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Michael Bowers's Blog (109)

Small Business is the Heart of the American Economy

"Small Business is the Heart of the American Economy" is how President Obama referred to small business in his speech on March 16. The President outlined a plan to increase liquidity in the secondary market for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans by using a portion of the TARP funds to purchase SBA loans from banks. This would allow banks to make loans, sell the loan on the secondary market and use the funds they received from the sale to make more loans. This is critical. As I have said… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on March 17, 2009 at 2:59pm — No Comments

International Bootstrapping Association

At the Ohio Small Business Development Center we often have small businesses coming to us seeking capital. Sometimes we can help them, sometimes we can't and sometimes the business needs to build some traction before they can get external funds. At that point we help them come up with ways to build their business by "Bootstrapping". Bootstrapping is a financial model where a business is financed without investments by formal, sophisticated outside investors—using the founder’s own funds, maybe… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on March 16, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Retail Market Entry ~ A How To Story

I found this video of Jennifer Yen, creator of pur~lisse, a line of cosmetics designed not to irritate even sensitive skin. In this clip Jennifer discussed how she developed the line and took it to market. For all of those looking to enter consumer markets there is a great lesson here.



Congratulations… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on March 10, 2009 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Defaults by Franchisees Soar as the Recession Deepens

A recent Wall Street Journal Article showed that the number of loan defaults by franchisees is increasing dramatically. Economic conditions are hitting franchisees the same as traditional businesses. Many entrepreneurs look to the support of the franchise to build their business. It is critical that even when starting a franchise that you do your own homework and develop a comprehensive operation plan tailored to your particular market.



To read the Wall Street Journal article… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on February 26, 2009 at 12:21pm — No Comments

Ohio Products in Demand ~ Exports Grow for the 11th Consecutive Year

In 2008, Ohio exports grew to more than $45 billion, a 7 percent increase from the previous year. Ohio is the seventh-largest exporting state in the nation and is the only state to increase exports every year since 1998.



Well over 200 countries receive exports from Ohio. The state's largest export markets include Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, Brazil and European Union countries. The state's top product exports include machinery, vehicles, plastics and optics.



Ohio's… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on February 26, 2009 at 10:58am — No Comments

Role of the SBA in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

On February 17, 2009 President Obama signed into law the $787 billion

American Recovery and Investment Act also known as the economic stimulus package. While it will take awhile to fully understand the impact this legislation will have on small businesses here is what we know is in the bill relating to the

Small Business Administration (SBA): The bill provides $730 million to the… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on February 18, 2009 at 5:04pm — No Comments

Seven Things You Should Do In Your Small Business To "Thrive" In 2009

A while back I was tagged to post seven things people might not know about me. While I'm clearly a fascinating person, just ask my three year old son, I thought that it might be more interesting if I posted seven things small business should be doing, but don't know, to thrive in 2009.



Don't Overreact...Be Strategic: If you truly know your business and your market you can survive and thrive even in the down economy. I know that it is a pain but a strong SWOT analysis can give… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on February 18, 2009 at 9:34am — No Comments

Ten Trends That Will Impact Your Business In 2009

As an entrepreneur you should always be on the lookout for what is on the horizon that might impact your business either positivity or negativity. The challenge is that given the current economic climate you might be so heads down trying to survive you don't have time to see the forest for the trees. I'm here to help! Here are ten trends you need to be aware of for the rest of this year.



Economic Downturn Continues to Impact Business: I know your first reaction is "tell me… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on February 13, 2009 at 2:27pm — No Comments

Play The Investor Game...Things Not to Say to Investors

Do you want an investor for your business? If you do there are things you need to discuss like your total addressable market, your experience and ability to execute. You also can kill your chances if you say the wrong things. Keep in mind investors have money what they don't have is time...they are looking for reasons to say no so they can move forward and maximize their available time. Dan Casey recently wrote a blog with a list of things you should not say to investors...… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on January 28, 2009 at 7:55am — No Comments

Micro Entrepreneur Awards Nominations Are Open...

INCREASE Community Development Corporation is proud to announce the Fifth Annual Micro Entrepreneur Awards brought to you by Huntington Bank. This exceptional event is the only one of its kind in Central Ohio where community residents can nominate a well-deserving micro entrepreneur for their work and accomplishments. It is small businesses like micro enterprises that not only bring… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on January 26, 2009 at 2:55pm — No Comments

How to Spinout a New Business

One of the areas that we work with at the SBDC is when an existing business comes up with a technology that helps them in their processes then they decide to spin that product out and create a new business. Jeff Shick ,the Director of the Manufacturing and Technology SBDC, discusses how that process of innovation leads to the development of a new… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on January 9, 2009 at 9:30am — No Comments

There's Got to Be a Better Way

There's got to be a better way...how many times have you thought that to yourself? Well that is a key concept in the development of a business or a new product. Can you find a way to do it better? If so you might have… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on December 16, 2008 at 8:30am — No Comments

Capital Crash Course Agenda

Thought I'd post the 12/5 Capital Crash Course agenda. I'm really excited about this line-up. If you are building an investment ready business this is a must to attend. Visit the Capital Crash Course event here on SBDC Free Expert Advice for more info.



7:30 – 8:00 am Registration, Continental Breakfast and Networking



8:00 – 8:15 am Welcome ~ Michael Bowers – Regional Director, Ohio SBDC at… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on November 14, 2008 at 8:09am — No Comments

Four fundamentals of social media

Great post on Lara Kretler's blog" PRogress not PRfection". She discusses four social media fundamentals for any and all social networking sites....check it out at Four fundamentals of social media

Added by Michael Bowers on November 11, 2008 at 8:11am — No Comments

Let's Figure Out This Social Media Thing...

The more I use it the more convinced I become that social media can really help you get the word out and build your business. As I have said in previous posts social media is the new word of mouth marketing. Also the more I am involved in social media I realize that properly using it is really a skill that you have to learn (and keep learning). I've recently found a great blog called "… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on November 5, 2008 at 7:00pm — No Comments

Banks Continue to Tighten Standards on Loans

FYI...Per the Wall Street Journal...U.S. banks continued to tighten their standards on loans to households and businesses in the third quarter, according to a Federal Reserve survey of bank executives. Banks said the uncertain economic outlook and their reduced tolerance for risk also prompted them to reduce credit limits on existing credit card accounts to both prime and non-prime borrowers.



For more information, see Wall Street Journal Article:… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on November 3, 2008 at 3:00pm — No Comments

The Trip To Buyout

OK it's been a month or so since the "Financial Crisis" became part of our vocabulary. Since then the stock market has gyrated wildly, large banks and investment houses have either failed or were bought out and the federal government passed it's $700 billion "Bailout Plan". On October 24, 2008 PNC Financial Services Group Inc., announced it would buy Cleveland-based National City Corp. PNC will receive more than $7 billion from Treasury, bolstering its ability to complete the $5.08 billion deal… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on October 31, 2008 at 6:30am — No Comments

Twitter for Business

As most of you know I am a big fan of Twitter. I use it for most of my local news, for information on the election, event announcements, business connections and for links to informational blogs and articles. Twitter gives me all of this in under 140 characters.



If you are not familiar with Twitter I recommend you check it out. Be very careful as it is very addicting. Twitter is a very simple yet powerful application that can connect you with people… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on October 7, 2008 at 7:33am — No Comments

So Now What?

Can we all agree that there are a few challenges with the economy these days? What does this all mean if you are in a small business now? What if you are thinking of starting a small business? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? A lot of questions not to many clear cut answers. Here is what we are seeing at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).



Credit is tight. You've been hearing that on the news but what does it mean? Banks are still making… Continue

Added by Michael Bowers on October 6, 2008 at 4:39pm — No Comments

5 Legal Tips To Save Startups Money & Headaches

Here is a post I was turned on to by Patrick Murphy of Brand Thunder. "5 Legal Tips To Save Startups Money & Headaches" is focused on technology businesses and businesses with protectable IP. Click here to read the post.

Added by Michael Bowers on October 6, 2008 at 8:00am — No Comments

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