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Small Business Development Center

Johnny Cash walked the line …. But should he have hiked it?
 

Ahhh … It’s a beautiful December morning……mountain view

I think I’ll go for a hike… or is it a walk? An urban trek? A walkabout?

This question kicked off this morning’s SBDC employee meeting, and I can’t help but wonder, what actually constitutes a hike?

Do you have to be in the wilderness? 

Do you have to be gaining elevation?

Do you have to be wearing this year’s best rated pair of technical boots from REI?

Are you required to post a nature picture on Instagram the moment you reach cell service again? (Yes, that’s for all the millennials out there!)

These questions cluttered my mind, and I knew I needed answers.

After doing extensive research on the subject, I have settled on a simple definition. A hike is:
To move up or rise, as out of place or position

As you can see, in no way does that definition refer to walking or meandering through the mountains. 

So what have I actually been doing all these years as I scamper my way into the Cascades to “hike”?

view of glacierWas it really about the scenery and the exercise? Or was it an outlet to refresh my thinking and energy?

Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella recently released his book Hit Refresh and I am very eager to read it. (In fact, the good guys at UPS should be delivering it today!)

The book is said to be about “how people, organizations and societies can and must hit refresh – transform – in their persistent quest for new energy, new ideas, relevance and renewal”. 

So there it was, the answer to our question: 

A “hike” is a personal choice, to move up, and rise out of a habitual place to “hit refresh”

Boom, mission accomplished …. Check and Mate…..

But you may be asking:

How is all of this philosophical talk about hiking relevant to the SBDC?

It’s simple. 

All of us here at the SBDC encourage you to “hike” this holiday season. 

I don’t know about many of you, but it’s often hard for me to commit time to stepping away from the demanding requirements that a business can present. However, when properly executed, a “hike” can reinvigorate the energy it takes to conquer these challenges, and lead to superior results in the long-run.

So….. 

The holidays are a great time to refresh and recover from a hard year’s work, before diving head first into the New Year. 

We encourage you to step out of your habitual places, pursue moments that lift you out of your daily routines, and refresh your mind. (And don’t forget, your employees need to hit refresh too!)

Cheers to another year of hard work, and a prosperous 2018!

For reviews on the book, check back in with me in a couple months… I’m a slow reader!

But, if you’re an Amazon frequent flyer like me, here is a link to Satya Nadella’s Hit Refresh

Authored by: Shane Reed

Post date: 201712

 8 Reasons to Contact Western Washington University's SBDC

 

As the holidays quickly approach, most of us can admit to one pesky thought fighting to quash the spirit of the season: How am I going to recover my finances after the holidays?! 

For many employers, the holidays involve extra expenses in the form of employee bonuses, holiday office parties, or overtime pay. Or perhaps, like Scrooge, your dreams feature the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come—but in the form of dismal year-end income statements, or unclicked, dusty business ads on Facebook.

The great news is that WWU’s Small Business Development Center is here to help your business thrive, so by this time next year, the only ghost in sight will be on your TV screen. 

Not sure how WWU’s SBDC can help your business? Read on to find out. Some of our services may surprise you!

1.You want to initiate or expand your social media presence, but you’re not sure what steps to take.

You recently did a Google search for your own business (admit it, we’ve all done it), and to your surprise, you weren’t in the top three results—or even on the first page! You’ve heard the statistics about how important SEO is to your business, and now you’re picturing the worst.

storefront picture

Fear not—WWU’s SBDC can guide you, step by step, through the development and implementation of a successful marketing strategy.

2.Business is booming—but you don’t have the capacity to meet demand.

While this may be one of the best problems to have, it can quickly turn into a nightmare. If you are incapable of meeting demand and leave a trail of unsatisfied potential customers, that customer stream may quickly evaporate. 

Armed with a wealth of experience and wisdom, our certified business advisors will help you capitalize on demand before that revenue stream is diverted to a competitor.

3.You’d like to invest in new equipment, but you’re not sure how to finance the project.

Should you get a bank loan, or use an existing line of credit? Or maybe crowdfunding is the way to go?

There are a myriad of choices, each with a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. We can help walk you through your options to ensure the route you pick will produce the best possible outcome for your business.

4.Something isn’t adding up on your Balance Sheet.

No matter how much time and attention you devote to your business’s financial statements, it’s easy to overlook an important detail when you’re so closely involved.

Here at WWU’s SBDC, we’ll provide an unbiased, outside review of your finances to make sure everything is in order.

5.You just read Reason 4, and your reaction was “Balance Sheet?!?”

 

what is a balance sheet

For those who have limited or no knowledge of financial statements, we’ll coach you until you grow to love them. You’ll love them so much, in fact, you may even work on them over the weekend. Without wine.

6.You think you’re ready to launch your new business, but you want to make sure all of your ducks are in a row.

You have a business plan so polished you can see your own really-eager-but-also-anxious reflection, a clear-sighted idea of your target market, and a plan for how to engage that target market. Now you think it’s time to cut the ribbon on your grand opening.

We’re here to confirm that you’ve covered all of your bases before taking that final step.

7.You’re thinking about buying or selling a local business.

It has been said that the sign of a good negotiation is when both parties end up equally dissatisfied. 

At WWU’s SBDC, whether you’re buying your business or acquiring one, we’ll do our best to make sure you’re equipped with all the relevant data needed to make an informed decision. This way, if you end up feeling dissatisfied after negotiations, you’ll know you aren’t the only one.   

8.You want to make sure you aren’t falling behind industry trends.  

Do you still refer to the web as “the internets”? Do you still play Snake on your cell phone during lunch breaks? Or maybe you hear today’s hit music on the radio and find yourself reminiscing about how much better music was in your day. [It’s true.]

floppy discs

“You mean you don’t use these anymore?”

Whatever the case, our certified business advisors can arm you with ample data to make sure that your business remains relevant.

Best of all, our services are offered no charge! So while everyone around you is scrambling to find the perfect gift this holiday season, give your business the gift that truly keeps on giving and contact us at WWU’s SBDC. 

Have an idea or a question that’s not on the list? Just give us a call! We’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

Authored by: Janis Vander Ploeg-Wolfe

Post date: 201712