006 – How to Build a Website, Part 5: Search Engine Optimization – Web and BeyondCast

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.Find the original…

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.

Find the original archive of the video here: 006 – How to Build a Website, Part 5: Search Engine Optimization – Web and BeyondCast. Please visit http://webandbeyondcast.com/006 to subscribe/download the audio version, for clickable links to any resources mentioned, the full

005 – WordPress Design & Development, Part 4 – Web and BeyondCast

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.Find the original…

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.

Find the original archive of the video here: 005 – WordPress Design & Development, Part 4 – Web and BeyondCast. 005 – WordPress Design & Development, Part 4 Welcome to Season 1, Episode 5, WordPress Design and Development, of Web

004 – How to Build a Website, Part 3: Using the Squarespace Website Builder – Web and BeyondCast

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.Find the original…

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.

Find the original archive of the video here: 004 – How to Build a Website, Part 3: Using the Squarespace Website Builder – Web and BeyondCast. 004 – How to Build a Website, Part 3: Using the Squarespace Website Builder

003 – How to Build a Website, Part 2 – Content Is King – Web and BeyondCast

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.Find the original…

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.

Find the original archive of the video here: 003 – How to Build a Website, Part 2 – Content Is King – Web and BeyondCast. Episode 003 – How to Build a Website, Part 2 – Content Is King –

002 – How to Build a Website, Part 1 – Good Website Design and Development – Web and BeyondCast

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.Find the original…

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.

Find the original archive of the video here: 002 – How to Build a Website, Part 1 – Good Website Design and Development – Web and BeyondCast. Web and BeyondCast, Episode 002 – How to Build a Website, Part 1

Timely Connections Make a Difference

This post is written by Bill Reagan, Executive Director of the SBDC and first appeared in the Alexandria Times on October 4th, 2018.  Who you know is often more important than what you know. Making good connections is crucial through all stages of business, but it’s especially critical during the startup phase when prospective entrepreneurs… Read more »

The post Timely Connections Make a Difference appeared first on Alexandria Small Business Development Center.

This post is written by Bill Reagan, Executive Director of the SBDC and first appeared in the Alexandria Times on October 4th, 2018. 

Who you know is often more important than what you know.

Making good connections is crucial through all stages of business, but it’s especially critical during the startup phase when prospective entrepreneurs struggle with many unknowns. They might not know how to calculate the costs of going into business, or how to effectively apply for a loan. They likely aren’t familiar with real estate, how to find a business location, negotiate a favorable lease, or gauge the qualities of potential landlords.

Too often, fledgling entrepreneurs don’t adequately research regulatory requirements to understand zoning issues, permits required, how much time and money it will take to meet conditions for a certificate of occupancy, and whether they will have to obtain special licenses or authorizations.

Existing businesses too can benefit from timely connections. It might be for fundamentals such as finding reputable professionals – attorneys, accountants or bookkeepers. Maybe they’re looking for collaborative marketing opportunities or smart practices to improve operations. Perhaps they need strategic guidance to move into new markets such as government contracting or international trade. It could be for HR guidance for expansion hiring or to solve a thorny personnel issue.

Alexandria’s unique business support network can step up to be helpful when owners encounter these or other similar questions. Economic development and business support organizations in Alexandria are particularly attuned to small business challenges because small businesses are such a vital part of our economy and character. Quickly responding to businesses when they need answers creates an environment where they make their necessary contacts and still keep their focus on core activities.

Alexandria’s economic development, business, and city government organizations are more closely coordinated and integrated than in most other localities. That coordination is not perfect, and Alexandria businesses still encounter frustrations, but our business support network meets at least monthly to identify problems and work towards improvements. Those engaged include the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, Visit Alexandria, the Small Business Development Center, the Chamber, city government staff, and neighborhood business associations.

The Alexandria Small Business Development Center operates at the core of that small business support network. Through its staff and website, and the relationship with our economic development partners, we can help entrepreneurs find resources at each step of their life cycle. We see this as one of our most important functions for business productivity.

The Kauffman Foundation highlights the importance of communities fostering entrepreneurial connectivity to enhance economic vitality and create an environment in which entrepreneurship tends to thrive. Stakeholders include entrepreneurs, government, banks, investors, nonprofits, academia, veterans and the support organizations critical to business daily needs.

The ideal entrepreneurial ecosystem also encourages connectivity among businesses, whether its clusters of interdependent businesses or affiliations of entrepreneurs who like to know and network with one another. Continuing to focus on how to best foster entrepreneurial connectivity is important as we look to the future of our city. As a community, we create the connections that make Alexandria great for businesses and citizens alike.

The post Timely Connections Make a Difference appeared first on Alexandria Small Business Development Center.

Pinterest for Small Business [Webinar Archive]

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.Webinar archive f…

Do you need a business domain name, world-class WordPress hosting or other Web services for your business? We provide affordable digital marketing strategy help along with our technical support. Check it out at https://web.w3cinc.com/.

Webinar archive for Pinning for Profit & Publicity with Purpose: Pinterest Marketing Strategies for Small Business

Look Before You Lease

This post is written by Bill Reagan, Executive Director of the SBDC and first appeared in the Alexandria Times on September 6, 2018.  Some of the chief disrupters to businesses momentum involve real estate. First there’s the challenge of finding the ideal location – appealing and convenient for customers and where your business activity is… Read more »

The post Look Before You Lease appeared first on Alexandria Small Business Development Center.

This post is written by Bill Reagan, Executive Director of the SBDC and first appeared in the Alexandria Times on September 6, 2018. 

Some of the chief disrupters to businesses momentum involve real estate.

First there’s the challenge of finding the ideal location – appealing and convenient for customers and where your business activity is permitted. Too often businesspeople make these decisions emotionally and rush to sign a lease without due diligence. Real estate matters are complex, and it behooves us to get expert guidance.

The first stop should be the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership. Nobody is more conversant with the city’s real estate than the staff of the city’s economic development program. Describe to them your ideal space needs and target market, and they will share their expertise on what types of businesses work best in which neighborhoods and have synergy with other types businesses. They will also discuss how those neighborhoods and businesses – and others you might not have considered – are likely to evolve over time.

The next essential is a well-connected commercial broker, and the economic development staff can make those referrals. Tenant brokers go beyond just being “space finders” but, even in that capacity, they are likely to produce more options for you because they have access to many more properties than you’d find through a Google search. And they cost you nothing – their commission is folded into the transaction costs that the landlord pays.

A knowledgeable broker will do a careful needs assessment, drilling down to the characteristics of the property most essential to your business while considering your budget constraints. They will then begin a targeted search, freeing you to stay focused on your business.  Another area where business owners sometimes get tripped up are the actual costs of occupying space.  The utilities, insurance, taxes, sewer, and trash, for example, vary from building to building and can be complicated. A qualified broker can break those down so you can compare one property with another.

Property owners usually hold most of the market knowledge, but when it’s time to negotiate, the broker knows market rates and has the expertise to get the best deal for you. They also pay attention to things you might not otherwise consider – the landlord delivering the property in good order; rent concessions if you need to manage construction costs or your occupancy is procedurally delayed; and provisions to better position you for lease renewals or changes to market conditions.

Some of the costliest business heartaches could have been avoided had business owners used a commercial broker in the search and negotiation process, an attorney to review their lease and possibly help them through permitting hurdles, and an architect for planning purposes. Small business owners are typically short of cash, but these expenses are sound investments that save money down the road.

One final suggestion is to consider consulting with the Alexandria Small Business Development Center. We can provide objective feedback; connect you to commercial brokers, attorneys, accountants, insurance agents, city facilitators, and qualified architects and contractors; as well as put together a solid financing plan for your business. And our services are without cost!

The post Look Before You Lease appeared first on Alexandria Small Business Development Center.