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Are you utilizing social media to help your business succeed? If you’re not, it’s a good bet that your competition is. Social media is one of the best marketing tools at your disposal. Social Media Marketing Made Simple is the second installment in the SBA’s webinar series for small businesses. The webinar, on June 24, 2014 at 2:00 EDT, will provide you with proven success tips that are easy, and that you can use right away. The SBA wants to help you build your own social marketing plan and get answers to your questions. At the conclusion of this one hour webinar, you will know:

  • How Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+ -can help your business
  • How to win new customers and drive them to your business
  • Simple ideas to help you communicate with your potential, new and established customers

To register, please click here. There is no charge for the webinar.

VBOC
Veterans have the ideal attributes necessary to become successful entrepreneurs. Their military experience, combined with the ability to lead, organize, prioritize, delegate and multi-task can be essential in running their own businesses. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has found Veterans to be 45% more likely to start their own company than their civilian counterparts.

There are a lot Veteran entrepreneurs who choose to buy franchises. There are a number of deals available to Veterans through the SBA, the VA, and various Veteran organizations.  Additionally, many of the companies themselves with offer deals and discounts to Veterans. Many fast food restaurants, retail stores and service providers offer buy-ins to their companies at discounted prices for entrepreneurs with military service in their résumés.

But understandably, most Veterans want to work solely for themselves. In order to create a successful new business from the ground up, Veteran entrepreneurs need to find a way to do one of three things:

  • Provide an existing product or service at a higher quality than any competitor
  • Provide an existing product or service at a lower cost than any competitor,
  • Provide a product or service that no one else is offering in the area

Once a Veteran entrepreneur has decided if they want to open a franchise, or their own business, they should consider taking an educational path to achieving their mission of business ownership. A great way to do this is through their local SBA Veterans Outreach Centers (VBOC). Through the SBA’s Veteran Business Outreach Program, these VBOCs offer a variety of assistance and support to Veteran entrepreneurs.

The Centers will conduct entrepreneurial development workshops with Veterans, focusing on the the major points of self-employment. These workshops include tips on using the Internet to develop and expand your businesses. At these workshops, each Veteran will have the opportunity to work directly with a business counselor.

The VBOCs will also assist Veterans in calculating their entrepreneurial needs and requirements. Counselors will use this information to assist Veteran entrepreneurs with developing and maintaining a business plan. The business plan can include such elements as the legal and organizational structure of the business, equipment requirements and costs, strategic and financial plans and market research. The SBA’s Veteran Business Outreach Centers will even provide ongoing mentorship for Veteran entrepreneurs if needed.

So whether, you’re buying into a franchise, or starting your own business, be sure to see what the SBA, can provide for your entrepreneurial needs.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: Utilizing Veteran Business Outreach Centers: By Debbie Gregory

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the 2015 Defense Authorization Act (NDAA.) The House’s version of the act intends to transfer the Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) verification responsibility from the VA to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Currently, the VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDB) is responsible for the verification. The OSDB runs SDVOSB verification through their VetBiz website at www.vetbiz.gov.

Under the version that the House just passed, the VA would be directed to use the SBA’s definition of a SDVOSB until the transfer of responsibilities to the SBA is complete. In the past, the requirements to qualify as a SDVOSB has varied, depending on whether an acquisition falls under the VA’s or SBA’s SDVOSB rules. Requiring both agencies to use the same definition could resolve a major problem.

But if the Senate passes the bill without amending it and the president signs off, the VA would not use the SBA’s definition for long. As it stands, the bill requires the VA to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with the SBA within 180 days, under which the VA will transfer control and administration of the SDVOSB verification program to the SBA.

The current NDAA in the Senate specifies that the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals would be responsible for all appeals regarding denied verifications or appeals from SDVOSB status protests under VA set-aside contracts. The bill currently does not specify whether SDVOSB status protests would be decided by the SBA, or continue to be settled by the VA.

It is likely that the House-passed NDAA will not make it through the Senate without changes. If so, the NDAA for fiscal 2015 will not be enacted until a House-Senate conference committee can reach an agreement.If the Senate agrees, and the President signs the bill into law, the process of transferring SDVOSB verification from the VA CVE to the SBA could begin later this year.

Veteran small business owners and Service-Disabled small business owners should pay attention to how the FY 2015 NDAA plays out. It could mean big changes are in store.

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business Coaching, Contracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

VAMBOA: House Bill Could Change SDVOSB Law: By Debbie Gregory

Veterans Small Business Forum

‘Overcoming Barriers to Becoming a Successful Veteran Entrepreneur in the Federal Marketplace’

Tuesday, June 10, 2014
1 pm – 3 pm

hosted by

The Small Business Administration (SBA)
Office of Veterans Small Business Development
409 3rd Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20416

(All are Welcomed – You Must Register to Attend)

You Must Register to Attend Click Here to Reserve Your Seat!

If Participating by Phone

use the number and code below

(805) 399-1200

Code 877589#

(Call lines will open up at 945 am)

 

Please be mindful to mute your phone using *6 when listening then you may press *6 again to unmute when you are speaking.

Thank You!

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Rhode Island District Office and the Rhode Island chapter of AARP are pleased to present two Encore Entrepreneur Month Events!

Learn to Read the Story Your Financial Statements Are Telling You
Tuesday, April 15th – 9:30am – 11:30am
Warwick Public Library
600 Sandy Lane, Small Meeting Room
Warwick, RI  02889

Being able to understand what the numbers in your cash flow statement, and on your balance sheet are telling you is a critical component to understanding just how financially healthy your small business is. Participants will learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to deciphering what your financial statements are really telling you about your business.

Make a Business Plan Part of Your Retirement Plan
Thursday, April 17th – 9:30am – 11:30am
SBA District Office Training Facility
380 Westminster Street, 5th Floor, Room 511
Providence, RI  02903

Many people celebrate retirement by starting their own business. At the core of every successful business is a solid business plan.  Join us as our small business experts show you the building blocks for your successful small business.

Both seminars are presented FREE of charge.  For more information or to register, please call or email Matthew Spoehr at the RI District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (401) 528-4561 or matthew.spoehr@sba.gov

With one in four individuals ages 44 to 70 interested in becoming entrepreneurs, and 63 percent of Americans planning to work during retirement, small business ownership has never been a more viable option.  SBA and AARP will offer training and mentoring services older entrepreneurs need to successfully start and grow businesses in order to create jobs.

Starting a business at any age can be a life changing event.  This SBA and AARP initiative will help potential business owners be confident they have addressed important questions as they prepare to pursue their dream of business ownership.  Questions about finance, planning and market analysis should be addressed before men and women invest their time, energy and personal funds to their business.

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