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by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 18, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

We all know that you have to go to medical school to become a licensed physician and to law school to be a Bar certified attorney. However, companies providing innovative solutions and developing new products are starting to notice that the background of their workforce may need to be more creative and less linear.

Smart, educated workers who demonstrate more than subject matter expertise are more and more in demand.

While you probably won’t find ‘can you draw?’ on a job application, human resource professionals are digging deeper to find a workforce that will make their company stand out.

This month, Arlington Economic Development launches the next series of seminars: “Return on Creativity: An Arlington County Asset.”

The series will feature professionals and educators who are leading business and workforce growth through the application of creativity. This creativity is driven through talent availability, process improvements and innovative solutions.

Additionally, the series offers networking opportunities, first-hand insights and compelling evidence that Arlington County is an accelerator to personal and organizational growth and prosperity.

Arlington’s culture of creativity drives startup, non-profit, association and corporate success. Over the past 10 years, Arlington County has earned a reputation of nurturing a creatively-driven commerce and community through policy, technology, education and development. Arlington County is home to businesses and people who contribute to the county’s fiscal and social prosperity through a focus on creativity.

Join the next conversation and register here for Return on Creativity: An Arlington County Asset, Thursday, April 26 at Virginia Tech Research Center.

Check here for ongoing creative economy listings and opportunities.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor April 4, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Retail in 2018 feels different.

There are many contributing factors which directly impact how we buy goods and services today. Technology has played a tremendous role in changing the landscape of how, where and when we make purchases.

The malls of the 1980s have been replaced with more outdoor, walkable options and online retail gives us the flexibility of being able to make purchases without leaving our homes.

Innovative and interactive storefronts are a definite trend for retail in 2018 which also includes state of the art mobile trucks, pop-up shops and unique fitness and health opportunities. Augmented reality and robots will also play a role in defining the future of retail.

If you own a retail shop — what are you doing to remain competitive?

If you shop for goods and services how will these trends affect the way you buy? Today many people are concerned about privacy, and may not be interested in sharing their data with retailers; however, online shopping is a fast-growing retail market. Opportunities still abound for brick and mortar retail stores.

We will be tackling the issue of the Changing Face of Retail with our partners from the Arlington Community Federal Credit Union and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, April 18 at our free Brunch and Business event from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Experts will be addressing the future of retail and its many changes in 2018. Confirmed speakers include representatives from Ballston Quarter, Arlington Economic Development, Kinder Haus Toys and Bash Boxing. We hope you can join us to delve into this timely topic!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 21, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

What’s really getting people’s attention is the color. Lots and lots of color.

Right next door to an all white store, the fanfare of dazzling colors is stopping pedestrian traffic. A bright pink print velvet sofa, vivid paintings, an orange lacquered cabinet, swatches of fabrics, textures, wallpaper and almost everything but candy.

Is it an art gallery? A home accessory store? A design center? Inspiration? Yes, yes, yes and yes. In this Clarendon Market Common store, a pop-up shop in a former women’s clothing store is waking up the neighborhood.

First opened in the fall, artist Sabrina Cabada put her imprint on the vacant shop for a bustling holiday market. Re-opened in February alongside textile designer Kate Hougen of Mira Jean Designs and interior designer Nicole Lanteri, these artisans together total way more than three.

Walls of patterns and floors covered in one of a kind throw rugs are an invitation to buy original art, explore home design options as you get guidance from a pro and rethink textiles that will transform your rooms.

Much the way Arlington has supported the Made in Arlington pop-up markets, this venture is taking the spirit of artisan entrepreneurs to the retail streets.

Can this be the new wave of experience retail? For the property management, the lively shop is advertising in real time. And for the consumer, it’s the local creative economy and full of surprises.

Sabrina Cabada pop-up gallery is at 2700 Clarendon Blvd (next to the Apple Store). Gallery hours: Wednesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday by appointment.

Events coming to the gallery:
How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe with DC Style Factory Owner and stylist Rosana Vollmerhausen on April 12, 6-8 p.m. Purchase tickets here.                 

Gunston Art and Video Showcase Party, Friday April 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Celebrate creative Arlington students and their short films. Free.

Interested in starting a business and finding retail opportunities? Check Arlington’s BizLaunch programs.

Check here for ongoing creative economy listings and opportunities.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 14, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Businesses sometimes fall prey to tax scams especially during the tax season. BizLaunch reached out to our partners at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to find out what business owners should be concerned about in 2018. The following blog post by IRS Senior Stakeholder Liaison Anna Falkenstein provides tips on what to do to secure your information and scams to be aware of this tax season.

Guest BizLaunch Blogger: Anna Falkenstein, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Senior Stakeholder Liaison

While the Internal Revenue Service reports that the number of reported fraudulent returns have decreased, the number of incidents and the variety of scams makes it a major focus again in the current filing season. Fraudsters are creative and consistently find new ways to scam innocent taxpayers (individuals and businesses).

The IRS has posted their annual list of the “Dirty Dozen” scams annually. You can check this year’s list at Annual List of Dirty Dozen Scams.

The IRS encourages business owners to take these scams seriously and take steps to try to prevent them. Create unusual passwords and change them periodically. Don’t use the same password for every system. Update/change passwords if an employee departs the business. Provide training regarding emails, links and attachments. Publication 4557 Safeguarding-taxpayer-data  is a good tool to use to train and refresh employees on protecting data on behalf of employees and clients. Don’t forget to update anti-virus protection, encryption software and firewalls.

Should you receive an IRS notice or find something in your records that leads you to believe that you have become a victim of Tax Identity Theft, there are steps you should take to immediately circumvent the fraudsters.

Notify the IRS immediately! The faster you act, the better chance the processing units at the IRS has at stopping the fraudsters from using your information. Individuals can contact the Identity Protection Specialized Unit at 1-800-908-4490 or File a Form 14039 (Identity Theft Affidavit) with their tax return.

Businesses who suspect a data loss from hacking can email [email protected] to start the initial reporting. Businesses should also follow state requirements to report the data loss as well.  They can start this at [email protected].

Once you have determined that you are a victim of tax identity theft, you have several other steps that you can take to minimize the damage.

These include reporting to the FTC, your Insurance company, police and credit bureaus. If your theft includes personnel or client information, you will want to notify them as well. News Release 2018-27 provides the steps a business victim should take to minimize the effect of data theft: Steps Business Victims Should Take

by ARLnow.com Sponsor March 7, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Let’s face it. We live in a fickle marketplace.

Shoppers have a short attention span and consumers are easily bored and quickly want the next cool thing.

Entrepreneurs are notorious for being spurred on by a single idea, that literal lightbulb moment, that drives their passion and turns their focus to producing one item or service. Some invest all their savings and resources into the promise of a profitable future, and if you’re lucky, smart, well timed and well promoted, that one product or service could be the only one you’ll ever need.

But even for hugely successful items (like the dizzying fidget spinner?) there can be a quick peak and never return to popularity.

Few have the opportunity or resources to get input, organize focus groups or engage deep demographic analytics that will help grow their business or keep their ideas competitive.

But for startups and small businesses in Arlington, more options for creating a stable path are all part of the County support for creatives.

For Lorilee Stultz at Dennison Lane, participating in Made in Arlington was the first step to a new product idea. Using a hand stamping process and natural fabrics, Dennison Lane was already well versed in table linens and home accessories that blended tradition with craft.

So when a fan of Made in Arlington said, “wouldn’t it be great to have the Made in Arlington logo stamped onto baby onesies?” Lori didn’t hesitate to say, “let’s try it!” Welcome to the prototype stage. Picking samples of soft baby onesies and using the Made in Arlington stamp in colors for girls, boys and ‘we don’t know yet!’ The items are now getting ready for sales.

Where can creative Arlington entrepreneurs look to test the market?

  • Limited edition items in small shops
  • Pop up retail like Made in Arlington at Plaza Shop
  • Local boutiques
  • Farmers markets
  • Seasonal opportunities such as Art on the Plaza

Alongside the vast array of business development services available through BizLaunch, the path to success is often taken in baby steps.

Check here for ongoing listings and opportunities.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 21, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” — Walt Disney

We recently held a BizLaunch Webinar on “What to Do with Your Fabulous Business Idea.”

This got us to thinking we need to share the content of the program with our ARLnow Small Biz Focus readers. What are the quick steps one needs to take to launch your idea(s) successfully? We know you have a ton of ideas. How do you execute them? How did you get the momentum to start doing and quit thinking and talking about it?

Bringing your business idea to life is the step you need to take before you write your business plan. What do you need to know that you don’t know as an entrepreneur?

BizLaunch’s 6 quick tips to launch your fabulous business idea:

  • Step One: Get Organized. Clear out the clutter, and clear your desk. Invest (minimally) in the tools you’ll need to launch your business. A computer. A notebook. Pen. Paper. Use a calendar system to incorporate milestones you need to accomplish to successfully launch your business. Also invest in a constructive way to maintain your notes and information you need to help bring the idea to fruition. Understand how much cash on hand you need to launch your idea.
  • Step Two: Write Down ALL of Your ideas. Brainstorm. List all of the ideas you can think of to construct into a business. Ideas should include where you have the most background and expertise. Ideas of which you have passion, and are committed to. There are no right or wrong answers. You’ll want to capture everything, and write them down.
  • Step Three: Use a System to Rank Your Ideas. Place your top ideas into four distinct categories. There is an “A,” “B,” “C” or Trash category. As you rank your ideas – ask & score the following questions up to 10 points:
    • Are there opportunities in this industry?
    • Do you have experience in this field?
    • Are their regulations and policies which make it easier or harder to enter the market?
    • How many influencers do you know in this space?
    • Do you have enough cash?
    • What is your potential target market?
    • Does this idea make you happy just thinking about it?
    • Do you have the time to dedicate to the launch of the idea?
    • Do you have access to legal representation?
    • Do you understand accounting?

(more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor February 14, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

The World Economic Forum defines social entrepreneurs as people who harness the power of market forces and business principles to solve social problems.

Many people around the world, especially young innovators, are striving to disrupt business norms and have an impact on some of the toughest problems imaginable. We know that using innovation and technology for social good has been around for some time.

We’ve been buying shoes that are ‘buy one give one,’ fair trading our product sources, sipping coffee with a cause and buying more shoes in the name of contributions to cancer research. But never before has the world seen today’s growth in social responsibility as a sector that attracts investment.

While the makeup of most social entrepreneurships is one of smart, savvy people helping those disadvantaged, Arlington has pioneered a model that puts a vulnerable population on a path to their own sustainability.

It’s been over 30 years since a weaving program for adults with developmental disabilities, first called The Woodmont Weavers, originated in Arlington. Started by parents who sought meaningful activities for their adult children once they left school, the program, now called ArlingtonWeaves, Etc., is a premier feature of Arlington’s Department of Human Services and run by Service Source, Inc.

It’s a long game for sure and one that emphasizes the investment in the human spirit. Where other social services in the U.S. may be satisfied with keeping disabled adults occupied with simple crafts and activities, Arlington’s weavers learn sophisticated, often complex textile skills while improving their social skills and self-sufficiency.

One participant, now 52, doesn’t speak, but his intricate textiles, knitting and tapestries tell a remarkable story of ability.

Creating intricate patterns on textiles for tote bags, tea towels, yoga mat straps, scarves and more, the studio has now become an artisan hub. ArlingtonWeaves, Etc. has become a vendor to Arlington Economic Development’s Made in Arlington initiative, been featured on regional television news, held center stage in a textile exhibit and taken their place among the most viable of social entrepreneurs.

Shop ArlingtonWeaves, Etc. here:

Studio showroom at Sequoia, Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and at the Plaza Library shop,Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor January 31, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

By Tara Palacios and Amanda Gant

When is the best time to seek financing for your business? Small business owners tell us they don’t need financing… until they need it. Based on our experience, the best time for a new business or a startup to acquire financing is when you don’t need it.

Why is this? Typically, a financial institution will want to know your business can pay back a loan. As a business owner, you will want to be in the best position financially to afford to take the risk. Underwriters will also want to know that you are personally invested (some cash on hand) in the endeavor, understand what you will use the proceeds for and have background and experience in your industry.

Speaking on the topic of small business and financing, we are excited to announce BizLaunch and the Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) will be offering personalized one-on-one appointment opportunities for entrepreneurs who are interested in acquiring financing on Wednesdays from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. beginning Wednesday, February 7. If you have questions about financing any aspect of your business feel free to set up an appointment by calling us at (703)228-0808.

Below are our 5 top things to know when seeking financing for your small business:

  1. Make sure your business is registered

For your loan to be a business loan (instead of a personal loan) your business will need to be registered. The business loan will start or continue to build your business’s credit. For this purpose, if your business isn’t already registered, now is the time to do so, and BizLaunch can help with this, too.

  1. Gather the right documents

Documents are the building block of a loan application, so having your documents ready will help speed along the loan process. Documents often required for a small business loan are:

  • 3-6 months of bank statements
  • Taxes from the previous two years
  • Business plan for startups
  • Business registration and licenses
  • Business lease (if applicable)
  • Business financial statements
  1. Create a strong business plan

Many financial institutions will require a business that has been operating less than two years to provide a business plan. Your business plan will need to communicate basic ideas about how you are running or plan to run your business. When a plan is submitted, your lending officer will follow up with any points that need clarification or additional information that may be needed. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor January 24, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This is a column written and sponsored by Arlington Arts / Arlington Cultural Affairs, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

It’s hard enough to be an entrepreneur, starting your own business. It’s even harder when you come from a family of entrepreneurs who ran many businesses and have lots of advice on what to do and not do. When a father tells his son not to be an entrepreneur, get a steady job with reliable income, it’s easy to let family ties replace passion. For a while.

Meet Stas Casa. He is a Moldovan-born entrepreneur and founder of Can You Solve Me, LLC, a puzzle company with a new twist on a classic idea. His passion for puzzles and brainteasers started when he first attempted to solve the Rubik’s Cube in the middle of dinner. Casa had a successful 7-year career in finance at Bloomberg LP in New York where he had advanced from data analytics to hedge fund management with a great salary.

So what did he do? He phoned a friend and asked him if quitting his job to make puzzles is a crazy idea. Naturally, the good friend friend tells him ‘if you try hard enough, you can do it.’ Goodbye, New York! Hello, startup world.

Enter Arlington’s former TechShop in Crystal City. The member based maker space (now in transition to new ownership) provided access to 3D laser printers where Stas took his puzzle ideas and fabrication to a new level. Adding to his online retail, the Made in Arlington program helped broaden the exposure and support to the startup with visibility opportunities like pop-up shops. Next up was introducing the puzzle maker to other small business growth programs through BizLaunch and being featured at Arlington Premier.

Well on his way, what keeps Stas going? “The challenge of it and then the overwhelming feeling of joy when solved is what I work every day to replicate with the Can You Solve Me? Puzzles.” He never has to find batteries, and he doesn’t think about going back to finance.

Find Can You Solve Me puzzles at Arlington’s Plaza Branch Library shop which is located in the first floor lobby of 2100 Clarendon Boulevard Arlington, Virginia 22201. Check here for hours.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor January 10, 2018 at 11:45 am 0

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Are you interested in doing business with the government? Have you considered expanding your target market to the government, and need help navigating the process?

Many entrepreneurs are interested in doing business with the government and need detailed information on how best to enter the market. Below are BizLaunch’s Top 3 Tips to contract successfully.

Top 3 Contracting Tips

  1. Decide which level of government you’d like to pursue. Many small business owners look to the federal government as their first opportunity to do contract business with. Many entrepreneurs forget that the Commonwealth of Virginia and local municipalities are also in need of products and services from the private sector. Doing business with the state or local governments may be able to provide you with past performance that you need to win federal contracting opportunities.
  2. Follow the Opportunities. We also like to call this following the money (I.e., budget items). Research and uncover which agencies are spending money in your industry sector, when does the fiscal year begin and end (For example, Virginia’s budgetary cycle runs from July 1-June 30 each year) and understand competitive pricing so that you position yourself to win the bid.
  3. Attend mixers and conferences. Attend industry related events where key decision makers will be in attendance. Get yourself known in your field to the “correct,” contacts. Ensure that you are networking with influencers who can help you grow your company.

Resources to Help with Top 3 Contracting Tips

  1. BizLaunch, Virginia PTAP, Strategic FAR Advisors and Professionals by Design are offering an extensive training program on January 24 to address how to get an agency to “Pick Me.” Topics include pricing to win, knowing your value, HR and contracting rules will be addressed. For more information click here.
  2. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s website portal aids small businesses who are seeking to do business on the federal level. Many services are free and national conferences are offered to businesses located in Arlington.
  3. The Virginia Procurement Technical Assistance Program offers training and one-on-one assistance to businesses looking to do business with the government. Their consultation services are free. Many of their education programs are available for a minimum fee.
  4. The System for Award Management (SAM) website is a complimentary tool if you are looking to do sole sourcing opportunities of up to $2 million dollars. Large businesses and federal agencies can find your business directly on this system.
  5. Virginia’s Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity also offers a wide range of education programs and support of local businesses.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor December 20, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Happy Holidays! Here’s to a recharging of the business batteries in 2018.

In BizLaunch, our one and only New Year’s Resolution is to continue developing exciting new in-depth program opportunities that will help take your business to the next level. We promise, this resolution will not end in January. Therefore, it is with pleasure we can announce our latest collaboration with a long-term partner, and to offer more ways to help build your business in Arlington in 2018.

Beginning this January, BizLaunch and SCORE DC will formally partner on a variety of entrepreneurial workshops from advanced social media training to lead generation to how to become an 8(a) contractor and much more. Currently, we have a formal relationship with mentorship opportunities and special events; however, we will be able to increase our number of educational programming opportunities in the New Year with our latest endeavor. What does this mean for local entrepreneurs? This means more in-depth programming to help our businesses succeed.

As we say hello to new opportunities with SCORE, we’d also like to formally thank a long-time supporter, mentor and overall amazing guy — local Arlingtonian — Joe Clarke. Joe Clark has mentored and volunteered with SCORE for countless hours to help guide local entrepreneurs and small businesses within BizLaunch for the past 10 years. We can’t begin to thank Joe enough for his tireless energy and ability to help others in an engaging, fantastic way.

I am sure if you look around town several local businesses have worked with Joe over the years. Joe will be “retiring,” from SCORE as of December, 2017. However, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if his latest endeavor is a brewpub. If you have worked with Joe — please give him a special shout-out in the comments below.

We have a ton of opportunities scheduled for this New Year. We look forward to seeing you in 2018. Our first small business program Pick Me will be held at Arlington Economic Development on January 24. We will be offering more networking opportunities, plus BizLaunch will continue its partnership with Arlington Independent Media offering small businesses the ability to raise their voices. Stay tuned. We hope you can join us!

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 29, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

We are about to close the final chapter on 2017. The holidays have officially launched. We’ve run out of creative ideas of what to do with our turkey leftovers. Are you ready for 2018? As a local small business, there is still much to do. Business never ends but how can you ever be ready?

We’ve got some quick tips for local entrepreneurs so you too can plan for a worry-free holiday season.

  • Strategize for 2018 while things slow down during the holiday season. December is an excellent month to get things done. Activity is stone-cold quiet by the time December 20th rolls around (shipments end). Write down the goals you’d like to accomplish before the New Year begins. Factor in holiday parties and time spent with friends and family. Organize paperwork, do a visioning of 2018 with achievable goals and an updated business strategy. Use quiet time to develop efficiencies.
  • End of Year Charitable contributions. There are plenty of opportunities before the end of the year to give back, and to do social good. Identify an organization you’d like to support. Create a campaign or other activity to help others in need. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has great tips on not only making sure an organization is qualified as a charitable organization but also a tax assistant to help identify how much you can deduct during the looming tax season.
  • Revisit your tax structure. Taxes are changing constantly and are in the news every day. Set a time to meet with your tax advisor before the end of the year to ensure you have set up the best tax structure based on current law that meets the needs of your business. If you don’t have a tax advisor – get one. They may save you money in the long-term, and will be up-to-date on the latest tax recommendations.
  • Seasonal thank you notes to your clients/customers. This is the best time of year to let your customers know how much you appreciate them for their business. Send out handwritten notes (a real standout in today’s age of technology) of appreciation or a personalized email letting them know how much their business means to you and your company.
  • Be mindful and consciously plan to recharge your batteries. Running a business is hard work. Make sure you plan for time for yourself and for your employees. The holidays can be very busy and a time for a lot more juggling – but being good to yourself will help you be in a good place in the future and to your customers.

Check out BizLaunch programming for the New Year. We will be hosting events on mindfulness and strategic planning. There are still events in December too. We hope you can join us.

Do you have top tips you’d like to recommend before the New Year begins? If so, please let us know in the comments below.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor November 8, 2017 at 3:00 pm 0

This column is written by Tara Palacios and sponsored by BizLaunch, a division of Arlington Economic Development.

Social media can be intimidating for a business. How often do you use it — if at all? Which platforms are your customers on? Is it a waste of time or do you get more business from your efforts?

In BizLaunch, we field questions from entrepreneurs regarding what are the most effective ways to use social media. How can you effectively get your message across in the clutter of the online world? How do you know you are reaching your target audience, and most importantly what role does social media play in sales?

First, think of social media as a part of your overall marketing plan. It can be an extremely useful tool in your toolkit if it is used wisely. Keep the below Top 10 Tips in mind as a handy guide to ensure that your business is getting the most out of your social media efforts.

Tip #1 — Identify which social media platforms your customers, competition, and industry colleagues are on.

You don’t want to be the only one at the party. Be present where members of your field are located. Business Decision is a free online tool offered by Arlington Public Library which can help you understand what social media platforms your target market is on.

For example, many businesses can be found on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not just for job seekers but a community to identify like-minded colleagues that can help grow your business. Artists, retailers and food-related businesses use Instagram and Pinterest (imagery) to promote their businesses to name just a few platforms.

Tip #2 — Understand the best time to reach your customers using social media.

As a business, you can see how effective your sharing of information is to your target market by immediately analyzing the analytics as to how effective a tweet or post has gone. What time did you send the information? When are most of your customers on social media? At the end of the work day? On the weekends? Make sure to monitor your social media content daily so that you can develop a strategy around “when,” is the most effective time of day to post your information.

Tip #3 — How often do you want to be on social media?

Come up with a plan and stick to it. You’ll want to be responsive to your customers; however, you’ll also want to be realistic about how much time you can effectively spend online. Think of social media as you would when you respond to emails or respond to phone calls. It is another way for your clients to reach out to you.

Depending on your industry you may want to schedule 3 posts per day or 3 posts per week. It really is dependent on how much and how often you would like or need to share information. The biggest key here is to stick with your plan. You can also use multiple platforms to distribute the same information. (more…)

by ARLnow.com Sponsor October 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

Have you thought of starting your own business? Have you sat in front of your computer and daydreamed what it would be like to work for yourself? Do you feel a deep passion for innovation or creativity around an activity or industry?

Launching a business takes guts.

Launching a business is hard. (Don’t let Amazon, Apple, Google or Shark Tank fool you.)

Launching a business is about drive, tenacity, passion and a keen sense of self.

BizLaunch has worked with small businesses in Arlington for almost two decades. We have experienced different federal, state and local administrations. Different financial cycles and employment needs. In BizLaunch, we see launching a business as a key to unlock your dream of entrepreneurship — if it is approached in a logical, planned way.

Here are some of our top recommendations if you are thinking about Starting a Business in Arlington:

  • Research — Know your industry sector like nobody has ever known it before. Understand your competition, target market, pricing structure, employees and discover the opportunities for long-term growth. Arlington County Library offers a wealth of resources when it comes to market research for small businesses. Best thing of all — it is free with your Library Card.
  • Mentorship — If you have an idea and wonder if you can start a business or need someone to review your business plan objectively SCORE is your answer. Arlington is fortunate to have SCORE Mentors located at BizLaunch for counseling and mentorship. Best of all it is also free. Our counselors have a variety of professional backgrounds and business experience to meet the needs of Arlington business owners: Ed Coleman, Joe Clarke, Gerry Sanz and Frank Gunion.
  • Planning — Business planning makes the difference between a highly successful business, and a business that is getting by. If you do your due diligence throughout the life cycle of your business you minimize costly mistakes. We offer free or minimal cost workshops on planning each month.
  • Pricing — Know your worth. Don’t have the cheapest costs in town. It will catch up with you.
  • Reach Out — Attend free workshops and conferences on entrepreneurship. Brunch and Business is a great first step to hear firsthand from an Arlington business as to how they have achieved their success. The DC metro area is rich in opportunities to learn about the craft of starting a business. BizLaunch is here to help budding entrepreneurs decide if they are ready to launch their business.
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