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A SPECIAL EDITION FROM THINKING BIGGER BUSINESS MEDIA // 2017-2018

TH E

TH INKING

B IG G E R

GUIDE KC FO R

E N T R E P R E N E U R S

New + Emerging

Established + Growing

Resource Directory

How to Start Strong

Expand Your Horizons

Help Is Out There


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THE BIGGER PICTURE

Help Wanted

E

ntrepreneurs tend to be self-starters

for help. In fact, doing so can make us more

who like to solve things. Sometimes

productive and more profitable.

that doesn’t serve us well though.

Every day, I talk with business owners

Think about your computer, for example.

who are going it alone when they could

You’re humming along with a project and

turn to the numerous resources in

suddenly your laptop starts acting up. Do

Kansas City designed to help them grow

you call the IT pros to fix it? Eventually. But

their businesses. There’s no need to work

I’d bet money that first you turn your computer

in isolation when there’s so much entrepreneurial

on and off to see if resolves the issue. When it

assistance available.

doesn’t, you probably browse “Help” or the online

This Thinking Bigger Guide that you’re reading right

forums for a solution. You may even get to the

now was one of the first tools that brought all the

point where you think you’ve found the answer and

resources together in one place—categorizing and

meticulously follow the sequence of steps that

describing them so you can find assistance easily.

should have you back up and running. Finally, two hours and a bucketful of frustration later, you call your IT professional.

resources that can help you take your business to the next level. No matter what stage your business

Sound familiar?

is in, you’ll find organizations, mentoring groups,

For many of us, it takes a while to realize we can’t fix

programs and more that can help you on the next

everything and that it’s not a sign of weakness to ask

leg of your journey.

Kelly Scanlon

4

We hope you’ll use this guide to direct you to the

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// Publisher // kscanlon@iThinkBigger.com


Your Kansas City PEO since 1988

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MAJOR SPONSORS

THANK YOU to the following major sponsors whose investment helps to make this publication possible for Kansas City’s entrepreneurs Affinity Worldwide Axcet HR Solutions Bank Midwest Bennett Blue Cross Blue Shield Kansas City Burns & McDonnell EAG Advertising & Marketing Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation MarksNelson Simmons Bank Towner Communications

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TABLE OF CONTENTS // 2017-2018

SMALL BUSINESS BASICS

18

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Business Plans

20 The Risks and Rewards of Small Business 22 Business Entity Comparisons 24 Five Things You Need in Contractor Agreements 26 Business Regulations STARTUPS

28 How Do I Know If My Small Business Idea Is a Winner? 30 When Should I Quit My Job? 32 The Founder’s Dilemma 34 Charting Your Course: Starting A Business 35 Business Incubators and Accelerators 36 What Investors Really Want to Know About Your Startup

KEEP GROWING

40 Should You Buy Another Business? 42 Five Holes That Could Sink Your Scaling Business 44 Baby Steps to Big Opportunities

ADDRESSING THE FUNDING GAP Increasing education about startup funding for both entrepreneurs and investors could help grow the local business ecosystem.

46 Go for Launch 47 Big Questions About Big Ideas 48 Renewal Notice

12 FEATURE

50 Business Growth Requires Outside-In Thinking 52 Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Innovate 54 Why Exporting Might Be Right for Your Company FINANCE

56 SBA Loans from A To Z

CONNECTION

58 Tips for Navigating SBA Financing for Acquisitions 59 SBA Preferred Lenders 60 How to Find the Right Private Investor for Your Small Business 62 Why Your Budget Isn’t Enough 8

CAPITAL

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Kansas City has made strides in funding opportunities but has room to grow.


NE W + E MERGI N G

ESTAB L IS H E D + GR OW I N G

R ES O U R C E D I R ECTO RY

18 A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Business Plans

40 Should You Buy Another Business?

98 Tools for Building Your Company

Turn your idea into reality

Risks and rewards of acquisition

Find resources available to help your business K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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TABLE OF CONTENTS // 2017-2018

63 Financing Options

CONTRACTING

64 Five Things You Need to Know About the Worth of Your Business

87 Teaming Up for Contracting Opportunities 88 How 8(a) Can Help Your Business

66 Six Questions You Should Ask a Factoring Company

90 Federal Certification Criteria

68 Glossary of Financial Terms

92 How Do I Put a Price Tag on My Business?

70 10 Ways to Excel in Marketing 72 Creating Sales Compensation Packages 74 ‘Sales—I Want to Think It Over’

PRODUCTION & GRAPHICS

95 Is There an Elephant in The Family Business?

78 Who Owns Your Company’s Social Media Accounts?

EDITORIAL

Katie Bean // Executive Vice President

93 How to Build a Business That Doesn’t Need You 94 Back to The Future of Business Succession Planning

76 Beyond Insights

ADMINISTRATIVE

Kelly Scanlon // Publisher Megan Scanlon // Operations and Events Manager

EXIT STRATEGIES

SALES + MARKETING

PRODUCED BY

Thinking Bigger Business Media Inc.

89 Selling to Big Business

Carolyn Addington // Production and Traffic Manager Kevin Fullerton // Design Consultant GUEST WRITERS

Caron Beesley, Chris Brown, Mike Brown, Erica Brune, Kelly Tyler Byrnes, Marvin Carolina Jr.,

POWER PEOPLE

Chris Conti, Anne Cull, Michelle Cunningham,

DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES

80 Consistency Is Key to Job Interview System

35 Business Incubators and Accelerators

81 Tools for Creating a Winning Internship Program

104 Resource Organizations

98 Matrix of Services

Brian Kearns, Shawn Kinkade, Stephanie A. Landis, David C. Long, Michelle Markey, Melissa Miller,

82 Could Your Business Continue Without a Key Employee?

120 Small Business Development Centers

83 Top Five Mistakes When Maintaining Employee Personnel Files

124 Regulatory and Compliance Information

121 Chambers of Commerce

Mike Montague, James Moser, Ben Olsen, Mary Ramm, Margaret Reynolds, Melissa Roberts, Stephen Roth, Sheila Seck, Tim Sernett,

125 Municipal Government Listings

84 The Dearly Departed

Kyle Danner, Nancy Dzurko, Denise E. Farris, Rebecca Gubbels, James Hart, Lora Jennings,

126 Targeted Industries and Audiences

Terry Staley, Daniel J. Stalp, Chris Steinlage, Valerie L. Vaughn, Belinda Waggoner, Dawn Wolfgram, Richard Wood, Michelle Word, Megan J. Zander P.O. Box 754, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66201-0754 (913) 432-6690 // (888) 432-6444 // FAX (913) 432-6676 // editor@ithinkbigger.com sales@ithinkbigger.com // iThinkBigger.com A WBENC-Certified Women’s Business Enterprise

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FOR ARTICLE REPRINTS

Now you can enjoy all the benefits of the Thinking Bigger Guide For KC Entrepreneurs with our digital edition. This convenient new format benefits entrepreneurs and business owners who are on the go. Access the latest Guide—as well as past issues—in one place.

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FEATURE STORY //

CAPITAL

CONNECTION It still has room to improve, but Kansas City has made strides in matching entrepreneurs with funding. BY KATIE BEAN

Kansas City’s goal is to be the most entrepreneurial city in America. But access to early

Today, FitzGerald is savvy about what kinds of investors to look for and how to stage funding and lack of education about make the company attractive to them. But investing and raising capital may be keeping in the beginning, he said, the company it from reaching this achievement. spent about 18 months “vacillating around,” “You can waste a ton of time trying to both find funding and trying to raise capital if refine its purpose. The Roeland you don’t have your Park company started out in game together,” said 2011 selling a line of vitamins. Kyle FitzGerald, An accelerator program CEO of Life Equals. in 2014 helped to bring everyFitzGerald has plenty of thing into focus for Life Equals. experience in the arena of “Companies or founders Ky searching for capital. In Novthat want to raise capital really d l le Fi tzGera ember 2016, Life Equals closed need to understand how that on $780,000 in seed funding. After process works. … You need to know meeting its milestones for the round, what is required for you to be able to legitFitzGerald met with investors and decided imately pitch for capital,” he said. “If not, to raise a second round of seed funding to you’re going to just waste precious months expand and increase the company’s value or years, like we did before we went before targeting a Series A round. through Spark Lab, to figure that out.” 12

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In 2016, Life Equals launched its Balance The Superfood Shot, which offers half a day’s serving of fruits and vegetables in one small bottle of organic juices. It’s on the shelves at many local grocery stores, and through Whole Foods Market, it is expanding into other regions. CREATING CAPITAL

According to a report commissioned by KCSourceLink—We Create Capital, published in September 2017—the challenges faced by FitzGerald are common to Kansas City-area entrepreneurs. The report listed several gaps that KC needs to fill in order to grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem: » Early stage funding » Angel investors » A more connected ecosystem of entrepreneurs and investors


Melissa Roberts works with entrepreneurs “We’ve made some significant progress on the capital pool, but we still have a lot daily in her role as vice president of comof work to do,” Roberts said. munications and outreach at the Enterprise Center of Johnson County. She concurs EARLY STAGE FUNDING with the findings. “If there’s still a gap to plug, “In Kansas City, the capital has it’s really at the seed stage,” been here. It’s existed for a very Roberts said. long time,” she said. “But the Roberts compared the way that we communicate entrepreneurial ecosystem to about the capital options a funnel, with many early that are available, and who’s stage businesses worthy of a right fit for whom, and investment at the top, and at what stage each kind of M fewer at each stage funneling e li s ts capital is appropriate—that has sa Rober down to commercialized companies. changed drastically over the last “While we’ve made great strides couple years. As a result, capital is in the seed investment space, there’s easier to find.” proportionally more companies that can be Kansas City has seen an overall increase seen as qualified for seed capital,” she said. of 290 percent in the amount of capital The KCSourceLink report indicated that available for entrepreneurs since 2013. in 2016, 88 companies raised $5.3 million

in seed capital investments in the metro area. That means KC is only halfway to its goal of increasing these early stage investments to $10 million per year by 2020. ECJC is helping to close that gap through a new fund established in 2017 through a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant. That grant will go toward a $5 million equity pre-seed fund. Startups will be able to receive money from the fund as long as they can find matching funds elsewhere, Roberts said. The new fund isn’t only about capital, Roberts said—it will signal to investors later in the pipeline that the company has been vetted and proven itself. ANGEL INVESTORS

Another area of improvement recommended the by report was to increase the number of angel investors in organized groups K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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FEATURE STORY // BY KATIE BEAN

to 240. KCSourceLink has tracked this information since it started the We Create Capital report in 2015, and the numbers are improving—they’ve grown from 140 to 200. What is an angel investor, exactly? “Angels are a particularly important group of investors that provide critical early stage funding,” said Laura Huang, an assistant professor of management and entrepreneurship at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Huang led a study of 1,659 accredited angel investors in the U.S. for a report called The American Angel. Angels are investing their own money and looking for high returns. About 55 percent of angel investors nationwide have experience as entrepreneurs, the report said. When angel investors come together as a group, their investing power increases and risk is spread out. Generally, a group has some mechanism to perform due diligence so investors don’t have to spend time on it themselves. Angel investment groups are growing in Kansas City. Mid-America Angels, based at the ECJC in Fairway, had enough interest from investors to form groups in Manhattan, Topeka and St. Joseph, Roberts said. Those chapters look at regional deals shared through a network. Roberts said MAA has ramped up its funding of startups—both the number of checks and the dollar amount are rising, she said. In addition, Roberts said, MAA closed more deals in the fourth quarter of 2017 than in all of 2016, when it closed $3.68 million in funding deals. A CONNECTED ECOSYSTEM

One other area in which the report recommends improvement is in helping entrepreneurs and investors find one another—and helping investors find other investors. It uses the phrase “networked capital.” Roberts described that as knowing what door to knock on: “Capital that’s active in the entrepreneurial community; capital that’s not—say, behind the door of an estate in Mission Hills.” FitzGerald said the accelerator program that Life Equals participated in helped him understand the value of networking, and it 14

290% INCREASE IN AVAILABLE CAPITAL FOR KANSAS CITY ENTREPRENEURS

Combines value of early-stage funds available to KC entrepreneurs. Data tracked and compiled by KCSourceLink. Source: Various public sources and private databases.

also introduced him to potential investors. It also taught him to be wary of less experienced “lone wolf” investors, he said. In his experience, working with angel groups streamlines the process and speeds up the timeline for investment. KEEP IT GROWING

What else will it take to grow Kansas City’s funding scene? More entrepreneurs —and more time. According to The American Angel report, entrepreneurs tend to become active investors, writing more and larger checks. FitzGerald hopes to follow in that path. “Having gone through the process, I can’t wait to be an accredited investor so I can put money into the right venture capital fund,” he said. “There’s nowhere else in the

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investment market where you can have outsized returns and truly beat the market.” As for encouraging others to become investors, FitzGerald said success stories like Zoloz, known as EyeVerify when it sold to Ant Financial for a reported $100 million in 2016, stoke interest. “The fastest way to get someone to cut a check is to convince them they’re going to make a lot of money and show them some kind of proof that it happened or it’s going to happen,” he said.

Katie Bean is the Executive Vice President at Thinking Bigger Business Media. (913) 432-6690 // kbean@ithinkbigger.com


S M A R T C O M PA N I E S T H I N K I N G B I G G E R ®

K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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NEW & EMERGING // BUSINESS BASICS

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Business Plans Your plan will help you turn your idea into reality. ( BY JAMES HART )

f you’re someone who hated writing I term papers in school, it’s easy to understand why the prospect of creating a business plan puts your inner sophomore on edge. But that’s the wrong way to look at business plans. Your plan is a blueprint for taking the idea—the one that you can’t stop thinking about—and turning it into a real, functioning company. Plus, you’ll probably be forced to create a business plan anyway. Even if you bootstrap your company’s launch, you’ll likely need to seek outside funding at some point. Your banker or your investors will almost always want to see a written plan before they say yes. But there’s an even more important reader to keep in mind: you! By writing a business plan, you’ll be forcing yourself to do the hard work of research and answer important questions that you might otherwise put off. This process will help you crystallize exactly how you want your company to run. It might lead you to toss out ideas that don’t hold up under scrutiny. Starting a business can be a high-risk endeavor. By completing a business plan, you shift the odds a little more in your favor. WHAT DOES A BUSINESS PLAN COVER?

Good news: There’s no one perfect way to write a business plan. In fact, as you look at business plans that others have prepared— which is a really good idea, by the way— 18

you’ll notice that all of them have their own ideas as far as structure and content go. However, most successful plans do share the following sections: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY // This is a quick

summary of your company, what it does, who it serves and why it’s going to succeed. This usually runs about a page—it’s sort of a teaser for the rest of the plan. In fact, many folks like to write the rest of their plan first, then double back and write the summary. If you’re seeking a bank loan or an investment, you should quickly state how much you need and how you’ll use it. MARKET ANALYSIS //

Who’s your target customer? How many of them are out there? Is there a particular geographic or demographic niche you’re trying to hit? Who is your competition? It pays to be specific when you’re defining your market. “Everybody” is not a realistic target audience. By narrowing your focus, you can direct your marketing and advertising muscle to where it’ll do the most good. Kansas City is lucky: Our local libraries have excellent business research departments stocked with powerful databases. You can get detailed numbers on how many of your ideal customers are out there. When it’s time to do market research, ask your librarian for a hand. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES // What are you

selling? Could be a physical product, could be a service. Some companies do very well by offering a mix of products and services, like the gardening store that hosts classes or takes on landscaping jobs. Why will customers want your particular lineup? How is it better than your competitors’?

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SALES AND MARKETING // It’s not enough to

have the world’s greatest product if nobody knows you’re alive. You have to put together a sales and marketing plan. How much will you charge, and how does that compare to competitors? You might consider a good-better-best approach. That is, offer different levels of service for different prices. That way, you capture buyers in a range of income levels. How will you get the word out? You have a range of options, including but not limited to paid advertising, paid search, social media, email marketing and more. And if you’re selling products, where will customers be able to buy from you? Brick-andmortar shop? Trade shows? Online? Through a wholesale partner? MANAGEMENT AND BUSINESS STRUCTURE //

This is where you introduce the team that’ll be running your business and detail their experience. That includes owners and key managers. And if you start as a one-man band, that’s okay, too. One way to look a little “bigger” is to talk about your advisory board here, if you have one. How is your company going to be structured? As an LLC, an S Corp, a C Corp, a partnership or a sole proprietorship? And if you have partners, who wants what percentage of the business? FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS // We saved this one

for last, but not because it’s less important. In fact, if you’re seeking funding, this section is what your lender or investor will read most intently. You should include, at bare minimum, a profit-and-loss projection and a cash-flow projection for the next 12 months—or longer, should your readership demand it. You might need to work up a balance sheet and a break-even analysis, as well. Don’t be surprised if your lender ask for financial statements and personal tax returns for you and the other owners. If you’re seeking funding, state how much you’ll need and exactly how it’ll be put to work in the company. continued on page 96 » James Hart is a freelance writer based in Kansas City.


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NEW & EMERGING // BUSINESS BASICS

The Risks and Rewards of Small Business Let’s take a look at the wide expanse of entrepreneurial risk and reward and see where you might fit on the Risky Business Scale.

of doing something. This person typically is willing to go against the grain and is comfortable working alone or in a small team. Startup entrepreneurs also tend to be excitement junkies. They are focused, determined and willing to go through, under or around any wall of business adversity. These folks have guts, nerve, grit and—if possible—relatively deep pockets. Money is hard to get when you’re a young business without a track record. The great thing about starting a business is that you gain skills you can apply to starting others. Many existing companies use a “startup mind-set” to launch new services and new products.

START YOUR OWN BUSINESS

BUY AN EXISTING BUSINESS

What kind of venture is the best choice for you?

( BY RICHARD WOOD )

here’s no such thing as a sure thing T in business. You will always, always face risk. But there are different levels of risk, depending on the type of venture you choose. If you are considering starting a business, or buying an existing business, or becoming a franchisee, it is essential that you assess your own tolerance for risk first. The good news is that, while all businesses have risk, they also come with opportunity. 20

For those who are the most tolerant of the unknown, a startup might be the perfect fit. It also helps to be a bit of a visionary. This type of entrepreneur can identify a problem and develop a new solution. Sometimes they can succeed by coming up with a better way

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If you’re seeking a little more security, there are a lot of benefits to buying an existing business: existing customers, existing staff and an existing system for generating revenue. Someone else has already set up your payroll and found a


building. Plus, an existing business has a track record of sales, income and cash flow, which might make it easier to borrow money from the bank. You also have the freedom to make your own changes to that business. You could tweak details, clean up operations and run things even better. One word of advice: The more you know the business sector you’re buying into, the better deal you will strike with the previous owner. There will be less chance for risky surprises. Once you buy one business, you might decide to buy others—a powerful way to achieve economies of scale and grow even faster. Mergers and acquisitions are an effective strategy for corporations. Why shouldn’t you take advantage, too? BECOME A FRANCHISEE

Some entrepreneurs might not feel comfortable launching a startup or buying an existing business. They might be better off buying into an existing franchise. The franchise model is not as sexy, glamourous or cool, but it is entrepreneurial just the same. And because of the support of the franchisor, it is potentially less risky. This support may come in the form of a time-tested business model and training. Since most elements of franchising are prepackaged and prescribed, this type of entrepreneurship has less owner personalization in it. Franchisees may be told how to set up their operations and may be given required technology and controlled marketing. Sometimes loans are available from the franchisor, but there is also a franchise and marketing fee. Most franchisees also pay a continuing royalty—a percentage of their sales—to the franchisor. Franchises come with numerous opportunities for growth. You could open multiple units in your region or in other territories, or you could become a franchisee for multiple brands. Who knows? You could dream up your own concept and become a franchisor. WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NEXT?

One suggestion is to investigate and “try a business on for size” by getting a job or volunteering in the industry that interests you.

DO YOUR HOMEWORK. UNDERSTAND YOURSELF AND YOUR TOLERANCE FOR RISK. THAT WAY, YOU’LL BE READY TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR OPPORTUNITIES. Kansas City is also home to several free resources that offer free or low-cost coaching and training for new and aspiring business owners. The SBA-backed Small Business & Technology Development Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College are great places to start. Entrepreneurship is exciting and dynamic— and it also can be turbulent and chaotic. One way to control and balance these conflicting elements is to manage risk up front before

you invest in a concept. Successful entrepreneurs already know the worst that can happen before they begin their enterprise. So, do your homework. Understand yourself and your tolerance for risk. That way, you’ll be ready to make the most of your opportunities. Richard Wood is a former business development consultant with the University of Missouri-Kansas City Small Business & Technology Development Center, which offers coaching and training to new and established business owners. He has served in executive roles with Eagle Datagistics, Pizza Hut, Holiday Inn and other companies.

Business Resource Center

816-513-2492 • kcmo.gov/kcbizcare HELPING YOU WITH YOUR SMALL BUSINESS NEEDS

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NEW & EMERGING // BUSINESS BASICS

Business Entity Comparisons TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP

All decisions made by the one owner.

Owner has personal liability for all business debts.

Business income is taxed to owner on personal return. Owner also pays self-employment taxes on income.

Accomplished through sale of assets used for business.

Structure can be very flexible as set forth in written partnership agreement. Without agreement, partners have equal voting and financial rights.

All partners have personal liability for partnership debts once partnership assets are exhausted. Creditors may collect from any partner.

Partnership reports income, but owners pay taxes personally based upon their ownership percentage or as provided in partnership agreement. Self-employment taxes paid on owner’s share of income.

A general partner is designated to operate business. Limited partners have restrictions on level of involvement.

General partner has personal liability for partnership debts. Limited partners have no personal liability for partnership debts.

Less flexible than partnerships. Formal structure must be followed. Stock ownership percentage controls voting and distribution of dividends.

LIMITED LIABIL ITY C OM PAN Y

S-C OR P

S O LE PRO PRIE TO RS HIP

INCOME TAX TREATMENT

GENERAL PA RT N E RS H IP

OWNER’S LIABILITY

LIMITE D PARTN E R SHIP

FLEXIBILITY

C -C OR P

S

22

Same as C-Corp.

Very flexible. Control may be vested in members or managers. Voting power and share of profits not necessarily tied to ownership percentage.

ANNUAL REQUIREMENTS

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

No annual report required.

In Missouri, fictitious name registration required if using name other than own. Kansas has no fictitious name registration requirements.

Without partnership agreement, partnership dissolves when partner transfers ownership. Partnership agreement permits transfer of all or some rights with consent of existing partners.

No annual report required.

No registration other than fictitious name in Missouri. Partnership agreement should be written to address death, disability, divorce, bankruptcy and deadlock situations; division of profits and losses; and ownership transfer issues.

Same as general partnership.

Same as general partnership.

Annual report must be filed with secretary of state.

Registration with secretary of state is required. Name must include “Limited Partnership” or “LP” to provide notice of limited liability.

Owners generally not liable for business debts, unless they guarantee corporate obligations, personally incur the liability or liability involves withheld taxes.

C-Corp pays income tax at corporate level. Owners pay income tax when dividends are distributed. Low marginal corporate tax rate and savings for reinvestment may be favorable, but double taxation is often a disadvantage.

Shares easily transferred. Shareholders may restrict transfer of shares through a stock restriction agreement.

Annual report must be filed with secretary of state. Annual meetings of shareholders and directors are required.

Registration with secretary of state, articles of incorporation, bylaws, board of directors are required. Name must include “Incorporated,” “Inc.,” “Corporation,” “Corp.,” “Limited” or “Ltd.” to provide notice of corporate existence.

Same as C-Corp.

S-Corp reports income, but owners pay taxes personally based upon their ownership percentage. Employment-related taxes may be reduced in some situations.

Same as C-Corp, but transfers to parties not eligible for S-Corp ownership will force S-Corp to forfeit its elected tax treatment.

Same as C-Corp.

Same as C-Corp, but restrictions on ownership: no more than 100 shareholders; no nonresident aliens; one class of stock. Timely election of S-Corp with IRS required.

Same as C-Corp.

One-owner LLCs generally taxed as sole proprietorships. LLCs may elect to be taxed as partnerships, C-Corps or S-Corps.

Operating agreement usually contains provisions similar to partnership agreement.

Annual report required in Kansas, not Missouri. Annual meeting of members only if required in operating agreement.

Registration with secretary of state, articles of organization, operating agreement are required. Name must include “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC” or “L.L.C.” to provide notice of LLC existence.

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NEW & EMERGING // BUSINESS BASICS

5 Things You Need in Contractor Agreements How to build an agreement that works for you.

( BY CHRIS BROWN )

ccording to research by Upwork and Freelancers Union, more than 50 percent of U.S. workers will be independent contractors by 2027. Unlike employees, contractors decide when and where they work, what equipment they use and whether to use subcontractors.

A

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Further, while you probably don’t have employment contracts with most of your employees, it is critical that you have written contracts with your contractors because your ability to monitor their performance, terminate their services and own the intellectual property they create, will largely be dictated by contract law, not employment regulations. Perhaps the most practical approach for startups and small businesses is to utilize a master services agreement (MSA) with one or more attached statements of work (SOW).

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The MSA will outline the key legal terms that don’t change often while the SOW will outline the services and payment terms that change from project to project and contractor to contractor. Each SOW is attached to and governed by the MSA. Since it is inevitable that you will find yourself in a dispute with a contractor at some point, you should work with an attorney to reduce your risk by creating a customized, and thorough, contractor agreement template that aligns with your business operations. That way, when the


dispute arises, you’ll have a formal contract in place that can be used to speed up the dispute resolution process. Here are five things your independent contractor agreement template should contain:

1

TERM AND TERMINATION

Make it clear how long the MSA will last and how and when each party may terminate the MSA. It is common for MSAs to have an initial term of one to three years with some kind of renewal mechanism. For termination, make sure you have a termination right in case you no longer want or need the contractor’s services, and always limit your contractor’s termination right to require 30 or 60 days’ notice to prevent a burden on your operations if the contractor walks away. Alternatively, you can prevent them from terminating altogether. Last, outline what happens upon termination—for example, describe how the final

ACCORDING TO RESEARCH BY UPWORK AND FREELANCERS UNION, MORE THAN 50 PERCENT OF U.S. WORKERS WILL BE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS BY 2027.

payment process will work and how long the contractor has to deliver the work product.

2

SERVICES AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

The contractor’s services will most often be outlined in individual SOWs. You should be explicit about what you expect the contractor to perform—include deadlines, key performance indicators, app functionality, etc. This is also a good place to include a provision regarding the use of subcontractors. Sometimes they are expressly prohibited. Other times they are allowed but only with your written consent. Most importantly, always include a section in the MSA that unambiguously states that all work product and associated intellectual property created under the contract will be owned by you, not the contractor. Without this language, the contractor will have a very strong argument that he or she owns all copyright associated with the work product they create.

3

RESTRICTIVE COVENANTS

If confidential information is changing hands, make sure your MSA includes a section on confidentiality that prohibits your contractor from using or disclosing your confidential information. Further, if your contractor will have direct contact with your clients or employees, you might include nonsolicitation terms to restrict the contractor from soliciting your clients or employees. In most situations, the nondisclosure obligation will survive the termination of the agreement for about five years, while the nonsolicitation obligation will survive for between one and three years.

4

PAYMENT TERMS

5

CONTRACTOR STATUS AND LEGAL TERMS

While each SOW can include projectspecific payment terms, you should consider including default invoice and payment terms in the MSA itself. Most common is a requirement that the contractor submit invoices with net 30 payment terms. If you change the default terms in a SOW, make sure you do so using unambiguous language. State when and how payments are to be made, whether payments are refundable deposits, whether they are dependent on the contractor hitting certain milestones, etc.

Last, be sure your contractor agreement explicitly states that the contractor is, in fact, an independent contractor. It should state that the contractor will be liable for his or her own tax obligations and insurance needs, and it should require the contractor to indemnify you for anything he or she does wrong, including failure to pay taxes. As with all contracts, it should also end with the “boilerplate” legal terms such as nonassignment, nonwaiver, governing law, etc. Together with your lawyer, you should be able to create a reliable, and reusable, contractor agreement template to help your business grow. This article is very general in nature and does not constitute legal advice. Readers with legal questions should consult with an attorney prior to making any legal decisions. Chris Brown is the founder of Venture Legal, a Kansas City law firm serving the entrepreneurial community; Contract Canvas, a digital contract platform for freelancers; and b.Legal Marketing, a website development for small law firms. www.csb.me // @CSBCounsel K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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NEW & EMERGING // BUSINESS BASICS

Business Regulations Learn about legal requirements before opening your business, and identify all the costs. Some aren’t just startup expenses—they become an ongoing cost of doing business; put them in your annual operating budget and create a calendar of dates when taxes and licenses are due for renewal and payment. CITY

S

Contact city hall, where offices: W HAT ARE T HE R EQUI REMENT S OF THE L O CAL E W HERE YO U PLAN TO O PERAT E YOUR BU S I N ES S ?

DO AN Y GOVERN MENT REG U L AT I O NS OR LIC EN S I N G R EQUI REMENT S AFFE C T YO U ?

DO YO U N EED TO REG I S T ER YOUR BU S I N ES S ?

COUNTY

STATE

» Issue business permits/guidelines, occupational licenses and zoning clearances. » Inform you of additional permits and clearances needed (e.g., from health department, fire department, etc.). If you plan to be home-based, investigate any applicable limitations in your homeowners association covenants.

Contact your state to determine if you have any industry-specific licensing requirements. States generally certify or license certain occupations and activities. Some licenses require education and experience, and some require testing.

Check with your state clearinghouse to determine if any federal regulations will apply to your business (e.g., health and safety requirements, environmental regulations).

Contact your city hall and county courthouse—ask for the department that deals with registering small businesses. (In the county, this is often the assessor or the finance department.) You may need to: » Register your fictitious name. » Register business property for tax purposes. » Apply for a merchant’s license if you sell tangible items.

Register the form of business under which you will operate—sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or corporation—by filing the appropriate documents with the state.

Register as an employer, if applicable. Employers must obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS. This can be done by calling 1-800-829-4933 or by visiting www.irs.gov.

• •

Contact city hall for information regarding tax obligations to the city.

WHAT ARE YO U R TAX O BL I G AT I O N S ?

FEDERAL

Contact your state for information regarding corporate and income taxes.

Businesses making sales to the final consumer must secure a sales tax number and collect sales tax. Kansas and Missouri have their own requirements on what is subject to sales tax (commonly tangible goods and certain services). Contact the department of revenue (MO 573-751-5860; KS 785-368-8222).

Missouri and Kansas have an income tax on wages; employees need to obtain a state tax withholding number. Contact the department of revenue at the numbers listed above.

Inquire about unemployment insurance (MO 573-751-3215; KS 785-296-5027) and worker’s compensation (MO 573-751-4231; KS 785-296-4000).

For more information on federal tax regulations, go to www.irs.gov/businesses.

For more information about specific state registration and tax requirements, visit:

KANSAS // www.kansascommerce.com MISSOURI // www.missouribusiness.net or www.sos.mo.gov

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27


NEW & EMERGING // STARTUPS

How Do I Know If My Small Business Idea Is a Winner? Three steps to being sure about your concept.

( BY STEPHANIE A. LANDIS )

“Y

ou should so do that!” How many times have you been talking with your friends or family about the concept for a business and heard that response? You might even feel excited enough to quit your job and pursue the idea on a full-time basis. Not so fast! According to Bloomberg, eight out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. How do you make sure you are one of the two that survive? By researching, planning and implementing the concept in a way that allows for profit and growth. You need to complete a basic feasibility study that looks at your proof of concept, value proposition and break-even point.

1

KNOW YOUR CONCEPT

Start by answering the fundamental questions: what, who, why, when, where and how much. What problem is your product or service solving? Clearly define the “pain” in the market, and identify how the features of your concept solve that pain. Who is your ideal customer? What does your customer look like and is there enough of them? Consumers can be defined by their gender, age, interests, where they live and what work they do. If your customers are businesses, target a particular industry or size based on revenue, number of employees, location or even years in business. An inch wide and mile deep 28

niche is better than trying to be everything to everyone. Why would they want your concept? Features tell, but benefits sell, so you need to clearly articulate the benefit derived from the features of your concept. When does your ideal customer need your concept? Is it seasonal? Is it needed at a specific time of day? Where will your ideal customer find your concept, and how will you deliver it? How much will it cost? According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 46 percent of business that fail do so as a result of emotional pricing or no knowledge of pricing. Too many small businesses underprice their goods and services, thinking that they must do so to be competitive. Pricing too low can confuse the customer into inaction and wipe out any potential profits. Price too high, though, and you may no longer be competitive. Once you have answered these questions, it is a good idea to test your concept. Some ways to test are to talk to friends and family, to review Google Trends, or to attend shows or small markets. In doing this, you will determine the merit of your initial assessment. Do all this, and you’ll have developed your proof of concept.

2

they? How will they react when you enter the market? What changes do you foresee in the industry that will alter the competitive landscape? In identifying your competition, look to your direct competitors as well as your indirect competitors. For example, a bowling alley would identify other alleys as their direct competition, but indirect competition exists in any local business where consumers could spend their entertainment dollars. You must identify how you are different from your direct and indirect competitors, and determine why your ideal customer would choose you over them. This is your value proposition.

3

KNOW YOUR NUMBERS

According to Forbes magazine, there are many reasons businesses fail to succeed, but one of the most common is that they simply run out of money. Want to avoid this fate? Then make sure you know your company’s break-even point—that is, how much gross profit (the difference between your sale price and the cost of the goods themselves) will you need to generate in order to cover the fixed expenses of your business and your life? The fixed costs can include rents, salaries, utilities, insurance, advertising and salaries— including your own. The good news is that fixed costs don’t vary much. The bad news is they’re a constant, recurring part of your life. And speaking of your life, no one knows better than you what you need to live on, but starting a business takes sacrifice. Be realistic, cover yourself and try not to live higher than the business can sustain. Let’s calculate the break-even point for a hypothetical restaurant. The ingredients represent 38 cents of every dollar in revenue. Direct labor—the continued on page 96 »

KNOW YOUR COMPETITION

Sam Walton once said, “Most everything I’ve done, I’ve copied from somebody else.” Therefore, it is critical that you know and learn from your competition. Who are

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Stephanie A. Landis is a business consultant with the Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College. The JCCC SBDC offers training and one-on-one counseling to support local business owners, no matter if they’re just starting out or fully operational. www.jccc.edu/ksbdc


K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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NEW & EMERGING // STARTUPS

When Should I Quit My Job? Four questions you should answer before taking the leap.

( BY MICHELE MARKEY )

f you are thinking about starting a business, perhaps the most important question you will ever ask yourself occurs at this crossroads: “Should I quit my job?” The possibility of leaving your job may inspire you to dream. You might fantasize about the freedom that comes with being your own boss. You may also imagine the satisfaction of having more control over your life. Both of these are intriguing possibilities. However, in addition to being a bold dreamer, you must also be a practical realist. Quitting your job is a big decision. Applying an objective lens to the following questions may help you decide if leaving your job is the right choice.

I

DO YOU HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN?

Your business idea might take the world by storm. But just having an idea isn’t enough. Before resigning to focus on your business, you need to formulate a comprehensive plan. An effective business plan will give you a blueprint for the unpredictable road ahead of you. It will also help you measure your competition, determine the size of your target market and plan for unexpected circumstances. This is your chance to shine a bright light on your idea and test the concept. Be rigorous in your examination. Not every idea turns 30

into a successful business. If your idea lacks a customer base or the market is saturated with competitors, it’s better to discover these facts before leaving your job. ARE YOU PASSIONATE ABOUT YOUR IDEA?

While it’s important to focus on the profit, don’t forget to follow your passion. Running your business may take you on an emotional roller coaster, so if you are only doing it for the money, you might as well continue to work for someone else. Some days owning your own business will bring you great satisfaction. On other days, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work that must be completed. This is when focusing on your passion will prove helpful. Some entrepreneurs have an affinity for helping others. Some business owners enjoy working with their hands. Still others possess an intricate knowledge of a topic they enjoy sharing with the world. ARE YOUR FINANCES IN ORDER?

Ideas for launching new companies are everywhere, but your business concept must match both your personal vision and your pocketbook. To assure that your business concept matches available funds, you must

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be as realistic and accurate as possible with startup estimates. Some entrepreneurs try to force the budget process to match the amount of money they have available. Your startup cost estimates—not your current available funds—should reveal how much money the business concept will require. When thinking about starting a business, keep an eye toward being frugal where you can. If office space is too expensive at the start, for instance, consider working from your home. Additionally, there are numerous freelance websites offering affordable help on everything from logo creation, content development and business plans. ARE YOU PREPARED FOR THE TIME COMMITMENT?

Budgeting your time is as important as budgeting your finances. When your business starts up, it’s likely you’ll be working more


hours than you do at your current job. As your focus switches to the needs of your customer, you may have to give up activities you enjoy. New business owners frequently sacrifice their weekends and vacations to run their business. Are you willing to make such sacrifices? If so, communicate your new business schedule to your friends and loved ones. They will appreciate your honesty. As your business grows, you may have the resources to hire employees. Regardless, you’ll need to be a master at managing your time. Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. There will be time and monetary demands placed on you from Day One. However, as you consider these topics, remember there has never been a better time to start a business. There are more tools and resources available to a potential business owner today than at any time in history.

Equipped with a plan for success and a passion for the cause, you will begin your role as an entrepreneur on the right path. And soon, your business will seem less like an idea and more like a reality.

Michele Markey is the editor of Kauffman FastTrac, an entrepreneurship training program offered by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. www.fasttrac.org

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K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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NEW & EMERGING // STARTUPS

The Founder’s Dilemma Avoiding the pitfalls of a partnership.

choosing a partner who will help make your business successful. 1. CONSIDER YOUR OWN STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES //

( BY SHEILA SECK )

ost founders like the idea that a partnership brings synergies to the business: shared risk, complementary skills, shared intellectual and financial capital and someone to keep from going it alone. It’s easy to be optimistic and avoid seeing your partners’ weaknesses in the excitement of launching a business; however, as time goes on, differences in values, goals for the business, work styles, risk tolerance and skills all become apparent—sometimes causing a complete breakdown of the partnership relationship. Choosing a partner is one of the most important decisions an entrepreneur makes. These six steps can help you navigate

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Figure out your strongest capabilities, and consider only partners who complement your strengths. Having partners with the same skills and talents may limit the growth of the business. Partners with the same talents may want to work on the same area of the business, leaving other key areas without adequate attention. 2. DECIDE IF YOU NEED A PARTNER //

Pick a partner who can make a valuable ongoing contribution to the business. Otherwise, resentment builds up between those who are carrying their weight and others who aren’t. Sometimes entrepreneurs team up with a partner to solve a short-term problem such as teaming up with a software programmer to create software or a website critical to the business. After the initial need is resolved,

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the founder could have a partner who no longer shares any workload but gets significant benefits from the ongoing operations of the business. In this instance, the founder could have hired the programmer and maintained full ownership. 3. PICK A CREDIBLE PARTNER //

Once you’ve decided you need a partner, pick one that works best for the business. Providing money is a common way for a partner to help a business; however, a partner can make other valuable contributions. A partner with a vast network of business connections, industry relationships, a book of business, management experience or other credentials or expertise may greatly increase the ability of the company to achieve its long-term goals. 4. ALIGN YOUR GOALS FOR THE BUSINESS //

Each partner should have similar goals for the business. Accordingly, partners should consider their (1) ability to contribute funds,


BRINGING ON THE RIGHT PARTNER CAN ALLOW YOUR BUSINESS TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS BEYOND WHAT YOU ARE CAPABLE OF ON YOUR OWN.

ment setting forth the relationship, including an exit strategy, is extremely important to clarify the business relationship prior to conflicts arising. The agreement between the partners should address capital contributions, payment of distributions, responsibilities of partners, exit situations and buy/sell events upon triggering events such as the death, disability or divorce of a partner. BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER

If you are thinking about adding a partner to your business venture, pick well. Do your

(2) desire to devote time to the business, (3) risk tolerance and (4) work styles. Most importantly, you and your potential partner should share basic ethical values. Trust is essential in a partnership. Picking a partner with questionable morals can lead to devastating results, such as a loss of money if the partner steals ideas or clients to launch a competing business, or costly litigation if the partner breaks laws. 5. DECIDE WHO DOES WHAT, BUT BE FLEXIBLE

//

Establish clear roles, responsibilities and expectations for each partner from the beginning of the relationship. If you are going to share part of the same responsibilities, put it in writing. However, in most new companies, partners perform a variety of tasks, so the division of responsibilities may not be clear. As the business grows, the partners should discuss how their roles may be changing in the business.

due diligence, and make sure everything is in writing. While choosing a bad partner could destroy your business, bringing on the right partner can allow your business to achieve success beyond what you are capable of on your own. Sheila Seck is founder and managing partner of Seck & Associates, a law firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions, startups, corporate counsel, intellectual property, securities and private equity. She enjoys working with startups and investors in a variety of investment transactions. (913) 815-8485// sseck@seckassociates.com // www.seckassociates.com

Want to

GIVE BACK Looking for something to do? Bring your talents to SCORE and volunteer. You will share your skills and expertise helping small businesses achieve success. Come work with other enthusiastic professionals. Join us at KansasCity.Score.org

6. PUT EVERYTHING IN WRITING //

Some partners do business on a handshake. Partners often trust their partner to do what is “right� in the event of conflict. A partnership agreement, shareholder agreement or other agree-

(816) 235-6675 K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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NEW & EMERGING // STARTUPS

Charting Your Course: Starting a Business EVALUATING YOUR BUSINESS READINESS

FINANCIAL FOUNDATIONS

» Assess your personal strengths and weaknesses » What skills do you bring to business ownership? » Identify your past jobs, hobbies and interests » Prepare a feasibility study by doing perliminary research

» Consult an attorney about the legal requirements

PLANNING FOR SUCCESS

» Create financial and personal goals » Prepare a draft of your written business plan » Address the impact of business ownership on your lifestyle » Get busines counseling or mentoring

(forming a corporation, LLC, etc.)

» Consult an accountant about the financial and tax requirements

» Determine the type of financing that best fits your situation » Develop a strong relationship with a banker » Set up a business checking account » Finalize a written business plan, including capital requirements » Establish a line of credit LEGAL REQUIREMENTS AND TAX CONSIDERATIONS

» Select and register the name of the business » Obtain a state sales tax number and determine other state requirements

» Obtain information about federal tax regulations » Get information about other employment taxes and forms » Apply for state workers’ compensation » Obtain a Federal Identification Number » Determine which state-level licenses, fees and permits pertain LOCATION AND REGULATIONS

» Determine applicable environmental regulations » Lease office space » Check zoning and obtain building permits » Apply for a local business license » Obtain business insurance » Analyze liability exposure and get insurance coverage MARKETING

» Create business materials (logo, business cards, etc.) » Develop a marketing plan for products and services 34

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NEW & EMERGING // STARTUPS

Business Incubators and Accelerators Business incubators and accelerators provide service and support to young companies in an effort to accelerate their development. Incubators vary in structure, the services they offer and the types of clients they serve. Typical services include office space with administrative and technolog support, business guidance and mentoring, marketing assistance, accounting and financial management. Some incubators also have investment funds or connect clients with outside investors. BETABLOX 12022 Blue Valley Pkwy., Overland Park Weston Bergmann weston@betablox.com www.betablox.com An incubator and accelerator that helps entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground. About 10 founders are selected at the start of each quarter for a six-month program. After that, entrepreneurs still receive several other services— mentors, classes, and alumni alliance and more—but with an emphasis on scaling. BIOSCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS CENTER 2029 Becker Dr., Lawrence Michael Smithyman (785) 832-2110 smithyman@btbcku.com 2002 W. 39th Ave., Kansas City, Kan. G.R. Underwood grunderwood@btbcku.xom or Ruth Bucey (913) 945-6779 rbucey@btbcku.com BTBC operates incubator facilities in Lawrence and at the Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. Features include lab and office space, access to the University of Kansas resources, and assistance with capital raising and other business concerns. BLOCH VENTURE HUB 4328 Madison Ave., Kansas City, Mo. Ben Gruber (816) 682-0379 gruberb@umkc.edu bloch3.umkc.edu/entrepreneurship/ bloch-venture-hub The UMKC Bloch Venture Hub is a community resource for Kansas City-area entrepreneurs. It offers three levels: EntreLab, Startup Incubator and Scale-Up Incubator. BLUE HILLS CONTRACTOR INCUBATOR 5008 Prospect Ave., Kansas City, Mo. Prentiss Earl III (816) 333-7870 www.bhcsmo.org/about-contractorincubator Serves small and medium-size contracting firms by providing office space, training opportunities and relationships.

ENNOVATION CENTER 201 N. Forest Ave., Ste. 130, Independence Xander Winkler (816) 463-3532 info@ennovationcenter.com www.ennovationcenter.com

INNOVATION STOCKYARD AT THE KIT BOND INCUBATOR 4221 Mitchell Ave., St. Joseph Sara Hagen (816) 749-4012 sara.hagen@innovationstockyard.com www.innovationstockyard.com

Serves the KC region by offering commercial kitchens, wet labs and office space for biotech, food, tech and other kinds of companies.

Focused on animal health and nutrition startups and emerging companies. Provides administrative services, business services and workforce development. Offers office, wet lab and clean-room facilities.

ENTERPRISE CENTER OF JOHNSON COUNTY 4220 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, Fairway Rick Vaughn (913) 438-2282 rvaughn@ecjc.com www.ecjc.com Nonprofit organization that connects entrepreneurs across the region to the resources needed to grow their businesses. It provides affordable office space, education, mentoring and connections to capital. FARM TO TABLE KITCHEN AT CITY MARKET 21 E. Third St., Kansas City, Mo. Jennifer Lewis (816) 842-1271 jlewis@thecitymarket.org www.thecitymarket.org/ farm-to-table-kitchen/overview Incubator for small businesses such as farmers’ market vendors, food trucks, caterers and more. Its facility is a commercially licensed kitchen at Kansas City’s City Market FOOD INNOVATION ACCELERATOR AT K-STATE OLATHE 22201 W. Innovation Dr., Olathe Bryan Severns (913) 307-7317 brysev@k-state.edu www.olathe.k-state.edu Offers a wide range of services to local food companies, including product development consulting, consumer panels, assistance with food safety and regulatory questions, and more.

KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE FOR COMMERCIALIZATION 2005 Research Park Drive, Manhattan (785) 532-3900 ic@k-state.edu www.k-state.edu/ic Provides opportunity assessment, strategic partnership design, technology acquisition, management, licensing and more. MU LIFE SCIENCE BUSINESS INCUBATOR AT MONSANTO PLACE 1601 S. Providence Rd., Columbia Bill Turpin or Quinten Messbarger (573) 884-0496 mumicincubator@missouri.edu www.missouriinnovation.com/ life-science-labspace Focused on the creation and attraction of new technology ventures to mid-Missouri. PROJECT UNITED KNOWLEDGE 4328 Madison Ave., Kansas City, Mo. Quest Moffat (816) 482-3144 brain@puklabs.com projectuk.org ProjectUK drives social, environmental and economic impact in Kansas City by incubating and accelerating ventures that have the potential to solve the community’s most pressing issues.

TECHSTARS KANSAS CITY ACCELERATOR WeWork Corrigan Station, 1828 Walnut St., Kansas City Lesa Mitchell lesa.mitchell@techstars.com www.techstars.com/programs/ kansas-city-program Technology-enabled startups with global potential are encouraged to apply regardless of industry focus for a three-month accelerator program. THE LEAN LAB 4049 Pennsylvania Ave., Ste. 301, Kansas City, Mo. Katie Boody (720) 234-6407 katie@theleanlab.org www.theleanlab.org Dedicated to fostering innovations in education. Lean Lab offers business development training and can help startups pilot-test their solutions in local schools. THINK BIG PARTNERS 1712 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. Laura Goede (816) 842-5244 laura.goede@thinkbigpartners.com www.thinkbigpartners.com Through its hybrid combination of a technology-focused accelerator, innovation center and coworking space, Think Big has created a community where early stage businesses find the necessary elements to launch, grow and succeed. UMKC ENTREPRENEURSHIP SCHOLARS 5108 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo. Ben Gruber (816)235-6200 gruberb@umkc.edu bloch3.umkc.edu/entrepreneurship/ entrepreneurship-scholars E-Scholars focuses on early stage ventures. The accelerator offers a cohort of both students and community members, a mentor network and academically grounded content. It is open to students of University of Missouri-Kansas City and other institutions, and individuals.

SPRINT ACCELERATOR 210 W. 19th Ter., Kansas City, Mo. Doug Dresslaer sprintaccel.com Sprint’s Corporate Accelerator program selects startups that align with the strategic goals of the sponsor companies for a 90-day program. It also offers free coworking hours on Wednesdays. K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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NEW & EMERGING // STARTUPS

What Investors Really Want to Know About Your Startup Master these four things before approaching investors.

( BY MELISSA ROBERTS )

ccording to conventional wisdom, A investors look for three things before putting money into an emerging business: a huge market, a problem-solving product with early indicators of traction and, above all, a confidence-inspiring team. While these three points are a good place to start, there are other details that are equally important. The reality of funding a growing business is much less like the glitz and glamour of “Shark Tank” and more reliant on the details. Often, the process starts with a one-on-one meeting, and it doesn’t escalate to a formal pitch until later. For those early meetings, as well as for the later, more formal pitches, here are a few less-often mentioned details that you should have a grasp of before approaching investors. This is by no means an exhaus36

tive list, but rather a few extra “things to know” that can help you excel. NO. 1 HOW TO DESCRIBE YOUR BUSINESS IN ONE SIMPLE SENTENCE

This is often called your “elevator pitch” or “wow statement.” It’s crucial to start every meeting, conversation or pitch with a basic, easy-to-understand description of the name of your business and what it does. This doesn’t have to be dramatic, but it does have to communicate the essence of what you do. For example, “Facebook is an online social network that makes it easy to connect with friends and loved ones.” This doesn’t describe all the details of how

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Facebook connects people or what makes it so easy, but it does give you the basic gist of what Facebook is and what its primary function is. NO. 2 A BASIC UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR COMPANY’S FINANCIAL HEALTH

Few people who start a business today have any formal training in finance. That shouldn’t stop you from understanding the details of your particular company’s finances. Before you can understand how much money your business needs to grow, you must understand the current state of your business. Different kinds of businesses require different metrics to describe performance. For instance, key performance indicators for a restaurant often look very different from those of a scalable technology-based business, like an app. But you should be able to describe if your business is profitable or not; if it’s not, why it isn’t; and when you project that it will generate profit. Because the details of these financial calculations can sometimes be complex, it’s worth investing the time to learn them inside and out. There are few things less confidence-inspiring than a CEO who turns to the CFO for help answering every question having to do with money.


businesses. The Enterprise Center of Johnson County offers regular workshops on establishing a valuation for your earlystage business. By coming to your next meeting prepared to answer questions about these four aspects of your business, you can set yourself up for success with investors. Even so, you’ll likely be asked a question that you can’t answer. When that happens, be honest, not defensive. Take it as an opportunity to follow up with that investor later. Successfully building relationships with investors isn’t about knowing it all, but rather showing a willingness to prepare, work hard and learn along the way.

SUCCESSFULLY BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH INVESTORS ISN’T ABOUT KNOWING IT ALL, BUT RATHER SHOWING A WILLINGNESS TO PREPARE, WORK HARD AND LEARN ALONG THE WAY. NO. 3 KNOWLEDGE OF YOUR ‘PROTECTABLE’ ADVANTAGES

NO. 4 A DEFENSIBLE ESTIMATE OF YOUR BUSINESS’S VALUE

Every successful business has some competitive advantage—whether that’s a higher degree of quality (such as great customer service), its location or a unique aspect of a product. Some businesses might even have a differentiator that is so unique, it is worthy of a patent. If this is the case for your business, you need to have that patent application in process, or have a plan to allocate some of the money raised toward beginning that process.

A consistent sticking point (on “Shark Tank,” as in reality) is often the valuation of a business—the amount of money the business is worth in its current state. Reaching an agreement on the valuation of a company is more art than science, and the biggest determining factor is often negotiating skills. But part of that negotiation is making the best case, grounded in evidence, for what you think a company is worth. This can be extremely technical for early-stage

Melissa Roberts is vice president of communications and outreach for the Enterprise Center of Johnson County, which offers training and other support to entrepreneurs and early-stage companies. (913) 438-2282 // www.ecjc.com

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // KEEP GROWING

Should You Buy Another Business? An acquisition can be a faster way to growth, if you manage risk wisely.

( BY VALERIE L. VAUGHN )

rowth through acquisition can be very good but, as with any business, there is risk. While entrepreneurs are a smart group of people, very few automatically know how to avoid risk when buying a business. Let’s look at some of the things you can do to maximize success as you grow your company by acquiring another.

You’ll need sufficient financial resources, time and personnel both during the acquisition and during the process of integrating the two companies.

THREE KEY QUESTIONS

HOW TO GET STARTED

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First, ask yourself the three questions below. Be brutally honest with yourself as you answer.

1

IS MY CURRENT COMPANY IN GOOD SHAPE?

Although there are ways to acquire other companies to improve your operational and financial issues, acquisition can also magnify flaws. If an unplanned opportunity to acquire a competitor presents itself, by all means consider it, but know that timing matters. A great acquisition when your company isn’t strong enough to absorb another can destroy both companies.

2

WHAT DO I HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH BY ACQUIRING ANOTHER COMPANY?

What is your long-term vision for the company and yourself? What is currently missing that can be acquired to help you achieve that vision? New products or services? New customers? Employee talent? Expansion into a new geography or industry?

3

DO I HAVE THE RESOURCES TO PULL THIS OFF?

Acquiring and integrating another company—while keeping your existing business successful—can be demanding. Don’t let your desire for expedited growth jeopardize your current business activities. 40

If your current company is strong enough to weather the process, and you have ample resources and a firm understanding of goals for the acquisition, it is time to get started. Assemble your team of advisers. While every deal has different requirements, your team will probably include an M&A professional to help identify and approach target companies, an accountant to help with financial due diligence, a management consultant to help assess the organizational and cultural fit of the two companies and an experienced transaction attorney. When you answered Question No. 2 earlier, you defined the specific characteristics of potential target companies, so you know what you’re seeking and the benefits a successful acquisition can bring. It may take some time to find the right company to acquire, but don’t rush your analysis and evaluation of candidates. Be patient. A good match will add to your company’s strengths and minimize its weaknesses. A bad match can undo what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. Once you’ve identified an acquisition target, take the time for continued assessment. Refer back to the list of specific characteristics you created while answering Question No. 2 and compare the target to your list. How closely does the target align with your growth vision?

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Your goals and initial due diligence will lead you to a price you are willing to offer. Unfortunately, most business owners overvalue their businesses, and acquirers frequently value the same company at far less. Work to understand what is important to the acquisition target company’s ownership, and rely on the expertise of your advisory team to help you structure a deal that works for all. It’s extremely important at this stage to remain focused on business needs. Don’t let emotion, excitement or ego lead you to overpay. STRONGER TOGETHER

If you do a search for the success rate of mergers and acquisitions, you’ll find that a very high percentage fail. Failure often occurs because a plan to integrate the companies is not well thought out or implemented. To increase your chance of success, work with ownership and leadership of the target to create an integration plan before you sign on the dotted line to finalize the transaction. Growth through acquisition is not without risk, but it can be a good way to build your company quickly. Buy another business when it fits with your long-term vision for your company and your personal goals. Just remember that a successful acquisition isn’t just defined by a good buy; a success is when the two companies are stronger together than they were apart. Valerie L. Vaughn is a certified business intermediary and a certified mergers and acquisitions professional with Apex Business Advisors, an Overland Park firm that assists with business sales, mergers and acquisitions. (913) 433-2315 // vvaughn@kcapex.com


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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // KEEP GROWING

5 Holes That Could Sink Your Scaling Business Does your business need some patching in these critical areas? ( BY CHRIS STEINLAGE )

hat sinks a small fishing boat W isn’t always a gaping rupture in the side. Rather, it’s a number of smaller, less obvious holes left unchecked. As single holes they have little impact, but combined they are more than the boat can handle to stay afloat. For businesses trying to scale, a similar progression can occur when issues are left unaddressed, and the

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business could meet the same unfortunate demise as the boat. It is the failure to recognize these smaller holes that that can often be most detrimental. With that in mind, here are five issues that can often challenge businesses trying to scale. Just like the small holes in a boat, they are not always easy to see. You may not have all of them, but failing to address even one may be sinking your business.

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HOLE IN CORE VALUES

Many businesses do a great job defining their values early on, but fail to breathe them into the business on a daily basis. Instead of becoming part of the fabric of the business, they get lost in the growth. Every employee should know the core values that will guide the business into perpetuity. A business that is scaling should hire, fire and review with a focus on core value alignment. It will fuel your company culture. Sometimes, the actions you’ll have to take to plug this hole will be difficult.


For example, you may need to let some long-term staff go if they aren’t on board with the changes that growth brings. HOLE IN MANAGEMENT TEAM

When a business is first getting started, often there’s an “all hands on deck” approach to getting things done. But as your business scales, no one will be clear about who is accountable for what if you continue to operate that way. Organizational charts with names in boxes are great for setting an overall structure of a business, but they do little to set the stage for the autonomy often required in a high-growth business. Consider dumping the traditional organization chart for an “accountability chart.” Every major function gets a box and one name and that person takes ownership for that role. Don’t sweat it if some names are in multiple boxes. As you grow and scale, you can simply replace names in boxes with new members of your team. A caveat here: The people you hired initially may not be the best choices to fill the management positions your growing company requires. Don’t make the mistake of promoting someone simply because of loyalty or longevity. HOLE IN PRODUCT OR SERVICE

Just because you love the new idea you’ve come up with to grow your company doesn’t mean the world will. It is a cruel reality. For a product or service to successfully scale, it first needs to be something that lots of people really want and are willing to pay for. There are three ingredients that are very indicative of a product’s or service’s potential to scale. Is it teachable, valuable and repeatable? If you answered “no” to any one of those, you may have a hole in what you’re trying to scale.

IT IS THE FAILURE TO RECOGNIZE THESE SMALLER HOLES THAT THAT CAN OFTEN BE MOST DETRIMENTAL. made sure it was the same no matter where customers bought it. If your processes are not documented, there is no way you can scale your business. HOLE IN FINANCES AND PROJECTIONS

Make sure you have a handle on your finances and projections. Cash flow planning is paramount for a business that is scaling up. This dragon has a lot of heads. You must understand your numbers enough

to know how financially sound your business is and if your results are meeting your projections. Also, companies in high-growth mode track different metrics. For example, a business in growth mode should be more concerned about the ratio of new customers to existing each month, not the actual number of new customers per month. These are only a handful of the many holes that can sink a business trying to scale. But, they can sink a company regardless of its industry. If you’re trying to scale and having issues navigating the waters to the next level, take a closer look under the deck to see if one of these five holes is letting water in your boat. Chris Steinlage is a certified professional business coach with Aspire Business Development. (913) 424-7637 // csteinlage@aspirekc.com

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // KEEP GROWING

Baby Steps to Big Opportunities The case for starting small with big ideas.

( BY REBECCA GUBBELS )

ou think you have a million-dollar idea, or at least one that will be a compelling business. You feel it in your bones. As tempting as it is to pour every ounce of energy and every cent you have into launching this new idea—whether it’s a new product, service or even an entire company—hold back.

Y

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Start slowly, and let the marketplace determine how quickly or slowly you grow. Let its clamoring for your products or service support your growth. After all, business expansion must be financially feasible to be sustainable. You don’t want to end up with equipment or payroll that you can’t afford. Starting with baby steps is a smarter way to work toward building a bigger small business. This isn’t always the most exciting story, but it’s also one that describes how many successful business owners started out.

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And even better? It can be your success story, too. GET FEEDBACK, MINIMIZE RISK

A while back, I had a client who came to me wanting advice on opening a familyfriendly Mexican restaurant. I had to ask him: How good are your recipes? His family likes his food, he said. Well, I like my aunt’s cooking, but it doesn’t mean she should open a restaurant. Back out he went and returned with recommendations from family and friends this time. Alas, he needed the opinions of those who couldn’t give a guacamole about his feelings. It’s critical to test your market before investing a lot of time and money into a business. Gather a focus group of real people, not just friends and family, and see what they think about your idea. Ask what they think the cost should be; that’ll help you determine your pricing and profit margin. Metaphorically, are you selling a $2 or a $10 taco? If it’s a $2 taco,


TAKING BABY STEPS TOWARD BUILDING YOUR BIG SMALL BUSINESS LETS YOU BE NIMBLE AND REGROUP WHEN NECESSARY WITH FEWER EMOTIONAL AND FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES. will you be able to make enough profit to sustain business in the long run? Whether you’re selling tacos or software, getting objective opinions helps minimize risk.

along the way. Then, once you know how, and if, the marketplace will respond, you can work your way up from there.

KEEP SLICING YOUR IDEA IN HALF

When starting any new venture, focus on, A, selling the products and services that you know the best and, B, that solve a problem. “What problem does your business idea solve?” is the first thing I ask clients. It’s all the better if you are truly enthusiastic about what you do. Nothing sells a small business at launch like your expertise and your brilliant solution to a real prob-

Before investing a huge amount of time and money, try to build the smallest possible version of your vision. Meaning your restaurant idea becomes a food truck. Your food truck then becomes a booth at your local farmer’s market or a catering operation. The idea is to start out as small as possible so you can test your products or services

TWO THINGS TO FOCUS ON

lem. If, and only if, you’re profitably solving a problem for the masses will investors’ money change from their hands to yours. Of course, enthusiasm isn’t enough to get a business off the ground. It must be tempered with the ability to accept reality and adjust accordingly when a plan doesn’t quite pan out as expected. Taking baby steps toward building your big small business lets you be nimble and regroup when necessary with fewer emotional and financial consequences. You’ll have proof of concept on which to build. By keeping overhead to a minimum, you’re more likely to recoup your initial investment sooner and use profit to fund sustainable growth.

Rebecca Gubbels is a business development officer with the UMKC Small Business and Technology Development Center. (816) 235-6075 // gubbelsr@umkc.edu

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // KEEP GROWING

different opinions, needs and values than the end user. Is the person who buys your product not the end user? You must become, or find, an expert in consumer targeting. WHO IS YOUR COMPETITION?

Go For Launch The most common mistakes businesses make when rolling out a new product.

( BY CHRIS CONTI )

ou’ve got a new product. You’re excited. You’ve worked out the operational kinks, and you know your costs, your manufacturing and shipping dates. You’re ready to start selling and profiting from all your work and preparation. But have you taken all the steps necessary to optimize your potential for success? Multiple research groups estimate that anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of new consumer products fail in the marketplace, even for companies that are experienced at launching products. How can this be? There are a few mistakes that are made all-too-often when creating, producing and launching a new product. But following the right series of steps can maximize success by bringing to light what others may fail to see, or not even know to look for.

Y

WHO IS YOUR CUSTOMER?

First and foremost, you must know your consumer target. The mistake a business 46

can make here is its people get so excited about a new concept or invention that they dive into production assuming demand will be there when it hits the market. But there are certain questions that must be answered before resources are spent on a new product. Most important of which is, “Who will buy it?” This may seem obvious, but too often businesses are surprised by who their consumer actually is. Ask yourself what problem your product solves for your customer. Once you know what the problem is, you can begin to identify the kind of consumer who is most likely to encounter this problem. Start your focus on people. Is the likely consumer of your new product male or female? Affluent or middle class? Is the problem seasonal? Regional? For example, if your product is intended to be used for exercise or athletics, it may be that the majority of users of your product are high school and college students. If this is the case, then it is likely not the student who is spending the money to purchase the product, but her mother. In this case, advertising, packaging and marketing efforts should not be focused on the user of the product, but her mother, who has

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Another common mistake is not knowing who your competition is. A business must conduct a marketplace assessment to see if and how the problem the new product solves is already being solved by other products. In which stores and websites are these products found? Which departments? And what prices do consumers pay for these items? Is your product worth more? Less? How does the expected price point affect your margin? IS YOUR PRODUCT APPEALING?

Finally, your new product must be appealing to your newly identified consumer. It must solve the problem in a pleasing way. Is your product relatively easy to use? Is it comfortable to handle? Is there a prestige factor to your new product? Does it feel high-end, or is it an economical solution compared to other products on the market? As you tackle the challenge of appeal, you must realize that appeal is subjective. Do some research with your new consumer, talk to her, ask her these questions and see what opinion trends emerge. Answering all these questions is essential to the success of the launch of your new product. It will define your price point, your packaging, your advertising targets, your points of purchase and more accurately estimate your sales. Let your consumer fine-tune your product for you, and you will find that the adjustments you make before you launch will create a product tailor-made to their needs. Give your new product the best possible chance to sell, and your business to grow. Chris Conti is a writer who partners with SoLVE, a Kansas City-based business consulting firm. At Solve, Teddi Hernandez and Aviva Ajmera consult with local businesses of all sizes and budgets to help them grow their customer base, develop their brands, and create and implement strategies for all types of products and services. www.solvekc.com


ESTABLISHED & GROWING // KEEP GROWING

Big Questions About Big Ideas Six things your employees need to know about your innovation strategy.

leads to big ideas. Instead, give your team creative-thinking questions appropriately for the innovation you are seeking. Then let them go to town answering the questions.

( BY MIKE BROWN )

WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTATIONS OR LIMITS? NO. 3

etting ready to unveil your new innovation strategy? Here are six things your employees will want to know. Are you prepared to answer their questions?

G

NO. 1 IS THIS INNOVATION PUSH JUST FOR THIS QUARTER OR THIS YEAR?

Your employees have been through the flavor-of-the-month strategy. Probably not at your company, but somewhere they’ve worked before, no doubt. They know innovation strategies come and go. They will want to know whether your innovation strategy is here to stay. Demonstrating that it is will require words as well as lots of actions. HOW INNOVATIVE DO YOU WANT US TO BE? NO. 2

The easy answer is to say you are looking for big ideas. Who doesn’t love big ideas? The problem: Asking for big ideas rarely

I know, I know. You want your employees to start with a clean sheet of paper as they imagine the future. Be honest, though. You’ve never given them free rein before to innovate. Do everyone a favor. Share goals, objectives and strategies for where you want to direct your innovation strategy. You’ll all be more successful. Pinky swear. NO. 4 WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH OUR IDEAS?

If you announce you want everyone to innovate, you need to have thought up front about how you are actually going to review and process the ideas your employees share. Have you figured that out? We didn’t think so. Identify the process, then make your big innovation strategy announcement. NO. 5 WILL I GET INTO TROUBLE IF I BREAK SOMETHING?

Your employees are concerned about getting into trouble. As much as you say

you want disruptive innovation, they have doubts. Heck, we were talking with a new CEO recently whose board told him to be innovative and to not mess anything up with the organization. He’s running the show and struggling to find the right balance. You can imagine how someone with less standing in the organization would struggle. Stake out a penalty-free space in which your team can experiment and break things. NO. 6 WHO OWNS MY IDEA IF IT TURNS INTO SOMETHING SUCCESSFUL?

I hate all the legal mumbo jumbo. But innovation is all fun until somebody’s idea starts generating lots of money, and you have to settle up equitably. Let your team know the rules. Who owns what? How much does everyone get paid for an idea that proves successful? It can seem premature to consider this while still figuring out how an electronic idea box works. Set the rules before you ask people to play the innovation strategy game. THERE IS WORK TO DO

We’re not saying everything requires an immediate answer. Being ready to tackle these questions at the start, however, is important to creating an innovation strategy that works. Mike Brown is the founder of The Brainzooming Group. They help companies develop fast, actionable strategies by engaging their employees and customers. He’s authored numberous eBooks on strategy and innovation, and delivers keynote speeches for brands, associations and conferences internationally. Mike.Brown@brainzooming.com K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // KEEP GROWING

Renewal Notice It’s not enough to prepare for the worst. Resilient companies also know how to reinvent themselves.

( BY KELLY TYLER BYRNES )

sually, when business leaders think U about corporate resilience, they think about operational resilience (OR)— the ability to respond to emergencies. OR is critically important, but it doesn’t really give them a sustainable competitive advantage. To continue growing, companies also need the second component of corporate resilience: strategic resilience (SR). Whereas OR is situational, SR is a continuous renewal sparked by opportunity, instead of by episodic turbulence. As changes accelerate in your industry or market, the evolution of your strategy should accelerate, too. As Gary Hamel, a worldrenowned management educator, and his co-author, management professor Liisa Välikangas, wrote in Harvard Business Review, “To thrive in turbulent times, companies must become as efficient at renewal as they are at producing their products and services.” HOW TO EVOLVE FASTER

The ability to evolve at an accelerated pace comes from the five phases of strategic resilience. AWARENESS // Awareness starts by taking a

closer look at external and internal factors. Internally, you need an honest assessment of the underlying assumptions and biases that guide your strategic decisions and collaboration. Are you investing in product lines that you know have diminishing returns? Are you married to legacy strategies that no longer make sense? Externally, you need to seek out and recognize market disruptions early. If you rely on clients to tell you what they want, 48

you will miss opportunities. You can speed the time it takes to go from, “Oh no, that can’t be happening!” to “Let’s go!” by recognizing changed circumstances and strategic decay quickly.

You could create an advisory board that consults on your strategy. (Or update how an existing board uses its time.) You could work with a consultant to establish an Enterprise Risk Management process or to audit your operations. RENEWAL // The purpose of strategic resilience

is a continuous strategic response to trends. Every year, you also should make time to assess how your OR and SR practices are working for you. Are you creating positive change for your company? Or are you wasting time on minutia and subjecting your team to a state of perpetual reorganization?

STRATEGIC ALTERNATIVES // Come up with

WHY IT MATTERS

options before you need them. What kinds of new products, new pricing strategies or new marketing positions could you introduce? There are several different ways you can identify these alternatives: brainstorming sessions, innovation process audits or even a budget review. Preparing strategic options in advance will dramatically speed up your response time when “turbulence” eventually strikes. It’ll also have a positive impact on your leadership, engagement and morale.

Nokia’s sale of its smartphone division to Microsoft in 2013 perfectly illustrates why corporate resilience is so crucial. At the end of his speech announcing the sale, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop emotionally said, “We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.” Although the CEO and his team were bewildered, others were able to see clearly what they did wrong: Nokia did not evolve as quickly as the market did. Prior to the first iPhone, half of the world’s mobile phones were from Nokia. Within a few years, their share was less than 3 percent. The competitors changed quickly, and Nokia did not keep up. Nokia missed the changes happening, and by not changing itself, the division lost its chance to make big bucks and to survive at all. Big businesses like Nokia often overlook changes because they get blinded by their size, as if their size means they are invincible. Small businesses get blinded by their success, as if it will self-perpetuate. No one is invincible, and success is not guaranteed. Clients are executing faster, expanding their knowledge faster and communicating faster. And so are your competitors. The companies that are best able to predict, observe and respond to changes will outperform their competitors.

RESOURCE ALLOCATION // Once you identify strategic alternatives, dedicate a responsible amount of money, time and talent to them. Do not invest only in new ventures. You should also devote resources to known opportunities that are still successful, so your company can keep up with and outperform competitors. A review of talent management practices can help ensure you have the right resources available for strategic changes. For example, how long does it take to reassign staff from one project to another? Does your hiring process support innovation? GOVERNANCE // Small business leaders

are used to working quickly—a trait that’s essential when evolving strategically. But you also should instill some governance practices to help ensure that your faster pace doesn’t cause a loss of focus, missed market changes or erroneous priorities.

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Kelly Tyler Byrnes leads the team at Voyage Consulting Group. She’ll present a Jan. 24 workshop on creating a systematic framework for growth at JCCC; learn more at www.kansassbdc.net/gameksbdc-game-dates. (816) 744-0701 // kellyb@voyagecg.com // www.voyagecg.com // @kellytyler


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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // KEEP GROWING

Business Growth Requires Outside-In Thinking Look beyond yourself, your competitors and your industry, and find out what your customers really want. ( BY MARGARET REYNOLDS )

or most businesses, growth is elusive F and difficult to sustain. One study asserts that only 13 percent of companies are achieving modest levels of sustainable and profitable growth. So what does it take to grow? Unfortunately, doing what you have always done and trying to do it a bit better than the leading competitor is not as productive as it used to be. A strategy of incremental improvement is often short term as your competitor will respond by upping the ante. This contributes to an upward spiral of business complexities and cost without opportunity to increase prices sufficiently as you strive to remain competitive. Emulating competitors, even good ones, does not create new market space. Rather, this “follow the leader” mentality simply results in trading existing market share back and forth, as customers follow the best deal. A good example of this is cell phone service packages, where many consumers 50

consistently switch their allegiance for lower rates or more free minutes. Serious growth comes from understanding your market and providing valued goods and services that meet needs significantly better or differently than the alternatives. In other words, offer a solution that is different than your competitors, not more of the same. And to do that, you need to focus on understanding the market in which you compete, and allow that knowledge to guide your business strategy. This is what we call “outside-in” thinking. “Inside-out” thinking, which focuses on what works for the company, is rarely an effective long-term approach to strategy development and growth. Too many businesses are so focused on doing what they do well everyday that there is little time to stay abreast of where the market is going. In order to create growth, a company has to define a strategy to capitalize on customer needs and anticipated market changes.

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LEARN ABOUT YOUR MARKET

How do you do “outside-in” thinking? As a precursor to developing a plan and making investment decisions, ground yourself in knowledge about your marketplace and how it is likely to change in the coming years. UNDERSTAND HOW CUSTOMERS USE YOUR PRODUCT // Do

your homework. Ask your customers about the best and worst features of your products. Figure out whether the challenges in using your product or service are truly obstacles or just accepted as standard in your industry. How could these be changed? Ask your team: “If you were our customer, how would you want the product to work or how would you like to be treated?” Products like Swiffer, Kuerig and Yeti didn’t incrementally improve the industry standard, they reinvented it. In doing so, they had to slay sacred cows and yet customers responded because they met needs differently and better. Can you identify the sacred cows in your industry that may not really be so sacred? Personally, I am waiting for a 24-hour check-in policy at a leading hotel chain. I want the ability to check in when I want, any hour of the day, and not have to check out until 24 hours later.


IN ORDER TO CREATE GROWTH, A COMPANY HAS TO DEFINE A STRATEGY TO CAPITALIZE ON CUSTOMER NEEDS AND ANTICIPATED MARKET CHANGES.

STUDY CHANGES THAT WILL IMPACT YOUR INDUSTRY

// Assign responsibility for

monitoring technological, environmental or social change that will influence your industry and how you deliver goods and services. What opportunities are there for you to deliver goods and services better or differently than your competitors by taking advantages of these changes? Two of the biggest changes today combine to create opportunities for new solutions: Technological advances with Millenial Customers who want real-time date accessible anywhere. How will that impact your business? Or what about driverless transportation? Will that be a favorable impact for your business model? If not, how can you benefit? Change is inevitable. We can anticipate it, embrace it and use it to distinguish ourselves or avoid it and pay the price later. Ask yourself not what do you have to do, but what would your customers want you to do?

changed by the type and speed of service they receive from all of their experiences. Customers want it “their” way; and if some other company can do it, even if it is in another industry, they expect you to be able to as well. Same-day shipping and free shipping are here, so how will that change how your customer sees your level of service? It doesn’t matter to the cuatomer that you don’t have the resources to do it or you lose money by offering it. Customers define

“reasonable” based on their needs and experiences, not your operational requirements. So many companies, when considering customer-oriented strategies, start with the premise: “We can’t do that because…” instead of “How could we make that happen?” Significant growth comes from asking how you could do it, and then finding a way to do it cost effectively relative to the value the customer is willing to pay. And now that you may be offering more value in the form of greater convenience or functionality, customers may be paying more. Develop the “outside-in” approach in your business as a key to future success and growth. Margaret Reynolds is managing principal of Breakthrough Masters Unlimited. (816) 622-8843 // mreynolds@reynolds-consulting.com

IDENTIFY OTHER CUSTOMER SEGMENTS THAT MIGHT APPRECIATE WHAT YOU HAVE TO OFFER //

Look for new distribution opportunities through expansion, alliances or acquisitions as a standard part of your strategic planning process. What channels aren’t you tapping or segments aren’t you reaching? If you aren’t using digital outreach, should you be? If you are local, should you be regional? With new technology most local businesses don’t have to stay local if their product or service appeals to a broader need and doesn’t rely solely on local reputation for market impact. UNDERSTAND HOW OTHER INDUSTRIES INFLUENCE YOUR CUSTOMERS’ EXPECTATIONS //

Consider how customer access to information and services has changed across all industries. Customers’ expectations are K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // KEEP GROWING

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Innovate Small, nimble companies can create new ways of doing things, too.

( BY MARVIN CAROLINA JR. )

usiness continues to evolve, and to succeed in the market, you have to evolve, too. The key to success, for example, used to be working long, long hours. Times changed, and smallbusiness owners began focusing on working smart. In today’s ultracompetitive market, which is more crowded than ever, you have to innovate.

B

WHAT IT IS

Innovation and creativity are closely related. Creativity is an idea of how to do something differently while innovation is implementing that idea, thereby introducing something new. As it relates to business, innovation is providing your product or service in a new way that creates additional value for your customers while simultaneously lowering your cost. Innovation is not specific to technology— you can innovate any segment of your business. If you create a way to reach more prospective customers in less time and at a lower cost, you have stumbled upon an innovation. An innovation does not require that you do something radically different: You can do the same thing in a different way. THE BENEFITS

The right innovation can skyrocket your sales, increase your market share and cause 52

your competitors to work feverishly to copy what you have created. Small business owners who innovate successfully tend to become successful as business owners because of their innovation. So, with so much to gain, why are so few business owners willing to innovate? Fear. The new delivery process you implemented could wind up costing more— lots more—than you projected, and it might take months to recover from the financial hit. If you recover. Fear of failure affects small business owners and Fortune 500 CEOs alike. But risk is a part of business. A good business leader is daring enough to take sound risks. NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY?

Most small business owners are content to wait for someone else to innovate their industry—yet these same owners complain about their shrinking market shares. Having an exceptional product or service or offering an unusually low price gives you a competitive advantage, but so does conducting business more effectively or more efficiently. And innovating allows you to do both. When you fail to look for ways to innovate and business grows stagnant, your competitors gain ground. I find it odd that small business owners tend to wait for larger competitors to innovate the industry because small business owners, who know their customers personally, know exactly what their customers like and dislike. Corporate executives get a wealth of information from customer surveys, but these surveys do not provide the depth

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nor breadth of information as face-toface conversations. Another advantage small businesses enjoy is, since they have fewer employees, they can change direction in a matter of days rather than weeks or months. It is often assumed that an innovation revolutionizes the industry and makes the founder famous. In reality, lots of business innovations are only known by a relative few. Nearly every business recycles, but exactly who began the recycling craze in America? IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY

When consumers look at your business, do they see a business that evolves with the times and finds original ways to meet customers’ ever-changing demands? Or do


they see a business that continues to do things the way it always has? If you wait on a larger competitor to introduce innovations to your industry, you could just copy their ideas. That might even seem like a more effective and more efficient way of doing things. Unfortunately, you’re giving that competitor a head start, allowing it to capture a larger share of the market. But if you innovate? Between the time you implement your innovation and the time others implement it in their businesses, you will have adjusted your position and created a competitive advantage until everyone else catches up with you. Uber—which started as a small company competing with the giant Yellow Cab—is an

excellent example of combining an innovative business model with innovative technology. By using Uber’s app on your smartphone, you can find where the nearest driver is, see a photograph of the driver and be taken to your destination without needing cash. Uber has surpassed Yellow Cab because of its innovations and its ease of use.

in the industry does not mean you should be content to allow them—or anyone else—to introduce innovations. Look at every practice, procedure and process you use, and find creative ways to do things better.

USE YOUR ADVANTAGES TO CREATE NEW ADVANTAGES

As a small business owner, make use of your close relationships with your customers. Pursue them and ask what they like and dislike about your product or service. Do not view negative responses as complaints. See them, instead, as areas of opportunity. The stakes are high. Just because big businesses tend to dictate what happens

Marvin Carolina Jr. is president and CEO of Team Carolina. (816) 875-8718 // marvin@marvincarolina.com

K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // KEEP GROWING

Why Exporting Might Be Right for Your Company Small businesses can compete—and win—on the international stage.

( BY MELISSA MILLER )

lobal trade has become a hot topic nationally, but if you asked most small business owners if they have ever thought about becoming exporters, the answer would probably be “no.” Why is that? After all, international trade expands the potential market for a company’s products and services. Approximately 95 percent of the world’s population exists outside of the United States, constituting almost 73 percent of total consumer spending. That’s a lot of potential customers, especially when you consider that global economies are continually growing. The world’s middle class is getting bigger, and they have more disposable income. By taking advantage of this increased consumer spending, U.S. businesses can expand their consumer base, their sales and, ultimately, their profits. Just like an investment portfolio, you can lower your company’s overall risk by diversifying into new markets. Between 2005 and 2009, U.S. exporters experienced revenue growth of 37 percent, while those exclusively doing business domestically saw revenues fall by 7 percent. Such margins can mean the life or death of business. Exporting can also help stabilize seasonal businesses and smooth out sales fluctuations. If you have a product that has started to see stagnant sales, exporting is an excellent way to extend product life. Why should your extra inventory sit on a shelf and depreciate when you could introduce it into a foreign market and make a profit? Trade is also good for your workforce and local community. Businesses that export

G

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typically pay 20 percent more in wages than nonexporting businesses. Higher wages allow workers to spend more on goods and services, which means there is more money flowing into local communities. THREE OBSTACLES FOR SMALL BUSINESS EXPORTERS

With so many benefits to exporting, why do fewer than 1 percent of U.S. businesses export? There are three central reasons: IT’S INTIMIDATING // Let’s

face it—the thought of doing business with the unfamiliar is scary, especially with the added risks and uncertainties attached with exporting. What if I don’t get paid? What if someone steals my idea? Is this a credible company? IT’S NOT A PRIORITY // Many

companies do not include exporting in their business plan. I’m too busy with domestic sales. Ain’t nobody got time for that. IT’S A BIT OF A MYSTERY // Most

businesses are unaware that export support services exist, let alone where to start once they do make the commitment to export. Who do I turn to? What documents do I need? What the heck is an incoterm? HELP IS OUT THERE

Kansas City is part of a program, the Global Cities Initiative, which is trying to encourage more small businesses to become exporters. With the backing of the Brookings Institution and JPMorgan Chase, the initiative is working with about 30 markets like Kansas City. Researchers found more than 500 companies in our region that aren’t exporting now, but could do so if they received a little coaching and assistance. There are several organizations that offer free or low-cost help, but most entrepreneurs don’t know they exist.

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To bridge the gap, the World Trade Center-Kansas City has created the Export Concierge program. After an initial consultation, would-be exporters are matched with a wide network of resources that have knowledge and experience in specific areas of international trade: financial needs, legal assistance, logistics services, education assistance, vetting foreign companies, market research and trade lead generation, to name a few. This vast resource network includes private, state and federal organizations ready to assist your business with exporting related needs. For example: » The U.S. Small Business Administration and its network of small business development centers are a wealth of information on global trade. They provide counseling and workshops to companies that are starting or scaling up their export activities— or that just need a refresher. » The U.S. Commercial Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Kansas Department of Commerce, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Kansas Department of Agriculture and the Missouri Department of Agriculture all have programs and market data available to assist you in finding potential foreign clients. They can also assist in vetting international customers. The Export Concierge can also connect you with a range of private companies— banks, logistics experts, law firms and more—that can provide you with worldclass expertise in exports. No matter your international business need, there are fantastic resources available to help you compete on the global stage. Melissa Miller is the manager of the World Trade Center Kansas City, which serves as the region’s leading resource on international business. (816) 374-5469 // info@wtc-kc.com // www.wtc-kc.com


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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // FINANCE

SBA Loans From A to Z Know your business and your SBA loan options before applying for financing.

( BY DAVID C. LONG )

f you are considering applying for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, then you’ll want to know a little bit about what to expect. What should you prepare? How does the process work? The good news is that SBA loans are not rocket-science—and they are not science fiction, either. They are actually very similar to conventional business loans, with a few minor exceptions.

I

APPLYING FOR A LOAN

Here are a few things you should know about applying for an SBA loan: // You can’t borrow money without any skin in the game yourself. This is the No. 1 reason most loan proposals don’t get funding. You must have contributed your own money to the business. Don’t waste your time with any other details until you have sufficient equity. A rule of thumb is a minimum equity of 10 percent for an existing business (2+ years old) and 20-25 percent for a start-up. EQUITY IS REQUIRED

THE RIGHT TYPE OF LOAN

// The three most

common SBA loan types are the microloan, the SBA 504 loan and the 7(a) loan. Before you start, educate yourself on the three different types of SBA loans at www.sba.gov and determine which one is right for your business. The SBA guarantees a part of the loan value, depending on the type of loan. // Each of the three types of loans is delivered through a different approved organization. For example, the microloan is offered through SBA-approved intermediaries (e.g., Justine Petersen based in St. Louis); the 504 loan is offered through SBA-approved certified development companies; and the 7(a) loan is available through banks and other lenders. THE RIGHT PROVIDER

56

CHOOSE A LENDER FAMILIAR WITH SBA LOANS

//

Many lenders are eligible to make SBA loans, but only a few do it actively. Of the more than 150 lenders eligible to make SBA loans in the Kansas City area, only about 20 of them process more than five SBA loans each year. WHAT YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE

If you decide to pursue an SBA loan, you will be required to provide several pieces of information, including: FEDERAL TAX RETURNS

not only the tax returns for your business for the past three years, but also for all owners who hold 20 percent or more of company stock. In addition, if you are a sole proprietorship, you will need to provide a balance sheet detailing the business assets and liabilities. // For all owners of 20 percent or more of the company stock. PERSONAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

// One

year for an existing business, or 2-3 years for a new business. BUDGET FOR THE ENTIRE LOAN

// Include

supporting bids from vendors. BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE KEY PERSONNEL

MYTH #1

THE SBA HAS “FREE MONEY” // Regardless

of what you may hear on late-night commercials, the SBA does not give grants or “free money” to businesses.

MYTH #2 THE SBA LOAN PROCESS IS SLOW AND BURDENSOME // With the advent of central-

ized processing, and the delegation of approval authority to active SBA lenders, the approval process has improved immensely over the past five years. If your SBA loan process is slow, you are probably working with the wrong lender.

MYTH #3

// This includes

PROJECTED INCOME AND EXPENSES

MYTHS ABOUT SBA LOANS

//

Include job titles, background, education and areas of expertise. // Only needed if the business is new, or will be exploiting a new market. The Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) at the University of Missouri—Kansas City and Johnson County Community College can guide a business through the business plan process.

THE SBA OFFERS LOANS DIRECTLY TO BUSINESSES // The SBA no longer processes

loans directly, as they once did. To get an SBA loan, you must now borrow from an established SBA lender, such as a bank or other organization. The SBA still provides counseling and other information to small businesses, but its role in the lending process is limited to acting as a “credit enhancement” to the loan.

MYTH #4 SBA FINANCING IS A “LAST RESORT” FOR A BUSINESS // SBA financing is not last resort

financing. It is mainstream small business financing that can sometimes provide better terms than a traditional loan. Even if you can finance your project without an SBA enhancement, ask for an SBA alternative from your lender. It may fit your business needs better than a conventional loan.

DETAILED BUSINESS PLAN

// Show where your equity will come from. If your personal balance sheet lists $10,000 of cash, but the business proposal requires equity of $40,000, then the discrepancy must be addressed. IDENTIFICATION OF YOUR EQUITY

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INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCESS

Before you even approach a lender, make sure you know your business (and business plan) inside and out. Lenders will ask questions, so be prepared. Who is going to collect your receivables? Who is going to sell your products? Why is your cost of continued on page 96 » David C. Long is the executive director of Heartland Business Capital, an SBA-approved certified development company that provides SBA fixed-asset 504 loans for small and mid-sized businesses in the Kansas City area. (913) 599-1717 // david@hbcloans.com


Small Business Dreams: Realized

#1 Lender St. Louis SBA District* #2 Lender Kansas City SBA District* #1 Lender Springfield SBA Branch Office* *FY2017 At Simmons Bank, helping you build your business is our business. As a Top 100 SBA Lender in America, we guide you (one-on-one) every step of the way through our faster in-house approvals, options for lower down payments and flexible terms to ensure you have the right financing to realize your dreams. We invite you to visit, call or email us today.

simmonsbank.com/business


ESTABLISHED & GROWING // FINANCE

Tips for Navigating SBA Financing for Acquisitions If acquisitions are in your future, SBA loans might be a viable source of financing. ( BY BEN OLSEN )

SECURING FINANCING

BA loans have a reputation for being hard to access, for good reason. They can be particularly tricky to secure if you’re using that capital to acquire a business. If you’ve never gone through the SBA financing process before, it can be confusing. Here are five tips for navigating the complex process of gaining SBA financing for a business acquisition:

S

SHOP AROUND FOR THE RIGHT BANK //

Although you may want to secure an SBA loan from your current bank, limiting your options may lower your chances of success. The SBA website has a list of the 100 most active SBA lenders. Find out who is in your area and go talk to them. When you do, here are some good questions to ask: » How many SBA deals has the bank done in the past two years? » How many SBA deals has the loan officer done in the past two years? » What was the average size of those SBA deals? » Did the loan include real estate? (This will help you know how they expect to collateralize the deal.) UNDERSTAND THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN PLP VS. CLP // There

are two main SBA programs that banks can be a part of: Preferred Lenders Program (PLP) or Certified Lenders Program (CLP). Knowing the distinctions between each program can help you understand what type of lender is right for you. In the Preferred Lenders Program, a PLP bank reviews and approves its loans without SBA intervention. The SBA doesn’t 58

need to approve these loans, meaning you’ll only have to go through the bank (instead of the bank and a random SBA reviewer). This makes for a faster process. On the other hand, CLP banks will need to pass off the loan to the SBA for the final decision to receive the government guarantee. Because of that additional step, it could take a bit longer to get approval. Banks often use the Certified Lenders Program for complex initiatives or deals that the bank doesn’t want to accept full liability for because of some obscure issue or request. EXPECT TO PROVIDE A PERSONAL GUARANTEE //

If you are going to hold 20 percent or more of the company’s equity, the SBA requires a personal guarantee. If you default on the loan, your personal assets are on the line. Because of this risk, most SBA loans are refinanced within three to four years. You usually only have prepayment penalties of no more than 3 percent for the first three years of the loan, so refinancing at four years carries no additional fees. And don’t try to be clever here—10 people each holding 10 percent equity doesn’t mean you’ve sneaked past this. Someone always has to guarantee the loan. EXPERIENCE MATTERS // The

bank and the SBA will take your management team’s experience as well as the business’s experience in the industry into account when evaluating your loan. A lack of direct experience in the industry doesn’t mean you won’t qualify for a loan, but it will likely require you to explain more about your qualifications. It’s also key that you have an attorney with some experience in SBA loans on your side, if possible. That said, your loan officer will be the biggest determinant of success. BE PREPARED // Remember:

Banks want to see concrete plans for the deal you want to do. Don’t expect them to help you craft the deal structure from thin air. Go to them when you have a good idea of your

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proposed deal structure and then ask them to respond. Have the following ready to take with you: » Letter of Intent » Three years of tax returns and financials (plus any year-to-date information) » Your personal financial statement » A chart of your desired financing sources and uses Getting an SBA loan for a business acquisition is far from impossible. It just requires some front-end homework. Seek out SBA lenders at banks you trust, or find a friend who has secured SBA financing, or research advisors who have experience putting SBA deals together. Bring these tips to conversations with those experts and you’re well on your way. TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR SBA LOANS

Once you’ve found a lender, you’ll need to understand terms and conditions for SBA loans. Being realistic about the terms and conditions is a good first step to increase your chances of success with SBA financing. EXPECTED RATES AND TERMS // SBA

loans offer interest rates at a maximum of 2.75 percent over prime. The rate floats for most loans and adjusts quarterly. You can get up to 10-year terms (amortization) for growth capital and/or business acquisitions. Terms are longer for real estate and certain kinds of equipment. Your loan officer should


business. Banks are generally satisfied with a debt service coverage ratio of 150 percent. You could go lower in certain circumstances (e.g., if the bank is hungry, you have a lot of collateral, etc.). But plan to hit 150 percent to make life easier. COLLATERALIZATION // You

explain how to adjust and/or blend amortization to get the best loan for your situation.

don’t need to have 100 percent collateralization of the loan using your business and personal assets. A coverage ratio over 150 percent can and should make up for your lack of assets to pledge against the loan. We’ve done deals with service businesses that have had fewer than $500,000 of assets on the balance sheet, but they were able to borrow several million dollars of term debt because of the experience of the borrower and their cash flow coverage. That said, every bank is a bit different in what they can do, and collateral matters more to some than others.

COVERAGE RATIO // Calculate

BUYDOWNS // Buydowns

coverage ratio as the sum of debt payments and estimated taxes due, divided by the EBITDA of the

aren’t an option with SBA loans. The SBA wants you to take it all right away or not at all. A 100 percent

SBA Preferred Lenders Chartered in Kansas City District Office

These are local lenders that have a proven track record of processing and servicing SBA-guaranteed business loans. The SBA delegates loan approval, closing and most servicing and liquidation authority to these lenders, which allows them to process loan requests more quickly.

ADAMS DAIRY BANK 651 N.E. Coronado Drive Blue Springs, MO 64014 (816) 655-3333

CENTRAL BANK OF THE MIDWEST 7800 College Blvd. Overland Park, KS 66210 (913) 791-9264

CROSSFIRST BANK 4707 W. 135th St. Leawood, KS 66224 (913) 327-1214

BANK OF BLUE VALLEY 11935 Riley, P.O. Box 26128 Overland Park, KS 66225 (913) 338-1000

COMMERCE BANK, N.A. 1000 Walnut / P.O. Box 419248 Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 234-7388

FIRST NATIONAL BANK 4650 College Blvd. Overland Park, KS 66211 (913) 266-9123

BANK OF THE PRAIRIE 18675 W. 151st St. Olathe, KS 66062 (913) 254-0505

COUNTRY CLUB BANK 1 Ward Parkway Kansas City, MO 64112 (816) 751-9345

MERIT BANK 10000 College Blvd. Overland Park, KS 66210 (913) 327-1700

buyout of the owner is required. Whatever amount is owned, you have to buy all of it. BALLOONS AND EARNOUTS // These

creative options would be nice, but neither are allowed in SBA lending. Here’s a secret: inventive ways around these limitations are found all the time. For example, you can use an escalating interest rate on seller financing to incentivize repayment on or prior to a significant increase in rate; this can substitute for a balloon or bullet requirement that is otherwise not allowed. As always, seek out professionals— financial advisors, attorneys, bankers, and/ or M&A advisors—who have expertise in this area when seeking a loan. They can help you work through the kinks and oddities of structuring an SBA deal.

Ben Olsen is managing partner at The DVS Group, a boutique M&A firm that works nationwide and across industries to get your deal done. (913) 713-4156 // ben.olsen@thedvsgroup.com

MORRILL & JANES BANK AND TRUST CO. 6740 Antioch Road Merriam, KS 66204 (913) 677-4500 NBH BANK DBA BANK MIDWEST 1111 Main St., Ste. 2800 Kansas City, MO 64105 (816) 298-2100 SUMMIT BANK OF KANSAS CITY 1650 N.E. Grand, Ste. 100 Lee’s Summit, MO 64086 (816) 251-9000 UMB BANK, N.A. 1010 Grand Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 860-7113

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // FINANCE

How to Find the Right Private Investor for Your Small Business Several options exist for investment, if you know where to look.

( BY CARON BEESLEY )

lthough small businesses still turn to credit unions, community banks and traditional banks for their capital needs, outside equity such as angel investment and venture capital are valid options. If you’re looking for a private equity firm, venture or angel capitalist to fund your business, what are your options? Below are some tips for identifying the right fit for your needs and taking those important first steps.

A

OPTION 1: PRIVATE INVESTMENT MARKET

The term venture capital has become synonymous with high-growth start-ups. But how does it differ from the traditional financing sources? Typically, venture capital: » Invests equity capital, rather than debt » Takes higher risks in exchange for potential higher returns » Has a longer investment horizon than traditional financing 60

» Actively monitors portfolio companies

via board participation, strategic marketing, governance and capital structure Within the venture capital community, there are several types of investors with slightly different approaches. Here’s a brief summary of what you need to know: PRIVATE EQUITY (PE) //

PE covers a number of investment types that are usually made by private individuals or privately-owned institutions (usually a private equity firm). The money can be used to purchase a company, fund a project or make a straightout private investment. VENTURE CAPITAL (VC) // This

is also a form of private equity, but is managed differently and is usually designed to fund startup companies that have the potential for high growth (very popular with technology companies). Venture capitalists not only provide money, but also business planning expertise and assistance to help startups succeed in its industry. According to SBA data, venture capitalists have increasingly moved their focus to firms in the expansion phase. ANGEL INVESTING // Angel

investors are high-net worth individual investors (usually

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former entrepreneurs) who seek high returns through private investments in startup companies. They provide similar startup financing as venture capitalists but usually in smaller amounts. Angels often look for something in return for their investment such as a place on your board of directors or participation in day-to-day operations. The angel market has experienced a gradual upward trend in recent years, with a steady shift towards later stage investments. OPTION 2: GOVERNMENT VENTURE CAPITAL PROGRAMS

Another venture capital option is the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) Program, available through the SBA. Over the past five years, the program has channeled more than $21 billion of capital to more than 6,400 U.S. small businesses spanning a variety of industries across the country. Some of the country’s most successful and recognizable brands received SBIC financing during their early growth stages, including Apple, Costco, Intel, Outback Steakhouse, and Jenny Craig. The structure of the program is unique in that SBICs are privately owned and


managed investment funds, licensed and regulated by SBA, that use their own capital plus funds borrowed with an SBA guarantee to make equity and debt investments in qualifying small businesses The SBA does not invest directly into small business through the SBIC. WHERE TO FIND POTENTIAL INVESTORS

If you have a good network, then there’s a strong likelihood you can pinpoint potential investors via this route. So, start locally and branch out from there. Here are some tips and resources that may help: LOOK TO YOUR BUSINESS COMMUNITY //

If you are involved in a local Chamber of Commerce or other small business group, talk to experts and business peers alike. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) or SCORE Mentors may also be able to help introduce you to local investors.

BUSINESS CAPITAL BROKERS // These

maintain networks of potential investors. A good broker can help position you with a potential lender. CONSIDER TRADE ASSOCIATIONS // Most

industries are represented by a trade association, this is another great place to expand your search and meet potential investors. You can also look into national and local investing and venture capital groups like the National Venture Capital Association and the Angel Capital Association. MAKING YOUR PITCH

Securing investment requires a planned selling strategy on your part to ensure that you diligently communicate the potential of your business and that you meet the investor’s criteria. DO YOUR RESEARCH // Knowing

your business is critical, but you also need to know your investors. Thoroughly research both.

Be prepared to answer questions about your long-term growth plans. FINE TUNE YOUR PITCH // Once

you’ve done your research, fine tune your sales pitch based on the motivations of the investors and give them a good reason to want to invest in your business. LEAN ON YOUR BUSINESS PLAN // Be

sure to include accurate and realistic financials and market research to back up your predictions. Plan on being able to confidently communicate key sound bites from your plan on the fly—particularly how you will generate profit and how that will flow into your investor’s pockets.

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer and a marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start, grow and succeed. www.sba.gov

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // FINANCE

Why Your Budget Isn’t Enough If you want to improve cash flow, you need a full set of financial projections.

The most important result of financial planning is improved management of your company’s cash flow, so that you can keep the lights on. This cannot be accomplished by only focusing on top-line revenues and bottom-line net income. Instead, you must forecast out the income statement and the balance sheet and the cash flow statement.

Let’s assume you have growth goals for your business—if you’re an entrepreneur, you almost certainly do. Decide what your detailed goals are for the coming year, and then break them down into monthly increments. (If you want to generate $1.2 million in sales, you’ll need to sell at least $100,000 each month.) Look at your company’s history to determine any seasonal fluctuations. And, of course, factor in the cost of any major initiatives you have planned. Really dig in and understand the direct costs associated with each sale. Doing so will probably provide some real insight into how you can improve profit margins. Figure out the expected revenue and the direct variable costs for each type of sale—whether that’s by product, by service type, by customer type, by location, whatever makes the most sense for your business. This means you will need to break your revenue goals into the different types, analyze your costs, and forecast out the next 12 months. Now analyze every single overhead expense. Each one should be justified by either improving your customers’ experience or improving your employees’ experience and their ability to deliver exceptional service to your customers.

INCOME STATEMENT FORECAST

WHERE YOU MAY NEED HELP

( BY TOM SERNETT )

reating a budget is fine, and if you have one for 2018, great! This is a good first step. However, to actually improve your cash operating results, your business requires a complete set of projected financial statements that show you where you’ll be each month. If all you have is a budget, then all you’ve really done is project out the income statement—whether you’ll have a profit or loss at year’s end. But it won’t help you answer the three questions that keep many business owners awake at night.

C

NO. 1 How much cash—not sales, but actual available cash—will my business need? NO. 2

When will we need it?

NO. 3

Where will it come from?

The income statement forecast is the first step. It’s your estimate of how your projected revenue will compare to projected expenses—and whether you’ll end up with a profit or a loss. When you do this, it’s a good idea to get specific. 62

To project out the balance sheet and your cash flows, you probably will need some business budgeting software and possibly the help of a CPA. This process is simply too complex, and there’s too much room for error if you try to build this in Excel. We use PlanGuru.

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Even with the software, you’re going to need some data on your operations to date. In order to project how balance sheet accounts are going to impact cash flow, you’ll need some historical information on accounts receivable. What’s the average age of your receivables—how many days do you have to wait until you’re paid on a sale? What’s the average age of your payables, and how long does it take to turn over your inventory? You’ll also want to factor in notes payable, how much principal you need to pay down on loans, and your goals for paying down lines of credit, credit card balances or any other debt. All line items on the balance sheet need to be factored in as each can potentially impact cash flow, such as major equipment purchases or changes in ownership capital. The software will then allow you to view a forecasted statement of cash flows—how much money you’ll have on hand each month—which should be reviewed in detail and in tandem with the forecasted income statement and balance sheet. MONITOR AND COMPARE

Once you have these projections, you should monitor and compare your actual financial results against the forecast on a monthly basis. We believe that forecasting out monthly for 12 months is enough detail for most business owners. You may want to forecast your annual results up to three years out, just to give you some perspective on your long-term goals, but for detailed monthly planning and comparison, 12 months is enough. Doing this each month also allows you to regularly adjust your operations to unforeseen “curves in the road.”

Tim Sernett, CPA, is the founder of Virtual BeanCounters Inc,, which offers outsourced accounting and related services. www.thevirtualbeancounters.com


ESTABLISHED & GROWING // FINANCE

Financing Options Because circumstances vary from business to business, so can decisions regarding appropriate sources for loans and other capital infusions. The following information is not the “last word.” These are the most typical scenarios for startup and established businesses. SOURCES

STARTUP

ESTABLISHED

CAS H F L OW F I NAN C IN G

Personal savings Supplier credit (vendors willing to extend credit terms, such as net 30)

Customer credit (offer customers a discount if they prepay)

Finance company extending credit based on a customer contract

Leasing (rental agreement that gives the use of an asset without having to buy it)

TYPE OF FINANCING

Line of credit (borrowing against accounts receivable)

Accounts receivable factoring (selling receivables to a finance company called a “factor” for a percentage of the total value of the account)

EQ U I T Y

Venture capitalists, either private (private investors who expect high ROI—25 percent to 40 percent—but don’t want to be involved in operations) or public (e.g., those licensed by the SBA—Small Business Investment Companies, Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Companies)

Angel investors (take a lower equity stake—will inject $25,000 to $1 million—but want operations input; often entrepreneurs themselves)

ESOPs (employee stock ownership plans)

Private stock offerings

Going public

Strategic partnering with another firm (e.g., for distribution, marketing channels, etc.)

DEBT

Credit cards

Loans from friends and family

Home equity loans (or cash-out refinancing of a home)

Consumer loans (secured by cash value of life insurance policies, brokerage accounts, etc.)

Commercial loans (from banks, credit unions, etc.)

Government loans, either direct (e.g., disaster loans) or through lending institutions

Microloans Asset-based lending (lenders control collateral and are involved in the business)

• •

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // FINANCE

5 Things You Need to Know About the Worth of Your Business Not knowing could lead to expensive mistakes. ( BY TERRY STALEY )

f you haven’t taken the time to find out the fair market value of your business, you could end up selling it for less than it’s worth, or your heirs could pay more than the fair share of estate taxes upon inheritance. To safeguard against preventable mistakes, here are several things to keep in mind when it comes to maximizing your company’s worth.

I

1

ESTABLISH YOUR OBJECTIVES

As you consider your exit plan, keep in mind that there are several steps you’ll 64

need to work through, based on certain objectives you establish. For example, you’ll need to factor in the date you wish to exit, the amount of cash you’ll need from the transfer or sale of the company and your choice of a successor (or who you will sell or transfer the business to). In the course of achieving these objectives, most owners want to receive full, fair market value for their companies or ownership interest in order to reach the finish line.

2

TEST YOUR OBJECTIVES

Once you establish your objectives, you’ll need to determine whether they are realistic. One of the first things you’ll need to do is evaluate how much money you will need to maintain your lifestyle into retirement. The answer to this question,

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along with the timeframe until you wish to exit, is critical for deciding how to proceed. If the growth rate of your business is unrealistic to achieve those objectives, you must either extend your timeline or lower your financial expectations. A business valuation specialist can help you through this process.

3

KNOW YOUR BASIS FOR TAX PLANNING

Understand that various exit paths (sale to third party or transfer to insiders) come with different tax implications. Without appropriate planning, your tax bill can take a huge bite out of sale proceeds. Given that tax mitigation strategies often take years to implement, it’s key that you start planning well before exiting. To do this, you’ll need an accurate estimate of value. In a transfer to key employees, for example, a common transfer technique (designed to reduce the total tax liability between the owner and buyer) is to initially transfer a minority interest at a discounted value. Using a “rule of thumb” valuation to support a minority discount simply will not work when the IRS asks you to justify the discount. You need the valuation of


an independent valuation specialist who is able and willing to defend the valuation before the IRS.

4

UNDERSTAND YOUR TARGET BUYER

It surprises many owners to learn that business value is relative and not fixed. It can vary based on your choice of successor as well as on the conditions under which the transfer is made. If you are contemplating a sale to a third party, the business value is dependent not only on the intrinsic value, but on the “external” condition of today’s mergers and acquisitions (M&A) market for that type of business in a particular geographic area. The M&A cycle is constantly changing based on a variety of factors, such as the cost of financing, the state of the stock

market and the availability of capital. The market can dictate not only the EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) multiple, but also the terms of a possible third-party deal. Value also fluctuates depending on how you plan to use the valuation. In co-owned companies, unless owners periodically update value established for the buy-sell agreement, one owner may receive too much or too little (upon death, disability or departure) while the other may pay too much or too little. Outdated valuations can result in litigation and loss of business value.

5

CREATE INCENTIVE PLANS

An important part of any exit plan is to grow business value. Part of that value is wrapped up in your key employees. So, whether you are transferring your

company to an insider group or contemplating an outside sale, you must retain those key employees. Incentive programs can both motivate and “handcuff” key employees to your company. These plans are typically based on formulas, and the most successful (whether cash or stock based) use methods linking the size of an employee’s bonus to growth in business value. Exiting from your company is likely the largest financial transaction of your life. Start planning for it early, and be sure to consult a professional to move you toward your end goal.

Terry Staley CPA, MBA, CExP is a certified exit planner with the accounting firm of MarksNelson. (816) 743-7700 // tstaley@marksnelsoncpa.com

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K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // FINANCE

6 Questions You Should Ask a Factoring Company How to pick a reliable business partner for your company. ( BY STEPHEN ROTH )

f your business has ever needed a I quick boost to its cash flow, chances are that you have considered factoring as a funding option. Factoring is a form of alternative financing in which a business sells its invoices to a third-party company called a “factor.” The factor advances money on the invoices— usually within a day—then collects payment from the customers. The speed of factoring makes it an effective way for companies to build up working capital. Instead of waiting 30 to 60 days on customer payments, they can receive most of the cash in less than 24 hours. Today, there are more factoring providers to choose from than ever before. Some factors are excellent business partners, while others lag in areas like customer service, technology and record-keeping. Factoring rates are extremely competitive, but are only part of the equation when selecting the right factor for your business. Below are six questions you should ask to help ensure you work with a factor that will be a reliable business partner for your company.

1

WHAT ARE YOUR FEES AND TERMS?

In addition to a flat factoring fee, which is a percentage of a total invoice value, some factors charge additional or “hidden” fees. These charges cover things like money transfers, software transactions, collateral and other costs of doing business. Obviously, these fees can quickly add up, so it is important to ask the factor up-front about the fee structure and how much is charged for each transaction. 66

The terms and lengths of factoring agreements can also vary greatly from one provider to the next. As a client, you want as much flexibility in the agreement as possible. A long-term contract with a factoring company can be desirable if it includes a price break or flexible rates. Many factoring companies will adjust their rates based on increased factoring volume or competitive offers from other factors. The industry standard for most factoring agreements is a one-year contract. With most factors, that contract will automatically renew unless you give the company a 60- or 90-day notice.

2

DO YOU OFFER BOTH RECOURSE AND NONRECOURSE FACTORING?

Recourse factoring means that you, the client, are ultimately responsible for the invoice value if the factor cannot collect payment from one of your customers. With nonrecourse factoring, the factor assumes more of the credit risk when collecting on an invoice. Recourse factoring typically costs less than nonrecourse, but it is ideal to work with a factor that offers both services. It can be to your advantage to designate different customer receivables for recourse and nonrecourse factoring, depending on a customer’s credit rating and risk of nonpayment.

3

WHAT OTHER SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE?

A good factoring company not only funds invoices within a day, it provides back-office support that saves clients time, money and resources. When talking with a factor, ask for specifics on the kinds of

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services it provides. What is the factor’s process for customer collections and how diligent is it in pursuing payment? Does the factor provide other perks like free credit checks on existing and new customers? Ideally, the factor can act as an extension of your accounting department, helping you save on overhead and allowing you to spend more time on expanding your business.

4

CAN YOUR FUNDING MATCH MY COMPANY’S GROWTH?

One advantage of factoring over a traditional line of credit is that the funding through factoring scales up as your volume of receivables increases. That can only happen, however, if the factor has the financial capacity to match your company’s growth. Before entering into an agreement with a factor, do some research on how long the provider has been in business and the kinds of clients it serves. What is the factoring volume of the largest client? What is a typical account size, and is there a limit to how many debtors the factoring company can take on? Finding out as much as you can about a factor’s capital structure and client base can provide assurance that the financing will meet your company’s needs.


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5

HOW DO YOU PROCESS INVOICES?

The technological capabilities of different factoring companies can vary greatly. Some factors have online software that allows for the uploading of digital paperwork and accurate reporting on your account transactions. Other factors require the mailing or delivery of original invoices and documents. How a factor processes receivables goes a long way in determining how competent and effective the provider is in collecting payment from your customers. Before signing a factoring agreement, make sure you understand and are comfortable with how the factor handles invoices, and the visibility that you will have to your account.

6

HOW DO YOU TREAT YOUR CUSTOMERS?

The quality of customer service can be a mixed bag in the factoring industry. Look for a provider that will set your business up with a personal account representative who can answer all your questions and help with day-to-day funding. This single point-of-contact is especially critical during the early weeks of your factoring relationship. Based in Overland Park, RTS Financial provides factoring solutions that help companies of all sizes build more cash flow and grow at a faster pace.

e-mail: ksbdc@jccc.edu • 913-469-3878 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS

Kansas Small Business Development Center at JCCC

Follow us on Twitter: @JCCCKSBDC

The Kansas Small Business Development Center is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Kansas Department of Commerce and JCCC.

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // FINANCE

Glossary of Financial Terms ACCOUNTS PAYABLE // Amount

owing to creditors for goods and services on an open account. ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE //

Amount due from customers for merchandise or services purchased on an open account. ASSET // Anything owned by a

business or individual that has commercial or exchange value. BALANCE SHEET // Financial

statement that presents a “snapshot” of what the business owns, what it owes, and what equity it has on a given date. CAPITAL // See Equity. CAPITAL EXPENDITURES //

other property—pledged to support the repayment of an obligation. COLLATERAL DOCUMENT //

A legal document covering the item(s) pledged as collateral on a loan, i.e., note, mortgages, assignment, etc. CONTINGENT LIABILITY //

A potential obligation that may be incurred dependent upon the occurrence of a future event. Two examples are: (1) the liability of an endorser or guarantor of a note if the primary borrower fails to pay as agreed and (2) the liability that would be incurred if a pending lawsuit is resolved in the other party’s favor. CONTRACT // A mutually binding

DEBT FINANCING // The provision

of long term loans to small business concerns in exchange for debt securities or a note. DEBT RATIO // Indicates the firm’s

debt level, or leverage. Total liabilities divided by total liabilities plus capital. DEED OF TRUST // A document

under seal which, when delivered, transfers a present interest in property. May be held as collateral. DEFAULTS // The nonpayment of

principal and/or interest on the due date as provided by the terms and conditions of the note. DEPRECIATION // Amortization of

the cost of a fixed asset, such as plant and equipment, over several years, or the “depreciable life.”

Purchases of long-term assets, such as equipment, used in manufacturing a product.

legal relationship obligating the seller to furnish supplies or services (including construction) and the buyer to pay for them.

CASH FLOW // Incoming cash to

CREDIT RATING // A grade assigned

to shareholders.

the business less the outgoing cash during a given period. Also used to refer to the figure derived from net income plus noncash items charged off in the accrual accounting process.

to a business concern to denote the net worth and credit standing to which the concern is entitled in the opinion of the rating agency as a result of its investigation.

EQUITY // The ownership interest

CHARGED OFF LOAN // An uncollec-

CURRENT ASSETS // Cash or other

EQUITY FINANCING // The provision

tible loan for which the principal and accrued interest were removed from the receivable accounts.

assets you expect to use in the operation of the firm within one year.

CLOSING // Actions and procedures

expect to pay within one year.

required to effect the documentation and disbursement of loan funds after the application has been approved, and the execution of all required documentation and its filing and recordation where required.

CURRENT RATIO // Shows the firm’s

CLOSED LOAN // Any loan for which

funds have been disbursed, and all required documentation has been executed, received and reviewed. For statistical purposes, first or total disbursement is counted as a closed loan. COLLATERAL // Something of value—

securities, evidence of deposit or 68

CURRENT LIABILITIES // Debts you

ability to pay its current obligations from current assets. Current assets divided by current liabilities. DEBENTURE // Debt instrument

evidencing the holder’s right to receive interest and principal installments from the named obligor. Applies to all forms of unsecured, long-term debt evidenced by a certificate of debt. DEBT CAPITAL // Business financing

that normally requires periodic interest payments and repayment of the principal within a specified time.

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DIVIDEND // Distribution of earnings

in a business remaining after its liabilities are deducted. Also the net investment of owners or stockholders in a business. of funds for capital or operating expenses in exchange for capital stock, stock purchase warrants and options in the business financed, without any guaranteed return, but with the opportunity to share in the company’s profits. Equity financing includes long-term subordinated securities containing stock options and/or warrants. Utilized in SBIC financing activities. EQUITY PARTNERSHIP // A limited

partnership arrangement for providing start-up and seed capital to businesses. ESCROW ACCOUNTS // Funds

placed in trust with a third party, by a borrower for a specific purpose and to be delivered to the borrower only upon the fulfillment of certain conditions.

EXTRAORDINARY ITEMS // Unusual

or nonrecurring event that must be explained to shareholders or investors, such as a manufacturer’s sale of a building. FINANCIAL PROJECTIONS //

Estimates of the future financial performance of a firm. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS // Written

record of the financial status of an individual or organization. Commonly include profit and loss, or income, statement; the balance sheet, which includes a statement of the company’s retained earnings; and the cash flow statement. FIXED ASSETS // Long-term assets

such as buildings, equipment, or property that are not expected to be converted to cash in the near term. GROSS PROFIT // Indicates the

revenues of the firm before consideration of its operating expenses. Net sales less cost of goods sold. GROSS PROFIT MARGIN // Measures a firm’s profitability. Gross profits divided by net sales. GROSS INCOME // Net sales less

cost of goods sold. GUARANTEED LOAN // A loan made

and serviced by a lending institution under agreement that a governmental agency will purchase the guaranteed portion if the borrower defaults. INSOLVENCY // The inability of a

borrower to meet financial obligations as they mature, or having insufficient assets to pay legal debts. INSTALLMENT LOAN // Loan type

that is paid in periodic payments, such as an automobile loan. INVENTORY // Value of a firm’s raw

materials, work in process, supplies used in operations and finished goods. LINE OF CREDIT // Although not a

contract, a bank’s promise to lend to a specific borrower up to a pre-agreed amount during a specific time frame. Usually reviewed annually and subject to cancellation without notice.


LIQUID ASSETS // Those assets that

OUTLAYS // Net disbursements

PROFIT // Compensation an entre-

RETAINED EARNINGS // Net profits

can be readily turned into cash.

(cash payments in excess of cash receipts) for administrative expenses and for loans and related costs and expenses (e.g., gross disbursements for loans and expenses minus loan repayments, interest and fee income collected, and reimbursements received for services performed for other agencies).

preneur receives for the assumption of risk in a business venture. Also called net income.

kept to accumulate in a business after dividends are paid.

PROFIT AND LOSS STATEMENT //

Summary of the revenues, costs, and expenses for a business over a period of time. Also called the income statement.

purchase an interest in a loan from an original lender, such as banks, institutional investors, insurance companies, credit unions and pension funds.

RATIO // Denotes relationships of

VENTURE CAPITAL // Money used

items within and between financial statements (e.g., current ratio, quick ratio, inventory turnover ratio and debt/net worth ratios).

to support new or unusual commercial undertakings; equity, risk or speculative capital. This funding is provided to new or existing firms that exhibit above-average growth rates, a significant potential for market expansion and the need for additional financing for business maintenance or expansion.

LIEN // A charge upon or security

interest in real or personal property maintained to ensure the satisfaction of a debt or duty ordinarily arising by operation of law. LIQUIDATION // The disposal, at

maximum prices, of the collateral securing a loan, and the voluntary and enforced collection of the remaining loan balance from the obligators and/ or guarantors. LIQUIDATION VALUE // The net

value realizable in the sale (ordinarily a forced sale) of a business or a particular asset. MATURITY // As applied to securities

and commercial paper, the period end date when payment of principal is due.

PRIME RATE // Interest rate which

is charged business borrowers having the highest credit ratings, for short term borrowing. PRINCIPAL // The currently unpaid

balance of a loan, not including interest owed. Also can refer to a primary owner or investor.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT // The

amount of profit (return) based on the amount of resources (funds) used to produce it. Also, the ability of a given investment to earn a return for its use.

SECONDARY MARKET // Those who

Source: SBA Glossary of Terms

MATURITY EXTENSIONS // Exten-

sions of payment beyond the original period established for repayment of a loan. NET INCOME // The sum remaining

after all expenses have been met or deducted. Also called profit.

www.sba.gov/mo (861) 426-4900

NET SALES // Gross sales minus

returns and allowances. NET WORTH // Property owned

(assets), minus debts and obligations owed (liabilities), is the owner’s equity (net worth). OPERATING PROFIT (LOSS) //

Income or loss before taxes and extraordinary items resulting from transactions other than those in the normal course of business. OPERATING PROFIT MARGIN //

Measures a firm’s profitability by examining the pre-tax profit generated from primary operations (versus extraordinary items) in relation to net sales. Operating profit divided by net sales. ORDINARY INTEREST // Simple

interest based on a year of 360 days, contrasting with exact interest having a base year of 365 days.

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // SALES & MARKETING

10 Ways to Excel at Marketing If you want to start winning at marketing, you need to start thinking differently.

but also includes how you (and your employees) dress, how you interact with people, even how you answer the phone. It’s all marketing—and you need to be intentional about it.

( BY SHAWN KINKADE )

NO. 2 UNDERSTAND WHAT YOUR CUSTOMERS THINK

et’s face it, marketing is hard. But L marketing is critical to your longterm business success and growth. In fact, whatever business you’re in, you’re also in the business of marketing—whether you like it or not. “Business only has two functions— marketing and innovation.”—Peter Drucker If your potential customers haven’t heard of you, if they can’t find you, then they can’t buy from you—it’s that simple. Effective marketing doesn’t just happen. It’s an ongoing process, and it’s driven by the way you think. Here are 10 ways to start thinking differently about marketing. NO. 1

BE INTENTIONAL

Recognize that every possible contact you have with a potential customer is marketing. That starts with your website, 70

It doesn’t matter what you think about your business or product/service. What matters is what your customers and potential customers think. You’re not trying to solve your problems, you have to be solving their problems. NO. 3 BE ACTIVE WITH YOUR MARKETING

Word of mouth is great, but if you rely only on passive marketing, you are heading towards failure. It’s difficult to figure out what kind of marketing will work for you, but you have to keep trying. You have to actively find ways to promote and engage— and you have to do it all the time! Even if word of mouth is the best way for you to be successful, what could you actively do to promote more word of mouth—or to have it happen more consistently?

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NO. 4

BE DIVERSE

At any given time, you should have several marketing activities going on at once, and it should be a healthy mix of tactics. You should be creating valuable content, building relationships, getting referrals, have an effective website, participate on social media and potentially be advertising. It’s that consistent combination that will keep you top of mind. NO. 5

HAVE FUN WITH IT

Have you ever had dinner at a great restaurant and had a surly waiter? Probably not a great experience for you. People are extremely sensitive to enthusiasm and respond very well to positive, fun attitudes. continued on page 96 » Shawn Kinkade is a licensed professional business coach and owner of Aspire Business Development, helping business owners and entrepreneurs grow strategically through focus, clarity and momentum. (913) 660-9400 // skinkade@aspirekc.com // www.aspirekc.com


Grow Faster with EAG Advertising & Marketing Every business owner has an aspiration to be bigger – an insatiable appetite for growth. To climb the ladder, accomplish more, see more digits on the bottom line and never look back. But it’s hard. Really hard. Today’s sophisticated marketing requires an integrated strategy. And with the same budget as last year. That’s where we come in as Kansas City’s only agency operating like a complete marketing department for your growing business.

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // SALES & MARKETING

Creating Sales Compensation Packages Comparing base salary, commission, bonuses and combinations.

( BY MIKE MONTAGUE )

ompensating the sales team is one C of the toughest things to get right in your business. If you pay them too little, good salespeople will leave for better opportunities. Pay them too much, and they get complacent and stop growing revenue. To inspire and motivate top-performing salespeople, you must use the Goldilocks Principle and get the compensation package “just right.” Let’s look at the pros and cons of some popular options.

COMMISSIONS

Commissions are the holy grail for salespeople and for business owners. Commissions typically mean an unlimited upside for the salesperson. As the business owner, commission structures are great, because you don’t pay them unless you make money, and they incentivize the type of business you want. For example, if you want more new business than repeat purchases, you can give a higher commission on net new sales. Paying per sale—with quick turnaround BASE SALARY times on the checks—will drive the For most sales positions, some amount of instant gratification the salesperson base salary is desirable. If you pay straight needs to stay motivated. commission only, you Typically, commissions will likely attract someare a percentage of net one who doesn’t need profit or total revenue regular income, and that and will vary greatly is not desirable. TopCOMPENSATING THE based on the profit performing salespeople margin of your business. are in demand, and the SALES TEAM IS ONE OF THE Ranges may include 1 to most attractive positions 10 percent of revenue have stability in the TOUGHEST THINGS TO GET or 20 to 40 percent of form of base salary. gross profit. The total You want this base RIGHT IN YOUR BUSINESS. commissions for tophigh enough to cover performing salespeople expenses for the salesshould equal the base person to live, but not so salary. So, if a salesperson who has high that they don’t need to earn commissions. a $50,000 base is performing well, that Typical base salaries can range from person will be earning another $50,000 $36,000 to $72,000 depending on the expein commissions. rience and expertise needed in the position. DRAW AGAINST COMMISSION

Some companies will offer the salary as a draw against future commissions. This model is very demotivating to the salesperson and not recommended. No one wants to work hard for a company only to end up owing them money at the end of the month. 72

SHARED COMMISSIONS AND BONUSES

Shared commissions and bonuses can be ideal for team selling or when the salesperson may not have direct control over the outcome. For example, if the salesperson generates leads, but then turns the leads over to a closer or technical expert, then a commission structure could become

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frustrating because other people are controlling the salesperson’s income. Shared commissions are ideal for teams, because you can divide up the commission pie based on responsibilities and the behaviors you want to reinforce. Bonuses can also foster cooperation by encouraging everyone to work together to grow the whole pie, so their piece becomes larger. Bonuses are great for inside salespeople, customer service and recurring revenue producers. Options may include lump sum bonuses based on percentages of revenue generated or when production reaches a certain level. COMBINATION PACKAGES

Usually, a combination of payment strategies will drive the best results. You may also want to make changes over time to encourage the appropriate actions as the salesperson grows or the company changes. Combination packages make this easy to do. For example, a new salesperson may need a high base salary and low commissions while training, learning the business and growing the book of business. However, an experienced salesperson may need higher commissions and a lower base salary to increase motivation. You will also want to consider how the territory and the product line influence compensation. A new territory or product may need higher commissions during launch.


Extra! Extra! Sign up for iThinkBigger.com Extra— a FREE email newsletter designed to help you Creating the perfect compensation package is a process of continuous improvement. You will want to be very frank and up-front with your salespeople. Let them know these packages are subject to change. The goal of changing plans is not to pay your salespeople as little as possible; it is to pay them handsomely for the correct behavior.

become a smarter, more successful entrepreneur.

CREATING A GOLDILOCKS COMPENSATION PACKAGE

A great compensation plan will include a base salary during the onboarding and ramp-up time but, over time, the base amount will decrease and the commissions will increase. This ramp-up time should be at least as long as your onboarding process plus your typical sales cycle. Otherwise, your new hires will be under too much pressure to sell too quickly. Sales is a tough job, and getting the compensation right for salespeople can be the difference between a driven and thriving team, and a frustrated and burnt-out group of selfish individuals.

TO SUBSCRIBE OR RENEW TODAY, CALL (913) 432-6690 OR VISIT WWW.ITHINKBIGGER.COM

Mike Montague is vice president of online learning at Sandler Training, where he teaches the behaviors, attitudes and techniques of interpersonal communication needed to be more successful in business. He is a collector of best practices for management, sales and marketing, and he is passionate about empowering ambitious entrepreneurs with options for growth they didn’t know they had. sandler.com // mike.montague@sandler.com Twitter: @mikedmontague K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // SALES & MARKETING

“Sales—I Want to Think It Over” Do you know what this phrase means to you and your career?

As is often the case in sales, none of you were wrong. In fact, you were all correct; and that’s what we’re going to cover today.

( BY DAN STALP )

The prospect “thinking it over” is the biggest counterfeit to professional sales. The idea of professional salespeople believing they have something they don’t really have will “mess them up” better and faster than anything else. Most of us have a “trigger” as to when a suspect becomes a prospect. The trigger is when a person or company is not only listed in our database, but also listed in our sales pipeline report.

hen reading the title of this article, some of you may have thought I was referring to the prospect wanting to “think over” buying your product or service. Others may have thought I was referring to salespeople not being fully convinced sales is the profession for them. Still others may have thought I was referring to salespeople who are not sure they’d buy their own product or service, let alone convince others to buy.

W

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PROSPECT WANTS TO “THINK IT OVER”

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Your sales pipeline “trigger” could be after you perform a presentation, proposal, demo or webinar. Or it could be once you’ve had at least one face-to-face meeting with the suspect. Whatever your trigger is, ask yourself, “What percentage of the folks listed in my sales pipeline report will be doing business with me in 90 days?” Or better yet, what is your past percentage? The percentages I typically hear are between 10 and 40 percent. A 10-40 percent close ratio means more people in our sales pipeline will tell us “no” than “yes.” Spending time and energy on people who are not going to buy from us is a problem in itself. The bigger problem is the false sense of security that having a large sales pipeline often brings. For example, let’s pretend you have 20 prospects in your sales pipeline and agree that 30 percent will be working with you in 90 days. In reality, you have 14 “no’s” and six “yes’s” in your sales pipeline. Magically, I have removed the 14 “no’s” from your sales pipeline, leaving you with six prospects. How do you feel about prospecting for new business with only six prospects in your sales pipeline rather than 20? Most


of us would feel the urge to prospect more, which is the urge most of us need to have! SALESPEOPLE WHO ARE NOT FULLY CONVINCED SALES IS FOR THEM

I talk to a lot of folks who “dabble” in sales. The reasons I hear for dabbling are: NO. 1 They own their company and cannot sell full time. NO. 2 They have another full-time job and sell products on the side. NO. 3 They don’t want to be known as a salesperson, so they pretend they are not selling.

Rarely do I find salespeople doing well in sales when they “dabble” in it. You may be thinking to yourself, “I know a person who dabbles in sales and makes a living.” There is the difference. I’m not talking about just making a living (scarcity), I’m talking about living a life of dreams (abundance).

I urge all of you who see yourselves in any of the three scenarios above to “pull the trigger.” Make a decision today. Are you a sales person or not? If not, stop posing as one. If so, stop denying you are one and embrace all the abundance professional sales can give you. SALESPEOPLE WHO ARE NOT SURE THEY WOULD BUY THEIR OWN PRODUCT/SERVICE

One of the Sandler Rules of Selling is: Prospects buy for their reasons, not the salesperson’s reasons. If I believe all my prospects are like me and buy like me, and I’m not 100 percent sure I’d buy my own product or service, I will get in the way of my prospects buying my product or service—period. While it’s preferable you have bought or would buy your own product or service, it’s not 100 percent necessary. What is necessary is for you to believe 100 percent

that your product or service is the best for your clients who have bought it. The way to know this is to ask killer questions; to truly understand what this person needs. Too often, sales professionals are busy telling their prospects what/why/ when/where/who/how about the product or service, rather than helping the prospects discover this for themselves. While asking killer questions takes more skill and time initially, you can confidently move the sales process forward or abort the process. Either way, you will save you and your prospects tons of time. Plus, they will love you for it. Daniel J. Stalp is president of Sandler Training in Overland Park, Kan. (913) 451-1760 // dstalp@sandler.com

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // SALES & MARKETING

Beyond Insights How to use Facebook data to guide your marketing. ( BY MEGAN J. ZANDER )

nyone who’s ever exported data from Facebook Insights can tell you: There’s a reason why companies hire people specifically to run their social media accounts. There are so many metrics in Facebook Insights, the social network’s free analytics tool. They paint a detailed portrait of who’s consuming your company’s content and advertising—useful information for scaling your campaigns and growing your Facebook marketing. Below are terms and definitions that will help you better understand the many data points inside your Facebook Insights report.

A

DOWNLOADING THE FACEBOOK INSIGHTS REPORT

How do you get the Facebook Insights report for your company’s Facebook page? 76

From your Facebook business homepage, click the Insights tab on the top of your page. Above your page summary dashboard in the top right corner, you’ll see a link to “Export Data.” Upon clicking the export link, a modal will pop up and give you several choices for the report it will produce. Below are some definitions to help you decide what kind of report you need. PAGE DATA // This

report will give you an overview of all your page’s metrics over a customizable period. This report is most valuable for understanding the demographics of those who have liked your page and how your posts are being consumed. It’s a great report for beginners, as you can use this to understand who your audience currently is and how they are using your Facebook content. POST DATA // This

report will give you data on each post, so that you can drill into how individual posts and ads are performing. You

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can focus just on reach or just on engagement, among other things. VIDEO DATA // This

report will give you metrics for your videos: duration of views, auto-play versus click-to-play views and cross-posted videos. WHAT’S INSIDE A FACEBOOK INSIGHTS REPORT?

Once you’ve downloaded the report of your choice, you might become a little overwhelmed. These reports contain multiple pages, each with a drill-down of data from your Facebook page, posts and campaigns. Below are terms you’ll see within those pages. UNIQUE // In Facebook Insights, this generally

means “first-time.” This data point is counted once per Facebook user per period. Knowing the “unique” visitors compared to the returning visitors is helpful in analyzing how effective your content is in creating awareness and extending your reach. LIKE SOURCES // This

shows you where and when individuals liked your page. You can see if they were invited by an admin to like the page, if they liked the page through an ad, or if they liked your page while on the page itself.


YOU’LL BE ABLE TO SEE TRENDS WITHIN YOUR AUDIENCE DEMOGRAPHICS AND INTERACTIONS, AND BE ABLE TO OFFER BETTER, MORE ENGAGING CONTENT THAT CAN CREATE BRAND EVANGELISTS AND REAL SALES LEADS.

LIFETIME // Lifetime

indicates that the data is gathered over the entire life of the item being measured—from the time it was created or posted to now. PAID // When

you see “paid” in the title, the data is being gathered from a sponsored post or ad. NEGATIVE FEEDBACK // Anytime FREQUENCY DISTRIBUTION // Frequency

shows you what percentage of your audience saw your Facebook page’s content during the reporting period. Maybe 50 percent of your audience only viewed your content once, 32 percent viewed twice, 8 percent viewed three times and so on. PAGE POSTS FREQUENCY // This

metric is like frequency distribution, only instead of all content from your page, it measures by individual posts only. TALKING ABOUT THIS // This

measures “stories” or Facebook user interactions that end up in news feeds. When a person mentions your page in a post or when they check in to your page, this creates one “Talking About This.” INTERACTION VS. CONSUMPTION // An

interaction measures the number of unique Facebook users who click on your content. Consumption measures how many times your content was clicked in total. REACH // The number of people who see your

Facebook content. This will be measured by demographic—age, gender, job roles and more. This illustrates who is consuming your Facebook content, and where they’re doing so.

a Facebook user reports your posts as spam, “hides” your posts, or unlikes your page, you receive one count of negative feedback. This is not limited to unique users. HOW DO I USE FACEBOOK DATA, THOUGH?

Now that you understand what your Insights report covers, you can start to see how your content overall is affecting the visibility of your Facebook page and the effectiveness of your content. When you establish goals for your campaigns, you can measure exactly how and why you’re hitting or missing those goals— and you have real data to use in reports. Let’s say your strategy is to blast your Facebook viewers with a high-frequency ad to boost short-term conversions, but you want to keep your negative feedback in a sweet spot. Let’s say, out of every 15 consumptions, there are three negative feedbacks. That’s a 20 percent negative feedback consumption rate. You can monitor that rate to keep it in check, adjusting the frequency of your ad as needed. Or you create an ad and it has incredible reach and interactions, but high negative feedback. You drill down into your Insights

data and find that your frequency distribution for the period of the ad run is off— most of those who viewed it saw it more than six times and then finally reported it. You could use your demographics to see who’s interacting with your content the most. Maybe it’s 60-year-old librarians living in Birmingham, Alabama—but there are only 10 of them, and they’re sick of seeing your ad. You could use Facebook’s controls to change the demographics of the people receiving your ads, creating a wider audience and a lower frequency (and a lower risk of receiving negative feedback). When you begin using video in your ads and on your page, you can measure the effectiveness of the video. How long do Facebook users watch it before they click your call-to-action? Are they watching the whole video but still not clicking? Was this video content cross-posted or unique, and how do the two types compare? The options really are endless. These reports allow you to keep track of your data in Excel, or you can download a CSV file for the business intelligence tool you might be using. Over time, you’ll be able to see trends within your audience demographics and interactions, and you’ll be able to offer better, more engaging content that can create brand evangelists and real sales leads.

Megan J. Zander is a community engagement manager at Sullivan Higdon & Sink in Kansas City, Mo. (816) 888-9261 // meganzandermarketing@gmail.com // www.wehatesheep.com K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // SALES & MARKETING

Who Owns Your Company’s Social Media Accounts? Establishing a definitive policy can protect your assets.

( BY ANNE CULL )

OWNERSHIP OF SOCIAL

f you haven’t thought about how your MEDIA CONTENT I social media accounts operate and Employees should agree that any content about who owns them, it’s time to wake up they create and post on your company’s before you have a nightmare. social networking sites is under a work for According to one of several court hire agreement and is the sole property of rulings, the owner is the person whose your company. Work for hire means the name appears as the administrator on content employees create is part of their the account. EEK! job. Even if they have That’s scary. Does not specifically signed your company have work for hire is autoanything in writing matically implemented that says otherwise? Do when someone becomes YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS you know whose name an employee of your (or names) is listed as company. SHOULD BE VIEWED AS the administrator on Also include language your company’s social about content an COMPANY ASSETS. media accounts? employee may not Your social networks consider to be work for should be viewed as hire. This is to cover company assets. If you yourself if there is any disagreement. have employees managing them without a Employees must agree to assign your signed ownership policy, your organization company all rights, titles and interests could be in danger. to the content that is not deemed to be How can you protect your business? work for hire. Create a social media ownership policy, What happens if an employee who creates and include the following fundamental and posts social media content leaves? You’ll elements. Always be sure to consult with need an extra line item in your policy. It an attorney or HR professional when should say that any content the employee creating company policies. created on or for your company’s social networking sites, or that relates in any way OWNERSHIP OF SOCIAL to your company, may not be used under MEDIA USERNAMES any circumstance after employment. This is a no-brainer. Your company’s name is part of your brand. It should not OWNERSHIP RIGHTS TO ACCESS be used in any other way by anyone who AND CONTROL COMPANY is not part of, or affiliated with, your SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS company. Your ownership policy should Any employees given administrative specifically outline all your company’s userrights to company social media accounts names, and state clearly that you own the must agree to provide access to all passwords rights to each name. It should also say that and usernames. They must agree to provide no new company usernames may be created access to any online groups they create at any time without express permission under your company’s name. And they from company leadership. must transfer all management rights 78

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and authorizations of those groups to the company upon request, or at termination. All company social media accounts should be registered using a company email address, if possible, to avoid confusion. OWNERSHIP OF COMPANY’S SOCIAL MEDIA FANS AND FOLLOWERS

Your company owns the rights to the fans and followers of all social media accounts it has established. This includes Facebook, LinkedIn, company Twitter account followers, Instagram account followers and others. Your company also owns the rights to any contact lists, Twitter lists, Facebook custom audience lists and all other fan and follower lists employees created while they were an employee or under a specific work-for-hire agreement. Don’t overstep the boundaries, however. Your company does not own your employees’ personal account logins. This includes Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections (not the same as LinkedIn fans following your LinkedIn company page) and personal Twitter account followers. The same is true of other personal accounts belonging to your employees that are not affiliated with your company and were not set up under a work-for-hire agreement. Just because a prospective employee has scores of great connections doesn’t mean they suddenly belong to your company when you hire that person. You own your company accounts; employees own their personal accounts. Once you’ve created your social media ownership policy, it’s important for all employees to review it and have the opportunity to ask questions. Ownership of your company’s social media accounts should not be negotiable. If you get pushback from someone on any of the four policy elements outlined here, that’s a good indication that person shouldn’t be managing a social media business account. INCLUDE CONSULTANTS AND OUTSIDE AGENCIES IN THE POLICY

Don’t forget consultants and agencies who are hired to manage your social media continued on page 97 » Anne Cull is the president of ThinkViral LLC, a business development firm that helps companies use social media to accomplish sales goals. (816) 479-5498 // www.thinkviral.com // @ThinkViralKC


L E A P B O L D LY

Playing it safe never leads to success. If you want to be successful you have to take chances. Scary chances. Crap-your-pants chances. You can’t wade into opportunity. You have to leap boldly. springboardcreative.biz

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // PEOPLE POWER

Consistency Is Key to Job Interview System The right approach can get the right employee.

( BY BRIAN KEARNS )

esearch suggests that prospective employee interviews are a poor predictor of job performance, but most companies still conduct them. The interviews often lack consistency and usually produce poor results. Such an approach not only creates a competitive disadvantage for the company, it also diminishes the likelihood of the right candidate getting the job. Want to hire the right person with less hassle? Consider creating your own interview system. A consistent approach can get the right person in the right position, help predict future job performance and give the new employee the greatest opportunity to flourish.

R

BUILD AN INTERVIEW SYSTEM

A disciplined interview system removes bias and relies on consistent questions and evaluation. A few years ago, I had the opportunity to work with Michael Gerber, the author of “The E-Myth Revisited.” Michael preached, “’build a franchise prototype’ or ‘the way we do it here.’” The proprietary operating systems that result for such thinking ensures that tasks are always performed consistently. That is precisely what I recommend you do with your interview system— establish a “way we do it here.” It should be a repeatable process that you can measure and improve. REMOVE THE BIAS FROM YOUR JOB (AND JOB POSTING)

Job postings often contain bias with phrases like, “company seeking to grow manpower” or “looking for a ninja to take us to the next level.” These terms (i.e., manpower, ninja, rock star) are symptoms of unconscious bias. They may start at the job listing, but they often intrude on the 80

interview. For example, an interview often is over the minute the interviewee steps in the room because the person doesn’t fit the mold of a “bulldog.” Remove the bias from your job, and leave biased words out of your listing. STOP THE IDLE CHITCHAT

Even before the meeting starts, the interviewer sometimes will begin with some simple chitchat (also known as rapport building) in order to “break the ice” and put the candidate at ease. People tend to form impressions quickly, however, subconsciously making judgments within a few minutes of the conversation. This can lead to the interviewer predicting the outcome of an interview and deciding to cut it short, anticipating the result as a waste of time. Instead of idle chitchat, the rapport building process should consist of the interviewer providing information to the candidate. This can be by sharing the agenda of the interview outline and informing the candidate that the Q & A will take place toward the end of the interview. This minimizes the opportunity for the candidate to receive leading information.

» Design a uniform set of behavioral

or situational questions for each job position. » Ask the same questions of all candidates. » Interview by committee or have at least two people interview each candidate. This helps ensure a match with your company’s culture. » Limit probing questions. Don’t ask such questions or decide on certain times when you will always ask them. This ensures one interviewee doesn’t get an unfair advantage over another. MAKE EVALUATIONS CONSISTENT

You will need an evaluation system that allows you to measure accurately and fairly all discussion and to compare and to contrast different candidates. Google, for example, uses a custom evaluation rubric with clear standards for determining the quality of a candidate’s answers. The interviewer scores the answers against the rubric for general cognitive ability. Everybody wins when you create and implement an interview system. You are more likely to identify the right talent and your new hire is set up for success from the beginning.

CREATE AN OUTLINE

Put together an outline of your interview questions, and keep them consistent. Creating a consistent list of interview questions is crucial. Here are some examples:

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Brian Kearns is the CEO of HipHire, a Kansas City start-up that matches high school students with employers. (816) 920-0298 // briankearns@hiphire.com


ESTABLISHED & GROWING // PEOPLE POWER

experience to complete the work. Consider assigning research or an “if we had time” project since the intern is an additional resource who can help with back burner projects the core team can’t get to. ASSIGN A SUPERVISOR OR MENTOR

An intern will likely have more questions and need more guidance since he or she will not have a great deal of company knowledge to pull from. This is also a great opportunity for a new supervisor, or an experienced team member who wants to develop supervisory skills. DETAILS, DETAILS, DETAILS

Tools for Creating a Winning Internship Program Follow these best practices for a winning experience for your intern and your team.

( BY NANCY DZURKO )

or many companies, it’s the most wonF derful time of the year: Intern Season! As you prepare to onboard new or returning interns, keep a few things in mind to ensure the experience will be an enjoyable and productive one for all involved. PLAN

Everyone is already busy with the day-today business responsibilities, so hold a brief planning meeting to get your team focused on the arrival of your intern. Consider what you would like your intern to experience and work on during their time with you. Don’t plan the schedule the day your intern arrives. A small investment in planning can yield big payoffs for interns and the team they

will be working with. Avoid pointing to a stack of filing or assigning mundane tasks; the experience should be informative and balanced. Yes, filing and other routine or repetitive tasks may be part of everyone’s workday, but don’t try to make a whole day or even an entire internship about busy work. An intern is not meant to be a replacement employee. Your internship program should give participants an opportunity to align formal education and career choice with real-world experience. Launching this program also gives you a chance to assess possible future employees. You can both determine if this is a good fit. IDENTIFY PROJECTS

Identify a couple of short-term projects ahead of time that your intern can work on. Consider something that will last more than a couple of days but can still be completed during the time frame the intern will be with you. Don’t assign something that is urgent or a “must have” since the intern may not have the knowledge and

Finally, be sure you have worked out all the details surrounding scheduling, attire, conduct and pay. In general, regulations surrounding intern employment is driven at the federal level through Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines. Although most internships should be paid, the following is a snapshot of factors to consider in determining if your intern should be compensated. SIZE OF COMPANY // Larger

companies may be subject to more scrutiny and often have the means to pay interns, so it is encouraged that you do so. COMPANY BENEFITS FROM WORK PERFORMED //

Unless the internship is purely educational and for the intern to acquire knowledge, the intern must be paid if your company benefits from the work performed. INCURRED EXPENSES // If

your intern will incur travel and living expenses to participate in your program, it is recommended to pay the participant to create a more positive experience. Although pay is not usually a deciding factor for most interns, it may be a legal concern for your company if not handled appropriately. Consult your HR professional or visit the DOL website for the most up-to-date information to help guide your decision on pay.

Nancy Dzurko is the HR manager at Lever1, a professional employer organization that helps businesses outsource HR, payroll and employee benefits. info@lever1.com // 816-994-1300 // www.lever1.com K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // PEOPLE POWER

Could Your Business Continue Without a Key Employee? Here’s what you can do to protect yourself and your company.

( BY DAWN WOLFGRAM )

magine what would happen if your I business suddenly had to continue without you, a partner or key employee. Could the loss of this individual cause the business to lose something valuable, such as experience, knowledge, time or money? What can you do to protect yourself and your business? KEY PERSON PLANNING

Since the financial loss could be severe enough to destroy a business, enough cash should be available to compensate for this loss. There are two common ways to accumulate cash: NO. 1 Cash Fund—a specified amount saved each month by a company NO. 2 Purchased assets that generate a return

These methods allow businesses to set aside cash to help offset expenses and/or losses should a key person die. But with both methods, businesses risk the chance that: » The key person may die within a year. » More than one key person dies. » The business needs cash prior to the death and withdraws from the cash fund to meet other obligations. KEY PERSON INSURANCE

Another way to ensure the continuation of a business is to insure key employees. Life insurance can guarantee a cash payment upon the death of a key employee. The company owns the policy and is the 82

beneficiary. The death benefit amount of the policy is determined by how important the employee is to the success of the business. If the insured dies, death proceeds are paid income tax-free to the company. Accumulated cash values are carried as a current asset on the books and are available for the use of the business. HOW TO DETERMINE AN EMPLOYEE’S VALUE

Determining an employee’s value to the business—a dollar amount—is difficult. But there are several commonly used methods for placing a monetary value on a key person’s worth to your business: » Multiply the salary of the employee by three to 10 times. As the key employee’s value to the business rises, the multiple used can also increase. » Determine the difference between the key employee’s salary and the salary that would be paid to a replacement for the employee. Then multiply the excess by the number of years projected to find and train the replacement employee. Key employee valuation is flexible. Your financial professional can help you determine which method works best for you. WHAT IF THE EMPLOYEE QUITS OR RETIRES?

Some policies allow you to change the insured from the terminating employee to another key employee. Another option is to cash in the life insurance policy.* Or your business can continue to hold the insurance until death—and still collect tax-free death

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benefits. If your key employee retires, you may decide to sell the policy to the employee for its cash or replacement value. Key person insurance helps you and your business by providing funds for hiring a replacement, training costs and business expenses when a valuable employee dies. Do not overlook one of your most valuable resources, human resources, when reviewing your risk management program. Key person planning can help ease your business through a difficult transition. For more information about this and other financial topics, contact us. *Subject to surrender charges. Unpaid loans and loan interest will be subtracted from the accumulated value. Dawn Wolfgram is Regional Managing Director and Financial Advisor of Principal National Life Insurance Company and Principal Life Insurance Company and a Registered Representative of Princor Financial Services Corporation. Insurance products from the Principal Financial Group® are issued by Principal National Life Insurance Company (except in New York), Principal Life Insurance Company, and the companies available through the Preferred Product Network, Inc. Securities and advisory products offered through Principal Securities, Inc., (800) 247-1737, member SIPC. Principal National, Principal Life, the Preferred Product Network and Principal Securities are members of the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA 50392. (913) 317-6611 x3556


ESTABLISHED & GROWING // PEOPLE POWER

Top 5 Mistakes When Maintaining Employee Personnel Files Keeping records requires an organized, thoughtful approach.

( BY LORA JENNINGS )

s you hire employees in your company, A you will end up with a significant amount of information about them. It is important to know what information should be documented and retained— and how best to handle those records. Competent risk management also requires an organized and thoughtful approach to record-keeping. Here are the top five mistakes small businesses make when it comes to maintaining employee personnel files.

1

FAILING TO IMPLEMENT DOCUMENTATION PRACTICES

Not every document belongs in a personnel file. Employee files should include the job description, application, resume, offer of employment and terms of employment. The position and rate of pay, W-4 details, performance evaluations, disciplinary actions and termination documents also should be included. Train your human resources manager or other designated employee on documentation practices. Supervisors and managers also should be trained on the importance of documenting relevant performance issues and discipline. Keep employee files organized. Health information, workers compensation information and medical certifications should be kept separate from the general personnel file. Employers may want to keep payroll and compensation information separate as well, including any wage garnishments. Finally, do not treat the employee personnel file as a “catch-all” file for any

document referencing the employee. Instead, the human resources manager or other designated employee should capture and retain documents relevant to the employee’s performance, compensation, performance, investigations, discipline and separation.

2

LACK OF TRAINING ON PROPER DOCUMENTATION

Employee files are company records, just like any other files. This means that documents in an employee file may become exhibits in a lawsuit years later. This makes it particularly important for supervisors and managers to prepare performance reviews and internal communications and complaints in a thorough, accurate and professional manner. You can save a lot of headaches (and possibly some money) if you train your managers on the right way to handle these matters.

3

NOT LIMITING ACCESS TO EMPLOYEE RECORDS

Employers should limit access to personnel files. Personnel files contain information about employees’ addresses, job histories, health information and disciplinary actions. Employers should restrict access to personnel files to only those who truly need to see the information, such as the human resources manager and owner. Employers can be held liable for failing to maintain the confidentiality of employees’ medical and health information. That makes it critical for employers to ensure that this information and documents are kept confidential, and only those with legitimate need for the information can access it.

4

MAINTAINING HEALTH RECORDS IN PERSONNEL FILES

Employers are required to maintain employee medical and health information in a separate file. Federal law allows employers to require an employee to complete a medical examination after an offer of employment has been made and prior to the employee performing his or her duties. A company may make the results of the examination a condition of the offer of employment. Federal law also requires, however, that information obtained about the employee’s or applicant’s medical condition or history be treated as confidential medical records. They must be maintained in separate forms and in separate medical files. Supervisors and managers may be informed about necessary restrictions on the work or duties of the employee and necessary accommodations. Records pertaining to FMLA medical certifications, recertifications or medical histories are required to be maintained as confidential medical records in separate files/records from the general personnel files.

5

NOT MAINTAINING PERSONNEL FILES

The biggest mistake employers can make regarding personnel files is not keeping them at all. A well-documented personnel file is key to protecting the employer in audits and lawsuits. Well-kept personnel files allow the employer to properly supervise and to review employees’ performance. An employer often must demonstrate when, how and why an employee was disciplined or terminated. Employee turnover makes it likely that co-workers who had personal knowledge of events leading up to an employee’s discipline or termination may no longer be employed. The employer then must rely on documentation in the personnel file. That’s when employers of all sizes see clearly the value of properly maintained personnel files. Lora Jennings is an attorney with Martin Pringle, serving in the firm’s Overland Park office. Her practice focuses on business and employment law litigation and consulting. (913) 491-5500 // lmjennings@martinpringle.com K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // PEOPLE POWER

The Dearly Departed What to do when an employee leaves you.

( BY BELINDA WAGGONER )

e get a lot of questions about how to handle employee departures, whether they’re voluntary or involuntary. It’s clear that entrepreneurs aren’t really sure of their responsibilities in this area. To ensure that you do all the right things, let’s go over the fundamentals so the next time it happens, you’ll know what to do. The following points are high-level and not unique to you, so it’s a good idea to develop a departure checklist to ensure you don’t miss something. Break your checklist down by voluntary versus involuntary, and be sure to include who is responsible for completing each piece.

W

RESIGNATION LETTER VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE // A

verbal resignation is OK for starters; that’s usual and expected. But you do need to ask for a formal resignation letter for your personnel files or, at a minimum, a resignation email sent from the employee. Why? You wouldn’t believe how many former employees find their next gig doesn’t work 84

out well, but they haven’t been there long enough to file for unemployment with the new company. They then decide to file for benefits, naming you as the last employer. No, really. That happens. If your file is backed up with a resignation letter, there’s no claim against you for unemployment. INVOLUNTARY DEPARTURE // None

needed

(for obvious reasons). FINAL PAYCHECK VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE // When

someone gives notice, you generally pay the person through their termination date, plus anything else you owe, like accrued but unused PTO or vacation pay. Many courts view accrued but unused time as earned pay. Make sure you know the rules; otherwise, you could easily end up with a complaint filed with the Department of Labor. Nobody has time for that and the hassles it causes. As for voluntary departure, the final pay usually can be made on the next regular payroll. INVOLUNTARY DEPARTURE // It’s

all pretty much the same, except that many states require that the employee’s final pay be delivered on the separation date. A check will do unless there are other provisions such as a separation agreement that

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lays out a different schedule in exchange for a release. BENEFITS VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE // If

you offer benefits such as health, dental, vision or life insurance, there are rules that specify the actions when someone leaves you. If you have more than 20 employees, COBRA takes effect. That means you must offer an extension of those benefits, on the former employee’s dime of course, within a strict timeframe after separation from employment. That is usually 10 days after the final date of employment. Not doing so can land you in hot water. If your company has fewer than 20 employees, depending upon the state in which you do business, State Continuation takes effect. That means the insurance company is required to offer continuation of benefits timely to the departing employee. Both of these mandates are governed by one thing—the employee’s termination date. This means that you have to report these departures in a timely manner to the correct entities to be sure your legal responsibilities are met under COBRA or State Continuation. INVOLUNTARY DEPARTURE // The

procedures are mostly the same as a voluntary departure,


unless the departure is for reasons of gross misconduct. If that is the situation, your obligation to provide continuation may be limited. It would be a good idea to talk to a human resources professional or a lawyer if that’s the case. But if gross misconduct is the issue, chances are you already have sought expert advice. ASSET MANAGEMENT VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE // Do

you know what company assets are in the possession of your employees? The big things are easy to remember, like laptops and cellphones. But does the employee have office keys, key fobs, files, office materials or other information in his or her personal possession that belongs to you? Think about how you track it. There’s nothing worse than realizing, two weeks after a departure, that you’re missing something important or, worse, strictly confidential. This is incredibly important: If a former employee hasn’t returned something to you by the time they leave and they are due pay, do not hold the check. We can’t stress that enough. Earned pay is considered earned pay (with very few exceptions). There are other means available to you as recourse to retrieve belongings; pay shouldn’t be one of them. INVOLUNTARY DEPARTURE // Exactly

the same guidelines apply, except you need to get your ducks in a row before termination to know exactly what company material the employee possesses. EXIT INTERVIEW

TRUST ISN’T ENOUGH Protect your business with noncompetes and nondisclosure agreements.

Ask any business owner about what can happen when an employee leaves. They are likely to tell you stories about what and who the departing employees took with them, and how devastating it was to the business. Employee agreements are used frequently in business, but we’re often surprised to find companies that use the “trust” method instead of protecting the information they’ve worked so hard to build. These agreements aren’t something you should create yourself—do get professional help. If you don’t have expertise in this area, it’s very easy to accidentally introduce loopholes and mistakes in the document that could make it unenforceable. The only thing worse than not having this type of agreement is having one that isn’t enforceable. And, if it isn’t written correctly, if just one provision is unenforceable, a court may deem the whole thing totally unenforceable. If you aren’t protecting yourself and your business with employee agreements, your enterprise could suffer even bigger losses than just the departing employees. CUSTOMERS

Your agreement should state that the departing employee may not take or try to take those customers for a clearly defined period of time. NONCOMPETE

Your employees may not have known a whole lot about your industry when they joined you, but they probably do today. So much so that if they wanted to go work for a competitor or start their

own thing, they’re in a much better position to do so than when you met them. Head that off at the pass … for a clearly defined period of time, at least. CONFIDENTIALITY AND NONDISCLOSURE

We all have confidential information that shouldn’t be disclosed to anyone about our business. That includes our customers, our pricing and our proprietary products and processes. Employees shouldn’t share that information while they’re employed, and they shouldn’t share it after they’re employed, either. You don’t want someone downloading the entire client list and taking it with them. PARTNER AND COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS

Maybe you have a partner that’s the only organization that does what you need doing and is, by virtue of agreement, only doing it for you. Examples are manufacturers that fill a niche, or experts who are the only ones in their field. A former employee shouldn’t swoop in and take that relationship. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

Don’t put your company’s intellectual property at risk. Cover yourself with an agreement that states that creations and innovations that are produced by employees on paid working time are yours. OTHER EMPLOYEES

What’s worse than losing one key employee? Losing two. Your agreement should have a statement that bars former employees from soliciting other employees of yours—or, to take it further— actually hiring other employees of yours. Don’t be paranoid, but do be smart. You’ve worked too hard to get here for someone to waltz in and then waltz out with your information as a shortcut to making it big for themselves.

VOLUNTARY DEPARTURE // By

the time someone leaves for another job, you should have some knowledge about the reasons why. But that’s not always the case. You can learn a lot from someone who has decided to move on. Motivations can be very different, but wouldn’t it be nice to know if there is something you can do differently? Or if you could find out something that you didn’t even know about? If you don’t think you’ll get candor from the departing employee, consider hiring an outside, third party to do it for you. It’s amazing what you learn. INVOLUNTARY DEPARTURE // Exit

interviews are generally not productive if you have dis-

missed an employee. It’s probably best not to waste the time unless you like angry, hostile exchanges that could open the door to other things you don’t want to deal with. SHUT THEM DOWN VOLUNTARY AND INVOLUNTARY DEPARTURES //

We’re often shocked that IT systems and access aren’t on the checklist for someone’s last day with you. Bad things can happen if your former employee has access to email, documents, your building or anything else they shouldn’t once they are no longer

employed. That is true regardless of whether it’s a voluntary or involuntary departure. Whether an employee is leaving of his or her own accord or not, be prepared for the situation. Have a plan, a checklist and a process to make sure you’re doing the right things. Belinda Waggoner is president of People People, which provides HR services to small and midsized businesses. (913) 940-5391 // belinda@peoplepeopleus.com // www.peoplepeopleus.com K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // CONTRACTING & PROCUREMENT

Teaming Up for Contracting Opportunities Make sure you understand the rules before you start playing the game. ( BY MICHELLE CUNNINGHAM )

he federal government spends close to $450 billion each year in goods and services. Small businesses can get in the game in any of three ways:

T

NO. 1 Through a direct contract with the government NO. 2

As a subcontractor

NO. 3

Through a teaming arrangement

If your small business lacks the experience to be the prime on a contract, consider teaming with another company to help you compete. TEAMING RELATIONSHIPS

A teaming relationship can take different forms: » Prime-subcontractor » Joint venture » Mentor-protégé Here’s a snapshot for understanding the differences among the relationships. PRIME-SUBCONTRACTOR // When

a company wants to bid on a contract with partners, a teaming agreement may be established as part of the offer. If the contract is awarded, a prime-subcontractor relationship will result. Note that only the prime has the contractual relationship with the government. Further, the subcontractor’s past performance is not always considered. If the prime has no past performance, a “neutral” rating may be given, essentially opening the door for a competitor to win the contract. JOINT VENTURE // In

a joint venture, two or more businesses form a third company, and each are considered “primes” in performance of the contract. Joint ventures are limited agreements for the specific purpose of bidding on projects, and past performance of all parties will be considered. To compete on small business set-asides, all parties to the joint venture must be considered small

in the industry identified in the bid. When forming a separate legal entity, businesses that want to use their certified status must be the majority owner/managing venturer of the joint venture and perform 40 percent of the work performed by the joint venture. MENTOR-PROTÉGÉ // Mentor-protégé

agreements are limited agreements in which a “mentor” agrees to provide business development assistance to a “protégé.” The mentor may be large or small, and the past performance of both parties will be considered. A joint venture agreement will be established once the mentor-protégé agreement is approved. Other rules apply, so do your research, especially with U.S. Small Business Administration and Department of Defense programs. SUBCONTRACTING LIMITATIONS

If you consider teaming as an option, it’s important to understand additional rules, such as subcontracting limitations and affiliation. To open up opportunity for small businesses, the federal government will “set-aside” procurements among certain socio-economic groups and small businesses. These small businesses might opt to subcontract out a portion of the contract. The percentage of work the small business must self-perform on the contract depends on the type of product or service. An abbreviated summary of the subcontracting limitation rule states that in order to be awarded a small business set-aside contract of more than $150,000, the small business must agree to the following: » In the case of a contract for services (except construction), it will not pay more than 50 percent of the amount paid by the government to it to firms that are not similarly situated. » In the case of a contract for supplies or products (other than from a nonmanufacturer of such supplies), it will not pay more than 50 percent of the amount paid

by the government to it to firms that are not similarly situated. » In the case of a contract for general construction, it will not pay more than 85 percent of the amount paid by the government to it to firms that are not similarly situated. » In the case of a contract for special trade contractors, no more than 75 percent of the amount paid by the government to the prime may be paid to firms that are not similarly situated. “Similarly situated” means of the same size or certification status. Subcontracting limitations apply to joint ventures as well. AFFILIATION

Small business size status is determined by counting either receipts or employees of the company and all affiliates. Whether receipts or employees are counted is defined by industry. A small business can be at risk of losing its small business size status if it is found to be “affiliated” with its subcontractor or teaming partner. Affiliation can occur, for example, when a partner has control or the power to control the small business, or the small business is unduly reliant on their subcontractor (e.g., for past performance). With set-aside procurements, small businesses must take care in the way agreements are written and the work that is performed by each party. Mentor-protégé agreements do provide some protection against affiliation, but it is still important to read the program rules carefully. When selling to the federal government, it’s critical to understand the complex procurement rules and regulations. Understanding them is critical not only to achieving success but also for compliance. Before partnering with another company to bid on federal contracts, seek out further education and assistance. Michelle Cunningham is the director of the Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance center in Kansas City. (816) 235-2891 // cunninghammic@umkc.edu K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // CONTRACTING & PROCUREMENT

How 8(a) Can Help Your Business WHAT KINDS OF BENEFITS DOES 8(A) OFFER?

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program helps small, disadvantaged businesses to compete in the marketplace. Over the span of nine years, participants are given coaching and other help to expand their capacity, so they can compete for federal contracts.

» Participants can become eligible for sole-source federal contracts.

» Participants can team up and form “joint ventures,” especially with larger contractors, to pursue federal contracts.

» Participants receive business training, counseling, marketing assistance and other help.

WHO IS 8(A) FOR?

The 8(a) program is for companies that are at least 51 percent owned and controlled by individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged.

Under federal law, socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias within American society because of their identification as members of groups without regard to their individual qualities. For purposes of the 8(a) Business Development Program, the following individuals are presumed to be socially disadvantaged:

» Black Americans » Hispanic Americans » Native Americans (Separate eligibility requirements exist for businesses owned by Alaska Native Corporations, Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian Organizations and Community Development Corporations.)

According to the SBA, economically disadvantaged individuals are “socially disadvantaged individuals whose ability to compete in the free enterprise system has been impaired due to diminished capital and credit opportunities.” The SBA will consider several factors when determining an individual’s economic status, but generally speaking …

» Participants’ assets cannot exceed $4 million. » Adjusted net worth must be under $250,000 initially. » Personal income, averaged over three years, can’t exceed $250,000. Be sure to visit the SBA’s website (www.sba.gov/8a) for more information on 8(a) economic guidelines.

» Asian Pacific Americans » Subcontinent Asian American Individuals who are not members of one or more of these groups can be considered for the 8(a) program, but they must provide substantial evidence and documentation that demonstrates that they have been subjected to bias or discrimination.

WHERE CAN KC BUSINESS OWNERS LEARN MORE ABOUT 8(A)? Ken Surmeier with the SBA’s Kansas City District Office is a point of contact for companies interested in 8(a). You can reach him at kenneth.surmeier@sba.gov or (816) 426-4919.

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // CONTRACTING & PROCUREMENT

Selling to Big Business Following a few simple guidelines can improve your success in winning procurement opportunities with large corporations.

( BY MICHELLE WORD )

orporations and diverse suppliers form powerful partnerships in the procurement process. Diverse suppliers can find vast opportunities within corporations, which can greatly benefit both parties. Agreements between these large and small businesses generally do not happen overnight, however. Outlined below are some essential steps for small businesses to consider when marketing their products or services to corporations:

C

SELL A PRODUCT OR SERVICE THAT THE CORPORATION CAN USE // To

effectively market your supplies or services, you must know the needs of the respective corporations. Do your homework and research the corporation. Your marketing strategy can then focus on the value you will bring to the company. REGISTER WITH THE CORPORATION //

Completing a corporation’s registration form is often a required step in the procurement process. Most corporations now have an online form that can be readily accessed. Remember that it is essential for all of the information to be accurate and current.

The registration form should be completed as thoroughly as possible and updated when appropriate. PRACTICE PROPER BUSINESS ETIQUETTE //

Be prompt and be professional. Sending a thank you note after a meeting or presentation will reaffirm your interest in their company. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF INDUSTRY-RELATED ORGANIZATION AND NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES—AND OTHERS THAT MAY BE PERTINENT // By

utilizing opportunity fairs, outreach events, etc., small business owners have the chance to create a favorable impression, establish relationships, and to promote their services or supplies. ACQUIRE “RECOGNIZED” AND “ACCEPTED” THIRD-PARTY CERTIFICATIONS // Most

companies recognize certification by the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women Business Enterprise National Council, or other local certifying agencies. Familiarizing yourself with the specific certification requirements of individual corporations is also advantageous. Third-party certifications help ensure that

a business is actually owned, operated and controlled by the applicant. Third-party certification agencies use a rigorous process to ensure that only firms that meet the eligibility criteria of the individual programs are properly certified. Remember, a third-party certification is not your only value and should be cited as only one element of your complete package. YOU CANNOT BE ALL THINGS TO ALL PEOPLE //

Know what you do, and do it well. If this is not your break, save the relationship for future opportunities and ask for constructive feedback. Following these guidelines will not guarantee business, but it will ensure that a positive relationship is established, in which future opportunities may develop. Remember that corporate procurement needs are constantly changing—even small contracts have the potential to lead to larger company involvement. In addition to these suggestions, understanding and implementing basic business principles is the foundation that will open the door to many trade partnerships. Competitive pricing, on-time delivery, precise product or service expertise, safe work habits and good customer service are crucial to acquiring and maintaining corporate contracts.

Michelle Word is principal/business diversity manager at Burns & McDonnell Engineering Company. (816) 822-3084 // mword@burnsmcd.com K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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Federal Certification Criteria Certification

Federal Goal Business Size Personal Net Worth Ownership Status Control

DBE 10% DOT “Small” per SBA (Disadvantaged contracts1 “NAICS” size Business Entity) 5% for all standards2; other prime/ For agency-specific subcontracts certifications, see 3

“Disadvantaged means 51% Socially personal net worth Economically less than $1.32 million, Disadvantaged Owner5 excluding home, business or property owned solely by spouse4

MBE 5%6 “Small” per SBA No personal net (Minority Business “NAICS” size net worth limitation Enterprise) standards2

51% minority owner member of recognized minority or ethnic group, including: African American, Asian American, Pacific Islander and Native American.

Qualifying member must be “disadvantaged” minority or woman

51% qualifying disadvantaged owner or owners

Minority owner must be minority owner or owners

51% qualifying

WBE 5%6 “Small” per SBA No personal 51% woman owner Owner must (Woman Business “NAICS” size net worth limitation be female Enterprise) standards2

51% qualifying female owner or owners

8(a) No goal7 “Small” per SBA “NAICS” size standards2

51% qualifying socially and economically disadvantaged owner

Personal initial 51% socially and net worth limitation economically or $250,000, excluding disadvantaged owner9 home, business or property owned solely by spouse; $750,000 on subsequent years8

Can be minority or woman; in limited instances, can be a non- minority male

Service 3%10 “Small” per SBA No personal Disabled “NAICS” size net worth limitation Veteran standards2

51% owned by Same as ownership Service Disabled Vet or spouse of deceased vet

HUBZONE 3%11 “Small” per SBA No personal (Historically “NAICS” size net worth limitation Underutilized standards2 Business Zone)

51% owned by US citizen; principal place of business must be located within designated HUBZONE; 35% employees must be residents of HUBZONE12

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51% qualifying owner


Steps for Federal Certification 1

Secure your Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. https://www.sba.gov/blogs/why-your-business-needs-get-duns-number

2

Pull your Federal Tax ID number. If you don’t already have a Tax ID number, go to: https://www.irs-ein-tax-id.com

3

Identify and have ready your NAICS industry numbers for work you perform.

4

For self certification (MBE, WBE), start your SBA registration through the federal System for Award Management (SAM) and follow the step-by-step instructions at: https://governmentcontractingtips.com and click on the SAM tab.

5

For 8a certification, go to: https://www.sba.gov/contracting/government-contracting-programs/8a-business-development-program/how-apply.

6

For Service Disabled Veteran certification, go to: https://www.va.gov/osdbu/verification/index.asp.

7

For HubZone certification, go to: https://www.sba.gov/contracting/government-contracting-programs/hubzone-program.

8

Please note that DBE, MBE, WBE, 8a, Service Disabled Veteran and Hubzone vendors must also be registered through SAM (step 4 above).

9

For state and local certifications, refer to your local agencies for specific eligibility factors and criteria.

Footnotes: 1.

For DOT related contracts, see 49 CFR Part 26.41, https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/textidx?SID=bbddd4f2fa698bca686c45ec3ebd0fe8&mc=true&node=se49.1.26_ 141&rgn=div8. Note that while this is the overarching federal goal, flow-down goals for State Highway, Aviation and Transit administrations will vary on a state-by-state basis depending on the availability of certified businesses within that state. https://www.transportation.gov/civil-rights/disadvantaged-business-enterprise/ dbe-program-overview. For all other federal prime and subcontracting agency opportunities, the goal is 5%. See: https://www.sba.gov/contracting/government-contracting-programs/ 8a-business-development-program

2.

SBA Size Standards were significantly revised effective October 1, 2017. For new size standards, see: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/files/Size_Standards_ Table_2017.pdf

3. In addition to SBA standard size classifications as per Footnote 2 above, DBEs seeking certification under federal Department of Transportation Standards must additionally establish: 1) does not have annual gross receipts over $23.98 million in the previously three fiscal years, or $56.42 million for airport concessionaires in general, with some exceptions and 2) Under SAFETEA-LU, this threshold may be adjusted annually for inflation by the Department Secretary. https://www.transportation.gov/civil-rights/ disadvantaged-business-enterprise/eligibilty 4. https://www.transportation.gov/civil-rights/ disadvantaged-business-enterprise/eligibilty 5. “Disadvantaged” definition may be found at: https://www.transportation.gov/ civil-rights/disadvantaged-business-enterprise/eligibilty

7.

While there are no “specific” annual goals for 8a participation, it is a preferred category. This means that under the federal government’s overall goal of devoting 23% of its annual budget to “small business”, 8a firms and HubZone firms receive preferential treatment and sole source advantages not otherwise available to the other programs.

8. https://www.sba.gov/offices/headquarters/ogc_and_bd/resources/14329 9. “Social and Economically disadvantaged” proof defined at: https://www.sba.gov/ contracting/government-contracting-programs/8a-business-development-program/ eligibility-requirements/social-disadvantage-eligibility 10. See https://www.sba.gov/contracting/contracting-officials/goaling-program/ statutory-goals-established-federal-executive-agencies 11. See https://www.sba.gov/contracting/contracting-officials/ goaling-program/statutory-goals-established-federal-executive-agencies 12. See https://www.sba.gov/contracting/government-contracting-programs/ hubzone-program

© Denise E. Farris, Esq., Perry & Trent LLC (November 29, 2017). This article may not be reprinted or reproduced in any manner without the consent of the author at: denise@perrytrent.com. Denise is a nationally recognized business attorney with a special emphasis in government contracting and certification law.

6. SBA 2017 MBE goal referenced at: https://www.sba.gov/contracting/ contracting-officials/goaling K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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How Do I Put a Price Tag on My Business? Here are three ways to understand your company’s true value. ( BY MARY RAMM )

very business has a life cycle and, E at some point, that cycle involves transitioning ownership to a new proprietor. The wisest owners plan for their exit years before it happens. It typically takes nine months to sell a small business, depending on the economy, so preparation is critical. One of the most common mistakes business owners make is not fully understanding the value of their company. Uninformed sellers often rely on anecdotal information, including what neighboring businesses or competitors recently sold for, or simply put their business on the market at the price they believe it’s worth. Both of these strategies indicate a poor understating of the valuation process and often result in disappointment or the realization that an exit is not possible at the desired time. These are all reasons why it’s critically important to regularly value your business. Experts recommend having an independent

valuation performed on your business prior to entering a sales process. Because each market differs, there are no set-in-stone rules for determining the value of a business, but there are three key methodologies every business owner should utilize to determine an accurate value estimate for their company. These methodologies can also help you better understand the valuation of your business. There are three primary approaches to valuing a business and all are described in detail below. THE INCOME APPROACH

Simplified, the income approach determines how much a buyer will pay based on the economic benefits of owning that business, which are determined by the cash flows it generates. These cash flows are defined as net operating income after tax, plus depreciation, less capital expenditures and working capital needs. With this approach, the value of the business is determined by computing the

present value of the forecasted future net cash flows over an appropriate period and the forecasted value of the business at the end of the period. THE MARKET APPROACH

The market approach determines the value of a business by comparing the company to similar businesses or securities of similar businesses (a stock buyout, for example) that have sold. This approach will identify companies that participate in the same line of business and review what they recently sold for. To use this approach, compare your company to others in the industries in which you operate. These companies should have a similar size, capital structure, profitability, growth prospects and risk factors. With this approach, the most commonly used ratios are enterprise value to revenue and enterprise value to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. THE ASSET APPROACH

The asset approach determines worth based on the value of the business’s individual assets and liabilities. When using this approach, it’s important to understand each component of the business is valued separately. The values are totaled and reduced by outstanding liabilities to determine the net asset value of the company. Most commonly, the company’s balance sheet is adjusted to reflect differences between book value and known market values. Whether you use the income, market or asset approach to valuate your business, remember there are several factors that can boost resulting value, including growth, profitability, size, lower volatility, synergies or interest rate environment. Regardless of whether you plan to sell this year, in five years or somewhere further down the line, there is no better time than now to value your small business, create long-term strategy and ensure that when the time comes to exit, you will be financially stable. Mary Ramm is a partner in RubinBrown’s Tax Consulting Services Group. (913) 499-4406 // mary.ramm@rubinbrown.com // www.rubinbrown.com

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ESTABLISHED & GROWING // EXIT STRATEGIES

How to Build a Business That Doesn’t Need You A three-step plan for preparing your people for transition. ( BY ERICA BRUNE )

s you build an exit strategy for your A small business, you’ll get advice from accountants, lawyers and other professionals. But it’s also important to remember the people you’ll be leaving behind: your staff. As a great boss, you want to make sure your workers are left in a solid position. Plus, a good part of your company’s value rests in your employees’ skills, knowledge and relationships. Potential buyers will want to know that you have built a team that can survive without you. It’s time to think bigger about how you’ll make your exit. Start by answering these three questions: » Is your business model prepared for a changing workforce? » Has your management team been empowered to step up? » How will employees react to the culture shift? Don’t wait until you’re ready to transition out of your business. Start building a current team that can take the reins and lead in your absence.

1

ADOPT A MULTIGENERATIONAL BUSINESS MODEL

The average workforce includes a multigenerational talent pool. This is a great thing because each age group will bring something valuable to the mix. More seasoned employees offer experience. Younger employees represent your company’s future. Understand how your business model appeals to each group. Review current recruiting and staffing policies to meet the needs of your diverse workforce. Know what the different groups value in terms of job satisfaction, from compensation and benefits to flexibility and promotions.

For example, as transient Millennials enter the workforce and your recruitment pool, you can improve retention by targeting what’s important to them. Adjust your business model to include atypical job requirements such as a flexible work schedule or the ability to work from home. Studies show nearly half (48 percent) of Millennials find themselves gravitating towards atypical work. Despite inevitable turnover, you can also adapt your business model to include a mentor program, which helps maximize the time you have with Millennials. This sparks a two-way flow of innovation between mentor and mentee while contributing to the larger body of knowledge in your company.

2

EMPOWER MANAGERS TO STEP UP

The most successful companies allow senior leadership to have significant accountability in the company’s success. Don’t be afraid to delegate. Equip department managers with the tools to essentially run their own business. They should be able to manage financials, develop a business plan and oversee staff in their own department. Meet with this team weekly or monthly to ensure each department is on track in accomplishing the goals you’ve set. As you observe this process, you’ll begin to identify key managers who can “hunt, farm and sell”—exhibiting the traits your business needs to thrive without you.

3

PREPARE FOR THE OWNERSHIP SHIFT

When a company changes ownership, sometimes employees will begin to look at their job options (including hopping over to your competitors) because they aren’t sure what the new leadership will be like.

Employees will be less concerned regarding your departure when you’re honest, direct and empathetic during the discussions. Hopefully, by this third step, you’ve already put the senior leadership team in place to make it easier for employees to navigate through the transition as dayto-day business operations continue to run smoothly. Don’t be discouraged if turnover is an ongoing struggle for your company because it’s a serious challenge many companies face. It’s important to address, though, because employee retention can affect customer retention. Clients who suspect instability from your business may start eyeing your competitor. One solution: Avoid putting customer service tasks in a silo, and enable your managers to establish meaningful relationships with clients. Implement a communication channel that establishes your senior leadership team and account executives as points-of-contact, instead of one individual. Clients will feel less impact upon your departure knowing a complete, competent team is managing their needs. These three steps are critical to building an effective team that can lead without you. Putting these tools in place now can also help boost your bottom line and employee morale. Peace of mind won’t be too far behind as you confidently leave your company in capable hands. Erica Brune is president of Lever1, a professional employer organization (PEO) in Kansas City. Lever1 offers services in risk management, human resources, payroll, employee benefits and compliance. 1-866-622-1511 // www.lever1.com K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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Back to the Future of Business Succession Planning Options for transferring business ownership. ( BY JAMES MOSER )

s baby boomers continue to cycle out of the workforce, America is in the middle of a transition where more than half of all businesses will need to be sold, restructured or liquidated. Unfortunately, this transition is occurring during a period in which capital gains rates have increased from 15 to 23.8 percent. When a business is sold, the owner(s) generally will pay capital gains tax on the difference between the final amount the owner is paid, or “basis” in the asset, and the sale price.

A

REDUCING TAX LIABILITY

The question for many business owners is how to transfer ownership without the large tax liability. One option is to keep the business until death. This would allow the owner’s heirs to receive the assets with a step-up in

basis. For example, if an owner capitalized the business with $10,000 that over time increased in value to $1 million, heirs will receive the shares with a stepped-up basis of $1 million upon the owner’s death. When the heirs eventually sell the shares, they will be responsible for paying capital gains only on the difference between the $1 million value and the sale price of the shares, resulting in close to $280,000 in federal and state tax savings. The main disadvantages of this option are that it requires the business owner to generally be involved with the business much longer than he or she would like, and it leaves the owner’s family with the responsibility to sell the business with little to no direction. Several other ownership transition choices include selling the company; merging with another company; selling

internally via a management group or an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), or a combination of the two; transferring the business to family; liquidating; or going public. Only one of these options allows a business owner to sell a company in the present and still allow his or her heirs to receive the assets with a step-up in basis upon death. This may be facilitated with the sale of the business to an ESOP. ESOPS AND TAXES

An ESOP is a qualified retirement plan created by Congress in 1974. It has a myriad of tax incentives for the seller of a business and the sponsoring company, and also provides a great benefit to employees through ownership equity. An ESOP can be sponsored by any C corporation or S corporation. If your business is a C corp (or converts to a C corp right before the sale to an ESOP), you can elect to defer paying tax on all or a portion of the proceeds from continued on page 97 » James Moser is the leader of the ESOP Practice Group at Seigfreid Bingham, P.C. (816) 265-4118 // jmoser@sb-kc.com // www.sb-kc.com

Is there an elephant in the family business? Learn how to talk about the issue no one wants to, but needs to, so the family and business can move forward. Visit www.kyledanner.com.

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Is There an Elephant in the Family Business? Addressing it can lead to more opportunities and better relationships.

( BY KYLE DANNER)

very family struggles with issues that no one wants to talk about—it’s the elephant in the room. Add business to the mix and it becomes even messier. As someone who grew up, worked in and owned a business with my family, I get it. As someone who advises family businesses on transition and exit planning, I see it firsthand. When family businesses avoid the elephant in the room, they miss business opportunities, lose money and damage relationships. When thinking about the elephant in your family’s business, remember it’s bigger than any one person. Of course, it’s easy to focus only on your side, especially if you’ve been hurt or if you

E

feel passionately about your position. By not stepping back to seeing the bigger picture, you limit your ability to address the issue in a constructive way that moves the family and business forward. Take for example these common elephants in the family business—the things we don’t want to talk about. THE KIDS AREN’T READY

Often this is just intergenerational sniping that everyone does. It’s the “kids these days” mentality. Other times, mom and dad are genuinely concerned and are at a loss as to how to address it. Parents who learned the business as it grew now face the seemingly insurmountable task of teaching the kids the ropes. How do you even begin transferring years of hard-earned knowledge and experience? MOM AND DAD WON’T LET GO

Business owners can be control freaks. They started the business to be in charge of their destiny, often struggling in the early years. Since small mistakes could be costly

to the business, they kept close control over all aspects of the business. To protect the family, they didn’t share just how close they came to losing everything. How do you manage the desire for control and fear of letting go in order to help the next generation develop personally and professionally? EQUAL ISN’T FAIR

Not everyone in the family works in the business. With the business as a significant source of wealth for the family, the parents wonder how to share the benefits. The simple thing is to divide their estate, including the business, among everyone equally. On the surface equal seems fair, but is it fair to those working in the business, shouldering the daily burden of ownership? Is it fair to those whose talents were never suited to the business and pursued other careers? How do you treat everyone fairly? A FAMILY MEMBER IS UNDERPERFORMING

Family members protect one another out of love and concern. It’s what families do. But it becomes a problem when they don’t hold one another accountable. Add to the mix that the entrepreneurial spirit that continued on page 97 » Kyle Danner helps families in business work better together so they can manage change and prosper across generations. (913) 481-5909//www.kyledanner.com K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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A Complete Beginner’s Guide to Business Plans » continued from page 18

NEED HELP?

If this is the first time you’ve written a business plan, don’t worry—there are a ton of resources, many of them free, that can give you guidance as you develop your plan. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a free online tool for creating business plans at www.sba.gov/tools/business-plan. SCORE provides templates for writing business plans, too, as well as basic financial reports (www.score. org/resource/businessplanning-financialstatements-templategallery). And Bplans.com has a library of more than 500 sample plans for a wide range of businesses, including restaurants, retailers, service providers and more. Here in Kansas City, several resource organizations regularly host workshops where aspiring business owners can receive assistance in person.

How Do I Know If My Small Business Idea Is a Winner? » continued from page 28

wages of the workers who produce the food—account for 22 percent. Your production costs are 60 cents, leaving you with a gross profit margin of 40 cents, or 40 percent. Your fixed costs for the year—rent, utilities, advertising, your life expenses— total $250,000. To arrive at the break-even point, divide your fixed costs by your gross profit margin: $250,000 / .4 = $625,000

Can your restaurant produce sales of $625,000 a year? That’s more than $50,000 a month or $1,700 a day—every day. Of course, your goal is to exceed your break-even point. But, by calculating this “make or break” number on a spreadsheet in advance, you reduce the risk of “rolling the 96

dice” with your life savings or money from friends and family or a bank loan. By completing a feasibility study, you can increase your odds of being among the 20 percent of first-year businesses that succeed.

SBA Loans From A to Z » continued from page 56

goods 30 percent, instead of the industry average of 35 percent? These are the types of questions lenders will want answers to. Remember that you will need to personally guarantee any SBA loan. Why would your fellow taxpayers guarantee a loan if you aren’t willing to? And consider consulting your CPA or attorney beforehand. Finally, keep in mind that small business borrowing is very relationship-driven—much more so than consumer (or large corporate) borrowing. You don’t want to necessarily make your decision based on interest rates and terms—look for a good relationship with a lender. If you don’t feel good about your relationship with your lender at the application stage, then it won’t get any better if your business gets in a bind.

10 Ways to Excel in Marketing » continued from page 70

A great attitude starts with the business owner and continues with the right employees. If you don’t enjoy what you do, if you’re not proud of it, why would you expect anyone to pay you for it? NO. 6

HAVE A CLEAR TARGET

If you’re trying to talk to everyone, then you’re not going to reach anyone. Build your marketing around your best customers, solve their problems, engage them in discussions. That’s how you’ll have your best success reaching people. Could you narrow your marketing message down more than it is today?

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NO. 7 FOLLOW UP AND FOLLOW THROUGH

If you aren’t following up with potential customers in a timely and consistent way, you’re wasting your time (and you’re not going to be in business for very long). It’s hard to imagine going to the effort of building a great marketing strategy, getting potential customers to raise their hands and then not following up with them as soon as possible. But it happens all the time. For example, the last time you were at a networking event, did you follow up with the new contacts you met? Even just to say thanks or let’s get together? GIVE A LOT OF VALUE— AND THEN GIVE SOME MORE! NO. 8

Your customers are looking for help, and they are willing to pay you—once they know you, like you and trust that you can actually help them. The best way to do that is to give away great stuff, add value and educate. Make sure that when your potential customers find you, they are blown away with how much you can help them—even before they buy your stuff. Are you giving away great stuff right now? Are you educating? NO. 9

BE DIFFERENT

The marketplace is really crowded these days, and if you want to be noticed, you’re going to have to stand out. That doesn’t have to mean loud and crazy advertising. It could be as simple as truly exceptional service—or even just having a really clean bathroom. Another way to go is to be truly remarkable. It’s not easy, but it will put you into a category of one if you can pull it off. How much do you stand out from your closest competitors? NO. 10

BE CONSISTENT

It’s not exciting, but the only way all this other stuff works is if you are doing it every day, every week and every month. You can’t win by making a big splash just when you have some free time. You need to carve out consistent time and effort, show up and take consistent action. If you’re doing a great job on all 10 of these, then you’re likely exploding with success. If you’re falling short, where could you improve?


Who Owns Your Company’s Social Media Accounts? » continued from page 78

on an outsourced basis. They often take over administrative rights, which means they could kick you off your own social networks at any time. It’s critical to have a signed contract that says your company owns everything, regardless of the work these consultants do on your behalf. The last thing you want is a contractor running off with full control of your company’s Facebook page after you’ve worked so hard to earn a good reputation and a lot of supportive fans. It’s your responsibility to protect those fans, as well as your company’s reputation. Social media ownership policies and contracts give you more power and could possibly save you the hassle and expense of a lawsuit.

Back to the Future of Business Succession Planning » continued from page 94

the sale as long as at least 30 percent of the businesses’ stock is owned by the ESOP trust (including prior sales). This deferral is very similar to a 1031 exchange involving real estate. The key to the deferral is that you must purchase “qualifying replacement property” or QRP (e.g., public company stocks or bonds) three months prior to or 12 months after the sale to the ESOP. As long as you maintain that investment, you can defer paying capital gains taxes indefinitely with the possibility of avoiding the payment of any capital gains taxes if you hold the investments until your death. If the seller desires liquidity, any portion of the QRP may be sold, with capital gains tax applying only to the sold QRP. Any remaining QRP still held by the seller at death is transferred to the seller’s heirs with a step-up in basis, avoiding capital gains tax entirely. The ESOP also provides tremendous tax advantages to the company. Any contributions to the ESOP for purposes of paying down the ESOP loan are deduct-

ible, resulting in the purchase of the company from the seller on a pre-tax basis. It should be noted that S corp ESOPs have additional tax advantages. An S corp is a pass-through entity similar to a partnership or LLC. As such, any profits are allocated to the company owners, and they pay personal income tax on the gains. Since ESOPs are tax-exempt retirement plans, any percentage of profits allocated to the ESOP is tax-free and provides the ESOP with additional cash flow to pay off amounts owed to the seller or to grow the business.

Is There an Elephant in the Family Business?

ADDITIONAL ESOP CONSIDERATIONS

DECIDING WHETHER TO KEEP OR SELL THE BUSINESS

The ESOP approach also allows the business to stay intact. A sale to a competitor has the inherent risk that employees may be laid off, corporate culture will be diminished, and the character and strength of the business developed for years by the owner will be extinguished. An ESOP allows current management to continue to operate the business, and as the company grows, all of the employees may share in the future success through growth in their retirement accounts. Studies have shown that on average, ESOP participants receive 50 to 100 percent more in contributions than traditional 401(k) plan participants. Even so, an ESOP isn’t the best solution for every organization because it is inherently complex, and, as with any transition option, the owner, employees and company need to understand how it works and what to expect at every stage of the process—from assessing feasibility to exploring and executing transaction alternatives. An ESOP can be the right tool for the owner and the company, but only after review of the options and determining whether it is a viable fit for strategic goals and personal legacy. This article is intended to provide general recommendations and is not intended to be legal advice. You should always consult your attorney for advice unique to you and your business. Please note that any estimates of tax consequences are based on the current tax code and could change based on future changes in the law or regulations.

» continued from page 95

is strong in family business. Policies and procedures, including job descriptions, are often loosely defined, while decision-making is concentrated in a few hands. It leaves boundaries blurred and expectations murky. How does anyone even know they’re underperforming in the first place, and what do you do about it?

It’s assumed that passing the business to the next generation is the hallmark of success. It’s understandable considering the desire to preserve the family’s legacy and the owner’s concern for their employees and place in the community. But that may not be the best option. The kids may not want the business, or it may not be viable in the future due to the shifting economic landscape. How do you decide whether to keep the business sell it? It’s easy for outsiders to point fingers and judge family businesses for avoiding these issues. It’s easy for advisers and consultants to say, “keep the family and business separate.” The first is unfair, and the second isn’t helpful. It’s unfair because every family has elephants they avoid (and when people point fingers, they’re avoiding their own family’s issues). It’s unhelpful because it ignores the competitive advantage family businesses have when the family’s talents, desires and vision are aligned. If you’re wondering how to talk about the elephant in your family’s business, start by asking yourself, “What don’t I know?” The elephant is bigger than you or anyone else, and there are always many sides to the issue. Starting with a curiosity mind-set opens your eyes and generates more options for addressing the issue in an effective way that benefits the family and business.

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DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES // MATRIX OF SERVICES

24/7 Missouri

AltCap

American Red Cross

• •

• • •

• • •

Blue Hills Contractor Incubator

Blue Springs Economic Development Council

• •

• •

• •

• •

• •

YOUTH ENTREPRENEURS

WOMEN

VETERAN-OWNED

MINORITIES

• • • •

• •

• • • • •

• • • •

• • •

• • • • • •

• • • •

Child Care Aware of Missouri

• • • •

• • • •

• • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • •

City of Kansas City, Mo., Human Relations Dept.

• • • • •

Clay County Economic Development Council

• •

• •

Diversity and Inclusion—Greater KC Chamber

• •

• •

Downtown Council of Kansas City

Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Mo.

• • • •

• •

Entrepreneurial Leadership Project at MidAmerica Nazarene University

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• • • • • • •

• •

• • • •

Enterprise Center in Johnson County

• •

• • • • •

Ennovation Center

• • •

• • • • • • •

• • •

EnCorps45

• • • • • •

• • •

County Economic Research Institute Inc. (CERI)

• •

• • •

• •

LOW INCOME

HOME-BASED

DISABLED BUSINESS OWNERS

MATURING BUSINESSES

ESTABLISHED GROWTH-STAGE BUSINESS

STARTUP EARLY-STAGE BUSINESS

ASPIRING CONCEPT-STAGE BUSINESS

TECHNOLOGY/OFFICE SYSTEMS

• •

Digital Sandbox KC

TAX SERVICES

• • • •

• • •

Bureau of Economic Analysis

• • • • •

• • • • • • • •

Business + Community Development, KS

• •

Blue Valley Center for Advanced Professional Studies

Center for Entrepreneurship at Missouri Western State University

• • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • •

Blue Hills Community Services

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Bioscience & Technology Business Center

Central Exchange

• • • •

BetaBlox

The Builders’ Association

• • • •

Athena League

BioKansas

STARTUP ASSISTANCE

Advanced Manufacturing Institute

Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM)

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT/ENVIRONMENTAL ASSISTANCE

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

OFFICE, LABORATORY, INCUBATOR, MEETING SPACE

NETWORKING

MENTORING/ADVISORY BOARDS

MARKETING & SALES ASSISTANCE

MARKET RESEARCH/FEASIBILITY STUDIES

MANUFACTURING, HIGH TECH & LIFE SCIENCES

MANAGEMENT TRAINING & HR

LEGAL SERVICES

INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

IMPORT/EXPORT

FREIGHT & DISTRIBUTION

FRANCHISING

FINANCIAL RESOURCES & ASSISTANCE

ENTREPRENEURIAL RESEARCH

EDUCATION/TRAINING

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

CERTIFICATION & PROCUREMENT

BUSINESS PLANNING

TA R G E T

ADVOCACY/PUBLIC POLICY/LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

This matrix is designed to provide a quick reference to the types of assistance offered by the organizations listed in this directory. For example, if you are seeking financing opportunities, glance down the column labeled Financial Resources and Assistance to find the organizations that provide financing assistance.

• • • • • •

• • • • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • •

• •

• • •

• • • • •

• • • • •

• • • • • •


Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

FabLab at MCC

• • •

Flyover Capital

Frontier Financial Partners

YOUTH ENTREPRENEURS

WOMEN

VETERAN-OWNED

MINORITIES

LOW INCOME

DISABLED BUSINESS OWNERS

MATURING BUSINESSES

HOME-BASED

• • • • •

• • • •

Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program (HEMP)

Hispanic Economic Development Corporation

• • • • • •

• • •

• •

• • • • • • • •

• •

Independence Avenue Community Improvement District

• •

• • •

• •

• • •

• •

• • •

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• •

• • • • • • • • • • •

Heartland Business Capital

IBSA Inc.

• • •

Independence Economic Development Council

Full Employment Council

H&R Block Business & Career Center

ESTABLISHED GROWTH-STAGE BUSINESS

STARTUP EARLY-STAGE BUSINESS

ASPIRING CONCEPT-STAGE BUSINESS

• • •

• •

TECHNOLOGY/OFFICE SYSTEMS

• •

Farm to Table Kitchen at City Market

Freelance Exchange

TAX SERVICES

STARTUP ASSISTANCE

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT/ENVIRONMENTAL ASSISTANCE

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

OFFICE, LABORATORY, INCUBATOR, MEETING SPACE

NETWORKING

MENTORING/ADVISORY BOARDS

MARKETING & SALES ASSISTANCE

MARKET RESEARCH/FEASIBILITY STUDIES

MANUFACTURING, HIGH TECH & LIFE SCIENCES

MANAGEMENT TRAINING & HR

LEGAL SERVICES

INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

IMPORT/EXPORT

FREIGHT & DISTRIBUTION

FRANCHISING

FINANCIAL RESOURCES & ASSISTANCE

ENTREPRENEURIAL RESEARCH

EDUCATION/TRAINING

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

CERTIFICATION & PROCUREMENT

BUSINESS PLANNING

ADVOCACY/PUBLIC POLICY/LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

TA R G E T

• • • • •

• •

• • •

• • • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • •

• • • •

Initiatives Worldwide Internal Revenue Service

• • •

International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City

Inventing Workshop

• •

Inventors Center of Kansas City

• •

• • • •

• • •

• •

InterUrban ArtHouse

InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum Jackson County, Mo., Purchasing Department

• •

• •

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Kansas Business Center

Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute Inc.

Justine Petersen

Kansas City Area Development Council

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Johnson County K-State Research & Extension Johnson County, Mo., Economic Development Corporation

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DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES // MATRIX OF SERVICES

KCDMA Kansas City Startup Foundation

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KC Tech Council

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KC Rise Fund

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KU Innovation & Collaboration

LEAPP Ahead

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Miami County Economic Development

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Mid-America Angels

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Mid-America Mfg. Technology Center (MAMTC)

Mid-America Regional Council (MARC)

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Mid-America Trade Adjustment Assistance Center

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Metropolitan Community College Institute for Workforce Innovation

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Martin City Community Improvement District

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K-State Pollution Prevention Institute

Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council

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KCSourceLink

Leavenworth County Development Corp.

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Kearney Area Development Council

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KC BizCare—City of Kansas City, Mo.

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Mid-Continent Public Library—Square One Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership at UMKC

Midwest Small Business Finance Minority Contractors Assn. of Greater Kansas City

YOUTH ENTREPRENEURS

WOMEN

VETERAN-OWNED

MINORITIES

LOW INCOME

HOME-BASED

DISABLED BUSINESS OWNERS

MATURING BUSINESSES

ESTABLISHED GROWTH-STAGE BUSINESS

STARTUP EARLY-STAGE BUSINESS

ASPIRING CONCEPT-STAGE BUSINESS

TECHNOLOGY/OFFICE SYSTEMS

TAX SERVICES

STARTUP ASSISTANCE

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

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Kansas Procurement Technical Assistance at JCCC

Liberty Economic Development Corp.

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT/ENVIRONMENTAL ASSISTANCE

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Kansas Insurance Department

Leavenworth Main Street Program, Inc.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

OFFICE, LABORATORY, INCUBATOR, MEETING SPACE

NETWORKING

MENTORING/ADVISORY BOARDS

Kansas City University Venture Partnership Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts Kansas Department of CommerceExport Assistance & Marketing Kansas Department of CommerceKansas Statewide Certification Program Kansas Department of Commerce— Department of Minority & Women Business Development

MARKETING & SALES ASSISTANCE

MARKET RESEARCH/FEASIBILITY STUDIES

MANUFACTURING, HIGH TECH & LIFE SCIENCES

MANAGEMENT TRAINING & HR

LEGAL SERVICES

INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

IMPORT/EXPORT

FREIGHT & DISTRIBUTION

FRANCHISING

FINANCIAL RESOURCES & ASSISTANCE

ENTREPRENEURIAL RESEARCH

EDUCATION/TRAINING

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

CERTIFICATION & PROCUREMENT

BUSINESS PLANNING

ADVOCACY/PUBLIC POLICY/LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

TA R G E T

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Missouri Biotechnology Association (MOBIO)

Missouri Department of Economic Development

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Olathe Economic Development Council

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YOUTH ENTREPRENEURS

WOMEN

VETERAN-OWNED

MINORITIES

LOW INCOME

HOME-BASED

DISABLED BUSINESS OWNERS

MATURING BUSINESSES

STARTUP EARLY-STAGE BUSINESS

ASPIRING CONCEPT-STAGE BUSINESS

ESTABLISHED GROWTH-STAGE BUSINESS

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Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies

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1 Million Cups - Kansas City OpenAir Equity Partners

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Pipeline

Rightfully Sewn

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Raytown Office of Economic Development

TECHNOLOGY/OFFICE SYSTEMS

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Platte County Economic Development Council

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Northland Angel Investor Network

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Northeast Kansas Enterprise Facilitation Initiative

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NetWork Kansas

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MOSourceLink Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council

Parkville Economic Development Council

Mo-Kan Development

OneKC for Women

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Missouri Technology Corp.

Northeast Industrial Association (NEIA)

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Missouri Small Business Regulatory Fairness Board (SBRFB)

National Federation of Independent Business

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Missouri SBIR/STTR Technical Assistance Program

National Association of Women Business Owners, KC Chapter National Association of Women in Construction—Kansas City

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Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC)

Multicultural Business Coalition

TAX SERVICES

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Missouri Linked Deposit Program Missouri Office of Equal Opportunity

STARTUP ASSISTANCE

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Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

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Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration Missouri Enterprise

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT/ENVIRONMENTAL ASSISTANCE

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

OFFICE, LABORATORY, INCUBATOR, MEETING SPACE

NETWORKING

MENTORING/ADVISORY BOARDS

MARKETING & SALES ASSISTANCE

MARKET RESEARCH/FEASIBILITY STUDIES

MANUFACTURING, HIGH TECH & LIFE SCIENCES

MANAGEMENT TRAINING & HR

LEGAL SERVICES

INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

IMPORT/EXPORT

FREIGHT & DISTRIBUTION

FRANCHISING

FINANCIAL RESOURCES & ASSISTANCE

ENTREPRENEURIAL RESEARCH

EDUCATION/TRAINING

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

CERTIFICATION & PROCUREMENT

BUSINESS PLANNING

ADVOCACY/PUBLIC POLICY/LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

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DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES // MATRIX OF SERVICES

RMI

Royal Street Ventures

The Sewing Labs

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YOUTH ENTREPRENEURS

WOMEN

VETERAN-OWNED

MINORITIES

LOW INCOME

HOME-BASED

DISABLED BUSINESS OWNERS

Shawnee Economic Development Council

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SCORE

MATURING BUSINESSES

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ScaleUP! Kansas City

ESTABLISHED GROWTH-STAGE BUSINESS

STARTUP EARLY-STAGE BUSINESS

ASPIRING CONCEPT-STAGE BUSINESS

TECHNOLOGY/OFFICE SYSTEMS

TAX SERVICES

STARTUP ASSISTANCE

REGULATORY COMPLIANCE

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT/ENVIRONMENTAL ASSISTANCE

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

OFFICE, LABORATORY, INCUBATOR, MEETING SPACE

NETWORKING

MENTORING/ADVISORY BOARDS

MARKETING & SALES ASSISTANCE

MARKET RESEARCH/FEASIBILITY STUDIES

MANUFACTURING, HIGH TECH & LIFE SCIENCES

MANAGEMENT TRAINING & HR

LEGAL SERVICES

INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS & STUDENT SERVICES

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

IMPORT/EXPORT

FREIGHT & DISTRIBUTION

FRANCHISING

FINANCIAL RESOURCES & ASSISTANCE

ENTREPRENEURIAL RESEARCH

EDUCATION/TRAINING

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

CERTIFICATION & PROCUREMENT

BUSINESS PLANNING

ADVOCACY/PUBLIC POLICY/LEGISLATIVE ISSUES

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SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS (SBDCS) JCCC SBDC

KU SBDC

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Missouri University of Science & Technology SBTDC

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NWMSU–SBDC at St. Joseph

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UMKC SBTDC

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University of Missouri Extension– Jackson County SBTDC

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Southland CAPS Southwest Johnson County Economic Development Corp.

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UMKC Entrepreneurial Legal Services Clinic

U.S. Department of Commerce: U.S. Commercial Service–Kansas City

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U.S. Small Business Administration

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Velocity Lee’s Summit

Veterans Business Resource Center

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Whiteboard 2 Boardroom

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Wakarusa Valley Development Inc.

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U.S. General Services Administration OSBU

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World Trade Center Kansas City

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Workforce Partnership

Wyandotte Economic Development Council

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Topeka/Shawnee County First Opportunity Fund

Women’s Employment Network (WEN)

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Technology Councils of North America (TECNA)

Women’s Business Development Center

Startup Village

Women’s Business Center

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Startup Rewind

Women Construction Owners and Executives

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Sprint Accelerator

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Join Us! Brew :30 is a quarterly Happy Hour event where you can meet new business owners, make valuable connections and discover some of Kansas City’s local wineries, breweries and distilleries! Every Brew :30 features a rapid-fire program introducing select “Companies on Tap”—up-and-coming companies that have appeared in the pages of Thinking BiggerBusiness magazine.

RSVP TODAY AT ITHINKBIGGER.COM | (913) 432-6690 FOR SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES // RESOURCE 0RGANIZATIONS

RESOURCE ORGANIZATIONS This resource directory includes a variety of organizations that entrepreneurs and small business owners can tap for help in a wide range of areas, from compliance help to workforce development to funding and more. For more information on any of these services, reach out to the organization using the contact information provided.

24/7 MISSOURI

www.openforbiz.mo.gov This online resource serves as a single point of entry for business registration, filings, licenses and permits for doing business in Missouri. WEBSITE

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING INSTITUTE (AMI)

Jeff Tucker 510 McCall Road Manhattan, KS 66502 PHONE (785) 532-3421 EMAIL jwtuck@ksu.edu WEBSITE www.k-state.edu/ami The Advanced Manufacturing Institute at Kansas State University is dedicated to providing innovative technology and business development solutions through a wide array of business and engineering services. AMI offers a full range of capabilities, including IP research and creation; competitive product studies; market and customer research; product and process development; product prototyping and testing; custom equipment design and fabrication; control system development; and system integration. ALTCAP

Ruben Alonso 3200 Wayne Ave. Kansas City, MO 64109 PHONE (816) 216-1851 EMAIL ruben@alt-cap.org WEBSITE www.alt-cap.org AltCap is a mission-driven, certified community development financial institution (CDFI) and SBA lender committed to providing capital to communities and small businesses overlooked or underserved by traditional financial institutions. AltCap offers alternative financing opportunities to job-creating businesses and catalytic, community-driven real estate development projects through the New Markets Tax Credit program. It provides small business and microloans to startups and businesses looking to grow and/or expand, and works with strategic partners to deliver entrepreneurship and business development resources to small

business owners and residents of low- to moderate-income communities in Kansas City, Missouri. AMERICAN RED CROSS

211 W. Armour Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64111 PHONE (816) 931-8400 WEBSITE www.redcross.org/local/missouri/ western-missouri/locations/ kansas-city TWITTER @kcredcross The American Red Cross offers training on CPR, first aid, OSHA rules and other health-related concerns for small businesses. The organization also sells AEDs and other first-aid equipment. ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES OF MISSOURI

Ray McCarty 3234 W. Truman Blvd. Jefferson City, MO 65109 PHONE (573) 634-2246 EMAIL rmccarty@aimo.com WEBSITE www.aimo.com Associated Industries of Missouri is the state’s oldest and premier business association. AIM has represented the interests of Missouri employers in front of the General Assembly, the courts, statewide agencies and the public since 1919. Members of AIM are kept informed of governmental and court actions that impact Missouri businesses. ATHENA LEAGUE

www.athenaleague.org Athena League fosters and empowers early stage and established female entrepreneurs. The organization hosts speakers, networking sessions and other events that encourage women entrepreneurs. WEBSITE

BETABLOX

See list of business incubators, pg. 35. BIOKANSAS

Dennis Ridenour 4220 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Ste. 350-B Fairway, KS 66205 PHONE (913) 495-4334 EMAIL dennis@biokansas.org

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www.biokansas.org @biokansas BioKansas (formerly known as KansasBio) serves as the voice of the bioscience community in Kansas, connecting, educating and advocating to grow bioscience jobs in human, animal and plant science technologies across the state. BioKansas is a member- and donor-funded 501(c)(3) public charity. BioKansas programs include monthly bioBreak networking events that are open to people who are involved with and interested in the biosciences, health care and medical devices. BioKansas runs awards programs for students in high school through post-doc studies, including the BioGENEius Challenge. WEBSITE TWITTER

BIOSCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY BUSINESS CENTER

See list of business incubators, pg. 35. BLUE HILLS COMMUNITY SERVICES

5008 Prospect Ave. Kansas City, MO 64130 PHONE (816) 338-7870 WEBSITE www.bhcsmo.org Blue Hills Community Services, a nonprofit community development corporation, is a catalyst for neighborhood development, educational programming, community improvement and small business growth. Blue Hills Community Services is rebuilding forgotten neighborhoods, helping residents and businesses reclaim the urban core and laying the foundation for positive, sustainable growth. BLUE HILLS CONTRACTOR INCUBATOR

See list of business incubators, pg. 35. BLUE SPRINGS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL / GROW BLUE SPRINGS

Teresa Evans City of Blue Springs 903 W. Main St. Blue Springs, MO 64015 PHONE (816) 228-0111 EMAIL tevans@bluespringsedc.com WEBSITE www.bluespringsgov.com/1634/ economic-development-council The Blue Springs EDC promotes business development and investment, job creation and economic development. The EDC provides


business assistance, support, community information and referral services to existing and new employers to expand the city’s tax base through business development. BLUE VALLEY CENTER FOR ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

Corey Mohn 7501 W. 149th Terrace Overland Park, KS 66223 (913) 239-5900 PHONE CMohn@bluevalleyk12.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.bvcaps.org Blue Valley CAPS is a nationally recognized program for high school students in the Blue Valley School District. Students work on projects in bioscience, business, engineering and human services, helping them develop the skills required by the 21st century workplace. Blue Valley CAPS students regularly collaborate with small and large businesses on real-world problems. THE BUILDERS’ ASSOCIATION— KANSAS CITY CHAPTER, AGC

Don Greenwell 720 Oak St. Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 531-4741 PHONE dgreenwell@ EMAIL buildersassociation.com WEBSITE www.buildersassociation.com The Builders’ Association serves the commercial construction industry and represents approximately 800 general contractor, subcontractor, supplier and service provider member companies employing about 25,000 people. It has an Education & Training Center—a 100,000-square-foot apprenticeship and management training center, which is also home to the 4,000-square-foot Builders’ Advancement Center—in North Kansas City; an administrative office and plan room service center at 720 Oak St. in Kansas City, Mo.; and training and plan room service centers in Jefferson City and Springfield. Its sister organization, the Kansas City Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America, currently represents approximately 120 firms and is part of the largest and oldest national construction trade association in the United States.

BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

DiJon Ferdinand 4600 Silver Hill Road Washington, DC 20233 (301) 763-1822 PHONE dijon.f.ferdinand@census.gov EMAIL WEBSITE www.bea.gov BEA promotes a better understanding of the U.S. economy by providing the most timely, relevant and accurate economic accounts data in an objective and cost-effective manner. BUSINESS & COMMUNTIY DEVELOPMENT, KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Susan NeuPoth Cadoret 1000 S.W. Jackson St., Ste. 100 Topeka, KS 66612 (785) 296-7198 PHONE scadoret@kansascommerce.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.kansascommerce.gov The Business and Community Development section provides assistance to Kansas communities seeking to attract businesses, workers and investment. Staffers develop incentive proposals, which include tax credits and workforce training grants; serve as a liaison with other state agencies, including the departments of Revenue, Labor, and Health & Environment; and serve as a single Kansas contact point to ensure project confidentiality. CENTER FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP AT MISSOURI WESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY

Annette Weeks 4525 Downs Drive, Popplewell Hall, Room 203 St. Joseph, MO 64507 (816) 271-4283 PHONE aweeks@missouriwestern.edu EMAIL WEBSITE csb-cfe.missouriwestern.edu The Center for Entrepreneurship in the Craig School of Business furnishes counseling assistance free of charge to small business owners. Assistance is available for all stages of entrepreneurship, including starting a business, operating a business and growing a business. The center staff will provide oneon-one business coaching and connect clients to additional resources and programs. CENTRAL EXCHANGE

Courtney Thomas 1020 Central St., Ste. 100 Kansas City, MO 64105 (816) 471-7560 PHONE courtney@centralexchange.org EMAIL

www.centralexchange.org @CentralEx Central Exchange (CX) provides a venue and voice for women seeking to reach their full personal and professional potential. With more than 1,000 members, CX represents a cross-section of women and men from throughout the Kansas City area. The organization hosts hundreds of programs on leadership, professional and personal development each year. WEBSITE TWITTER

CHILD CARE AWARE OF MISSOURI

1-800-200-9017 mo.childcareaware.org Child Care Aware helps families locate child care, preschool and afterschool programs for their children. The organization’s website includes an online search tool for finding child care options in Missouri. PHONE

WEBSITE

CITY OF KANSAS CITY, MO., HUMAN RELATIONS DEPARTMENT

Phillip Yelder City Hall, Fourth Floor 414 E. 12th St. Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 513-1836 PHONE hrdgeneral.inquiries@kcmo.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.kcmo.gov/humanrelations/ The Human Relations Department is responsible for investigating and processing complaints of civil rights violations that have occurred within the city limits of Kansas City, Missouri. The department also is charged with helping companies become certified as disadvantaged, minority- or women-owned enterprises; as small local business enterprises; or as Section 3-certified businesses. As part of its effort to promote affirmative action, the department also monitors city construction contracts for compliance with prevailing wage laws, as well as compliance with the city’s ordinances regarding construction workforce and utilization of certified companies on all contracts that meet ordinance criteria. CLAY COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Jim Hampton 1251 N.W. Briarcliff Parkway, Ste. 25 Kansas City, MO 64116 (816) 468-4989 PHONE jimh@clayedc.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.clayEDC.com K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES // RESOURCE 0RGANIZATIONS

The Clay County Economic Development Council is committed to economic development and provides the following resources and programs: site selection and building searches for expansion; the six-month Doniphan Leadership Institute program for executives; and capital for small businesses through its affiliate organizations the Northland Angel Investor Network and Midwest Small Business Finance, which offers 504, 7(a) and other SBA loans. COUNTY ECONOMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE INC. (CERI)

11111 W. 95th St., Ste. 210 Overland Park, KS 66214 PHONE (913) 599-1616 EMAIL reports@cerionline.org WEBSITE www.cerionline.org CERI is a nonprofit organization with a mission to support economic development in Johnson County through the provision of data and technical assistance. CERI publishes a variety of reports and resource data to assist local businesses in marketing and strategic planning. CERI is a local repository of U.S. Census data for the region. In addition, the institute performs small area demographic studies and publishes numerous reports, including monthly economic indicators, wage surveys, Johnson County promotional brochures, a major-employers directory, labor shed report and other special economic and demographic studies. DIGITAL SANDBOX KC

Jeff Shackelford 4747 Troost Ave. Kansas City, MO 64110 PHONE (816) 235-6661 EMAIL jeffshackelford @digitalsandboxkc.com WEBSITE www.digitalsandboxkc.com Digital Sandbox KC and its Energy Sandbox (which works with startups in the energy industry) provide proof-of-concept resources to support early-stage commercialization processes, including access to technology, business and market experts and funding for early-stage market validation, prototyping and beta-testing services. Funding is currently available for companies in Olathe; Kansas City, Mo.; Independence; and St. Joseph.

DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION— GREATER KC CHAMBER

Greg Valdovino 30 W. Pershing Road, Ste. 301 Kansas City, MO 64108 PHONE (816) 374-5494 EMAIL valdovino@kcchamber.com WEBSITE www.kcchamber.com/programs events/diverse-business.aspx The Greater Kansas City Chamber values and promotes diversity because it enhances the business community and the region’s economic development. DOWNTOWN COUNCIL OF KANSAS CITY

Sean O’Byrne 1000 Walnut, Ste. 200 Kansas City, MO 64106 PHONE (816) 421-1539 EMAIL sean@downtownkc.org WEBSITE www.downtownkc.org TWITTER @godowntownkc The Downtown Council of Kansas City is committed to creating a vibrant, diverse and economically sustainable downtown. As a private nonprofit membership organization, the Downtown Council has more than 280 members representing Kansas City’s best businesses, property owners, small entrepreneurial companies and nonprofit organizations. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF KANSAS CITY, MO.

Bob Langenkamp 1100 Walnut, Ste. 1700 Kansas City, MO 64106 PHONE (816) 221-0636 EMAIL Blangenkamp@edckc.com WEBSITE www.edckc.com The EDC is a nonprofit, full-service economic development organization that provides assistance to new, existing and expanding businesses located in Kansas City, Missouri, or those considering a Kansas City location. Entrepreneurial resources include low-cost, long-term financing through EDC loan programs and financial assistance information; international business support, application and qualification for state and local incentives, such as Enterprise Zone benefits and Missouri Customized Training grants; and coordination of services and assistance. The primary financing tool utilized by the EDC Loan

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Corporation is the SBA 504 loan program, which is able to provide 504 loans throughout Missouri. ENCORPS45

(816) 210-5550 www.encorps45.com TWITTER @Encorps45 EnCorps45 is an organization for professionals age 45 and older who are looking to reinvent themselves, including through business ownership. Members can participate in networking sessions and educational workshops. PHONE

WEBSITE

ENNOVATION CENTER

See list of business incubators, pg. 35. ENTERPRISE CENTER IN JOHNSON COUNTY

See list of business incubators, pg. 35. ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP PROJECT AT MIDAMERICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY

Graydon Dawson 13563 S. Mur-Len Road Olathe, KS 66062 PHONE (913) 971-3873 EMAIL rgdawson@mnu.edu WEBSITE www.kc-entrepreneur.com The Entrepreneurial Leadership Project at MNU is a Kauffman FastTrac affiliate offering FastTrac training and other courses for entrepreneurs who are developing and deploying business plans. Classes are offered in Olathe at the Santa Fe Commons campus. EWING MARION KAUFFMAN FOUNDATION

Wendy Guilles 4801 Rockhill Road Kansas City, MO 64110 PHONE (816) 932-1000 EMAIL lbanka@kauffman.org WEBSITE www.kauffman.org TWITTER @KauffmanFDN The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful. The Kauffman Foundation is based in Kansas City, Missouri, and uses its $2 billion in assets to collaboratively help people be self-sufficient, productive citizens.


FABLAB AT METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Jen Dec 1775 Universal Ave. Kansas City, MO 64120 EMAIL fab.lab@mcckc.edu WEBSITE www.mcckc.edu/fablab FabLab offers tools, technology and training where students, community members and local businesses can design, develop, fabricate and test almost anything. The lab offers different prototyping technologies, threedimensional scanning, metal working, laser cutting/engraving, an array of woodworking equipment, welding equipment and many other types of tools and technologies, including a fully capable CADD and threedimensional modeling lab. FARM TO TABLE KITCHEN AT CITY MARKET

See list of business incubators, pg. 35. FLYOVER CAPITAL

5700 W. 112th St., Ste. 500 Overland Park, KS 66211 PHONE (913) 904-5700 WEBSITE www.flyovercapital.com TWITTER @flyovercapital Flyover Capital is a venture capital firm run by area technology entrepreneurs and fund managers with operational expertise. Its goal is to provide exceptional entrepreneurs hardto-find funding when they need it the most and partner with them to accelerate their path to success. FREELANCE EXCHANGE

P.O. Box 412442 Kansas City, MO 64141-2442 PHONE (816) 200-0411 EMAIL info@FXofKC.com WEBSITE www.FXofKC.com The Freelance Exchange of Kansas City provides a network of support and friendly atmosphere in which to exchange ideas and best business practices with those who are self-employed in the advertising and marketing industry. Additionally, the Freelance Exchange serves as the best resource for local ad agencies and businesses of all shapes and sizes to find quality, affordable talent easily and quickly. FRONTIER FINANCIAL PARTNERS

Clark Churchill 11025 Hauser St. Overland Park, KS 66210

(913) 424-7856 churchill@ frontierfinancialpartners.com WEBSITE www.frontierfinancialpartners.com Frontier Financial Partners’ central focus is the SBA 504 loan program, but it also can identify other financing sources that may better meet the borrower’s needs. FFP is very knowledgeable about the following programs: SBA 504 Loan Program, SBA 7(a) Loan Program, USDA Business & Industry Guaranty Loan Program and the CDBG Loan and Grant Program. PHONE EMAIL

FULL EMPLOYMENT COUNCIL

1740 Paseo Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64108 PHONE (816) 471-2330 WEBSITE www.feckc.org The Full Employment Council offers services tailored to the needs of employers, including customized training in time, targeted recruitment, screening assistance and wage reimbursement. HEARTLAND BUSINESS CAPITAL

Brett Larson 8900 Indian Creek Parkway, Ste. 150 Overland Park, KS 66210 PHONE (913) 599-1717 EMAIL brett@hbcloans.com WEBSITE www.hbcloans.com Heartland Business Capital (HBC) specializes in the Small Business Administration 504 loans for financing commercial real estate for businesses in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The benefits of the 504 loan include a 20-year fixed rate and as little as 10 percent equity injection. HELZBERG ENTREPRENEURIAL MENTORING PROGRAM

Christina Dreiling 2000 Baltimore Ave., Ste. 200 Kansas City, MO 64108 PHONE (816) 471-4368 EMAIL christina@hempkc.org WEBSITE www.hempkc.org HEMP is dedicated to strengthening entrepreneurial leaders through excellence in mentoring. Applications to participate in the program as a mentee are due at the beginning of August of each year. Applicants must have been in business for at least three years and be the ultimate decision-maker for a business

that generates around $1 million in annual revenue, with five or more full-time employees. In addition, the applicant must have a desire to substantially grow the business. HISPANIC ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP.

Pedro Zamora 2130 Jefferson St. Kansas City, MO 64108 PHONE (816) 221-3442 EMAIL info@kchedc.org WEBSITE www.kchedc.org TWITTER @kchedc HEDC offers one-on-one consultation services for current and aspiring entrepreneurs with a focus on providing education and information. It has offices in Jackson County, Missouri, and Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas. The organization provides loans and microfinancing options to small businesses, particularly those owned by women and minorities, that don’t qualify for traditional bank financing. The loans can range in size from $500 to $50,000, but most tend to be for $8,000 on average. The money can be used for inventory, working capital, equipment or real estate. HEDC team members are bilingual and entrepreneurs with many years of combined education and practical experience, allowing the organization to provide quality services that clients have come to expect for the past 20 years. While the target market is the Hispanic community, HEDC services are available to any and all interested in the business development services. H&R BLOCK BUSINESS & CAREER CENTER

Central Library, Kansas City Public Library 14 W. 10th St., Third Floor Kansas City, MO 64105 PHONE (816) 701-3717 EMAIL bcc@kclibrary.org WEBSITE www.kclibrary.org/business-career The H&R Block Business & Career Center offers online and print materials for entrepreneurs, including information on business plans; company, industry and marketing research; business management; business financing; business writing; and other topics. The Block Center also has research space and computers devoted to business research. Appointments can be made in advance and are encouraged. K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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IBSA INC.

629 S.E. Quincy Topeka, KS 66603 PHONE (913) 735-4272 EMAIL admin@ibsa-inc.org WEBSITE www.ibsa-inc.org TWITTER @ibsaonline IBSA is a Kansas nonprofit agency that provides development and support services to emerging entrepreneurs. A veteran resource partner of the Kansas Department of Commerce Office of Minority/Women Business Development, NetWork Kansas and KCSourceLink.com, IBSA assists lowto moderate-income entrepreneurs in the development of feasibility/business plans, computer needs analysis and setup, document preparation and ongoing counsel to help troubleshoot areas as needed. IBSA has been active in the promotion and advocacy of policies and procedures that increase corporate and government procurements with disadvantaged, minority, women, veteran and lowincome microenterprises. The agency conducts statistical or data research and shares these findings with government, advocacy and development agencies upon request. INDEPENDENCE AVENUE COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

Bobbi Baker Hughes 2657 Independence Ave. Kansas City, MO 64124 (816) 231-3312 PHONE indieavecid@gmail.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.indieavecid.com This community improvement district runs along Independence Avenue from the Paseo to Ewing. It was established to address “crime and grime” in addition to “making cash registers chime” along the corridor. Services include beautification efforts, marketing, events and more. INDEPENDENCE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

210 W. Truman Road Independence, MO 64050 (816) 252-5777 PHONE info@inedc.biz EMAIL WEBSITE www.inedc.biz TWITTER @independeceedc INEDC is a nonprofit, public-private partnership for the purpose of supporting and enhancing the economic growth of

Independence. INEDC contracts with the City of Independence and the Independence Chamber of Commerce to perform economic development services. INITIATIVES WORLDWIDE

Melicent Boysen 11184 Antioch, Ste. 269 Overland Park, KS 66210 PHONE (816) 365-9287 EMAIL mboysen@initiativesww.com WEBSITE www.initiativesww.com Initiatives Worldwide assists entrepreneurs, innovators and enterprises with the development and commercialization of new products, business growth or expansion, acquisitions and mergers. IW’s principal has provided business consulting services for more than 30 years in diverse industries and was a regional director of NASA’s Mid-Continent Technology Transfer Center, one of NASA’s six regional technology transfer centers. INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE-LOCAL OFFICES WEBSITE

www.irs.gov

KANSAS Overland Park 6717 Shawnee Mission Parkway Overland Park, KS 66202 (816) 966-2840 PHONE MISSOURI Kansas City 30 W. Pershing Road Kansas City, MO 64108 (816) 966-2840 PHONE St. Joseph 1211 N. Belt Highway St. Joseph, MO 64506 (816) 966-2840 PHONE INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR PHARMACEUTICAL ENGINEERING— MIDWEST CHAPTER

www.ispe.org ISPE is the world’s largest nonprofit association dedicated to educating and advancing pharmaceutical manufacturing professionals and their industry. WEBSITE

INTERNATIONAL TRADE COUNCIL OF GREATER KANSAS CITY INC.

Pam Dobies 4747 Troost, Ste. 119E Kansas City, MO 64110 PHONE (816) 235-6654 EMAIL office@itcgkc.org

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www.itcgkc.org ITCGKC is a membership-driven 501(c)(3) organization that networks Kansas City-area professionals in the international business and academic communities, delivers timely international trade education and bridges access to relevant resources. ITCGKC’s signature programs include the TradeWins international trade simulation for students or young professionals preparing for a global business career and the annual Women in International Business award luncheon recognizing women in international business. ITCGKC also hosts six “Fourth Friday Business Meetings” each year featuring speakers who present their perspectives on issues and potential solutions in today’s international trade industry. In 2018, ITCGKC is launching new programming to bring together university students seeking career experiences in international business with Kansas City’s international business community. WEBSITE

INTERURBAN ARTHOUSE

8001 Newton St. Overland Park, KS 66204 PHONE (913) 238-7091 EMAIL info@interurbanarthouse.org WEBSITE www.interurbanarthouse.org InterUrban ArtHouse is a nonprofit organization and incubator devoted to fostering the arts, including artists as entrepreneurs. Through its ArtWorks program, InterUrban ArtHouse offers training for local artists on finance, law, planning and other vital matters. INVENTING WORKSHOP

Carrie Jeske info@i3resources.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.inventingworkshop.com This nonprofit provides early logistical support to startups and inventors across the country. Through its Inventor Development Fund, it will help pay for patents, websites and other needs. INVENTORS CENTER OF KANSAS CITY

P.O. Box 411003 Kansas City, MO 64141 inventkc@gmail.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.inventorscenterofkc.org TWITTER @inventkc ICKC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping inventors find education, inspiration


and connection to bring their ideas to fruition and achieve entrepreneurial success. ICKC hosts a free meetup on the third Tuesday of each month at Union Station. The meet-up is open to the public. INVESTMIDWEST VENTURE CAPITAL FORUM

Christine Walsh One Metropolitan Square, Ste. 1300 St. Louis, MO 63102 PHONE (314) 444-1151 EMAIL cwalsh@stlregionalchamber.com WEBSITE www.investmidwestforum.com InvestMidwest is an annual forum that takes place every spring in Kansas City or St. Louis. About 45 Midwestern companies specializing in technology, life sciences, food, agriculture and bioenergy are chosen to present their ideas to an audience of investors. The 18th annual InvestMidwest will be March 28-29, 2018, in St. Louis. The application for presenting companies is available at www.investmidwestforum.com. JACKSON COUNTY, MO., PURCHASING DEPARTMENT

415 E. 12th St., Room G-1 Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 881-3267 PHONE purchasing@jacksongov.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.jacksongov.org/343/purchasing The Jackson County Purchasing Department handles the procurement of goods and services for county departments. Vendors can view bids, print bid documents and submit company profile information at www.jacksongov.org. JOHNSON COUNTY K-STATE RESEARCH AND EXTENSION

Tara Markley 11811 S. Sunset Drive, Ste. 1500 Olathe, KS 66061 (913) 715-7000 PHONE Tara.Markley@jocogov.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.johnson.k-state.edu Johnson County K-State Research and Extension helps business owners make informed decisions about starting a small business. The classes offered are designed to introduce business owners to some key resource providers and other small business owners. The organization also offers technical assistance for food, horticulture and agriculturerelated businesses.

JOHNSON COUNTY, MO., ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP.

Tracy E. Brantner 300 N. Holden, Ste. 301 Johnson County Courthouse, Third Floor Warrensburg, MO 64093 PHONE (660) 747-0244 EMAIL info@growjocomo.com WEBSITE www.growjocomo.com The Johnson County, Mo., EDC offers a wide range of help to new and existing businesses, including assistance with site selection, financing, microloan program, workforce training and more. JUSTINE PETERSEN

Jim Boyle (314) 533-2411 jboyle@justinepetersen.org WEBSITE www.justinepetersen.org Justine PETERSEN, a St. Louis-based nonprofit, operates a microloan program for small businesses in the Kansas City region. Loan amounts are between $500 and $50,000 with most in the $8,000 to $10,000 range. The program seeks to assist companies that may not have access to traditional bank loans. PHONE EMAIL

KANSAS BUSINESS CENTER

1-877-521-8600 info@networkkansas.com WEBSITE www.kansas.gov/businesscenter The Kansas Business Center is the official state resource for information, filings and personal assistance to start or maintain Kansas businesses. The Kansas Business Center will provide businesses the resources to help them monitor their annual requirements. PHONE EMAIL

KANSAS CITY AREA DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

30 W. Pershing Road, Ste. 200 Kansas City, MO 64108 (816) 221-2121 PHONE kcadc@thinkkc.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.thinkkc.com KCADC is charged with creating new jobs, new payroll and new capital investment throughout the entire two-state, 18-county region of Greater Kansas City. As a private, nonprofit organization, KCADC is led and funded by the 250 largest corporations and the 50 major communities in the metro area. KCADC is committed to promoting the KC region’s business and life-

style assets, and continually strives to position the Kansas City area competitively against other U.S. metros. KANSAS CITY AREA LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE INC.

Sharon Newman 30 W. Pershing Road, Ste. 210 Kansas City, MO 64108 (816) 753-7700 PHONE snewman@kclifesciences.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.kclifesciences.org TWITTER @KCALSI KCALSI is helping lead the transformation of the Kansas City region into a nationally recognized center of excellence in life sciences research, development and commercialization. The institute fosters relationships between the academic and private-sector life sciences communities; assists in life sciences advocacy at the local, state and national levels; supports economic development, technology transfer and commercialization programs; and provides a wealth of other services. KCDMA

638 W. 39th St. P.O. Box 419264 Kansas City, MO 64141 (816) 561-5323 PHONE info@kcdma.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.kcdma.org KCDMA is the local affiliate of the nation’s largest and most active direct marketing association. The organization provides educational workshops and networking events. KANSAS CITY STARTUP FOUNDATION

4436 State Line Road Kansas City, KS 66103 (913) 937-7494 PHONE info@kcstartupfoundation.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.kcstartupfoundation.org The Kansas City Startup Foundation is a 501(c)(3) committed to building a vibrant startup ecosystem in Kansas City. Its vision is an inclusive Kansas City with connected and engaged citizens who employ entrepreneurial thinking to solve problems. Its mission is to access the passion, ingenuity and collaborative spirit of the Kansas City startup community through education, storytelling and connections to empower individuals to solve the challenges of today.

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KANSAS CITY UNIVERSITY VENTURE PARTNERSHIP

www.kcuvp.org Founded in 2017, the KCUVP is a private scholarship and experiential learning opportunity for students sponsored by Royal Street Ventures, the Kauffman Foundation and other private donors. There are two levels of involvement: intern and associate. KCUVP students are exposed to the world of private finance, including angel investing, venture capital, growth equity and private equity. Over time, students have the opportunity to manage the entire life cycle of a private investment, from sourcing and diligence to investing and exit. The result is not only better prepared graduates, but a more robust entrepreneurship ecosystem within the Midwest. WEBSITE

KANSAS CITY VOLUNTEER LAWYERS & ACCOUNTANTS FOR THE ARTS

Danielle Merrick P.O. Box 413199 Kansas City, MO 64141 PHONE (816) 974-8522 EMAIL info@kcvlaa.org WEBSITE www.kcvlaa.org KCVLAA provides legal and accounting assistance to qualifying artists and arts organizations from all creative disciplines. Its ArtSmarts program provides seminars in arts law to help artists avoid common pitfalls in their professional arts careers. KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Kansas Statewide Certification Program (KSCP) Rhonda Harris 1000 S.W. Jackson St., Ste. 100 Topeka, KS 66612 PHONE (785) 296-3425 EMAIL Rhonda.Harris@ks.gov WEBSITE www.kansascommerce.gov This program is responsible for certifying disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned businesses as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and Women Business Enterprises (WBE). Qualifying businesses can enhance their opportunities to gain contracts and subcontracts with governmental and private entities committed to the inclusion of disadvantaged, minority and women-owned businesses in the contracting and procurement process. The Kansas Department of Transpor110

tation’s Office of Contract Compliance is a partner in the administration of the statewide certification program and leads in certifying companies that are interested in highwayrelated work. Office of Minority and Women Business Development Rhonda Harris 1000 S.W. Jackson, Ste. 100 Topeka, KS 66612 (785) 296-3425 PHONE Rhonda.Harris@ks.gov EMAIL WEBSITE www.kansascommerce.gov Promotes business development with a focus on minority-owned and women-owned businesses. The program provides information and referrals in the following areas: procurement, contracting, subcontracting, financing and business management. The office also partners with other business advocates to sponsor business education workshops and seminars. A directory of certified minority- and women-owned businesses is available online to assist those searching for businesses, products and services. Export Assistance and Marketing Chang Lu Olathe Office 22201 W. Innovation Drive, Ste. 180D Olathe, KS 66061 (913) 307-7378 PHONE chang.lu@ks.gov EMAIL WEBSITE www.kansascommerce.gov The Kansas Department of Commerce’s international team assists Kansas companies with global market development and exporting efforts through a variety of programs. The team offers international market research, partner and distributor search, and individualized counseling; international recruitment; and international credit reports. It also offers trade missions and trade shows and the Kansas International Trade Show Assistance Program. The department puts on the Governor’s Exporter of the Year Award, recognizing the outstanding work of Kansas exporters and their contributions to Kansas economy. KANSAS INSURANCE DEPARTMENT

Ken Selzer 420 S.W. 9th St. Topeka, KS 66612 (785) 296-3071 PHONE kid.commissioner@ks.gov EMAIL WEBSITE www.ksinsurance.org

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The Kansas Insurance Department provides free insurance shopping information, including complaint information and worker’s compensation. KANSAS PROCUREMENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER

Jessica Johnson Regnier Center, Room 244 12345 College Blvd. Overland Park, KS 66210 (913) 469-2313 PHONE jjohn512@jccc.edu EMAIL Kansas PTAC at Johnson County Community College offers counseling and other services to companies competing for government contracts. The center can help business owners sort through contracting opportunities to find the best ones for their company. Other services include assistance with bid and proposal preparation and help with 8(a), WBE, DBE, MBE, SDVOSB and HUBZone certifications. KCBIZCARE

City of Kansas City, MO 1118 Oak St. Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 513-2492 PHONE kcbizcare@kcmo.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.kcmo.gov/kcbizcare/ TWITTER @kcbizcare A free resource, advocacy and information center for owners of new and existing businesses operating within the city of Kansas City, Missouri, KCBizCare is located in a storefront office in the parking garage just west of City Hall. Services include: » Identification of local, state and federal government requirements for business located or doing business in the City of Kansas City, Missouri. » Guidance and assistance in navigating the city’s licensing, permitting and approval processes. » Referrals to nonprofit agencies that offer education, resources and business support. » Public access to city computers to research property and zoning information, access records and submit online applications. KCSOURCELINK

Jenny Miller 4747 Troost Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 235-6500 PHONE


info@kcsourcelink.com www.kcsourcelink.com TWITTER @KCSourceLink Need help with financing or sales? Wondering where to network? Curious about KC’s capital landscape? Or maybe you’re just looking for entrepreneurial tips or inspiration? Look to KCSourceLink first. With a comprehensive business calendar and interactive directory of 250-plus business-building resources, KCSourceLink connects you to the right resources to help your business start, grow and scale, and it works to fill gaps in KC’s entrepreneurial services. KCSourceLink provides these referral services to entrepreneurs and small businesses at no cost. EMAIL

K-STATE POLLUTION PREVENTION INSTITUTE

LEAVENWORTH COUNTY DEVELOPMENT CORP.

WEBSITE

11811 S. Sunset Drive, Ste. 1500 Olathe, KS 66061 1-800-578-8898 PHONE sbeap@ksu.edu EMAIL WEBSITE www.sbeap.org TWITTER @sbeap The K-State Pollution Prevention Institute provides free, confidential and technical environmental assistance. PPI houses the Kansas Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP).

1294 Eisenhower Road Leavenworth, KS 66048 (913) 727-6111 PHONE WEBSITE www.lvcountyed.org Leavenworth County Development Corp. is a 501(c)(6) public-private organization whose primary mission is to facilitate the creation and retention of jobs and capital investment in Leavenworth County. The LCDC can assist with site selection and various financing and incentive programs.

KU INNOVATION & COLLABORATION

LEAVENWORTH MAIN STREET PROGRAM INC.

Julie Nagel 2029 Becker Drive, Ste. 142 Lawrence, KS 66047 (785) 864-6401 PHONE kuic@ku.edu EMAIL WEBSITE kuic.ku.edu TWITTER @KU_IC KUIC is a 501(c)(3) affiliate of the University of Kansas to support the economic engagement mission of the university. As a designated Innovation & Economic Prosperity campus, KUIC supports the advancement and commercialization of research, engagement with industry and entrepreneurship programming at KU. The mission of KUIC is to engage with external partners to drive research and bring KU innovation to the marketplace for the benefit of society and the university, helping the university realize its call to educate leaders, build healthy communities and make discoveries that will change the world.

Wendy Scheidt 416 Cherokee Leavenworth, KS 66048 (913) 682-3924 PHONE director@ EMAIL leavenworthmainstreet.com WEBSITE www.leavenworthmainstreet.com Leavenworth Main Street works to keep downtown Leavenworth economically healthy through historic preservation and revitalization. The organization promotes businesses there, lists available space for shops and residences, offers renovation funding through its Incentives Without Walls program and hosts activities that showcase the downtown area.

KC TECH COUNCIL

Ryan Weber 1828 Walnut St., Third Floor Kansas City, MO 64108 (816) 895-2820 PHONE Ryan@KCTechCouncil.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.kctechcouncil.com The KC Tech Council is committed to growing the existing base of technology firms; recruiting and attracting technology companies; aggregating and promoting our regional IT assets; and providing peer interaction and industry news. The council works to connect, promote and support the KC region’s tech industry and its member companies. It offers a jobs board, www.chutekc.com, that highlights Kansas City companies and their positions. KC RISE FUND

Darcy Howe 210 W. 19th Terrace Kansas City, MO 24108 WEBSITE kcrisefund.com KC Rise Fund is a sidecar fund that co-invests with institutional venture capital investors in early stage companies based in the Greater Kansas City area. KEARNEY AREA DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Shawna Searcy P.O. Box 291 Kearney, MO 64060 (816) 628-3343 PHONE shawnasearcy@kearneyadc.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.kearneyadc.com KADC was formed in 1994 to promote economic opportunity and to improve the quality of life in the Kearney area.

LEAPP AHEAD

Jim McGraw (816) 215-5237 PHONE WEBSITE www.leappahead.com LEAPP Ahead is an entertaining and educational program developed by Jim McGraw, former COO at Marion Laboratories and a founding member of the Kauffman Foundation’s board. The program delivers the effective principles of business leadership Jim followed for 30 years working with Ewing Marion Kauffman. The three-part presentation takes less than two hours and can be delivered all at once or in two or three separate settings. You’ll learn Mr. K’s values, operational clarities and the importance of leadership, empathy and the power of persuasion.

LEE’S SUMMIT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Rick McDowell 218 S.E. Main St. Lee’s Summit, MO 64063 (816) 525-6617 PHONE rmcdowell@leessummit.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.leessummit.org LSEDC is a public-private sector partnership devoted to improving the economic well-being of residents and businesses in Lee’s Summit. LIBERTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP.

Ralph Boots 105 N. Stewart Court, Ste. 200 Liberty, MO 64068 (816) 883-2503 PHONE rboots@thinklibertymo.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.thinklibertymo.com The Liberty EDC is tasked with recruiting new businesses and helping all Liberty-area businesses grow and prosper.

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MARTIN CITY COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT

MID-AMERICA ANGELS

Tiffany Moore 311 E. 135th St. Kansas City, MO 64145 (816) 308-1023 PHONE manager@martincity.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.martincity.org or www.facebook.com/MartinCityCID The Martin City CID works to improve infrastructure, transportation, public safety and other essentials in this south Kansas City neighborhood. The CID also operates marketing campaigns to attract new business and tourism, and hosts special events there.

Rick Vaughn 4220 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Ste. 350B Fairway, KS 66205 (913) 438-2282 PHONE info@midamericaangels.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.midamericaangels.com Founded in 2006, Mid-America Angels is a regional network of accredited investors dedicated to identifying and funding the most promising early stage companies in the Kansas-Missouri region. The MAA network funds deals in the investment range of $250,000 to $1,500,000. MAA typically participates in seed, Series A and Series B rounds. Depending on the size of the capital raise, MAA can either lead the round or be part of the investment syndicate. The Enterprise Center in Johnson County provides professional administrative and management services for MAA.

METROPOLITAN COMMUNITY COLLEGE INSTITUTE FOR WORKFORCE INNOVATION

1775 Universal Ave. Kansas City, MO 64120 (816) 604-1000 PHONE WEBSITE www.mcckc.edu/iwi The institute offers an array of consulting services for businesses, including assessment, recruitment, quality management, database solutions and customized training, boasting the area’s only OSHA Training Institute Education Center. MCC also engages in partnerships that focus on developing skills and improving opportunities for the region’s workforce. MIAMI COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Janet McRae 201 S. Pearl, Ste. 202 Paola, KS 66071 (913) 294-4045 PHONE jmcrae@miamicountyks.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.ThinkMiamiCounty.com Miami County’s team works with business owners to promote managed business development and retention in an emerging area of the state. The office acts as a resource and referral center, recruits new businesses, assists businesses in starting and growing and provides hands-on workshops along with oneon-one business advising. Additionally, it acts as an intermediary with resource providers, and it prepares and distributes reports and research data on demographics, businesses, employment market profiles, census data, workforce characteristics and available sites. It also provides technical assistance in areas such as marketing and business management.

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MID-AMERICA MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY CENTER

Loren Weeks 10550 Barkley, Ste. 116 Overland Park, KS 66212 (913) 649-4333 PHONE lweeks@mamtc.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.mamtc.com MAMTC consults with manufacturers across the state on how to grow their operations. The center uses proven techniques to assist companies with their challenges of growth. The organization helps streamline Kansas companies of nearly any size, manufacturing any product and using any technology. MID-AMERICA REGIONAL COUNCIL

600 Broadway Blvd., Ste. 200 Kansas City, MO 64105 (816) 474-4240 PHONE marcinfo@marc.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.marc.org MARC is a nonprofit association of city and county governments and the metropolitan planning organization for the bistate Kansas City region. MARC works particularly in the areas of transportation and environmental planning, aging, early learning, emergency preparedness, public health and local government support services. Through its research services, MARC provides market profiles, census, business and employment reports that can be customized by county, census tract or

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ZIP code. A number of data sets are available online, free of cost, at www.marc.org/metrodataline. Charges for reports not available online vary, but some publications are free. Maps and aerial photographs also are available. MID-AMERICA TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE CENTER

Donna Porch 4200 Little Blue Parkway, Ste. 590 Independence, MO 64057 1-800-336-8205 PHONE mid-amer@taacenter.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.taacenters.org Mid-America TAAC is a federally funded program providing technical and financial assistance to Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa manufacturers affected by import competition. Mid-America TAAC is staffed by individuals with private industry backgrounds. They assist in determining eligibility and preparing application documents, and act as an intermediary between the firm and the Department of Commerce, which sponsors the program. Eligible manufacturers are assisted in two ways. First, TAAC staff conducts a thorough assessment of the firm to identify and prioritize opportunities for increased profits, job creation and long-term financial stability. Second, TAAC offers two cost-share grants used to implement projects with consultants or industry-specific experts that are focused on improving a firm’s internal operations and competitive abilities. The smaller grant of $30,000 requires a 25 percent company match. The larger grant of up to $150,000 requires a 50 percent company match. MID-CONTINENT PUBLIC LIBRARY— SQUARE ONE SMALL BUSINESS SERVICES

4200 Little Blue Parkway, Ste. 590 Independence, MO 64057 (816) 848-4489 PHONE squareone@mymcpl.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.mymcpl.org/events/square-one The Mid-Continent Public Library’s Square One Small Business service employs a team of small business specialists who can help local entrepreneurs through access to information, programs and opportunities. Square One also hosts a full slate of workshops and educational events for small business owners.


MIDWEST CENTER FOR NONPROFIT LEADERSHIP AT UMKC

MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Mark Culver 4747 Troost, Ste. 207 Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 235-2305 PHONE mcnl@umkc.edu EMAIL WEBSITE www.mcnl.org The mission of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership is to enhance performance and effectiveness in the nonprofit sector through high-quality, community-oriented education, applied research, problem solving and service.

P.O. Box 1157 Jefferson City, MO 65102 (573) 751-4962 PHONE ecodev@ded.mo.gov EMAIL WEBSITE www.ded.mo.gov The Department of Economic Development assists in creating jobs, community redevelopment and the growth and expansion of existing businesses in Missouri. Find a full listing of programs for businesses at www.ded.mo.gov/ business-services.

MIDWEST SMALL BUSINESS FINANCE

Jim Hampton 1251 N.W. Briarcliff Parkway, Ste. 25 Kansas City, MO 64116 (816) 468-4989 PHONE jimh@simplymoreloans.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.simplymoreloans.com Midwest Small Business Finance is a Certified Development Company licensed by the SBA to assist small businesses with real estate and equipment financing via 504 loans. Midwest Small Business Finance offers assistance to small businesses with an array of other loan programs offering low-moneydown, fixed-interest-rate financing of fixed assets on smaller projects. MINORITY CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION OF GREATER KANSAS CITY

(816) 924-4441 minoritycontractors@mca-gkc.org EMAIL WEBSITE mca-gkc.org MCA-GKC is a nonprofit trade association representing M/WBE contractors. Its primary focus is advocacy for contracting opportunities for its member companies. It works to maximize public-sector opportunities and increase private-sector jobs for M/WBE concerns. PHONE

MISSOURI BIOTECHNOLOGY ASSOCIATION

Kelly Gillespie (573) 690-9267 PHONE kelly@mobio.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.mobio.org MOBIO focuses on maintaining the growth of the biotechnology industry generated by the research and development communities in Missouri. MOBIO is made up of a broad base of companies, higher education institutions and research groups affecting the life sciences.

MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE, FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND PROFESSIONAL REGISTRATION

301 W. High St., Room 530 P.O. Box 690 Jefferson City, MO 65102 (573) 751-4126 PHONE WEBSITE www.difp.mo.gov The department handles several functions, all designed to protect consumers. This includes the licensure and regulation of insurance companies and insurance professionals in the state, oversight of the state’s banks and credit unions, and professional licensing for more than 400,000 people and companies. It also operates the Insurance Consumer Hotline (1-800-726-7390) and CLAIM, which offers help with Medicaid questions, at 1-800-390-3330 or www.missouriclaim.org. MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Kansas City Regional Office 500 N.E. Colbern Road Lee’s Summit, MO 64086 (816) 251-0700 PHONE WEBSITE www.dnr.mo.gov The Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Kansas City Regional Office works to protect the Kansas City region’s air, land and water quality. The department also provides financial and technical assistance and training to local businesses, communities and citizens. MISSOURI ENTERPRISE

4240 Blue Ridge Blvd., Ste. 501 Kansas City, MO 64133 1-800-956-2682 PHONE WEBSITE www.missourienterprise.org TWITTER @MOEnterprise Missouri Enterprise is composed of experienced manufacturing and business man-

agement professionals who deliver hands-on business and technical assistance to small and medium-size manufacturing companies. It provides manufacturers with access to new technologies, training and hands-on assistance in several areas: business growth, continuous improvement, sustainability, workforce and technology commercialization. MISSOURI LINKED DEPOSIT PROGRAM

www.treasurer.mo.gov/content/ low-interest-loans The Missouri Linked Deposit Program is administered through the state treasurer’s office to enable financial institutions to make low-cost loans to businesses and farms to create jobs and help Missouri’s economy grow. The program helps lenders offer interest rates that are often 2 to 3 percent lower than normal. WEBSITE

MISSOURI OFFICE OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

Interim Director Walter J. Pearson 301 W. High St., Room 630 P.O. Box 809 Jefferson City, MO 65102 (573) 751-8130 PHONE WEBSITE oeo.mo.gov The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) promotes a diversified workforce within state government and assists women and minorities in developing opportunities to contract with the state, economically empowering traditionally underserved communities and improving the overall fiscal vitality of Missouri. MISSOURI PROCUREMENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER

MO PTAC—KANSAS CITY Michelle “Shelly” Cunningham 4747 Troost, Ste. 105 Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 235-2891 PHONE cunninghammic@umkc.edu EMAIL WEBSITE www.missouribusiness.net/ptac To help small businesses compete for local, state and federal government contracts, MO PTAC offers the following services to Missouri businesses in the greater Kansas City area: bid matching (matching a client’s products or services with what the government is currently buying); bid and proposal preparation assistance; registration assistance; certification assistance for 8(a), HUBZone, SDVOSB, WOSB, EDWOSB, MBE, WBE and DBE; K C E DI T I O N // I T H I N K BI GGER .CO M

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procurement research and marketing assistance; educational seminars and electronic commerce training.

and technology. It operates a series of funding programs to help companies start and grow in Missouri.

MISSOURI SBIR/STTR TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

MO-KAN DEVELOPMENT

Jill Meyer 4747 Troost Kansas City, MO 64110 816-235-6072 PHONE meyerjz@umkc.edu EMAIL WEBSITE www.missouribusiness.net/ technology One of the primary programs of the Missouri Small Business and Technology Development Centers (SBTDC) is the SBIR/STTR technical assistance program, offered through the UMKC SBTDC. Technology specialists help Missouri businesses and researchers take their intellectual property from the idea stage to commercialization, and assist them in obtaining federal R&D funds through Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants. The technologies and products are transferred from the laboratory to the marketplace. Both these programs require that certain eligibility criteria must be met. MISSOURI SMALL BUSINESS REGULATORY FAIRNESS BOARD

Nancy Zurbuchen, chair 301 W. High St., Room 680 P.O. Box 1157 Jefferson City, MO 65102 (573) 526-3606 PHONE SBRFB@ded.mo.gov EMAIL WEBSITE www.sbrfb.ded.mo.gov The SBRFB provides a key interface between state regulatory agencies and affected small businesses. The board works with state agencies to make sure that Missouri rules and regulations do not create an unfair burden for smaller companies. MISSOURI TECHNOLOGY CORP.

301 W. High St., Ste. 680 Jefferson City, MO 65101 (573) 526-0470 PHONE daniel.kaemmerer@ded.mo.gov EMAIL WEBSITE www.missouritechnology.com Missouri Technology Corp. is a publicprivate partnership that promotes entrepreneurship and fosters the growth of new and innovative companies, especially in bioscience 114

Jon Ecker 224 N. 7th St. St. Joseph, MO 64501 (816) 233-3144 PHONE jecker@mo-kan.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.mo-kan.org Mo-Kan Development is a certified development company authorized by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to package 504 loans and 7(a) guaranteed loans to the small business community for the SBA in the entire state of Missouri and the counties of Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Jefferson and Nemaha in Kansas. MOSOURCELINK

4747 Troost Avenue, Ste. 123 Kansas City, MO 64110 (866) 870-6500 PHONE info@mosourcelink.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.mosourcelink.com Need help with financing or sales? Wondering where to network? Or maybe you’re just looking for entrepreneurial tips or inspiration? Look to MOSourceLink first. With a comprehensive business calendar and interactive directory of business-building resources, MOSourceLink connects you to the right resources to help your business start, grow and scale. MOSourceLink provides these referral services to entrepreneurs and small businesses at no cost. MOUNTAIN PLAINS MINORITY SUPPLIER DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Stan Sena Kansas/Missouri Office 11320 W. 79th Lenexa, KS 66214 (816) 221-4200 PHONE WEBSITE www.mpmsdc.org Through its programs and services, the mission of the Mountain Plains Minority Supplier Development Council is to provide academic institutions, corporations, government entities and nonprofits with greater access to the goods and services of minority-owned businesses in order to develop lasting and mutually beneficial relationships.

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MULTICULTURAL BUSINESS COALITION

Adrienne B. Haynes mbckansascity@gmail.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.mbckc.org TWITTER @MBC_KC The Multicultural Business Coalition engages the multicultural business community by providing a forum of communication for organizations that serve a significant portion of multicultural business owners; increasing collaboration between said organizations; increasing the rate of multicultural-owned business participation and recognition in the general business ecosystem; and conducting research and providing data on multicultural business trends. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN BUSINESS OWNERS–KANSAS CITY (NAWBO-KC)

Valerie Vaughn nawbokc@gmail.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.nawbokc.org NAWBO strives to stimulate business and economic opportunity for local, national and international women entrepreneurs. NAWBO attracts, supports and motivates women entrepreneurs through dynamic programming, committed and influential corporate partners, membership growth, financial strength and professionalism. Most importantly, this organization provides an opportunity to develop a network of peers. NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN IN CONSTRUCTION—KANSAS CITY CHAPTER #100

Robin Norris WEBSITE www.kcnawic.org This is a national association that supports the advancement and employment of women in construction. NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENT BUSINESS

KANSAS Dan Murray 534 S. Kansas Ave., Ste. 830 Topeka, KS 66603 (785) 217-3442 PHONE dan.murray@NFIB.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.nfib.com/kansas MISSOURI Brad Jones 308 E. High, Ste. 110 Jefferson City, MO 65101 (573) 634-7660 PHONE brad.jones@nfib.org EMAIL


www.nfib.com/missouri NFIB is the nation’s largest advocacy organization representing small and independent businesses. The NFIB was created to give small and independent businesses a voice in governmental decision-making. The organization advances the concerns of small business owners among state and federal legislators and regulators. WEBSITE

NETWORK KANSAS

(877) 521-8600 www.networkkansas.com TWITTER @networkkansas Established by the Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship, NetWork Kansas is devoted to the growth of entrepreneurship and small business throughout Kansas. Backed by more than 500 partners statewide, the NetWork Kansas service promotes an entrepreneurial environment by connecting entrepreneurs and small-business owners with expertise, education and economic resources. PHONE

WEBSITE

NORTHEAST INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATION

Joe LaMothe P.O. Box 33551 Kansas City, MO 64120 (816) 231-8811 PHONE JSteelman@ipr-mwt.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.kcneia.org The Northeast Industrial Association, founded in the 1940s, is a corporate/resident member organization whose purpose is to develop and promote the welfare of the Northeast Industrial District of Kansas City, Mo., including its industries, residents, real estate and merchants. A monthly luncheon, quarterly newsletter, networking opportunities and community events are member benefits. NORTHEAST KANSAS ENTERPRISE FACILITATION INITIATIVE

Teresa McAnerney P.O. Box 635 Wathena, KS 66090 (785) 364-0583 PHONE tm@nekef.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.nekef.org The Northeast Kansas Enterprise Facilitation Initiative provides free, confidential one-on-one business management coaching to entrepreneurs in Northeast Kansas. Assistance is available to both aspiring and existing business owners. Examples of services include:

assistance in forming a business plan and seeking funding; educational resources; help in developing a marketing plan; and support in attaining the correct licenses needed for your business. NORTHLAND ANGEL INVESTOR NETWORK

Jim Hampton 1251 N.W. Briarcliff Parkway, Ste. 25 Kansas City, MO 64116 (816) 468-4989 PHONE angel@clayedc.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.NorthlandInvestors.com The Northland Angel Investor Network provides a unique opportunity for both investors and company founders by creating a synergistic opportunity to fund and build companies in Clay County, Missouri. NORTHLAND CENTER FOR ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

Sandy Henshaw 2000 N.E. 46th St. Kansas City, MO 64116 (816) 977-8111 PHONE shenshaw@northlandcaps.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.northlandcaps.org Northland CAPS is a profession-based educational model that works with seven school districts in the Northland (Excelsior Springs, Kearney, Liberty, North Kansas City, Park Hill, Platte County and Smithville) to provide a professional, innovative and entrepreneurial experience. It is designed to expose high school juniors and seniors to professional environments and equip them with the skills needed to be successful in the global workforce and in a competitive college environment. Students in Northland CAPS are fully immersed in high-demand, high-skill careers, collaborating side by side with the employees at the site. They gain professional skills such as problem solving, time and project management skills, business ethics and self-discipline. Northland CAPS partners with private industry businesses, large and small, and public education to help create a workforce for tomorrow. OLATHE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

18001 W. 106 St., Ste. 160 Olathe, KS 66061 (913) 764-1050 PHONE chamber@olathe.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.olathe.org/ economic-development-council

The Olathe EDC provides support to companies that want to start, expand or relocate in Olathe. ONEKC FOR WOMEN

Sherry Turner 920 Main St., Ste. 100 Kansas City, MO 64105 (816) 595-1296 PHONE sturner@onekcforwomen.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.OneKCforWomen.com The Women’s Employment Network, Women’s Business Center, Women’s Capital Connection and WE-Lend provide services that create financial growth and independence. This alliance more fully integrates many of the current services each organization offers. The collective mission of this alliance is to empower women to become economically self-sufficient and prosperous through career development and business growth. The integration of existing programs provides options for the following clients: unemployed, underemployed, transitioning, business startup, existing businesses, microenterprises and businesses seeking funding. 1 MILLION CUPS–KANSAS CITY

Kauffman Foundation Conference Center 4801 Rockhill Road Kansas City, MO 64110 WEBSITE www.1millioncups.com/kansascity TWITTER @1MillionCupsKC This grassroots event, which takes place every Wednesday at 9 a.m., features two startups that present their companies to an audience of entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and other community members. OPENAIR EQUITY PARTNERS

Ron LeMay 4520 Main St., Ste. 1400 Kansas City, MO 64111 info@openairep.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.openairep.com OpenAir Equity Partners is a venture capital firm focused on early stage, later stage and private equity investments in the wireless, communications and mobile internet sectors. Its partners include a number of former Sprint Corp. executives.

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PARKVILLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

RAYTOWN OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

8880 Clark Ave., Ste. 218 Parkville, MO 64152 (816) 268-5006 PHONE info@parkvilleedc.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.parkvilleedc.com The Parkville EDC encourages and coordinates responsible economic activity and community improvement in Parkville and assists new companies and existing businesses.

Missy Wilson 10000 E. 59th St. Raytown, MO 64133 (816) 737-6000 PHONE missyw@raytown.mo.us EMAIL WEBSITE www.raytown.mo.us The office provides assistance to businesses that want to start, expand or relocate in Raytown, including helping with site selection and pursuit of financial incentives.

PIPELINE

1919 W. 45th Ave. Kansas City, KS 66103 (913) 307-0004 PHONE info@pipelineentrepreneurs.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.pipelineentrepreneurs.com TWITTER @PIPELINEorg Pipeline is a fellowship of high-performing entrepreneurs who call the Midwest home. The organization’s entrepreneurs have access to a renowned national network of experts who share a passion for the Pipeline family. Through Pipeline, entrepreneurs invest in their own professional development, and also give generously of their time, talent and capital to enable them to build global businesses from wherever they choose. Pipeline takes zero equity in member companies, focusing on the entrepreneur first. The fellowship year is just the beginning—Pipeline is available for life. PLATTE COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Alicia Stephens 11724 N.W. Plaza Circle, Ste. 400 Kansas City, MO 64153 816-270-2109 PHONE astephens@plattecountyedc.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.plattecountyedc.com The Platte County Economic Development Council has a long history of fostering business success. PCEDC helps its existing business base expand and works to recruit new businesses to Platte County. PCEDC has several areas of focus, including public policy, infrastructure, marketing and recruitment, and business retention. It tracks available building space and sites for new and expanding businesses. PCEDC works with local, regional and state partners to provide financial and program assistance. It serves as the connector between businesses and those who can help a business grow. 116

RIGHTFULLY SEWN

Jennifer Lapka Pfeifer P.O. Box 410861 Kansas City, MO 64141 info@rightfullysewn.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.rightfullysewn.org Rightfully Sewn offers training and other support for local designers and seamstresses, and it hosts educational events designed to foster Kansas City’s fashion culture.

tables over the course of four months. ScaleUP! is for business owners who lead a company that has been in business at least two years, generates annual sales between $150,000 and $500,000 and operates in a market that could produce more than $1 million in annual sales. There is no cost to participate in ScaleUP! SCORE

4747 Troost Ave., Ste. 101 Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 235-6675 PHONE chapter.0019@scorevolunteer.org EMAIL WEBSITE kansascity.score.org SCORE provides free mentoring and free workshops for entrepreneurs and small businesses. With over 50 local volunteer business mentors, the group can match you with the specific help and direction you need to start a new business or expand an existing one. All services and resources are provided at no cost. THE SEWING LABS

Herb Spiegel 5030 Indian Creek Parkway Overland Park, KS 66207 (913) 642-3055 PHONE hspiegel@kc.rr.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.rmiinc.org RMI is a regional certified development company specializing in 504 loans for real estate and equipment.

Lonnie Vanderslice 803 E. 27th St. Kansas City, MO 64108 (816) 665-5279 PHONE thesewinglabs@gmail.com EMAIL WEBSITE thesewinglabs.community The Sewing Labs offers training in sewing and related skills. One of the organization’s goals is to help students find good-paying jobs or even create their own businesses.

ROYAL STREET VENTURES

SHAWNEE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

RMI

Laura Brady P.O. Box 3179 Park City, UT 84060 (435) 200-4930 PHONE WEBSITE www.royalstreet.vc Royal Street Ventures is a Utah-based venture capital firm. In 2016, it launched a $25 million fund in Kansas City, focused on early-stage growth companies. SCALEUP! KANSAS CITY

4747 Troost Ave. Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 235-6063 PHONE scaleup@umkc.edu EMAIL WEBSITE www.scaleupkc.com ScaleUP! Kansas City is an elite program for small business owners looking to increase their company’s revenues. Participants are exposed to training, coaching and peer round-

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Ann Smith-Tate 15100 W. 67th St., Ste. 202 Shawnee, KS 66217 (913) 631-6545 PHONE asmithtate@ EMAIL shawneekschamber.com WEBSITE www.Shawnee-EDC.com Shawnee EDC works collaboratively with the City of Shawnee and the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce to drive job creation, business expansion and retention, and real estate development in Shawnee. Promoting Shawnee as a distinctive business location with an enhanced quality of life, the SEDC provides quality economic development projects that will have a significant impact upon the economic growth of Shawnee, including fostering and encouraging all facets of development— industrial, commercial and residential.


SOUTHLAND CENTER FOR ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

Katie Zeiger 11501 E. State Route 350 Raytown, MO 64138 816-268-7140 PHONE katie.zeiger@raytownschools.org EMAIL WEBSITE southlandcaps.yourcapsnetwork.org The Center for Advanced Professional Studies represents the collaboration of education, business and community, providing students with a unique, immersive experience, resulting in highly skilled, adaptable, global innovators and leaders. Southland CAPS serves students in the Belton, Hickman Mills, Raymore-Peculiar and Raytown school districts. The program features problem-based learning brought in by business partners. There is no minimum threshold of involvement, and finding the right fit for each business partner is a priority. Mentors and guest speakers, as well as project and internship opportunities, are always in demand. SOUTHWEST JOHNSON COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORP.

Greg Martinette One New Century Parkway New Century, KS 66031 (913) 489-3990 PHONE greg@swjocoksedc.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.swjocoksedc.com The Southwest Johnson County EDC stimulates economic growth by demonstrating to new and existing companies the unique business advantage of a southwest Johnson County location. SPRINT ACCELERATOR

See list of business incubators, pg. 35. STARTUP REWIND

Deer Creek Country Club 7000 W. 133rd St. Overland Park, KS 66209 WEBSITE www.startuprewind.com TWITTER @StartupRewind Overland Park South Rotary Club hosts Startup Rewind, a monthly meeting that showcases presentations from local startups. Startup Rewind meets on the first Wednesday of the month at Deer Creek Country Club from 7:15 to 8:30 a.m.

STARTUP VILLAGE

www.kcstartupvillage.org The Kansas City Startup Village is an entrepreneur-led, organic, grassroots initiative helping to bolster the Kansas City entrepreneur and startup community. WEBSITE

TECHNOLOGY COUNCILS OF NORTH AMERICA

918 E. Santa Ana Blvd. Santa Ana, CA 92701 (714) 550-0309 PHONE info@tecna.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.tecna.org TWITTER @TechCouncils TECNA represents dozens of IT and technology trade organizations that, in turn, represent more than 16,000 technologyrelated companies in North America. TECNA shares best practices between state and regional technology trade associations and advocates at the federal level on issues important to the technology sector. TOPEKA/SHAWNEE COUNTY FIRST OPPORTUNITY FUND

Glenda Washington 120 S.E. 6th Ave., Ste. 110 Topeka, KS 66603 (785) 231-6048 PHONE gwashington@gotopeka.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.gotopeka.com/incentives/fof Services include a microloan program, angel investment opportunities, a small business incentive program (for Shawnee County residents only), business matchmakers, counseling and small-business training. UMKC ENTREPRENEURIAL LEGAL SERVICES CLINIC

Danielle Merrick 4747 Troost, Ste. 213 Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 235-6341 PHONE elsclinic@umkc.edu EMAIL WEBSITE law.umkc.edu/academics/clinical programs/entrepreneurial legal-services-clinic/ The UMKC Entrepreneurial Legal Services and Intellectual Property Clinic at the UMKC School of Law offers the legal services needed by new and existing entrepreneurs who cannot afford the market rate for those services. Services, which are provided by UMKC law students under the supervision of licensed

and experienced attorneys, include contract review and drafting, choice of entity analysis, entity creation, copyright and trademark analysis and filing, nonprofit incorporation and tax exempt status. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Office of Business Liaison (202) 482-1360 PHONE businessliaison@doc.gov EMAIL WEBSITE www.commerce.gov/os/ office-business-liaison The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Business Liaison serves as the first point of contact between business leaders and the agency. U.S. COMMERCIAL SERVICE—KANSAS CITY

1000 Walnut, Ste. 500 Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 421-1876 PHONE Office.KansasCity@trade.gov EMAIL WEBSITE www.export.gov/missouri/kansascity With its network of offices across the United States and in more than 80 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service uses its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. U.S. GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION, OFFICE OF SMALL BUSINESS UTILIZATION

Amy Lara 2300 Main St., FIoor 2NE Kansas City, MO 64108 (816) 926-7203 PHONE business.counseling@gsa.gov EMAIL WEBSITE www.gsa.gov/r6smallbusiness TWITTER @GSAR6smallbiz The OSBU offers information on doing business with the U.S. General Services Administration and its federal clients. GSA supports the federal community by providing commonly used products and services that assist agencies and the military in conducting their day-to-day operations. GSA oversees federal operations, such as the leasing, maintenance and construction of public buildings; the federal telephone system; the federal fleet of vehicles; and the federal supply system. The office serves the states of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas.

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U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Wayne Bell Acting Regional Administrator, Region VII 1000 Walnut St., Ste. 530 Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 426-4840 PHONE Jon Malcolm Richards District Director, Kansas City 1000 Walnut St., Ste. 500 Kansas City, MO 64106 Jon.Richards@sba.gov EMAIL (816) 426-4900 PHONE LENDER RELATIONS DIVISION Danny Lobina 1000 Walnut St., Ste. 500 Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 426-4916 PHONE daniele.lobina@sba.gov EMAIL The agency’s finance programs enhance the ability of lenders to provide long- and shortterm loans to small businesses that might not qualify through normal lending channels. There are four basic types of SBA lending and equity investment programs available: the 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program, the 7(m) Microloan Program, the 504 Certified Development Company Loan Program and the Small Business Investment Company Program. GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING PROGRAM Christopher Eischen Procurement Center Representative Government Contracting Area IV 1000 Walnut St., Ste. 500 Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 426-4911 PHONE christopher.eischen@sba.gov EMAIL WEBSITE www.sba.gov/contracting/ resources-small-businesses The SBA negotiates small business goals with each federal agency to ensure that the government-wide small business goal of 23 percent, required by the Small Business Reauthorization Act of 1997, is met. The SBA monitors the agencies’ progress toward achievement of the goal. To increase opportunities for small businesses in the federal acquisition process, the SBA negotiates goals for small business set-asides, identifies new small-business sources and counsels small companies on how to do business with the federal government. Assistance is also available for prime contracting and subcontracting. 118

HUBZONE PROGRAM Ken Surmeier 1000 Walnut St., Ste. 500 Kansas City, MO 64106 (816) 426-4919 PHONE kenneth.surmeier@sba.gov EMAIL This program encourages economic development in historically underutilized business zones (HUBZones) through the establishment of federal contract award preferences for qualified small businesses located in such areas. To qualify for the HUBZone Program, a small business generally must be located in a HUBZone, be owned and controlled by one or more U.S. citizens, and have at least 35 percent of its employees residing in a HUBZone. VELOCITY LEE’S SUMMIT

Chuck Cooper City Hall 220 SE Green Lee’s Summit, MO 64063 816-969-1000 PHONE chuck.cooper@ EMAIL wellsfargoadvisors.com TWITTER @velocityLS Velocity Lee’s Summit seeks to empower the entrepreneur and rapidly growing small business owner. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization passionate about start-up business advocacy. We sponsor frequent events for fast-growing businesses, presenting entrepreneurial-themed content with mentoring, networking and business expansion opportunities. Our role is to champion these people through not only providing relevant events and impactful networking opportunities, but also through leadership services and administrative support. Additionally, we seek to link our community stakeholders in an international and collaborative way. By helping to identify the entrepreneur’s needs, then locating relevant resources to assist, Velocity serves as the conduit to ensure this connection takes place. VETERANS BUSINESS RESOURCE CENTER

Kansas City Office 1000 Walnut Street, Ste. 500 Kansas City, MO 64106 (314) 531-VETS (8387) PHONE WEBSITE www.vetbiz.com The Veterans Business Resource Center helps veterans and transitioning service members who want to launch, grow or sell their

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businesses. The center provides counseling, mentoring, resources and education for veterans, active-duty personnel who are transitioning to civilian life, and Reserve and National Guard members. WAKARUSA VALLEY DEVELOPMENT INC.

Troy Roberts 4321 W. 6th St., Ste. B Lawrence, KS 66049 (785) 749-7600 PHONE info@wakarusavalley.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.wakarusavalley.org TWITTER @WakarusaValley Wakarusa Valley Development Inc. (WVDI) is a nonprofit, community-based organization certified by the U.S. Small Business Administration to originate and service SBA 504 loans throughout Kansas. The SBA 504 loan program is designed to assist small businesses with their expansion plans by providing 10and 20-year, fixed, low-interest-rate loans for the purchase of fixed assets and large equipment. In addition, WVDI works with local banks and small businesses that seek funding under the SBA 7(a) loan guarantee program by providing packaging services and technical assistance. WHITEBOARD 2 BOARDROOM

James Baxendale 4747 Troost Ave. Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 235-6429 PHONE baxendalej@umkc.edu EMAIL WEBSITE www.whiteboard2boardroom.com The Whiteboard 2 Boardroom program provides a number of services to the bistate entrepreneurial community. These include, but are not limited to, identification of CEO talent and mentors for new companies, access to innovations developed at regional academic institutions, research organizations and corporations, establishment of strategic partnerships and identification of sources of capital. Whiteboard 2 Boardroom also offers its Tech Alert System, a yearly subscription feebased system in which W2B staff will search its technology portfolio for matches to technology requests received from entrepreneurs and established companies. As new technologies are added to the W2B portfolio, these technologies are also sent out to Tech Alert System participants.


WOMEN CONSTRUCTION OWNERS AND EXECUTIVES USA

3509 Connecticut Ave. N.W. Washington, DC 20008 (202) 276-0646 PHONE info@wcoeusa.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.wcoeusa.org Women Construction Owners and Executives USA unites women across the nation to promote contracting opportunities and influence legislation. Services include assistance in WOSB government contracting, peer-topeer networking, workshops and conferences, resource assistance and referrals. WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTER

Brande Stitt 4220 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Ste. 350B Fairway, KS 66205 (913) 492-5922 PHONE bstitt@kansascitywbc.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.kansascitywbc.com The Women’s Business Center is a resource for women entrepreneurs in the metro Kansas City community who intend to grow their businesses. Services include workshops, Launch U business plan classes, certification education, peer-to-peer mentoring roundtables, access to volunteer advisers, access to capital, credit-building assistance and more. The Women’s Business Center connects women entrepreneurs with the resources best Ste.d to assist them with their business challenges. The WBC also works with two capital programs: WE-Lend, a microloan fund for women business owners; and the Women’s Capital Connection, a women’s angel investor network. WOMEN’S BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Ann M. DeAngelo Enterprise Center in Johnson County 4220 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Ste. 350B Fairway, Kansas 66205 913-971-1050 PHONE adeangelo@wbdc.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.wbdc.org TWITTER @WBDC The mission of the Women’s Business Development Center is to support and accelerate business development and growth, focusing on women and serving all diverse business owners, in order to strengthen their participation in, and impact on, the economy.

WOMEN’S EMPLOYMENT NETWORK

WORLD TRADE CENTER KANSAS CITY

Sherry Turner 920 Main, Ste. 100 Kansas City, MO 64105 (816) 822-8083 PHONE WEBSITE www.kcwen.org WEN is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing women with the skills, training and confidence to help them achieve economic self-sufficiency for themselves and their families. WEN’s mission is to assist women in raising their self-esteem and achieving economic independence through sustained employment. In addition to employment preparation and job-search training, WEN offers individualized coaching, computer training, career clothing and professional case management to help women address personal barriers to employment success.

Ivry Karamitros and Melissa Miller 30 W. Pershing Road, Ste. 301 Kansas City, MO 64108 (816) 374-5469 PHONE WEBSITE www.wtc-kc.com World Trade Center Kansas City is the largest international business network of its kind in the Kansas City metropolitan region—a who’s who of the top global business executives in the region. Today, more than 2,500 Kansas City firms are impacted by WTCKC global connections, events, international visitors programs and business services. In addition, WTCKC serves as the region’s No. 1 international resource for programs, events and seminars related to the world of export and international trade. On April 7, 2016, World Trade Center Kansas City launched the Export Concierge program as part of the final Global Cities Initiative (GCI) export plan for the KC region. The Export Concierge provides oneto-one guidance and resource referrals to current and prospective exporters, helping them navigate the complex process of entry into foreign markets.

WORKFORCE PARTNERSHIP (913) 577-5946 PHONE Website: www.workforcepartnership.com JOHNSON COUNTY 8535 Bluejacket St. Lenexa, KS 66214 LEAVENWORTH COUNTY 515 Limit, Ste. 200 Leavenworth, KS 66048 WYANDOTTE COUNTY 626 Minnesota Ave. Kansas City, KS 66101 The Workforce Partnership can connect local employers with qualified job candidates in Johnson, Leavenworth and Wyandotte counties. It offers a wide range of employer solutions in the areas of hiring and recruiting, training, retention and expansion to businesses of all sizes. Its staff will design a unique strategy based on the individual needs of each company.

WYANDOTTE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

727 Minnesota Ave. Kansas City, KS 66101 (913) 371-3198 PHONE info@wyedc.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.wyedc.org The Wyandotte Economic Development Council is a nonprofit economic development corporation that promotes and strengthens Wyandotte County’s economy. The EDC provides businesses with site identification assistance, potential incentives, retention and expansion information, and workforce solutions.

BIGGER

FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES, PLEASE CALL:

(913) 432-6690

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DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES // SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTERS The Kansas and Missouri Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) offer no-charge, one-on-one business counseling to new and established business owners. Center counselors can help you tackle business problems and plan for new opportunities. The SBDCs, which are supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, also offer workshops on accounting, marketing, government contracting and other topics at reasonable prices.

JCCC SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Elisa Waldman 12345 College Blvd., Regnier Center Room 240 Overland Park, KS 66210 (913) 469-3878 PHONE ksbdc@jccc.edu EMAIL WEBSITE www.jccc.edu/ksbdc TWITTER @jcccksbdc In addition to training and general business consulting, the Kansas Small Business Development Center at Johnson County Community College (JCCC KSBDC) has expertise in helping small businesses grow. Its special programs include GAME (Growth through Action, Measurement and Engagement), a series of active learning sessions

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to help business owners achieve growth; the Strategic Management Program, which provides customized strategic plans, ongoing mentoring and other services; and Riddle of the Exporter, devoted to exporting issues. The JCCC KSBDC serves Johnson, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. KU SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Will Katz 646 Vermont, Ste. 200 Lawrence, KS 66044 (785) 843-8844 PHONE willkatz@ku.edu EMAIL WEBSITE www.business.ku.edu/ ku-small-businessdevelopment-center The center, based at the University of Kansas, provides low-cost training seminars and one-on-one counseling services to Kansas-based businesses. The KU-KSBDC serves Douglas, Franklin, Jefferson, Atchison, Leavenworth and Doniphan counties in Kansas. MISSOURI S&T SMALL BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Keith Strassner 900 Innovation Drive, Ste. 145 Rolla, MO 65401 (573) 341-4690 PHONE ecodevo@mst.edu EMAIL WEBSITE ecodevo.mst.edu The Missouri S&T SBTDC is a technology-based business development center. The SBTDC seeks to promote technologies developed at Missouri S&T and help clients launch their business ideas. NWMSU SMALL BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Sections include:

» New + Emerging » Growing + Established » Directory of Resources (913) 432-6690 or sales@ithinkbigger.com

Rebecca Lobina 3003 Frederick Ave. St. Joseph, MO 64506 (816) 364-4105 PHONE evansr@nwmissouri.edu EMAIL WEBSITE www.nwmissouri.edu/ services/sbtdc/ The Northwest Missouri State University SBTDC counsels small businesses and

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individuals on management, marketing, financial analysis and other issues. It also coordinates and conducts research into technical and general small business problems. The center serves clients throughout northwest Missouri. UMKC SMALL BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Carmen DeHart 4747 Troost, Ste. 104A Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 235-6063 PHONE umkcsbtdc@umkc.edu EMAIL WEBSITE https://sbtdc.umkc.edu The University of Missouri-Kansas City SBTDC can help entrepreneurs and businesses at every stage, from concept to startup, growth to renewal, maturity to succession. The center offers business counseling and coaching, training and tools to start businesses and the insight and expertise to make them grow. The center offers ScaleUP! Kansas City, a free program for the owners of established businesses. Participants receive training, counseling and other services to grow their revenue. UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI EXTENSION–JACKSON COUNTY SBTDC

Jeff Samborski 1600 N.E. Coronado Drive Blue Springs, MO 64014 (816) 252-5051 PHONE samborskij@missouri.edu EMAIL WEBSITE www.missouribusiness.net/ center/jackson-county-sbtdc University of Missouri Extension is the statewide educational outreach arm of the University of Missouri system. In the Kansas City region, University of Missouri Extension SBTDC provides one-on-one business consulting and training. Business programs coordinated by MU Extension SBTDC in the Kansas City area include FastTrac NewVenture, GrowthVenture and QuickBooks.


DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES // CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

ASIAN AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF KANSAS CITY

Sook Park 8645 College Blvd., Ste. 110 Overland Park, KS 66210 (913) 338-0774 PHONE sook_park@asianchamberkc.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.asianchamberkc.com BALDWIN CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Jeannette Blackmar 718 High St. Baldwin City, KS 66006 PHONE (785) 594-3200 EMAIL jeannette@baldwincitychamber.com WEBSITE www.baldwincitychamber.com

DE SOTO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

GREATER KANSAS CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Sara R. Ritter, IOM 32904 W. 84th St. De Soto, KS 66018 (913) 583-1585 PHONE sritter@desotoks.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.desotoks.org

Joe Reardon 30 W. Pershing, Ste. 301 Kansas City, MO 64108 (816) 221-2424 PHONE jreardon@kcchamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.kcchamber.com

EUDORA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

GREATER TOPEKA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE/GO TOPEKA

Keith Nowland 706 Main St. Eudora, KS 66025 (785) 542-1212 PHONE WEBSITE www.eudorakschamber.com EXCELSIOR SPRINGS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

P.O. Box 35 Basehor, KS 66007 (913) 724-9000 PHONE info.basehorchamber@gmail.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.basehorchamber.org

Tosha Jackson 461 S. Thompson Ave., P.O. Box 632 Excelsior Springs, MO 64024 (816) 630-6161 PHONE tosha@exspgschamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.exspgschamber.com

BELTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

GARDNER EDGERTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Diane Huckshorn 323 Main St., P.O. Box 350 Belton, MO 64012 (816) 331-2420 PHONE chamberbelton@gmail.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.beltonmochamber.com

Jason Camis 109 E. Main St., P.O. Box 402 Gardner, KS 66030 (913) 856-6464 PHONE jason@gardneredgerton.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.gardneredgerton.org

BLUE SPRINGS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

GLADSTONE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Lara Vermillion 1000 W. Main St. Blue Springs, MO 64015 (816) 229-8558 PHONE lvermillion@bluespringschamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.bluespringschamber.com

Amy Harlin 7001 N. Oak Trafficway, Ste. 101 Gladstone, MO 64118 (816) 436-4523 PHONE WEBSITE www.gladstonechamber.com

BONNER SPRINGS-EDWARDSVILLE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

711 Main St. Grain Valley, MO 64029 (816) 847-2627 PHONE WEBSITE www.facebook.com/gvchamber

BASEHOR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

309 Oak St. (inside Union Bank & Trust) Bonner Springs, KS 66012 (913) 422-5044 PHONE info@bsedwchamber.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.bsedwchamber.org BROOKSIDE BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

6814 Troost Ave. Kansas City, MO 64131 (816) 523-5553 PHONE WEBSITE www.brooksidekc.org

GRAIN VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

GRANDVIEW CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Kim Curtis 12500 S. 71 Highway, Ste. 100 Grandview, MO 64030 (816) 761-6505 PHONE ksc@grandview.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.grandview.org/chamber

Matt Pivarnik 120 S.E. Sixth Ave., Ste. 110 Topeka, KS 66603 (785) 234-2644 PHONE mpivarnik@greatertopeka.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.topekachamber.org HARRISONVILLE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Sara Craig 106 S. Independence Harrisonville, MO 64701 (816) 380-5271 PHONE sara@harrisonvillechamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.harrisonvillechamber.com HEARTLAND BLACK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Christal Watson 607-A Minnesota Ave. Kansas City, KS 66101 (913) 948-7680 PHONE christal@heartlandblackchamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.heartlandblackchamber.com HIGGINSVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Donald Knehans 1813 N. Main St. Higginsville, MO 64037 chamber@ctcis.net (660) 684-3030 PHONE WEBSITE www.higginsvillechamber.org HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF GREATER KANSAS CITY

Carlos Gomez 107 W. 10th St. Kansas City, MO 64105 (816) 472-6767 PHONE cgomez@hccgkc.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.hccgkc.com

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DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES // CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

INDEPENDENCE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Hap Graff 210 W. Truman Rd. Independence, MO 64050 (816) 252-4745 PHONE hap@iChamber.biz EMAIL WEBSITE www.ichamber.biz KANSAS CITY KANSAS AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Daniel Silva 727 Minnesota Ave. Kansas City, KS 66101 (913) 371-3070 PHONE info@kckchamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.kckchamber.com KANSAS CITY KANSAS WOMEN’S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

P.O. Box 12611 Kansas City, KS 66112 (816) 522-7526 PHONE kckwcc@gmail.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.womenschamberkck.org KANSAS CITY WOMEN’S CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Karla Elenz Martinez P.O. Box 165316 Kansas City, MO 64116 (816) 701-9890 PHONE karla@kcwomenschamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.kcwomenschamber.com KEARNEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Siouxsan Eisen P.O. Box 242 Kearney, MO 64060 (816) 628-4229 PHONE kearneychamber@fairpoint.net EMAIL WEBSITE www.kearneychamber.org LAWRENCE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Larry McElwain 718 New Hampshire St. Lawrence, KS 66044 (785) 865-4411 PHONE lmcelwain@lawrencechamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.lawrencechamber.com LEAVENWORTH-LANSING AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Brandon Johannes 518 Shawnee St. Leavenworth, KS 66048

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PHONE EMAIL WEBSITE

(913) 682-4112 brandon@llchamber.com www.llchamber.com

LEAWOOD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Kevin Jeffries 13451 Briar, Ste.201 Leawood, KS 66209 (913) 498-1514 PHONE kevinj@leawoodchamber.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.leawoodchamber.org LEE’S SUMMIT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Tim Arbeiter, CECD, IOM 220 S.E. Main St. Lee’s Summit, MO 64063 (816) 524-2424 PHONE tarbeiter@lschamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.lschamber.com LENEXA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Blake Schreck, CED 11180 Lackman Rd. Lenexa, KS 66219 (913) 888-1414 PHONE bschreck@lenexa.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.lenexa.org LIBERTY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Gayle Potter 1170 W. Kansas St., Ste. H Liberty, MO 64068 (816) 781-5200 PHONE gaylep@libertychamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.libertychamber.com LOUISBURG CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Becky Bowes 16 S. Broadway, P.O. Box 245 Louisburg, KS 66053 (913) 837-2826 PHONE chamber@louisburgkansas.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.louisburgkansas.com MID-AMERICA GAY AND LESBIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Michael Lintecum P.O. Box 5961 Kansas City, MO 64171 (816) 474-3558 PHONE info@maglcc.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.maglcc.org

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NORTHEAST JOHNSON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Deb Settle 5800 Foxridge Dr., Ste. 100 Mission, KS 66202 (913) 262-2141 PHONE dsettle@nejcchamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.nejcchamber.com NORTHEAST KANSAS CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Bobbi Baker 2657 Independence Ave. Kansas City, MO 64124 (816) 231-3312 PHONE nekcchamber@aol.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.nekcchamber.com NORTHLAND REGIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Sheila Tracy 634 N.W. Englewood Rd. Kansas City, MO 64118 (816) 455-9911 PHONE sheila@northlandchamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.northlandchamber.com OAK GROVE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Rusty Douthitt 103 E. 12th St., P.O. Box 586 Oak Grove, MO 64075 (816) 690-4147 PHONE WEBSITE www.oakgrovechamber.com OLATHE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Tim McKee 18001 W. 106th St., Ste. 160 Olathe, KS 66061 (913) 764-1050 PHONE tmckee@olathe.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.olathe.org OTTAWA AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

John Coen 109 E. Second St., P.O. Box 580 Ottawa, KS 66067 (785) 242-1000 PHONE chamber@ottawakansas.org EMAIL WEBSITE ottawakansas.org


DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES // CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE

OVERLAND PARK CHAMBER & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Beth Johnson 9001 W. 110th St., Ste. 150 Overland Park, KS 66210 (913) 491-3600 PHONE bjohnson@opchamber.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.opedc.org and www.opchamber.org PAOLA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Mark Farmer 6 W. Peoria St. Paola, KS 66071 (913) 294-4335 PHONE info@paolachamber.org EMAIL WEBSITE http://www.paolachamber.org PARKVILLE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Marsha VanDever 8878 N.W. 63rd St., Ste. 103 Parkville, MO 64152 (816) 587-2700 PHONE info@parkvillechamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.parkvillechamber.com PECULIAR AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

P.O. Box 462 Peculiar, MO 64078 (816) 779-2223 PHONE secretary@peculiarchamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.peculiarchamber.com PLATTE CITY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL

Angie Mutti 620 Third St., P.O. Box 650 Platte City, MO 64079 (816) 858-5270 PHONE angie@plattecitymo.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.plattecitymo.com PLEASANT HILL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

100 Wyoming St., P.O. Box 32 Pleasant Hill, MO 64080 PHONE (816) 540-2070 pleasanthillchamber@centurylink.net EMAIL WEBSITE www.pleasanthillmochamber.com

RAYMORE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

SOUTH KANSAS CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Cherie Turney 1000 W. Foxwood Dr., Ste. 200 Raymore, MO 64083 (816) 322-0599 PHONE raymorechamber@sbcglobal.net EMAIL WEBSITE www.raymorechamber.com

Vickie Wolgast 406 E. Bannister Rd., Ste. F Kansas City, MO 64131 (816) 761-7660 PHONE vwolgast@southkcchamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.southkcchamber.com

RAYTOWN AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

SOUTHTOWN COUNCIL

Vicki Turnbow 5909 Raytown Trafficway Raytown, MO 64133 (816) 353-8500 PHONE staff@raytownchamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.raytownchamber.com

Sean Ackerson 6814 Troost Ave. Kansas City, MO 64131 (816) 523-5553 PHONE WEBSITE www.southtown.org

RICHMOND AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Sharon Mitchell 613 S. Race St., P.O. Box 15 Spring Hill, KS 66083 (913) 592-3893 PHONE chamber@springhillks.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.springhillks.org

Tonya Willim 104 W. North Main St. Richmond, MO 64085 (816) 776-6916 PHONE director@richmondchamber.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.richmondchamber.org RIVERSIDE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

SPRING HILL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

ST. JOSEPH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

2950 N.W. Vivion Rd. Riverside, MO 64150 (816) 741-9985 PHONE info@riversidemochamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.riversidemochamber.com

R. Patt Lilly 3003 Frederick Ave. St. Joseph, MO 64506 (816) 232-4461 PHONE plilly@saintjoseph.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.saintjoseph.com

SHAWNEE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

TONGANOXIE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Ann Smith-Tate 15100 W. 67th St., Ste. 202 Shawnee, KS 66217 (913) 631-6545 PHONE asmithtate@shawneekschamber.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.shawneekschamber.com

707 E. Fourth St. Tonganoxie, KS 66086 (913) 845-9244 PHONE info@tonganoxiechamber.org EMAIL WEBSITE www.facebook.com/TongieChamber

SMITHVILLE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

7222 Wornall Rd. Kansas City, MO 64114 (816) 286-4523 PHONE WEBSITE www.waldokc.org

Lia Jennings 105 W. Main St. Smithville, MO 64089 (816) 532-0946 PHONE smithvillechamber@sbcglobal.net EMAIL WEBSITE www.smithvillechamber.org

WALDO AREA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION

WESTON CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Jill Gonzalez 526 Main St. Weston, MO 64098 (816) 640-2909 PHONE info@westonmo.com EMAIL WEBSITE www.westonmo.com

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DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES // REGULATORY & COMPLIANCE INFORMATION

REGULATORY & COMPLIANCE INFORMATION The following organizations and agencies deal with common regulatory details that affect small businesses. Because regulations vary by industry, investigate carefully.

BAR CODING

BUSINESS SERVICES

INSURANCE: WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

GS1US

KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE See listing in Resource Organization Section, pg. 110. MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT See listing in Resource Organization Section, pg. 113.

KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Division of Workers’ Compensation 401 S.W. Topeka Blvd. Topeka, KS 66603 PHONE Topeka: (785) 296-4000 PHONE Lenexa: (913) 642-7650 WEBSITE www.dol.ks.gov/workcomp

PHONE WEBSITE

(937) 435-3870 www.gs1us.org

BUSINESS LEGAL STRUCTURE

KANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE Memorial Hall, 1st Floor 120 S.W. 10th Ave. Topeka, KS 66612-1594 PHONE (785) 296-4564 WEBSITE www.sos.ks.gov MISSOURI SECRETARY OF STATE 600 W. Main St., Room 322 Jefferson City, MO 65101 PHONE (573) 751-4936 EMAIL info@sos.mo.gov WEBSITE www.sos.mo.gov

BUSINESS NAME (FICTITIOUS)

KANSAS SECRETARY OF STATE Memorial Hall, 1st Floor 120 S.W. 10th Ave. Topeka, KS 66612-1594 PHONE (785) 296-4564 WEBSITE www.sos.ks.gov MISSOURI SECRETARY OF STATE Corporation Division 600 W. Main St. State Information Center, Room 322 Jefferson City, MO 65101 PHONE (573) 751-4153 EMAIL corporations@sos.mo.gov WEBSITE www.sos.mo.gov INSURANCE: EMPLOYER

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KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF LABOR UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE TAX CONTRIBUTIONS PHONE Topeka: (785) 296-5027 PHONE Kansas City: (913) 596-3500 WEBSITE www.kansasemployer.gov MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

DIVISION OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY Kansas City Claims Center PHONE (816) 889-3101 Main Office P.O. Box 59 Jefferson City, MO 65104 PHONE (573) 751-9730 WEBSITE www.labor.mo.gov/DES

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MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS Division of Workers’ Compensation P.O. Box 58 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0058 PHONE (573) 751-4231 WEBSITE www.labor.mo.gov/DWC Kansas City Office 1410 Genessee St., Ste. 210 Kansas City, MO 64102-1047 PHONE (816) 889-2481 TAXES: FEDERAL

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE Business & Specialty Tax Line: 1-800-829-4933 WEBSITE www.irs.gov TAXES: LOCAL

CITY—Contact your City Hall for requirements. COUNTY—Contact your County Courthouse for requirements. TAXES: STATE

KANSAS DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE Business Taxation Scott State Office Building 120 S.E. 10th St. Topeka, KS 66612 PHONE (785) 368-8222 WEBSITE www.ksrevenue.org/business.html MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE Division of Taxation Harry S. Truman State Office Building 301 W. High St., Room 102 Jefferson City, MO 65101 PHONE (573) 751-3505 WEBSITE www.dor.mo.gov/business


DIRECTORY OF RESOURCES // MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT LISTINGS

MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT LISTINGS

Small business owners often need to contact the cities in which they operate for information about business regulations and licensing, tax issues, economic development and other matters. The following is a list of area cities in Kansas and Missouri, and whom to contact for business-related information. Note that the city clerk can direct questions to other departments when necessary. BALDWIN CITY (785) 594-6427 City Hall: 803 Eighth St. City Clerk: Laura Hartman www.baldwincity.org

FAIRWAY (913) 262-0350 City Hall: 5240 Belinder Rd. City Clerk: Nathan Nogelmeier www.fairwaykansas.org

LAKE QUIVIRA (913) 631-5300 City Hall: 10 Crescent Blvd. City Clerk: Diane Newton www.cityoflakequivira.org

OAK GROVE (816) 690-3773 City Hall: 1300 S. Broadway St. City Clerk: Cathy Smith www.cityofoakgrove.com

RICHMOND (816) 776-5304 City Hall: 205 Summit St. City Clerk: Tonya Willim www.cityofrichmondmo.org

BASEHOR (913) 724-1370 City Hall: 2620 N. 155th St. City Clerk: Katherine Renn www.cityofbasehor.org

GARDNER (913) 856-7535 City Hall: 120 E. Main St. City Clerk: Jeanne Koontz www.gardnerkansas.gov

LANSING (913) 727-3233 City Hall: 800 First Ter. City Clerk: Sarah Bodensteiner www.lansing.ks.us

OLATHE (913) 971-8600 City Hall: 100 E. Santa Fe St. City Clerk: Donald Howell www.olatheks.org

RIVERSIDE (816) 741-3993 City Hall: 2950 N.W. Vivion Rd. City Clerk: Robin Kincaid www.riversidemo.com

BELTON (816) 331-4331 City Hall: 506 Main St. City Clerk: Patti Ledford www.belton.org

GLADSTONE (816) 436-2200 City Hall: 7010 N. Holmes St. City Clerk: Ruth Bocchino www.gladstone.mo.us

LAWRENCE (785) 832-3000 City Hall: 6 E. Sixth St. City Clerk: Sherri Riedemann www.lawrenceks.org

OTTAWA (785) 229-3600 City Hall: 101 S. Hickory St. City Clerk: Carolyn Snethen www.ottawaks.gov

ROELAND PARK (913) 722-2600 City Hall: 4600 W. 51st St. City Clerk: Kelley Bohon www.roelandpark.ne

BLUE SPRINGS (816) 228-0110 City Hall: 903 W. Main St. City Clerk: Sheryl Morgan www.bluespringsgov.com

GRAIN VALLEY (816) 847-6200 City Hall: 711 Main St. City Clerk: Cheney Parrish www.cityofgrainvalley.org

LEAVENWORTH (913) 682-9201 City Hall: 100 N. Fifth St. City Clerk: Carla Williamson www.lvks.org

OVERLAND PARK (913) 895-6000 City Hall: 8500 Santa Fe Dr. City Clerk: Elizabeth Kelly www.opkansas.org

SHAWNEE (913) 631-2500 City Hall: 11110 Johnson Dr. City Clerk: Stephen Powell www.cityofshawnee.org

BONNER SPRINGS (913) 422-1020 City Hall: 205 E. Second St. City Clerk: Amber McCullough www.bonnersprings.org

GRANDVIEW (816) 316-4800 City Hall: 1200 Main St. City Clerk: Becky Schimmel www.grandview.org

LEAWOOD (913) 339-6700 City Hall: 4800 Town Center Dr. City Clerk: Deb Harper www.leawood.org

PAOLA (913) 259-3600 City Hall: 19 E. Peoria St. City Clerk: Dan Droste www.cityofpaola.com

SMITHVILLE (816) 532-3897 City Hall: 107 W. Main St. City Clerk: Linda Drummond www.smithvillemo.org

BUCKNER (816) 650-3191 City Hall: 315 S. Hudson St. City Clerk: Rick Childers www.cityofbuckner.org

GREENWOOD (816) 537-6975 City Hall: 709 W. Main St. City Clerk: Dot Watkins www.greenwoodmo.com

LEE’S SUMMIT (816) 969-1000 City Hall: 220 S.E. Green City Clerk: Trisha Fowler Arcuri www.cityofls.net

PARKVILLE (816) 741-7676 City Hall: 8880 Clark Ave. City Clerk: Melissa McChesney www.parkvillemo.gov

CLAYCOMO (816) 452-5539 City Hall: 115 E. Hwy. 69 Village Clerk: Sheri Chapman www.claycomo.org

HARRISONVILLE (816) 380-8900 City Hall: 300 E. Pearl St. City Clerk: Randy Jones www.ci.harrisonville.mo.u

LENEXA (913) 477-7500 City Hall: 17101 W. 87th St. Pkwy. City Clerk: Danielle Dulin www.lenexa.com

DE SOTO (913) 583-1182 City Hall: 32905 W. 84th St., P.O. Box C City Clerk: Lana McPherson www.desotoks.us

HIGGINSVILLE (660) 584-2106 City Hall: 1922 Main St. P.O. Box 110 City Clerk: Sheri Tieman www.higginsville.org

PECULIAR (816) 779-5212 City Hall: 250 S. Main St. Deputy City Clerk: Cyndora Gauthreaux www.cityofpeculiar.com

SPRING HILL (913) 592-3664 City Hall: 401 N. Madison St., P.O. Box 424 City Clerk: Glenda Gerrity www.springhillks.com

EDGERTON (913) 893-6231 City Hall: 404 E. Nelson St. City Clerk: Janeice Rawles www.edgertonks.org

INDEPENDENCE (816) 325-7000 City Hall: 111 E. Maple Ave. City Clerk: Sarah Carnes-Lemp www.ci.independence.mo.us

EDWARDSVILLE (913) 441-3707 City Hall: 690 S. Fourth St., P.O. Box 13738 City Clerk: Zack Daniel www.edwardsvilleks.org

KANSAS CITY, KAN. / WYANDOTTE COUNTY (913) 573-5000 City Hall: 701 N. Seventh St. County Clerk: Bridgette Cobbins www.wycokck.org

EUDORA (785) 542-2153 City Hall: 4 E. Seventh St. City Clerk: Pamela Schmeck www.cityofeudoraks.gov

KANSAS CITY, MO. (816) 513-6401 City Hall: 414 E. 12th St. City Clerk: Marilyn Sanders www.kcmo.gov

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS (816) 630-0752 City Hall: 201 E. Broadway City Clerk: Shannon Stroud www.cityofesmo.com

KEARNEY (816) 628-4142 City Hall: 100 E. Washington St. City Clerk: Jim Eldridge www.ci.kearney.mo.us

LIBERTY (816) 439-4400 City Hall: 101 E. Kansas St. Deputy City Clerk: Janet Pittman www.libertymissouri.gov LOUISBURG (913) 837-5371 City Hall: 215 S. Broadway St. City Clerk: Traci Storey www.louisburgkansas.gov MERRIAM (913) 322-5500 City Hall: 9001 W. 62nd St. City Clerk: Juli Pinnick www.merriam.or MISSION (913) 676-8350 City Hall: 6090 Woodson Rd. City Clerk: Martha Sumrall www.missionks.org MISSION HILLS (913) 362-9620 City Hall: 6300 State Line Rd. City Clerk: Nicole Shoemaker www.missionhillsks.gov NORTH KANSAS CITY (816) 274-6000 City Hall: 2010 Howell St. City Clerk: Crystal Doss www.nkc.org

ST. JOSEPH (816) 271-4730 City Hall: 1100 Frederick Ave. City Clerk: Paula Heyde www.stjoemo.info

PLATTE CITY (816) 858-3046 City Hall: 400 Main St. City Clerk: Amy Edwards www.plattecity.org

SUGAR CREEK (816) 252-4400 City Hall: 103 S. Sterling Ave. City Clerk: Jana Olivarez-Dickerson www.sugar-creek.mo.us

PLEASANT HILL (816) 540-3135 City Hall: 203 Paul St. City Clerk: Jessica Elliot www.pleasanthill.com

TONGANOXIE (913) 845-2620 City Hall: 526 E. 4th St. City Clerk/Clerk of Court: Patty Haag www.tonganoxie.org

PRAIRIE VILLAGE (913) 381-6464 City Hall: 7700 Mission Rd. City Clerk: Joyce Hagen Mundy www.pvkansas.com RAYMORE (816) 331-0488 City Hall: 100 Municipal Circle City Clerk: Jeanie Woerner www.raymore.com RAYTOWN (816) 737-6000 City Hall: 10000 E. 59th St. City Clerk: Teresa Henry www.raytown.mo.us

TOPEKA (785) 368-3940 City Hall: 215 S.E. Seventh St. City Clerk: Brenda Younger www.topeka.org WESTON (816) 640-2752 City Hall: 300 Main St. City Clerk: Kim Kirby www.westonmo.us WESTWOOD (913) 362-1550 City Hall: 4700 Rainbow Blvd. City Clerk: Fred Sherman www.westwoodks.org

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CERTIFICATION CITY/STATE

City of Kansas City, Mo. (www.kcmohrd.mwdbe.com) Certifies womenand minority-owned businesses to meet supplier diversity goals on designated projects. (816) 513-1836 State of Kansas (www.kansascommerce.com) Certifies minority- and women-owned businesses to supply goods and services to the state or to companies in Kansas. (785) 296-3481 State of Missouri (www.oeo.mo.gov) Certifies womenand minority-owned businesses and offers business development programs. (573) 751-8130 FEDERAL

Department of Transportation—Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (www.transportation.gov/osdbu) Certifies qualified women- and minority-owned businesses. 1-800-532-1169 SBA/8(a) Business Development Certification (www.sba.gov/8abd) More information is also available from the SBA’s Kansas City District Office. (816) 426-4900 SBA/HUBZone Empowerment Contracting Program Certification (www.sba.gov/hubzone) Allows businesses in historically underutilized business zones to receive contract bidding benefits. SBA/Women-Owned Small Business Certification (www.sba.gov/wosb) This program is for businesses at least 51 percent owned by one or more women and with management and daily business operations controlled by one or more women. Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) (www.dnb.com) Visit this site to obtain a DUNS number, or contact Dun & Bradstreet. 1-877-378-9608. CREDIT BUREAUS

DEMOGRAPHIC INFORMATION

U.S. Census Bureau (www.census.gov) A source for demographic information on consumers and businesses in the United States. Search for thousands of socioeconomic and demographic data points (e.g., race, sex, age, ZIP code, residence, income, place of work, education). The data can be used to plan marketing campaigns, sites and sales territories. EXPORT/IMPORT AGENCIES & ORGANIZATIONS

American Association of Exporters and Importers 1717 K St. N.W., Ste. 1120 Washington, DC 20006 (202) 857-8009 PHONE WEBSITE www.aaei.org Chambers of Commerce See Chambers of Commerce section, pg. 121. Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) 811 Vermont Ave. N.W. Washington, DC 20571 1-800-565-EXIM PHONE WEBSITE www.exim.gov International Trade Council of Greater Kansas City See listing in Resource Directory, pg. 108. Kansas Department of Agriculture 1320 Research Park Dr. Manhattan, KS 66502 (785) 564-6700 PHONE WEBSITE www.agriculture.ks.gov Kansas Department of Commerce Trade Development Division See listing in Resource Directory, pg. 110. Missouri Department of Agriculture International Trade 1616 Missouri Blvd. P.O. Box 630 Jefferson City, MO 65102 (573) 751-4762 PHONE WEBSITE www.mda.mo.gov/abd/intmkt

Credit bureaus are credit reporting agencies. To check your credit with the major credit bureaus, visit www.equifax.com, www.experian.com or www.transunion.com. 126 TH E THINKING BIGGER GU I D E F OR KC ENTR EPR ENEU R S / / 2 0 1 7 - 2 0 1 8

Missouri Department of Economic Development Economic Research & Information Center P.O Box 3150 Jefferson City, MO 65102 WEBSITE www.missourieconomy.org U.S. Department of Commerce U.S. Commercial Service-Kansas City See listing in Resource Directory, pg. 117. WEBSITES EXPORT SUPPORT/PROVIDERS

www.export.gov The U.S. government’s export portal provides export counseling, trade assistance, market research, trade statistics and reference information. www.privacyshield.gov Offers information for U.S. companies seeking to comply with European Union data protection requirements. www.trade.gov The International Trade Administration works to help U.S. businesses compete abroad. kcsmartport.thinkkc.com KC SmartPort is a nonprofit economic development organization that works to attract freight-based companies, such as manufacturing, distribution and warehouses, to the 18-county bi-state Kansas City region. www.foodexport.org An association of dozens of states, organized to provide assistance to food exporters. www.usda.gov Provides information about the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Find Foreign Agriculture Service information at www.fas.usda.gov. INTERNATIONAL CULTURAL ISSUES

www.getcustoms.com “Kiss, Bow or Shake Hands” offers important information for doing business in dozens of countries, including tips on gift giving, a guide to making toasts and guidelines on greetings. MARKET DEVELOPMENT

www.europages.com The European Business Directory contains a database of millions of companies in Europe. www.xe.com/currencyconverter This site bills itself as the world’s most popular internet currency converter, with more than 180 currencies.


MARKET RESEARCH

www.globaledge.msu.edu This Michigan State University site contains numerous links to other international business resources. STRATEGIC PLANNING

www.export-ready.com Designed to provide export readiness information for the starting exporter; be sure to check out the Export Marketing Information Series. www.iesc.org The International Executive Service Corps is a network of active and retired businessmen and women available to counsel and train businesses overseas. www.uscib.org The U.S. Council for International Business is a pro-trade, pro-market liberalization organization. FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Angel Capital Association (www.angelcapitalassociation.org) Brings together many of the angel organizations in North America to share best practices and collaboration opportunities. Franchise Solutions (www.franchisesolutions.com) Links business owners to franchises and provides franchising guidance. Securities & Exchange Commission (www.sec.gov) Provides a comprehensive section on small business and the SEC. WallStreet Research (www.wallstreetresearch.org) Provides hundreds of thousands of links to business and financial sites, organized by category. GOVERNMENT SITES

Business USA (www.usa.gov/business) Helps owners learn to start a small business, get financing help from the government and more. Department of Homeland Security (www.dhs.gov) Provides information to small businesses about keeping employees safe in the event of a terror attack. The website also contains information on doing business with the agency, including rules for unsolicited proposals, importing and exporting, and disaster relief for businesses.

Federal Citizen Information Center (publications.usa.gov) Provides links to an array of consumer publications and small business publications. GovSpot (www.govspot.com) Links to many government sites and references areas of interest to small businesses. Regulations.gov A website where federal documents that are open for comment can be found, reviewed and commented on. These documents are published in the Federal Register. Social Security Administration (www.ssa.gov) Provides information about employer wage reporting, selling to the SSA, vendor payments, international agreements and other details about the SSA’s services for businesses. U.S. House Committee on Small Business (www.smallbusiness.house.gov) Offers information about bills and hearings dealing with small business. U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship (sbc.senate.gov) Contains information on legislation, publications, press releases and hearings relevant to small businesses. U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) (www.sba.gov) See listing in Resource Organizations, pg. 118. GREEN

Bridging the Gap (www.bridgingthegap.org) Promotes sustainability in the Kansas City region by connecting business, government and community. Programs include the Green Business Network, which promotes smart sustainability practices within the Kansas City business community. E-Cycle Missouri (www.ecyclemo.org) Connects businesses with computer recyclers and demanufacturers of electronic office items. EPA-Small Business Gateway (www.epa.gov/smallbusiness) A resource for small business environmental questions.

GreenBiz (www.GreenBiz.com) Resources on how to align environmental responsibility with business success. Daily news, tools and resources available for businesses to access. Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Small Business and Community Support (www.kdheks.gov/sbcs) Provides environmental resources for small business owners in Kansas. Allows business owners to stay current with environmental standards. K-State Pollution Prevention Institute See listing in Resource Organizations, pg. 117. Mid-America Regional Council See listing in Resource Organizations, pg. 112. Quick links to specific programs » www.recyclespot.org Allows searches by material type, location and entity to find the closest places to recycle many different materials. » www.marc.org/rideshare Offers information about carpooling in the metro area. » www.marc.org/environment The direct link to the organization’s environmental initiatives. Missouri Department of Natural Resources See listing in Resource Organizations, pg. 113. EPA Compliance Assistance (www2.epa.gov/compliance) An online guide to environmental compliance resources. U.S. Green Building Council-Central Plains Chapter (usgbc.org/usgbc-central-plains) Dedicated to the promotion of sustainable building practices. HOME-BASED BUSINESS RESOURCES

HomeWorkers (www.homeworkers.org) A website dedicated to serving people who work in a home workplace environment. National Association for the Self-Employed (www.nase.org) Provides educational opportunities and significant discounts on business and personal services, and also works to enact legislation that gives small businesses an equal footing with their corporate counterparts.

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Age of the Small Business (www.SMBReviews.com) Small and homebased business resources, such as news, books, software, affiliate programs, professional assistance links and free downloadable forms and letters. Home Biz Tools (www.homebiztools.com) Provides information for a variety of home-based business needs. HUMAN RESOURCES

Occupational Safety & Health Administration (www.osha.gov) Provides information about OSHA laws, regulations and compliance. Workforce (www.workforce.com) Comprehensive directory of human resource management topics, products, services and tools. IMMIGRATION

National Immigration Forum (www.immigrationforum.org) Provides information about all aspects of the immigration debate, including employer information and issues. National Immigration Law Center (www.nilc.org) Provides information relating to immigration, allowing business owners to stay current with changing procedures and laws. National Conference of State LegislatorsNews on Immigration Legislation (www.ncsl.org/research) Shows the current actions states are taking on immigration. Kansas Department of Labor (www.dol.ks.gov) Provides information about labor regulations for Kansas. Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission (www.khlaac.ks.gov) Part of the Kansas governor’s office, the commission offers insight into the Hispanic and Latino community, and acts as a liaison between the community and the state. Missouri Department of Labor (labor.mo.gov) Provides information about labor regulations for Missouri.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce (www.uschamber.com/immigration) Outlines what the chamber will pursue in the area of immigration reform. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (www.uscis.gov) Find answers to E-Verify and I-9 questions. The E-Verify employer hotline is at 1-888-464-4218. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (www.ice.gov) Offers information about immigration issues that affect business owners and how to work with the government to resolve them. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

American Patent & Trademark Law Center (www.patentpending.com) Provides legal information about patents and trademarks to help inventors protect new ideas and products from patent infringement. U.S. Copyright Office-Library of Congress (www.copyright.gov) Contains a database of millions of copyrights, searchable by name, title, subject and call number. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (www.uspto.gov) Contains government information on patents and trademarks, including a searchable database. LEGAL

FindLaw for Business (www.smallbusiness.findlaw.com) Connects small business owners with legal information. Lawlnfo (www.lawinfo.com) Contains a legal directory for all states as well as links to internet resources, such as the federal appeals courts and other judiciary agencies. Lists of legal support services and self-help resources are also available. MANUFACTURING

ISO: International Organization for Standardization (www.iso.org) The official website for ISO information. Manufacturing & Technology News (www.manufacturingnews.com) Provides manufacturing and business news, and identifies trends in manufacturing and

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process research and development, international competition, automation and issues about standards. Manufacturing.net (www.manufacturing.net) Covers the latest news on important global manufacturing topics. National Association of Manufacturers (www.nam.org) Serves manufacturers and employees in every industrial sector. MINORITY

Latin Business Today (www.latinbusinesstoday.com) Provides information, research, news stories and business services that address the worldwide Hispanic market. Minority Business Development Agency (www.mbda.gov) Part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, MBDA encourages the creation, growth and expansion of minority-owned businesses in the United States. National Association of Asian American Professionals (www.naaap.org) Provides members tools and resources to further career advancements and to empower Asians and Pacific Islanders to become great leaders. National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (www.ncaied.org) Committed to developing and expanding the American Indian private sector by establishing business relationships between Indian enterprises and private industry. National Minority Supplier Development Council (www.nmsdc.org) Certifies businesses that are owned by an ethnic minority. Certification is accepted by corporations across the country. Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, U.S. Dept. of Commerce (www.osec.doc.gov/osdbu) An advocacy and advisory office responsible for promoting the use of small, small disadvantaged, 8(a), womenowned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteranowned and HUBZone small businesses. Organization of Chinese American Women (www.ocawwomen.org) Dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States.


U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (www.ushcc.com) Works to advocate, promote and facilitate the success of Hispanic business. MISCELLANEOUS

Kauffman | Entrepreneurs (www.entrepreneurship.org) An online community designed to build entrepreneurial economies as well as serve as a resource for entrepreneurs, policy-makers, investors, mentors, researchers and academics. LogisticsWorld (www.logisticsworld.com) Contains links to websites related to the transportation and logistics industries. PROCUREMENT STATE

Missouri (www.oa.mo.gov/purchasing) Provides information on bidding in the state of Missouri. Kansas (www.admin.ks.gov/offices/procurement-andcontracts) Provides information on bidding in the state of Kansas. FEDERAL

Department of Defense, Office of Small Business Programs (business.defense.gov) Resources for companies interested in contracting with the U.S. Department of Defense. Department of State, Office of the Procurement Executive (www.state.gov/m/a/ope/index.htm) The Office issues procurement and federal award policy, provides quality assurance and statistical reporting, and appoints contracting and grants officers. Department of Transportation, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (www.transportation.gov/osdbu) OSDBU is responsible for ensuring that small businesses are treated fairly and have an opportunity to compete and be selected for a fair amount of the agency’s contracting and subcontracting dollars. Federal Acquisition Regulation and FAR Supplement (www.acquisition.gov) Contains the basic contracting principles and practices all Department of Defense agencies must follow.

Army Contracting Command (www.army.mil/acc) Resources for companies interested in contracting with the U.S. Army.

FedBizOpps (www.fbo.gov) The GSA’s point-of-entry for federal government procurement opportunities.

Army Engineering and Support Center (www.hnc.usace.army.mil) Resources for companies interested in contracting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Fedmarket (www.fedmarket.com) A source of information and contacts for the federal government.

Defense Contract Audit Agency (www.dcaa.mil) DCAA provides audit and financial advisory services to Department of Defense and other federal entities responsible for acquisition and contract administration. Defense Logistics Agency (www.dla.mil) DLA is the Department of Defense’s largest combat support agency. It provides worldwide logistics support in both peacetime and wartime to America’s Military Services as well as civilian agencies and foreign countries. This site contains information to inform and educate small businesses about DLA requirements and procurement practices.

General Services Administration, Office of Small Business Utilization (www.gsa.gov/aboutosbu) Provides counseling on federal bidding opportunities, online registrations, help with introducing products and services to the government, networking opportunities and procurement conferences/seminars. GovCon (www.govcon.com) A website for the government contracting industry. Marshall Space Flight Center— Business Opportunities (www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/about/ business.html)

Missouri Procurement Technical Assistance Center See Resource Directory, pg. 113. System for Award Management (www.SAM.gov) This website is where companies must register before doing business with the federal government. The System for Award Management replaces several older websites, including CCR and ORCA. SUB-Net (web.sba.gov/subnet) Prime contractors use this site to post subcontracting opportunities. RESEARCH

BizStats (www.bizstats.com) Home of free, accurate business statistics—well-organized and easy to access. Dun & Bradstreet (www.dnb.com) The world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses. EDGAR (www.edgar-online.com) A research site for analyzing publicly traded companies. TECHNOLOGY

Biotechnology Information Institute (www.bioinfo.com) Contains a large database of biomedical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology resources. Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (www.federallabs.org) Promotes technology transfer from federal labs across the country. VETERANS

GSA Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business Initiative (www.gsa.gov/service-disabled) Assists servicedisabled, veteran-owned small businesses in doing business with the federal government. SBA Office of Veterans Business Development (www.sba.gov/VETS) Dedicated to formulating, executing and promoting policies and programs that provide assistance to veterans who wish to start small businesses.

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VETBiz and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (www.vetbiz.gov, www.va.gov/osdbu) Provide resources for veterans in business. WOMEN

American Business Women’s Association (www.abwa.org) Brings together businesswomen of diverse occupations to provide opportunities to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support and national recognition. Association of Women’s Business Centers (www.awbc.org) A national network of women’s business centers. Boardroom Bound (www.boardroom-bound.com) Helps companies find prequalified director candidates for corporate board service. eWomenNetwork (www.eWomenNetwork.com) Committed to helping women and their businesses achieve, succeed and thrive in the new economy. Institute for Women’s Policy Research (www.iwpr.org) Promotes and works on equality issues that affect women. Ladies Who Launch (www.ladieswholaunch.com) Blogs, success stories, how-tos and more targeted toward women entrepreneurs. National Association for Female Executives (www.nafe.com) Provides resources to women business leaders. National Association of Women Business Owners (www.nawbo.org) Propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide. National Association of Women in Construction (www.nawic.org) Committed to enhancing the success of women in the construction industry.

National Women Business Owners Corporation (www.nwboc.org) Has a private national certification program that verifies ownership and control of businesses by women.

Enactus (www.enactus.org) An international organization that provides leadership training and hosts entrepreneurial competitions for college students around the world.

U.S. National Committee for UN Women (www.unwomen-usnc.org) Provides financial support and technical assistance to innovative programs promoting women’s issues.

Future Business Leaders of America (www.fbla-pbl.org) A membership organization for students (middle-level, secondary and collegiate/post-secondary) interested in a business or business-related career.

Women’s Business Development Center (www.wbdc.org) Delivers business services and financial assistance to empower women toward entrepreneurship and economic self-sufficiency. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (www.wbenc.org) National advocate for women-owned businesses as suppliers to U.S. corporations. Women in Government Relations (www.wgr.org) Committed to the advancement and empowerment of women at all career levels of government relations. Women Impacting Public Policy (www.WIPP.org) A national nonpartisan public policy organization that advocates for women business owners and women in business. Women Presidents’ Organization (www.womenpresidentsorg.com) This nonprofit organization is for women presidents of multimillion-dollar companies. It strives to improve business conditions for women entrepreneurs. Women in Technology International (www.witi.com) Strives to help women advance by providing access to and support from other professional women working in all sectors of technology. YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS

Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (www.c-e-o.org) Offers leadership training and professional development programs through a national network of young business owners.

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Business Owners’ Idea Café (www.businessownersideacafe.com) Designed to appeal to self-starters, this website offers how-to articles and includes many profiles of young entrepreneurs. International Money Museum (ecedweb.unomaha.edu/museum.htm) This interdisciplinary teaching kit, available through the UMKC Center for Economic Education, stimulates students’ interest in exploring and understanding the economy. Junior Achievement of Greater Kansas City (www.jamidamerica.org) Offers programs to educate and inspire students from kindergarten to 12th grade to value free enterprise, business and economics. The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (www.nfte.com) A national nonprofit organization that brings entrepreneurship education to low-income young people. U.S. SBA Young Entrepreneurs (www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/ training/young-entrepreneurs) A website developed by the U.S. Small Business Administration to guide young people to resources for starting a business. YoungBiz.com (www.youngbiz.com) Offers professional development workshops for teachers, summer camps and workshops on entrepreneurship and investing. Your Success Now (www.ysn.com) Offers links to a wealth of resources for younger entrepreneurs.


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2018 Annual Thinking Bigger Guide - Thinking BIgger Business Media  
2018 Annual Thinking Bigger Guide - Thinking BIgger Business Media