rather than income tax rates. If the seller is a corporation, the seller will want to avoid the huge hit that comes from double taxation. People in the Business The buyer may want to keep the seller as a consultant, a part-time or full-time employee, or an advisor. If the seller becomes an employee, then the seller signs an employment contract or an at-will letter. If the seller is a consultant, then the seller signs an independent contractor agreement. If the seller will have no part in the business once it transfers to the buyer, then the buyer should consider a non-compete agreement to protect itself from future competition. The non-compete normally covers a geographic area (these days that might include the internet), the type of activities, Page 38 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

and the duration of the non-compete. Agreements The business sale agreement is the document that binds the parties to the sale based on a few conditions such as due diligence and financing. The business sale agreement includes the price, earnest money, financing/payment terms, employment/consulting agreements, noncompete agreements, and many other terms including the parties who are part of the deal, assets or business purchase identification, liabilities, representations, closing terms, and dispute resolution procedures. The buyer and seller should not rely on each other’s verbal promises. Everything should be in writing. Due Diligence The process of investigating the business is called due diligence. The buyer asks for information on bank loans, money owed to suppliers, potential claims, contracts, etc. The seller typically represents the accuracy and completeness of these records along with other representations and warranties. The buyer also looks at public information. The buyer may search the recorder’s offices to see if the assets are encumbered by any liens such as UCC finance statements, mechanic’s liens, deeds of trust, etc. A title report will also show whether the property is owned free and clear or is subject to encumbrances. The buyer should search the court system records for any litigation and search other public records to make sure the company is in good standing. The buyer may get a Dun and Bradstreet report to find out the creditworthiness of the seller. Depending on the type of business, the buyer should search the records of other government agencies. The seller can ask for the buyer’s financial statements, tax records, resumes, credit reports, references, court records, and review some of the same records that the buyer will review. If the seller is financing the transaction, then the seller verifies its lien position. The seller and buyer will need to respond to

Making ‘cents’ of your business Web-based tool helps understand financial data How does your company stack up to your competitors? How efficiently are you performing? Are there ways to squeeze more cash or profits out of your operations? To answer questions like these you need data, and lots of it. That’s why the Alaska Small Business Development Center (AKSBDC) is proud to bring the in-depth financial and historical power of Sageworks ProfitCents to clients – for free. Sageworks has been providing private companies with financial information and developing financial analysis solutions for more than 15 years. The web-based application helps small-business owners understand their financial information to stay on top of their finances and ahead of their competitors. ProfitCents uses your business’ historical data to provide analysis of your current operating efficiencies and provide recommendations for improving your financial management in the future.

Here’s how the process works: 1) You and your AKSBDC advisor work together to make sure your financial records are accurate and timely. 2) Using a slick integration method – we feed your data into the secure ProfitCents tool. 3) ProfitCents compares your data to other similar businesses and compiles the results in easy-to-understand narrative and charts, like the ones below. 4) You work with your AKSBDC advisor to discuss ways you can use this powerful information to make your business more efficient and profitable. Over coming months and years, you and your AKSBDC advisor can work together as your business changes. Contact your local AKSBDC to get started.

Business Continued from page 38 ______________________ the results of the due diligence. This may mean adjusting the price, carving out liabilities, or including indemnification language, etc. Closing The closing is when all the parties who have the authority to sign the documents meet and finalize the transaction. This can take place at the business, an attorney’s office, or somewhere where it’s easy to make copies and last minute changes. If the sale is owner financed, the buyer signs a promissory note, security agreement, UCC financing statements, a deed of trust, etc. If the owner provides services to the buyer, the owner signs an employment agreement, consulting agreement, or offer letter depending on what the seller will do. If the seller does not provide services, the seller will typically sign a non-compete agreement. If the sale is an asset sale, then the seller signs a bill of sale or warranty or quit claim deeds to

transfer the assets from the seller to the buyer. The seller also assigns leases, other contracts, and the rights to intellectual property such as copyrights, trademarks, and patents. The seller also needs to provide written consent from the contracts they assign to the buyer. When all the documents are signed, the buyer walks away with a business and the seller walks away with cash or rights to receive cash. Portions of this article are taken from Andrew Mitton’s book found at: Mitton is an Alaskan attorney who has practiced law for more than 15 years. Mitton owns Vellum LLC, a new kind of law firm that aims to teach, serve, and help Alaska’s local small businesses with all their legal needs from start to finish. Learn more about Vellum LLC at or email Mitton at 2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 39

SBA-backed loans for small businesses Starting and growing a small business can be an expensive endeavor that requires a mix of personal resources, investors and loans. The Small Business Administration (SBA) business loan programs provide a source of financing for small businesses with viable plans that do not qualify for long-term stable financing. Here’s more information about what SBA-backed loans are (and are not) and whether they are right for your small business. SBA Business Loans When determining if an SBA Business Loan is a viable option for you, it is important to keep in mind the dollar amount you seek to borrow and how you will spend those funds. Once you apply for an SBA Business Loan, there are three major players involved in the process: the business entity, the lender and the SBA. The lender will still determine whether they will approve or deny the loan to the business entity. If the loan is approved, the SBA guarantees a portion of the loan to the bank if the business entity defaults. The purpose of the SBA Business Loans program is to make it easier for small businesses to get approved for a loan by reducing the amount of risk put forth by the lender. However, this does not mean that the lender will automatically approve the loan to the business entity. Before applying for the loan it is important to have a business plan prepared which explains what resources will be needed to accomplish the desired business purpose of the sought after funds as well as what your monetary contribution will be to the endeavor, what collateral is available and an explanation of how you plan to repay the loan in a timely manner. For help with your business plan you can visit your local Small Business Development Center. Once you have submitted your business plan, the lender will analyze it to see if it meets their criteria as well as the SBA’s requirements. Page 40 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

7(a) Loan Program The most popular loan the SBA provides is the 7(a) loan program. It is the most utilized non-disaster financial assistance program. This is due to its flexible loan structure, variety of proceed uses, and overall availability. It also has broader eligibility requirements and credit criteria than other programs. To qualify for an SBA loan, a small business must meet the lender’s criteria and the 7(a) requirements. The lender must certify that it would not provide this loan under the proposed terms and conditions unless it can obtain an SBA guaranty. Finally, if the SBA is going to provide a lender with a guaranty, the applicant must be creditworthy and the loan structured under conditions acceptable to the SBA. Eligibility The 7(a) loan eligibility is based on four factors (for more details on eligibility visit • Size: Your business must be classified as “small” by the SBA. • Nature of Business: The SBA cannot guarantee loans on businesses involved in certain areas such as pyramid schemes, illegal activities, or non-profit organizations. • Use of Proceeds: The loan must be used for any of the preapproved business operations outlined by the SBA such as expanding or renovating facilities, launching a start-up, or constructing a commercial building. • Miscellaneous Factors: This is the “catchall” requirement which includes the use of personal assets, anti-discrimination rules, etc. The Small Business Administration has helped many businesses secure capital in order to start or grow their business with the SBA loan programs. Although the 7(a) program is the most popular, there are many different loan programs available. For more information on the different loan programs, eligibility requirements and how to apply, visit

AIRMED MEDICAL APPAREL 3048 Mountain View Dr. Suite 122 Anchorage, AK 99501 907-272-7827 Airmed Medical Apparel owner Garyn Johnson

SBDC online tools keep Airmed on track Owned by Garyn Johnson, Airmed Medical Apparel is Alaska’s largest scrub store. Located in Anchorage, Airmed outfits medical professionals and students looking for stylish scrubs and medical supplies. Johnson came to the Alaska Small Business Development Center while she was writing the business plan in preparation to open her doors. Julie Nolen worked with her on the financial projections and provided some assistance with social media marketing as the business got ready to launch. Johnson also was able to use several of the online tools from the website to make sure her business was on track. Airmed Medical Apparel celebrated its two-year anniversary in June of 2013 and just opened their 2nd location, Airmed Career Apparel. Airmed Career Apparel features creative and unique chef wear and

_________________________ See Airmed, Page 48

2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 41

THE BOARDROOM 601 W 5th Ave., Floor 2 Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone number The Boardroom owners Katherine Johnson and Brit Szymoniak

Making a plan makes for successful launch The Boardroom may not have been around for a long time, but owners Brit Szymoniak and Katherine Jernstrom have seen immediate success for their co-working space in downtown Anchorage. Co-working (a collective of individuals working in a shared space independently) is not an entirely new concept — spaces similar to The Boardroom have been around for almost 10 years and have grown in popularity in the last five — but Anchorage has not had the benefit of such a workspace until now. Along with the co-working atmosphere, members are also able to take advantage of high speed WiFi, free Kaladi Brothers Coffee, fresh daily snacks and comfortable workspaces. Szymoniak and Jenstrom met in a leadership course two years ago and began brainstorming on innovative ways to bring co-working to the 49th State. They first came to the Alaska Small Business Development Center in August of 2013. Lynn Klassert worked

_________________________ See Boardroom, Page 48

Page 42 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

STONETREE VETERINARY CLINIC 989 Stedman St. Ketchikan, AK 99901 907-247-6051 Lorraine Johnson, Monica Mangis and their Stonetree Veterinary Clinic employees

Stonetree vets financial model with SBDC help Lorraine Johnson and Monica Mangis first came to the Alaska Small Business Development Center in Ketchikan when the clinic they previously both worked at chose to close its doors. They wanted to create a practice that offered a wide range of services to pet owners to help keep their furry friends healthy and happy. During their first meeting, Linda Koons-Auger introduced Johnson and Mangis to the financial model in the Tools Section of the SBDC website. Koons-Auger and Johnson worked with this model for several months in order to project what it would cost to open the clinic. “Linda has been very helpful in guiding us with a business plan and the financial model. She never let me give up,” said Johnson. “There were many times if it hadn’t been for her positive attitude and professionalism, I would have said forget it. She

_________________________ See Stonetree, Page 48

2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 43

Alaska’s SBDC Regional Center Locations and Service Hubs Find the office nearest you!


Anchorage (South Central) 430 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 110, Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: (907) 274-7232, Fax (907) 274-9524 Toll-free outside Anchorage (800) 478-7232

Fairbanks (Great North) 3750 Bonita St. Fairbanks, AK 99701

Wasilla (Central) 201 N. Lucille St., Suite 2A, Wasilla, AK 99654 (907) 373-7232, Fax (907) 373-7234 Toll-free outside Mat-Su Valley (877) 373-7232

Soldotna (South West) 43335 Kalifornsky Beach Rd., Suite 12, Soldotna, AK 99669 (907) 260-5629 Fax (907) 260-1695

Juneau (Northern Southeast) 9301 Glacier Highway, Suite 110, Juneau, AK 99801 (907) 463-3789

Ketchikan (Southern Southeast) 1900 1st Avenue, Suite 223, Ketchikan, AK 99901 (907) 225-1388, Fax (907) 225-1386

Alaska SBDC State Office 430 W. 7th Avenue, Suite 110, Anchorage, AK 99501 Phone: (907) 274-7232, Fax (907) 272-0565 Toll-free outside Anchorage: (800) 478-7232

Page 44 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

The Fiscal Checklist The first step in understanding where you need to go is knowing where you currently stand. This checklist will help you take a snapshot of your business’s key components and get you started on a path to financial clarity and performance. It will also provide an introduction to the set of tools available through the Alaska SBDC’s Profit Mastery financial management course.

Developed by Business Resource Services, a Seattle-based financial performance company, Profit Mastery helps business owners, key managers, and those who advise them understand and use financial information to drive their business success. Take a moment to go through this checklist. Then use it to start a conversation with your business advisor about what some next steps should be. Your balance sheet and income statement will thank you.

Benefits Your business, just like your body, needs regular checkups and maintenance to stay in optimum health. The Fiscal Physical Checklist consists of 35 management issues which, when completed, will help give your business the staying power and returns you want.

Instructions Step 1: Answer each question. Evaluate yourself in seven business management areas. If the answer to any question is “true,” check the box. Be rigorous. If the statement does not apply to your business, leave the box blank. Step 2: Summarize each section. Add up the number of true boxes at the end of each section. Determine the total number of true boxes checked. Insert that total in the Total Score box on this page. Step 3: Chart your score in the Progress Chart below, plot your score for each business management area. Starting at the bottom, fill in each column up to your total score for that particular management area. The goal is to answer true to all questions so that the entire chart is filled. If you’re not quite there, the completed Progress Chart will indicate where you need work and where you’re doing well. Step 4: Revisit the Progress Chart periodically. Use your business advisors to assist you. Check back regularly for maintenance and improvement.

_________________________ See Checklist, Page 46








5 4 3 2 1 Total Score (Max 35 Points)

2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 45

Checklist Continued from page 45

______________________ ❏ Check box if true

Managing Risks ❏ My selection of business structure, proprietorship, partnership, C or S corporation, is the best choice for me given all liability and tax issues. ❏ I am maintaining adequate professional and business liability insurance in the event of a claim. I regularly evaluate health care and other benefit plans I provide to my employees to ensure they are the best for my business. ❏ I make all federal, city, county and tax deposits in a timely fashion. ❏ I keep good documentation of all matters relating to legal and accounting issues. For example, if I have made loans to and from the business, I have kept the transaction “at arm’s length” and properly documented it. If my business is structured as a corporation, I have and maintain a corporate minutes book. ❏ I have a tax accountant and attorney in whose skills I feel absolutely confident and who provide me with top level advice on a regular basis. ____ Number of True (5 Maximum)

Transition Plan ❏ I have a transition team, which consists of my executor, attorney, banker, spouse, key family members, and insurance agent. ❏ I have a will and I keep it up to date. My transition team knows where it is located. Page 46 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

❏ I have consulted an attorney who specializes in estate planning to review the steps involved. ❏ I have put together at least an outline of a transition plan, including naming successors, and shared it with my transition team. ❏ I have estimated the liquid assets and/or life insurance needed to pay estate taxes in a timely manner when I die and have ensured that my resources are adequate. ____ Number of True (5 Maximum)

Financial Management ❏ I have financial statements prepared on a monthly (or at least quarterly) basis in an accurate and decision-relevant format. I know my key performance ratios and regularly benchmark my performance in those areas against myself and my indus try peers on an on-going basis. ❏ I keep an especially close watch on my gross and net margins. ❏ I feel comfortable talking to my banker, financial staff, and advisors on financial issues. ❏ My year-end statements are finalized by the end of the first quarter after my fiscal year ends, if not sooner. ____ Number of True (5 Maximum)

Managing Costs ❏ I know the difference between fixed and variable costs and know which are which in my company. ❏ I know my company’s cost structure: fixed cost total, variable cost percentage and contribution margin. ❏ I can fill in the answer to this question: for every dollar of fixed costs that I add, I need to add an additional $____ in sales.

❏ I know my company’s break even sales amount on a monthly and yearly basis. ❏ I understand and use break even analysis as a decision-making tool in my company. All of my employees understand what my company’s contribution margin is and how their jobs directly impact it. ____ Number of True (5 Maximum)

Managing Growth ❏ If my company is a service company, I have a balance sheet prepared on at least a yearly basis. If my company is other than a service company, I have a balance sheet prepared on at least a quarterly basis. ❏ I know the four sources of funds available to acquire new assets and I know which is best for my growth situation. ❏ I understand the difference between variable and non-variable balance sheet items and I know which are which for my company. ❏ I can fill in the answer to this question: To grow from $_______to $_______in sales I will need $________ in financing, assuming I operate at the same level of efficiency. ❏ I understand how managing my company more efficiently in such areas as inventory and accounts receivable can reduce the need for outside funding.

monitor and adjust at least quarterly. ❏ I keep an especially close watch on the issues that affect my working capital: inventory levels, accounts receivable, and sales growth. ❏ I process and send out invoices within 24 hours of completing a project. ❏ I post a weekly A/R aging report and make follow up calls on late accounts immediately. ❏ I understand the difference between cash flow and profits and take appropriate action to manage and maximize both, including knowing my cash levels and demands on a weekly basis. ____ Number of True (5 Maximum)


____ Number of True (5 Maximum)

❏ I have a banker who understands my business and is a partner in its success and growth. ❏ I provide my banker with information on my business, i.e. statements and business plan, on a regular basis. ❏ I know how to adequately plan for sufficient working capital and long term cash needs: I use short term credit such as a credit line to fund short term cash needs and I use long term loans to fund long term cash needs such as asset acquisition or expansion. ❏ I have negotiated the best rates possible on any outstanding loans. ❏ I plan for and negotiate credit before it is needed.

Managing Cash

____ Number of True (5 Maximum)

❏ I have a 12-month projected cash budget, profit plan and balance sheet prepared for my company which I regularly 2014 Alaska Business Resource Guide Page 47

Stonetree Continued from page 43 _____________________ pushed me to work and re-work my financial projections to get numbers that were as close to a projected income as possible. She wanted our number to be realistic and conservative.” Koons-Auger also provided direction on many aspects of the pre-opening preparation including location scouting

Boardroom Continued from page 42 _____________________ with Szymoniak and Jenstrom on the final preparations before their launch, including assistance with their business plan and financial projections. “The SBDC was essential to the successful launch of our business in a timely manner,” said Jenstrom. “Our advisor (Klassert) acted as a safe sounding board and provided relevant, tailored advice. The support, encouragement and guidance we received from the SBDC team have been game changers and gave us the confidence and tools we needed to

Airmed Continued from page 41 _____________________ uniforms for restaurant professionals. Johnson worked with Nolen several times when working on launching the second location. Nolen assisted with HR and employee related information. “The SBDC online tools are a must for any business owner in any stage of business” said Johnson. “The SBDC program is a well-constructed and valuable asset to Alaskan small Page 48 Alaska Business Resource Guide 2014

and remodeling, marketing options, and even an exit plan. Johnson and Mangis opened Stonetree Veterinary Clinic with the mission to provide quality care at every stage of their client’s lives and they are proving to be successful in their endeavor! You can view their full range of services, check out their store, and find out more information about the business at their website. turn our business plan into action.” Now that The Boardroom is up and running, Klassert is able to check in periodically to discuss any questions they have and collaborate on ways that the AK SBDC and The Boardroom can assist other Alaskan entrepreneurs. The Boardroom provides users with an accessible and affordable alternative to traditional office space with the additional benefit of being surrounded by like-minded entrepreneurs and endless networking opportunities. The Boardroom has several membership options to fit everyone’s needs and also boasts two meeting spaces available for rental. business owners.” Johnson continues to meet with Nolen periodically when questions arise for either business. For more information on what tools the AKSBDC has to offer small business owners visit our tools section. Airmed Career Apparel is located in the Glenn Square Shopping Center, and Airmed Medical Apparel is located near the intersection of Lake Otis and Dowling. For more information about Airmed please visit their Facebook page

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