Blogs

Larimer SBDC Success Story – From Surviving to Thriving

Story and Photos by: Kat Rico Some entrepreneurs wear the label of ‘serial entrepreneur’ proudly, and Diane Muno is no exception. She spent 15 years in healthcare management as part owner of a Chicago business that was successfully sold. She began looking for a business to buy when she found The Spruce House in Estes Park. “It had a cozy feel, like Grandma’s house, along with good financials.” In 2010, she celebrated the grand opening …

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Are Business Plans Dead?

by Kat Rico Business plans have long been touted as the method for success if you are starting a new venture, but is the traditional business plan dead? Many entrepreneurs are intimidated by the idea of creating a document that can end up being in excess of 30 pages, let alone determining which sections they need and what goes in them. It’s also easy to assume that if you’re a small business (whatever your definition …

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Can You Shorten Your Selling Cycle?

Guest blog by Don Overcash of Sandler Training Almost all salespeople will agree that the shorter the selling cycle, the better.  Why?  Because long selling cycles have two negative consequences:You’re less likely to be actively prospecting for new clients while you’re working on an existing opportunity. Consequently, your pipeline thins out, and if the deal you’re working on falls apart, you have fewer opportunities to fall back on.  The longer you work on an opportunity, …

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Top 3 Restaurant/Food Industry Issues

by Kat Rico Little Bird Bakeshop Photo credit: Erin Bibeau Larimer County is a fantastic place for both restaurants and food product businesses. We sure do love some local flavor! Many businesses in this industry face three problems frequently, and if you’re planning to go into business in this area, you need to have a plan. According to our consultants who specialize in food products, here are three common issues you need to be ready …

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Upcoming Estes Park Workshop: Google Analytics

Learn the Power of Google Analytics for your Business The Estes Valley Library and the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation (Estes Park EDC) are partnering with the Larimer Small Business Development Center (Larimer SBDC) for a special workshop titled “Google Analytics” to be held Wednesday, April 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Google offers a comprehensive package of analytics tools offered for free, but leveraging these tools for your business can be intimidating and overwhelming. …

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Controlling Your Costs in the Restaurant/Food Industry

Annual sales in Larimer County’s restaurant/food industry exceed $1B, and how well individual companies manage their costs in this highly-competitive business can mean the difference between success and failure.  If you’re in the restaurant or food product industry, some common questions you may have regarding cost control are:      • How do you control food portions?      • What best practices do you follow for managing your inventory?      • How do …

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Maximizing your chances of getting that loan

Maximizing your chances of getting that loan by understanding the 5 C’s by Mike O’Connell, SBDC Director At the SBDC we work with lots of clients who need capital.  They need capital to start businesses, buy businesses, expand businesses, launch new products, etc.  In my opinion, there is a lot of mystery and myth surrounding the issue of what it takes to get a loan.   A great tool to self-analyze your readiness as a potential …

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Creative Industries Summit 2015

The 2015 Creative Industries Summit  April 23 – 24  Fort Collins Creative District! The annual Creative Industries Summit is a two-day conference that targets creative entrepreneurs, emerging creatives, municipal and non-profit cultural workers, and creative district leaders. Topics address practical, nuts-and-bolts approaches to creative business and how-to’s for working collectively with creatives, municipalities and businesses. Click here for full event details Early bird registration ends March 23rd!!! Registration ranges from $125 – $150 and includes …

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Fernweh Inn & Hostel

Fernweh Inn & Hostel Owner: Kelsey Schwager Story written by: Kat Rico Photography by: Lifestorm Creative Media Walking up to the Fernweh Inn & Hostel, you pass through a white picket fence into a well-kept yard with a random dog toy or two scattered about. The Fernweh immediately feels like home, which is exactly what owner and founder Kelsey Schwager envisioned. “My goal is to give guests an amazing experience so they’ll continue to stay …

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Blue Ocean Challenge

So much more than a business pitch competition,the CSU Blue Ocean Enterprises Challenge is a collaboration between Blue Ocean Enterprises, Inc. and Colorado State University‘s Institute for Entrepreneurship and College of Business that was created to ignite entrepreneurial spirits, attract and recognize the best new business ideas, and celebrate the Fort Collins and Colorado entrepreneurial ecosystem. The week’s events will bring together some of the most influential trailblazers in the industry. Collegiate Challenge     …

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