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Small Business Development Center


Character Counts

When applying for a commercial loan, banks will judge you, and your business, on the “Five C’s of Credit:” Character, Capacity, Capital, Collateral, and Conditions.

Today, let’s focus on the personal side and your Character.

Can Your Business Weather a 12.5% Cut in Profits?

Does your business employ minimum wage employees? If so, are you aware that effective January 1st, 2020, the minimum wage in Washington State is increasing 12.5% (from $12.00 to $13.50 an hour)? Holy schmoly, that’s a HUGE increase in costs (i.e. a GIANT dip in your company’s profits). Your business advisor at the SBDC is here to help you plan for your particular situation, but below are some general strategies to make this cost increase a little less painful.

Simplify Your Work Days to Get More Meaningful Work Done

Many entrepreneurs are obsessed with productivity and optimizing their business lives — from having the perfect productivity system, the latest time management app, and more 'hacks' than you'll find at a tech conference. Zero inbox anyone?

Perhaps here in the City of Subdued Excitement a few more souls are hip to realizing that's an ideal that not only doesn’t exist, it’s harmful to our health and happiness. And what’s more, it’s completely misguided — what many of us really want to do with our days is do meaningful work and have an impact on the world.

What Your Business Should Do to Increase Social Media Engagement

I was in an interview a few weeks ago, and was asked by the interviewer how I would increase their company’s social media engagement. It was followed by, “Currently, we only have social media because everyone else has it. It doesn’t really do anything for our business.” This got me thinking about if other businesses felt this way about their brand’s social media presence. Is social media really necessary for building your brand?

Is the Bang Worth the Buck?!

As business owners, we try a smorgasbord of techniques to attract potential customers; increase interest in our service or product offerings; and ultimately, boost our revenues. Yet sometimes it can be incredibly difficult to know, “Did we get enough bang for the buck?” Have you asked that, or a similar question, such as:

Supporting Small Business Worldwide

As a Western graduate student and employee, there has been little time for a break or vacation. However, over the last few months, some of my MBA cohort and myself have been working with a sustainable eco-tourism company in Costa Rica. I have recently been given the privilege of going down to visit and experience their business while continuing our relationship as student-consultants. There is one message from this trip that I’d like to share. When travelling, practice cultural immersion as best you can to support the local small businesses.


The Value of Good Corporate Culture

Some of the best businesses around the world, today and historically, have been praised for their ability to stand out in their own individual market space. And for a lot of them - their success can’t be explained or put into words. In the business world, we always discuss the businesses that are able to create a “competitive advantage”, or be different from their competitors.

Failure to Launch

Have you ever met someone who has been dreaming about starting a business for years, yet for some reason (or multiple reasons) they have just failed to launch?

What I've noticed in many people who say they want to start a new they get stuck in the tiny moments of feeling overwhelmed, caught in indecision and inaction. What follows are some tips to encourage those dreamers to finally take action.


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