Small Business

End of the Year Checklist

As we say goodbye to 2019 our thoughts turn to the promise of a new year. And while the start of a new year is a good time to reflect on the work done the previous year, it’s not a time to rest on one’s laurels–there’s still work to be done. So as we turn the calendar page what should business owners be doing? A search online for “small business end of year checklist” yields a mountain of results. Here are a few items that consistently show up on multiple end-of-the-year checklists for business:

1. Adjust your strategies to get where you’d like to go. Taking stock of the last year can inspire you to do better (or continue doing well) it can also help you modify your business goals.

2. Organize. Besides taking a high-level look at your business, all the experts tend to agree that now is the perfect time to organize your business–the files you use and the space on your desk.

3. Inventory. Doing a physical inventory is a great idea and can allow you to evaluate what is (and isn’t) selling.

4. Take a look at your company website–when was the last time you did an audit of your website? An out-of-date website can turn off potential customers and make your business seem less professional. Take a moment to look at your online presence and make sure that it’s 100% accurate.

5. Electronic file back-up. Backing up your computer/cell phones as well as any other crucial files is always a good idea, one that we’re all guilty of neglecting to some degree. Use this time to get everything backed-up so nothing is accidentally lost.

For more end-of-year checklists check out the Small Business Administration’s website.

2020 National Small Business Week Award Nominations

Friendly reminder: there’s still time to submit nominations for the 2020 National Small Business Week Awards. Though National Small Business Week is May 3 through May 9, the awards nomination window is closing next week on January 7th. The National Small Business Awards are issued by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). There are several awards including “Small Business Person of the Year,” “Small Business Exporter of the Year,” and “Phoenix Awards for Disaster Recovery” as well as other awards for procurement, lending, and business investment.

Visit the SBA’s website to learn more about Small Business Week, the various awards, and how you can nominate a business person or small business for an award. But don’t delay, the nominations must be hand-delivered or mailed to the Small Business Administration’s Denver District Office by 3:00 p.m. EST, January 7, 2020.

We All Count: Small Business & Census 2020

It’s no secret that small business is the backbone of Colorado’s economy. And for many communities, small businesses also serve as important common spaces where the community gathers. As such, it’s likely that small business owners across the State will hear members of their community talk about the upcoming census.

Census Day is April 1, 2020, at that time the State of Colorado will begin efforts to count everyone in the State. It’s very important that everyone be counted for many reasons, the biggest being that census data is used to distribute federal funds to our communities. According to the State Demography Office, Colorado is estimated to be allocated 13.1 billion dollars.

As respected members of our communities, small business owners should assure Coloradans that their participation in the census is both safe and very important. For more information, visit State’s Census website: https://demography.dola.colorado.gov/census_2020/.

Celebrate Small Business Saturday!

Thanksgiving is here and with it the unofficial kick-off of the holiday season. Shoppers around the country will flock to retailers both brick-and-mortar and online for that peculiar American phenomenon known as “Black Friday.” But did you know that the Saturday after Thanksgiving is also a major shopping holiday? Small Business Saturday is a holiday that was created initially by credit card company American Express in 2010 but has since taken on a life of its own. Small Business Saturday encourages Americans to do some of their holiday spending in small, local businesses.

Embraced by the small business community, Small Business Saturday has evolved into more than just a day of shopping, it’s become an important reminder that despite the rise of eCommerce and globalism, American communities are full of quality local small businesses. Many businesses have turned the day into a celebration with special deals and parties to attract customers. If you own a business and you want to participate (it’s never too early to get started on planning next year’s Small Business Saturday) the Small Business Administration has a good list of tips. American Express has an entire website dedicated to the event with a lot of good information, including free promotional materials for the event.

Lastly, if you’re a customer in search of a local small business to patronize the American Express website has a handy small business finder.

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