December 2007

Good Article to Start Your New Year

A quick read of this USA Today article, Strategies: New Year Resolutions for Small Businesses, by Rhonda Adams, will help you figure out what you are doing right and what you can do to make 2008 a better business year.

SCL Biz wishes you all a happy, healthy, and PROSPEROUS 2008!

Doing Business in Paradise

Small Business in Paradise by Molinski We’ve all daydreamed of working and living where our hearts belong. Often, these thoughts remain fantasies – after all, how do you get started, and how do you succeed? Find answers to these questions and more in Small Business in Paradise. Read in-depth profiles of and interviews with entrepreneurs who took the leap and built successful businesses in the places they dreamed of calling home. Find step-by-step guidance on how to:

  • launch a new business
  • research your market
  • build a seasonal business
  • hire the right people
  • advertise and promote your business
  • comply with local regulations
  • get involved in your community

For more help see the SCL Biz Guide to Starting a Business.

Success Through Invention & Product Development – RESBDC Workshop

“Learn to develop your invention, product, idea or service and get it to market. Research and protection of intellectual property, including patents, trademarks and copyrights.” Presented by Redwood Empire Small Business Development Instructor, Steve Schneider.

The workshop is repeated on three dates:
April 9, 2008 • 9:00am – Noon
May 14, 2008 • 9:00am – Noon
June 11• 9:00am – Noon

Participants MUST ATTEND Success Through Invention Workshop Prior to Attending Product Development for Inventors. It is repeated on these three dates:

April 23, 2008 • 1:30 – 4:30pm
May 28, 2008 • 1:30 – 4:30pm
June 25, 2008 • 1:30 – 4:30pm

Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center
606 Healdsburg Avenue, Santa Rosa

For more information and reservations or call 1-888-346-SBDC

Nominate Your Company for The Best Places to Work Awards

The San Francisco Business Journal is looking for the best places to work in the Bay Area, 2008. Nominate your company and you may be honored at the April Awards Reception and published their special edition on May 2, 2008.

SCL Biz would love to see some Sonoma County businesses on this list.

Nominating a Company

Thinking About Starting Your Own Business?

The Redwood Empire Small Business Development Center provides quality management and technical assistance for existing and potential small businesses. This includes one-on-one professional business counseling, workshops and seminars, and special programs designed for business owners in Marin, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties. Their Pre-Venture Training workshops will make sure you get started on the right foot and increase your chance of success exponentially!

Pre-Venture Training:

  • Module 1 includes “Planning and What to Consider When Starting a Business” and “Marketing Your Business” [Next dates: 1/7, 1/28 • 5:30 - 8:30pm]
  • Module 2 includes “Financing Your Business” and “Legal Aspects of Starting a Business” [Next dates: 1/14 • 5:30 - 8:30pm]

Go to RESBDC Workshops for a schedule, more information, and online registration.

Visit the SCL Biz Guide to Starting a Business for more resources.

Hispanics in Business Leadership

Latino Talent by Rodriguez Fortune Magazine [5/28/07] reported that although Hispanics are the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S., they are just 5.4% of professional and managerial jobs and hold only 1.5% of board seats on Fortune 500 companies. The article also describes a number of companies with initiative programs that range from recruitment to mentoring and leadership training, such as that at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.

Latino Talent: Effective Strategies to Recruit, Retain and Develop Hispanic Professionals, by Robert Rodriguez, John Wiley & Sons, 2007, can help your company meet this challenge.

Wine Marketing & Sales

Wine Marketing & Strategy by Wagner Interested in increasing your wine or grape sales or getting an edge in the highly competitive wine market? If so, come and listen to this informative presentation by the three authors of Wine Marketing & Sales: Success Strategies for a Saturated Market.

Mr. Paul Wagner, CEO of the successful Napa-based Balzac Communications Firm, and Professors Janeen Olsen and Liz Thach from the Wine Business Program at Sonoma State University will be presenting a one-hour seminar describing each of the six ways to help position your wine or vineyard brand to increase sales.

Presented by the Wine Library Associates of Sonoma County and proceeds will benefit the Sonoma County Wine Library. The presentation will be followed by wine and hors d’oeuvres and copies of the book will be available for sale.

January 8, 2008 • 7- 8:30 pm
Healdsburg Regional Library, Piper and Center Streets

More information or call (707) 431-2898 for reservations.

Don’t Get Crammed

According to the FCC, ‘“Cramming” is the practice of placing unauthorized, misleading, or deceptive charges on your telephone bill. Crammers rely on confusing telephone bills in an attempt to trick consumers into paying for services they did not authorize or receive, or that cost more than the consumer was led to believe.’ While bills for both business and personal phones can be crammed, business phone bills are often so long and complex that business owners don’t take the time to throughly check their bill line-by-line — just what the crammers are counting on — and unauthorized charges slip by you.

The Federal Communications Commission has detailed information to help you identify these bogus charges, protect yourself and save money, and what to do if you have been crammed.

Unauthorized, Misleading, or Deceptive Charges Placed on Your Telephone Bill – “Cramming”

Bravo Sonoma Grapemasters

SCL Biz loves to see our local businesses in the national press and we tip our hat to Sonoma Grapemasters for the article in ForbesLife [12/07]. Stephan Yafa, Segue Cellars, started this winemaking club – check it out at Sonoma Grapemasters.

Glass Ceiling or Sticky Floor?

It’s Not a Glass Ceiling, It’s a Sticky Floor by ShambaughIt’s Not a Glass Ceiling, It’s a Sticky Floor: Free Yourself from the Hidden Behaviors Sabotaging Your Career Success [McGraw-Hill, 2007]. “Forget the old boys’ club: women are the ones holding themselves back from top-level career success, advises the President and CEO of consulting firm Shambaugh Leadership. Though more businesswomen are in successful positions of power, they are still lagging behind men at the highest levels: more than a third of Fortune 500 managers and more than half of those with multidisciplinary master’s degrees are women, yet women hold only 13% of Fortune 500 CEO positions. This lack of forward motion is due more substantially to women’s own career-inhibiting behavior than to cultural impediments, Shambaugh claims. Women are more likely than men to shy away from leadership roles, to get bogged down in perfectionism and to avoid career-boosting changes out of a misplaced sense of loyalty. Through a series of exercises and self-appraisals, Shambaugh guides readers with executive suite aspirations through an evaluation of their own behaviors and skills, gauging which serve their ambitions and which are holding them back. Emphasizing strategic relationships, communication and the elements of executive presence, she writes in an encouraging tone with a refreshing lack of blame, making this a satisfying read for women stuck in middle management limbo.” Publishers Weekly, 9/07.

Visit the SCL Guide to Women in Business for more.

California Small Business Association

The California Small Business Association is “is a grass roots, volunteer driven, non-profit small business advocacy organization and their mission is to provide small business with a meaningful voice in state and federal government.” In addition to advocating for small business, CSBA offers benefits and discounts for member businesses, including health care, long term care, and retirement plans.

Going Green for Sonoma County Businesses

We can add one more benefit to greening your company – an article in the San Francisco Business Times [11/23-29/07] by Elizabeth Browne, “Workers Attracted to Green,” starts with the sentence: “When it comes to recruiting top employees, green is proving to be a magnet.”

Here are some local resources to help you get green:

The Sonoma Green Business Program is a partnership of government agencies and utilities that assists, recognizes, and promotes local organizations, focusing on small- to medium-sized consumer-oriented businesses that volunteer to operate in a more environmentally responsible way. To be certified, participants must be in compliance with all environmental regulations and meet PDF File program standards for conserving resources, preventing pollution, and minimizing waste.

The Business Environmental Alliance promotes the economic benefits of responsible environmental practices and provides resources to enable businesses to implement these measures. The BEA works to share information between businesses and to provide businesses with resources so that Sonoma County becomes a benchmark leader for profitability through environmental responsibility. You can sign up for a free email subscription to the BEA newsletter, “The Bottom Line, ” and be sure to look at their Resources page for information on water & energy conservation, waste management, financial assistance, etc.

The Dreaded T-word

Yes, taxes. And the time to start thinking about taxes is now. The Library would like to help you, so we suggest:

Tax Savvy for Small Business by Dailey
  • An article from the Wall Street Journal [11/25/07]: Four Ways to Trim Your Tax Bill, by Kelly K. Spors
  • The IRS has scheduled a webcast, “Getting Ready for Filing Season 2008″ – (Part 2 (Business) on January 8, 2007 from 2-3:00 pm ET. You’ll need to register online – it’s free and you will have to have either Real Player or Windows Media Player. The focus, for small businesses and the self-employed, is on “new tax law changes and updates for the 2007 tax year.” Information & Registration.
  • The Library has a good collection of books to help you with your business taxes.

Kudos for Brendan Moylan!

SCL Biz loves to see our successful local business people recognized and we offer our congratulations to Brendan Moylan, who is featured in the San Francisco Business Times article [11/30-12/6/07] by Elizabeth Browne, “Business Hops for North Bay Brewmaster.” Boylan owns the Marin Brewing Company in Larkspur, Noonan’s Bar & Grill also in Larkspur, and Moylan’s Restaurant and Brewery in Novato. Check out all three online and plan a visit soon.

When Opportunity Knocks

Writing ProposalsYou’ll want to be ready and help in writing a winning proposal is here in Richard Johnson-Sheehan’s book, Writing Proposals, [Longman 2007].

In addition to analyzing the problems and opportunities, you’ll get help with strategic planning, budgets, costs & benefits, qualifications, and project planning.
The Library has more books on proposal writing.

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