Small Business Development Center


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.

“Character” is really just another way of saying “credit history” or “credit score.” If your score is lower than 550 (on a scale between 300-850), lenders may not be willing to touch you with a ten foot pole. If lenders do agree to engage with you, it may be with a sword – gouging you with double, or even triple, digit interest... continue reading Character Counts

Have you ever heard the story about the horse that could add?

clever Hans the horse that could add

“Known as Clever Hans, the animal could answer questions, with 90% accuracy, by tapping his hoof.”

Wow! What a horse!

Clever Hans is the topic of an excellent blog post written on Farnam Street, by Shane Parrish.

Parrish writes about the horse and the ‘secret weapon’ that helped hi... continue reading Clever Hans - The Horse That Could Add

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.

Increase Prices

When deciding whether or not to increase prices, you need to ask yours... continue reading Can Your Business Weather a 12.5% Cut in Profits?

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.

Sadly, the reality is... continue reading Simplify Your Work Days to Get More Meaningful Work Done

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?

The answer in reality is probably closer to it depends on the business, but for the purposes of this blog, I’m going to pretend everyone reading this yelled... continue reading What Your Business Should Do to Increase Social Media Engagement