SBDC Blog

The B-Word

I’m not the first to assert that “budget is not a bad word.” Although it’s commonplace to see budgeting in a negative light, a subset of the population recognizes how a budget can highlight priorities, serve as a communication tool, and provide structure in a chaotic world.

A budget doesn’t have to be restrictive, but rather, permission to spend! In setting aside a certain dollar amount by category, you are giving yourself the freedom to spend funds on certain activi... Read more

How to have (better) hard conversations...

You know how they say “kids say the darndest things?” I think adults experience this amongst each other, too; but often it has a more contentious reaction than funny. Whether a conversation with a friend or family member, a work discussion with a colleague or a staff meeting, we’ve probably all been in those conversations that catch us off guard. For such scenarios, it’s beneficial to practice facilitation skills.

This year, I have been blessed to partake in a series of facilitation trainings and events through the... Read more

If only I would have known...

Thinking back to my undergraduate degree, I am haunted by long nights of relentless number crunching and data analysis. As an Agricultural Economics major, my capstone project required me to do an in-depth Econometric analysis. Given my background and interest in the industry, I chose to do it on the United States Dairy Industry, with data from 1910-2010.

Whew! If only I would have known how difficult that project was going to be, I may have chosen to major in basket weaving or puppetry (yes, it actually... Read more

As an MBA student, I’m definitely type A: I need to get the best grade possible, and if I don’t get it, I need to know why. Of course, knowing why is never where it stops; I also need to know how to destroy my weaknesses to earn the highest marks next time, even if it means another night with too little sleep and too much coffee (in my head, I can still hear the ghosts of gym coaches past shouting “pain is weakness leaving the body!”).

Recently, however, we were assigned a book in a marketing class that gave me a new outlook on eradicating our flaws.... Read more

Should you be using direct mail to promote your business?

Like many perplexing business questions we get here at the SBDC the answer is...it depends.

Purely from a numbers standpoint, many marketers automatically dismiss direct mail because they think it is 'too expensive' or that response rates will be too low to be worth the trouble. But I like to ask, 'compared to what?'

I often will remind clients that any advertising medium that has worked in the past can still work today...if done correctly. And that certainly applies to direct mai... Read more

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