Month: February 2016

SBDC Regional Event – Google’s New Rules

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

Location: The Summit

Is your Google listing not what it used to be?
Are you frustrated because you’ve noticed a drop in your website’s ranking on Google over the last year? Has your traffic slowed to a trickle?

Well, you’re not alone. Late last year, Google released one of their largest changes to their ranking criteria since 2011. Many sites that had been at the top of the page 1 for years dropped dramatically and businesses watched their revenue dry up.

If you’re concerned that your website ins’t getting the kind of traffic that is should or want to start your website off on the right foot, the East Colorado and Larimer SBDC invite you to to join us Tuesday, March 29th. Google expert, Chadd Bryant, will clearly explain Google’s new rules and walk you through the Top 10 factors that Google is paying attention to this year.

During this workshop, you’ll discover…
– How to write enticing content that also appeals to Google – Two ways to get more people to click on your listing  – How to avoid being punished by Google ever again

Presented by:


Chadd Bryant,  
Red Rocket Web Specialists 

Special Instructions: 

Individuals must cancel three business days prior to event for refund. Saturday and Sunday are not considered business days. 
Acceptable cancellation methods include by phone 970-351-4274 or emailing Kyla.Benson@EastColoradoSBDC.com
No refunds will be granted if registrant fails to cancel three business days prior to event.
This event is sponsored by a partnership between:
     
     
     

Restaurant & Food Products – Competitive Advantage

Restaurant & Food Industry – “Competitive Advantage”

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Panel Event
A quick search of Larimer County restaurants yields nearly 2,000 results, not including food products. With so many food based businesses, how do you set yourself apart? For our March “Small Business After Hours Event,” we’re bringing together a panel of experts to discuss Competitive Advantage in the food industry. Some of the points we’ll be discussing are:

How do you position your business versus your main competitors?
How do you present your business to new potential customers?
How do you evaluate new products/services to better position your business?
What’s worked/what hasn’t from businesses who have been there?
How do you strategically price your offerings?

Join us for this great event and take advantage of the opportunity to learn and network with potential partners for your business. We’ve all got to eat, learn why we should eat what you’re selling!

Our panelists for this event will be:

Jennifer Lopez is the owner of
Swallowtail Foods, LLC, in Fort Collins, which manufactures a line of instant
chai latte mixes called Pi Chai. Pi Chai made its debut in 2014, and is sold at
local stores & coffeeshops in Colorado. Jennifer has 25+ years of
experience in the food & beverage industry.
 
Owner of Loveland’s Generations Wine & Martini Bar, Erin Borsdorf came to Larimer county in 2006, operating/managing several restaurants including Cafe Vino, Vincent, Woody’s Wood Fired Pizza, and Basil Flats (Longmont) among others before working at Loveland’s Pourhouse Bar and Grill for two years. During this time she developed a business plan to open present day Generations. She has a background in secondary education, has worked as a political strategist in IL, and holds degrees in theatrical design, social sciences, and communication, as well as licensing as a secondary educator and real estate agent.
Ken King has operated, rescued, designed and built over 100 independent restaurants in his 40-year food service career. He has owned a successful steakhouse, family restaurant, hot dog stand, prime rib house, and European bistro.Ken is an expert at improving business performance, creating new brands, identifying opportunities, and working with clients on specific operational and development challenges. He is available to SBDC clients for troubleshooting, business evaluation, and specialized assistance.
Patrick O’Neill is a Colorado native, born to an entrepreneurial family. Patrick served 6 years in the Marine Corps as an intelligence analyst. He graduated from CU Boulder in 1991 with a degree in political science. Patrick then managed his family’s industrial painting business and later entered a career in law enforcement. In 2012 he and his wife, Stefanie, bought Vern’s Toffee House from her family and continue to nurture its growth.

Thank you to our event sponsor:

Top 5 Business Real Estate Tips

by Kat Rico

Our first 2016 “Small Business After Hours” event drew another great crowd! Presenter Andy Smith of Chrisland Real Estate Companies gave us some valuable information on expectations for leasing real estate for a retail business. In case you missed it, we wanted to give you a recap of what was discussed!

Andy gave us definitions for nearly 30 common real estate terms, a few worth noting are:
Baseline rent – This is typically the advertised rent cost for a property. Lessee beware though, this may not include all of the property fees, such as maintenance, snow removal, parking arrangements, etc.
Triple Net/Net Lease/NNN – A type of lease that includes the tenant paying maintenance, real estate taxes, and insurance premiums.
Rent escalator – The agreed upon amount of increase for costs associated with the lease, including rent. A common rate for a rent escalator is 3%.

Along with all of the great terminology, here are the top 5 tips we’ve pulled together from Andy’s presentation:


1.
Everything is negotiable This includes everything right down to the tenant finish costs; can the landlord front the cost for any finishing and add it to the monthly cost of the lease? It’s worth asking!


2.
Find a real estate broker to represent your interests – The landlord has a broker, but that broker is working for the landlord’s best interests. You want to have a broker working for your best interest. If you engage a broker, your broker has a fiduciary duty to you and only you. Worried that the landlord will not want to work with your broker? Actually, it’s the opposite; most landlords prefer to work with someone (like a broker) who already speaks their language.


3.
Think about your timeline, now double it – These things take time! The days of 2-3 page leases are gone, most are more like 20-30 pages now. Along with a broker, it’s recommended that you retain an attorney to review and interpret the lease for you, so you know what you’re getting in to.


4.
Location, location, location  Is the space you’re looking at good for its convenience or as a destination? If it’s for convenience, it’ll probably be easily seen from a major street and have ample parking and your customers will be going there for you. If it’s for a destination, your customers will go to the area as an attraction. Destination spaces tend to have a higher rent premium. 


5.
Parking and pedestrian traffic Does your lease include specific parking spots for your customers or employees? Is the parking in front of your business leased to another nearby shop? Clarify these details before signing a lease. Also, the city should be able to provide you with vehicles per day and pedestrian counts for the area you’re looking at leasing, but you have to ask.

Of course this doesn’t encompass every question that was asked last Tuesday, but hopefully it gives you a good idea of what was covered. Are you looking at leasing a space? Meet with an SBDC consultant to discuss what that means for your business before you make the leap! Schedule an appointment by calling 970-498-9295, or send us a request at: http://www.larimersbdc.org/consulting.

2015 Economic Impact Results

The Larimer Small Business Development Center (SBDC) released its 2015 economic impact results, and related business education metrics.  “Our clients enjoyed sales increases of a record $9.0M, up 70% from 2014, “ said Mike O’Connell, Larimer SBDC Director. “It was an excellent and exciting year,” he added.

Through its relationships with commercial banks, micro-lenders, and other resource partners, the SBDC also helped match client funding needs with financial providers.  “We helped clients harness  $6.7M of capital formation for business growth, almost double last year’s number” commented O’Connell.

The Larimer SBDC also helped 21 new businesses start, and its clients created/retained over 550 jobs in 2015.

“Working with the SBDC has been crucial to my success”, says Kelsie Schwager, owner of the Fernweh Inn & Hostel in Fort Collins.  “As a small business, who wouldn’t want this help?”  The SBDC consulted with  600 clients, 50% more than the 2013 client base.  Almost 20% of these clients were women, veteran, or minority-owned businesses.

“Our consultants did a fantastic job of providing both general and specialized business advice.   We also conducted 70 training classes covering financial, marketing, business planning, and business start-up processes; as well as industry-specific events for our restaurant, retail, and health and wellness clients,” added Terri Donovan-Keirns, Larimer SBDC Program Coordinator.