Florida SBDC

Sunshine Kitchen partners with Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC

Sunshine Kitchen partners with Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC

 

Florida's Small Business Development Center

 

The National Restaurant Association estimates that one in three restaurants won’t survive their first year in business. To combat that static, St. Lucie County’s Sunshine Kitchen is partnering with Indian River State College’s Small Business Development Center to provide free consultation to clients at the kitchen.

Starting in October, the Small Business Development Center will have a full-time consultant located at the Sunshine Kitchen to provide advice and direction to small business owners and would-be entrepreneurs on topics such as creating marketing plans, developing new clients and navigating local, state and federal regulations. The consultant will also present group training programs on a variety of business-related topics that meet the needs of local businesses as well as conducting outreach activities to local trade groups and associations.

Located at 7550 Pruitt Research Center Road in Fort Pierce, the Sunshine Kitchen is a 10,000-square-foot commercial kitchen facility designed to offer culinary entrepreneurs the space to grow their business. For more information, visit: www.sunshinekitchenslc.com.

 

About the FSBDC at IRSC

The Florida Small Business Development Center (FSBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) is a part of the Florida SBDC Network.

The Florida SBDC Network provides tools, training, and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. Designated as “Florida’s provider of small business assistance,” the Florida SBDC Network has more than 40 offices from Pensacola to Key West to serve the needs of Florida’s business community. Since 1976, our network of partners has helped construct a statewide ecosystem to foster the spirit, support, and success of hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators.

The Florida SBDC Network is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida, and other private and public partners, with the University of West Florida serving as the Network’s designated lead host institution. The Florida SBDC Network is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.

Ready to get your business started on the path to success? Contact your local Florida Small Business Development Center at IRSC!
[email protected] | (772) 336-6285 | www.irscbiz.com

 

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Sep. 9, 2022|

Inaugural Treasure Coast Women Who Rock awards

Inaugural Treasure Coast Women Who Rock awards

To be held Oct. 11th & 13th  in celebration of National Women’s Small Business Month

 

 

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) has partnered with weVENTURE Women’s Business Center (WBC) at Florida Tech’s Bisk College of Business and presenting sponsor PNC Bank to host the Inaugural Women Who Rock Awards of the Treasure Coast on Oct. 11th and 13th in honor of National Woman’s Small Business Month. 

“The Florida SBDC at Indian River State College is excited to partner with weVENTURE Women’s Business Center to elevate the profile of successful women in business and recognize the economic impact they have on our community,” said Katherine Culhane Associate Director of the SBDC at IRSC. 

The community is encouraged to nominate women who live or work in Indian River, St. Lucie or Martin CountiesNominees who reside in Indian River and St. Lucie Counties will be celebrated Tuesday, Oct. 11th, 2022, at the Indian River State College, Mueller Campus, 6155 College Lane, Vero Beach, FL  32966.  Nominees from Martin County will be recognized Thursday, Oct. 13th, 2022, at the Indian River State College Chastain Campus, 2400 S.E. Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997.  Both events are luncheons, taking place 11:00am-1:00pm.  

Kathryn Rudloff, Executive Director of weVENTURE WBC notes that her organization has hosted the Women Who Rock Awards in Brevard County for the last 14 years. “We are so excited to partner with the SBDC and PNC Bank to bring this popular event to the Treasure Coast,“ Rudloff stated.  

The 2022 Women Who Rock Awards categories are:

  • Small Business Owner of the Year, Presented by PNC Bank
  • Executive of the Year, Presented by Bank of America
  • Excellence in Mentorship, Presented by SBDC at IRSC
  • Women Trending in Tech, Presented by weVENTURE WBC
  • Excellence in Caregiving

The nomination period will be open until September 9th.  After evaluating nominations to ensure they meet the award criteria, finalists from each category will be announced and celebrated in promotions during the weeks leading up to the event. One outstanding nominee from each category will be recognized as a 2022 recipient of the Women Who Rock Awards.  For more information call (321) 674-7007 or to submit your nomination, send correspondence to [email protected]

Sponsorships are available for both events and include tickets to the event.  Tickets to attend either luncheon are $50 and are available for purchase online.  All proceeds benefit weVENTURE WBC and SBDC community programing. Please visit https://weventure.fit.edu/events/women-who-rock-awards/

 

About weVENTURE WBC

weVENTURE Women’s Business Center (WBC) was launched in 2007 at Florida Tech, accelerates growth for entrepreneurs by providing customized coaching, business education, mentorship and networking programs. weVENTURE WBC also strives to be the leading voice and resource for professional women across all industries, providing leadership development and purposeful networking events for women on the Space and Treasure Coasts. weVENTURE WBC is funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. For more information, or to register for weVENTURE WBC courses and mentorship programs, visit https://weventure.fit.edu/ or call 321-674-7007.

About Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Tech was founded in 1958 at the dawn of the Space Race that would soon define the Atlantic coast of Florida and captivate the nation. Now the premier private technological university in the Southeast, Florida Tech is a Tier 1 Best National University in U.S. News & World Report and one of just nine schools in Florida lauded by the Fiske Guide to Colleges. Florida Tech is ranked among the top 5 percent of 20,000 degree-granting institutions worldwide in the 2020-21 World University Rankings and has been named a Top College and Best Value University for 2019 by Forbes. Florida Tech offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in aeronautics and aviation, engineering, computing and cybersecurity, business, science and mathematics, psychology, education and communication. Learn more about our relentless pursuit of greatness at floridatech.edu

About the Florida SBDC Network: 

For over forty years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy.

In 2019, Florida SBDCs provided 114,064 hours of professional business consulting to 12,535 client businesses, resulting in 37,966 jobs impacted; $4.4 billion in sales generated; $496.5 million in government contracts acquired; and $255.3 million in capital accessed; and 453 new businesses started. With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Defense Logistics Agency, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

About PNC Bank

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit www.pnc.com.

 

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

 

Aug. 12, 2022|

Small businesses can offer job candidates advantages when competing with larger companies

Small businesses can offer job candidates advantages when competing with larger companies

BY NANCY DAHLBERG

You have the business, you have the production, but you don’t have the people to make it all happen. Is this your business?

Imagine you’ve landed a big government contract but you can’t find enough workers to execute it. Right now, the talent shortage is affecting companies globally. In the fourth quarter alone, 15 million Americans resigned their jobs. This Great Resignation trend continues, according to Katherine Culhane, a business consultant at the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College.

Katherine Culhane, Associate Director for the Florida SBDC

Katherine Culhane has an extensive career in banking, including roles in management, business development, commercial lending and private banking. She has a master’s degree in organizational learning and leadership, is a certified professional behavioral analyst and is a Society for Human Resource Management senior certified professional. With more than 25 years of banking experience, Culhane serves as the capital access specialist for the Florida SBDC at IRSC. Contact her for more information on this and all SBA lending programs to help your business expand, grow and succeed.

As a small or medium company, you compete with larger companies that can offer higher pay and more benefits, but don’t throw in the towel just yet.

Small businesses are attracting and retaining talent by leveraging advantages that large corporations don’t have and offering attractive lures that big companies can’t necessarily match.

Culhane explains millennials and Gen Z candidates are seeking a work-place culture and company that focuses on their well-being. In fact, according to Gallup, it is their top priority. A company with a clear mission, workplace flexibility, healthy work-life integration and a management team that is committed to employee success are also top priorities.

“If employers are not committed to some or all of these workplace issues, they will struggle to engage, recruit and hire this segment of the workforce,” said Culhane, who specializes in human resources. “The good news is small businesses can have significant advantage in implementing and creating workplaces that will appeal to the millennials and Gen Z segments.”

Leveraging these workplace advantages, a small business can potentially compete with much larger firms, who may be offering better pay and benefit packages.

Most HR professionals agree traditional acquisition and retention strategies no long apply in this marketplace. Business owners have to be more innovative and creative in their recruiting process.

Millennials pioneered the social media movement and remain connected on-line 24/7. Improving recruitment success could as simple as being more innovative in using social media channels.

“Entire hiring campaigns can be created on YouTube,” Culhane said. “A recruitment video could include employee testimonials, cover perks and benefits and most importantly highlight the company’s culture.”

State colleges, such as Indian River State College, are good sources of talent and recruiting through career events, on-campus interviews and engaging students through internships, where students can get a chance to wear many hats.

Because recruiting is expensive and time intensive, employee retention is also a critical factor for small businesses.

What can small businesses do to build an organization so workers stay?

Small businesses can invest in employee growth opportunities by providing ongoing professional development training; creating an employee feedback program with legitimate follow through; and diving deep into exit interviews. Employee retention is another area where the small business operator can compete with the larger employers.

“Make no mistake, employee satisfaction is what enhances and fosters better rates of acquisition and retention,” Culhane said. “Small business owners, please get to know the culture and brand your business represents to your customers and employees just as well as you understand your cash flow and profit margin.”

INTERVIEW, SELECTION PROCESS
To save time, it’s a good idea to phone-screen a candidate first.

For the main interview, ask behavioral based questions, such as tell me about a time you dealt with a difficult client and how you resolved it? Or give me an example of a time when you had to conform to a policy about which you did not agree? Or tell me about a time you failed?

Make sure it is a structured interview process, with a set of standardized questions asked to all applicants.

Having a detailed job description is critical. People want to see the job, how enriching the job is and what is expected of them. And for the employer, it’s not only having a good culture but it is about finding the right candidate for the culture. You are looking to ensure that they match the organization culture and can fit in.

Always compare the candidate qualifications to the job description. Attitude is likely more important than technical abilities. Can he or she learn and grow on the job?

Once hired, onboarding of new employees in the right way is also important. People want an orientation to the company and to be introduced to colleagues. This is the time to set the right expectations of the job.

 FINAL CULHANE THOUGHTS, TIPS

Small business owners certainly must:

• Determine how to pay fair and competitive wages
• Regularly recognize employees for hard work and good job performance
• Provide continuous performance feedback
• Allow employees to develop a sense of security; feeling undervalued is always a top reason for employees leaving
• Ensure employees experience a positive environment, so they will become brand ambassadors and promote the company
• Provide employees with regular professional development training opportunities.

See the original article in the print publication


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jul. 1, 2022|

Small business owners’ concerns with inflation and lack of workers hit record low

Small business owners’ concerns with inflation and lack of workers hit record low

BY NANCY DAHLBERG

Florida's Small Business Development CenterSmall businesses are gloomy about their future, with an index of future expectations plunging to a 48-year low. The top concerns: inflation and worker shortages.

The National Federation of Independent Business optimism index stood at 93.2 in April. The net share of owners expecting better business conditions in the next six months eased one point to a record low. Five of the 10 components that make up the small business sentiment gauge fell, as fewer owners said now was a good time to expand and fewer plan to boost inventories.

About 32% of respondents said inflation is still their biggest operating challenge, up slightly from March and the highest since the fourth quarter of 1980. That share has risen in six of the last seven months, NFIB data show. Monthly surveys began in 1986.

Frank Fink

Throughout his 48-year career in finance, Frank Fink has served in numerous financial and operations management positions. He advises clients on best practices for financial, supply chain controls and contracts. As a certified profit mastery facilitator, Fink leads clients through the intensive 16-hour Small Business Development Center’s financial training program. He holds degrees and certifications from Indian River Community College, Barry and Villanova universities.

According to the survey, more owners expected business conditions to worsen over the next six months. Still, the share of owners raising average selling prices eased slightly from March’s record high.

Labor quality was the second-biggest problem and planned compensation changes are still elevated.

“Small business owners are struggling to deal with inflation pressures,” Bill Dunkelberg, NFIB’s chief economist, stated. “The labor supply is not responding strongly to small businesses’ high wage offers and the impact of inflation has significantly disrupted business operations.”

Small businesses – nationally and locally – have had difficulty filling vacancies and don’t always have the same resources as large firms to attract new talent. While large businesses posted solid hiring gains in April, those with fewer than 50 employees saw a 120,000 drop in payrolls, the worst in two years, ADP Research Institute data showed.

“If the pandemic was not enough, now small business owners and operators are dealing with inflation, supply chain and workforce issues,” said Frank Fink, business consultant with the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College. “The good news is small business owners do not have to navigate this challenging marketplace alone.”

To Fink’s point, the Treasure Coast is home to multiple business assistance programs including the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College, which provides no-cost business consulting. From in-depth financial review to strategic planning sessions or one-on-one discussions with business owners to simply discuss and generate ideas in addressing current market challenges, the SBDC and its credentialed consultants are ready to meet.

For more information on scheduling a meeting with the SBDC, please email Katie Muldoon at [email protected] or call 772.336.6285.

See the original article in the print publication


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Jul. 1, 2022|

Florida SBDC Network urges preparation for hurricane season

Florida SBDC Network urges preparation for hurricane season

 

 

The Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of small business assistance, urges small business owners to prepare for the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins today and extends through November 30.

According to a forecast by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2022 season is predicted to be above-normal, with a range of 14 to 21 named storms, of which six to 10 could become hurricanes, including three to six major hurricanes.

The Florida SBDC Network encourages small businesses to prepare for hurricane season by developing a disaster preparedness plan.

“With another active season predicted this year, all small businesses should take time now to develop a preparedness plan,” said Greg Britton, State Director of the Florida SBDC Network. “No storm should be taken lightly and all small business owners should prepare each year no matter the forecast.”

Businesses should consider several elements in preparing for a disaster. Not only is it important to protect staff, their building, data, and inventory, it is also critical to prepare a plan to continue operations following the disaster. A good plan may include provisions to relocate to a pre-identified site, retrieve data, including employee, customer and vendor records; and a way to operate efficiently with a smaller staff of key individuals.

The Florida SBDC also strongly encourages businesses to back up data and ensure they have access to important files, such as tax records, legal, and financial documents.

As a principal responder in the state’s Emergency Support Function (ESF) 18 for Business & Industry, the Florida SBDC Network helps small businesses prepare and recover from disasters.

Through the network’s service offering, professionally certified business consultants can help small business owners develop comprehensive business continuity, emergency preparedness, and disaster recovery plans at no cost. Florida SBDCs also offer training on disaster preparedness, tips, and resources.

In the event of a disaster, Florida SBDC disaster specialists help affected businesses prepare disaster loan applications. The network will also deploy its mobile assistance centers into communities for affected businesses to receive on-site assistance with disaster loans and other post-disaster challenges.

 

Preparedness resources:
  • For preparedness resources from the Florida SBDC Network, please visit https://floridasbdc.org/services/business-continuation/preparedness/.
  • The state’s disaster preparedness sales tax holiday extends through Friday, June 10. To learn more about the holiday and qualifying items, please click here.
  • www.FloridaDisaster.org – The state’s official source of information for individuals and businesses from the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
  • www.FloridaDisaster.biz - The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website to provide businesses access to critical information before, during, and after a disaster.
  • For a hurricane preparedness checklist and other resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), please click here.

For more information about the Florida SBDC Network and to find an SBDC near you, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

About the Florida SBDC Network:

 

For over 45 years, the Florida SBDC Network, the state’s principal provider of business assistance [Fl. Stat. 288.001], has nourished a statewide partnership between higher education and economic development to provide existing and emerging small and medium-sized business owners with management and knowledge resources that enable overall growth, increased profitability, and economic prosperity for Florida’s economy. In 2021, Florida SBDCs provided 157,841 hours of professional business consulting to more than 18,379 client businesses. Based on the results from the network's latest economic impact analysis, our services resulted in almost 38,000 jobs impacted; $7.4 billion in sales generated; $381.6 million in government contracts acquired, and $528.4 million in capital accessed. With over 40 offices statewide, the Florida SBDC is funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Department of Defense, State of Florida and other private and public partners. The Florida SBDC Network, headquartered at the University of West Florida, is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs and is a recipient of the President’s E Award for Export Service. Florida SBDC services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Language assistance services are available for individuals with limited English proficiency. For more information, please visit www.FloridaSBDC.org.

Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]
Jun. 5, 2022|

Center’s guidance designs contract strategy for graphics company in Stuart

Center’s guidance designs contract strategy for graphics company in Stuart

GDI President Kimberly Amsalem talks new bids with PTAC Specialist Scotty Wilson

GDI President Kimberly Amsalem, left, talks new bids with PTAC Specialist Scotty Wilson. LINDA GONZALEZ

BY KATIE MULDOON

What began as a simple inquiry regarding attracting and acquiring government contracts has quickly grown into a high-value business model for Kimberly Amsalem and her company, Graphic Designs International.

Founded in 1994, Amsalem acquired the Stuart-based company in 2019. It specializes in creating and installing high-profile and dynamic fleet graphics for first responder vehicles, including police and sheriff, ambulances, aviation units, fire trucks and private security. Amsalem has since expanded the business nationally and become certified as a Women Owned Business and Women in Business Enterprise.

Katie Muldoon

Katie Muldoon serves the community and Indian River State College as the Marketing Specialist for the Florida SBDC at IRSC.

Under Amsalem’s leadership, GDI has become the premier emergency responder vehicle graphics company in the United States, dedicated to assisting police departments and local municipalities in creating effective, budget-friendly graphics for their fleets.

Originally seeking to expand the organization’s sales and national presence, Amsalem contacted the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College, specifically the center’s Procurement and Technical Assistance Center [PTAC] government contracting specialist, Scotty Wilson.

With assistance and guidance from Wilson, GDI has developed a national business strategy that includes the creation of a Bid Match account and profile. Bid Match is a high-value government contracting tool provided by America’s PTAC and the Florida SBDC at IRSC that pulls local, state and federal contracts together for client review and potential response.

fleet graphics for first responder vehicles

Since creating its profile, GDI has been awarded numerous contracts from first responder organizations from across the country resulting in business and revenue expansion.

Beyond winning bids, Wilson and Amsalem are working to acquire a second Women Owned Small Business Certification from the State of New York. Amsalem also is planning to hire a few more employees to enhance productivity and delivery times.

“I don’t know where I would be without Scotty; he has been my advocate. I feel like I have an assistant,” Amsalem said. “He is helping me to get in several different states and get on their approved vendor list.”

You can learn more about Graphic Designs International by visiting www.gdigraphics.com or calling 800.344.6853.

fleet graphics for first responder vehicles

Ready to grow your business? Contact your local center at [email protected] or call 336.6285.

About the FSBDC at IRSC
The Florida Small Business Development Center at Indian River State College is a part of the Florida SBDC Network, which provides tools, training and resources to help small businesses grow and succeed. Designated as the provider of small business assistance, the network has more than 40 offices from Pensacola to Key West. Since 1976, its partners have helped construct a statewide ecosystem to foster the spirit, support and success of thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators. It is funded in part by the Small Business Administration, the Defense Logistics Agency, the State of Florida and other private and public partners with the University of West Florida serving as its designated lead host institution. It is nationally accredited by the Association of SBDCs.

See the original article in the print publication


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Apr. 15, 2022|

Center provides multiple training programs for aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners

Center provides multiple training programs for aspiring entrepreneurs, small business owners

BY KATIE MULDOON

The Florida Small Business Development Center, hosted at Indian River State College, recognizes the top priority for small business owners is to run the business. Dedicating time to attend business training and professional development education is an almost impossible task for small business owners.

However, significant benefits and opportunities can and do exist for those who participate in continuing business education. Regular participation in business training programs can provide critical and valuable information to owners seeking to grow and expand their businesses and revenues.

Katie Muldoon

Katie Muldoon serves the community and Indian River State College as the Administrative & Outreach Specialist for the Florida SBDC at IRSC.  

The FSBDC at IRSC provides high-value training programs throughout the year that focus on vital business issues including social media marketing and financial management. The center also offers Start-Smart, a class for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Attending business training programs is tough — but what’s not tough about owning a small business. The question is: What would you do to potentially grow revenues and earn more profit?

Here are some of FSBDC’s training opportunities:

DIGITAL MARKETING BOOT CAMP
This three-day program is designed for business owners, entrepreneurs, marketing students, managers, and others seeking to strengthen their digital marketing presence, effectiveness and strategy. The focus will be on creating a positive digital presence on social media and establishing a digital marketing strategy. Some of the subjects to be discussed include:

Leanna Haag

Leanna Haag, FSBDC digital media consultant.

• What a buyer’s persona is and how one can be created for a service or product
• Drafting a marketing plan
• Implementing your marketing plan on social media
• Defining your target market
• Tailoring your marketing message
• Creating a call to action

Conducting the class will be Leanna Haag, an FSBDC digital media consultant. Haag, who earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis on marketing at the University of Central Florida, has acquired years of marketing experience working for corporations to develop and execute tactical marketing plans at the regional and national level.

Haag launched her digital media company, See Level Marketing, in 2009 to assist regional businesses in managing their online presence. She has worked with all types of businesses, including local governments, to improve their search engine ranking with website development and search engine optimization, internet advertising, email marketing, online directories and development of tactical internet marketing plans. She recently accepted the digital media consultant position to help local businesses begin the recovery process from the COVID-19 pandemic.

PROFIT MASTERY
The financial management training program is the Profit Mastery course. This 16-hour course offers the participant high-level training to better understand and manage their business financials.

Partnering with multiple local lenders, the FSBDC at IRSC has scholarships to cover the $499 course cost. Business owners who attend are encouraged to include their bookkeepers, payroll execs, managers, and others who may benefit from strengthening their financial management skills.

Steve LeFever, founder and chairman of Profit, is a national leader in the development of practical financial programs and training for the independent business community. His dual role as a successful entrepreneur and as a commercial banker gives him a unique perspective on financial analysis, business management, and practical business decisions.

The programs are led by veteran business consultants possessing extensive knowledge of financial management. Consultants Frank Fink of Vero Beach, Michael Bernard of Port St. Lucie and Clifton Vaughn of Fort Pierce coordinate classes across the Treasure Coast with programs planned in every county throughout the remainder of the year.

START SMART ORIENTATION
Aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners are encouraged to participate in monthly Start Smart Orientation programs. This two-hour workshop provides a fundamental overview of what it takes to start a business in Florida. It is designed for potential entrepreneurs in the pre-venture or startup phase of establishing a new business. It is the first step in your journey toward reaching your business goals with the guidance and resources that are available through the FSBDC at IRSC.

To register contact your local FSBDC at IRSC at [email protected] or call 772.336.6285.

See the original article in the print publication


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Media Group. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Apr. 15, 2022|

Interruption of supply chain is painful for companies and consumers

Interruption of supply chain is painful for companies and consumers

BY NANCY DAHLBERG

If your small business is experiencing supply chain interruptions, you are not alone. Not a week goes by that I don’t hear about another small business experiencing supply chain issues.

Throughout the Treasure Coast, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with their clients’ demands. One in particular has been put on a wait list for more than15 months as it waits for a key component [truck chassis] for the equipment it manufactures.

Duane Reiff

Duane Reiff is president of Global Source International Inc., where he provides outsourced VP of sales consulting to small and medium companies. He also serves as a manufacturing specialist for the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College, where he helps with the Treasure Coast Manufacturers Association. Reiff is a successful international business leader with more than 20 years of experience in the manufacturing and service markets. He has traveled to more than 45 countries and understands the complex global marketplace. As an outsourced VP of sales, he implements highly effective sales strategies and executes sales plans to help companies achieve profitable, sustainable revenue growth.

These wait times are creating many problems including cash flow, productivity, long lead times, lower margins and loss of business.

SURVEY SAYS
According to a recent Federal Reserve survey of 1,104 CFOs across 14 sectors, small businesses have lots of company. Among large and small businesses, nearly 90% said they face extraordinary cost increases because of supply constraints with more than 60% expecting the trend to persist at least into the fourth quarter of next year.

Companies are dealing with higher prices by reducing profit margins, cutting costs, substituting or eliminating products, adding contingency clauses to contracts and turning down work, according to the survey by the Fed district banks of Richmond and Atlanta and the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.

They are also diversifying supply chains, attempting to increase inventories, switching to suppliers closer to the U.S. and moving products by air instead of by ship. Still, according to economists, those adjustments “will likely increase the cost of production over a longer period of time.”

Supply chain issues are weighing on sales, with 55% of the CFOs reporting lost or delayed sales equivalent to an average of about 5% of 2021 sales revenue, according to the survey. Smaller companies reported an average 7% reduction in sales revenue.

Seven out of 10 companies are struggling with supply constraints that are increasing costs, delaying production and shipping, and impairing efforts to meet demand, the survey found.

“After squeezing profit margins, the only place these pressures can go is into higher selling prices,” economists wrote.

WAITING GAME
So, what are small businesses doing about it?

Some are trying to wait it out. They are also looking beyond their usual channels to find relief. When companies are able to get supplies, they are likely paying more and they either absorb the added cost or pass on the cost to consumers. Some businesses have started adding supply chain surcharges to the bill.

“What has worked for the last 20 years, will not work for the next 10,” said Duane Reiff, president of Global Source International Inc. and a manufacturing specialist with the Florida SBDC at IRSC.

“Companies need to be innovative and look at other options through this global supply chain breakdown. Companies can look for other manufacturers in their geographical area to help in the production or supply of key components and they could possibly source another option for the manufacturing needs they require to fulfill customer orders.”

The good news: Price increases due to the supply chain are likely temporary. But how long is temporary?

“Many companies have not passed on all of their direct and indirect increased costs and are settling for a lower margin,” Reiff said. “Companies need to keep a close eye on their costs and pass on as much as possible to their clients to preserve their own margins. This will help in their cash flow situation.

“This supply chain breakdown will eventually be corrected, but the strong and innovative companies will flourish and come out on the other side with increased market share and profitability.”

See the original article in the print publication


Treasure Coast Business is a news service and magazine published in print, via e-newsletter and online at tcbusiness.com by Indian River Magazine Inc. For more information or to report news email [email protected]

Apr. 15, 2022|

FSBDC at IRSC Profit Mastery Program

FSBDC at IRSC Profit Mastery Program

 

The Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Indian River State College (IRSC) will hold another round of Financial Training, formally known as Profit Mastery, on the IRSC Blackburn Campus in Fort Pierce starting Tuesday, January 11, 2022, at 6:00 P.M. EST.

This is an eight-week program offered to the public at no cost to participants. Local lenders have graciously partnered with the Florida SBDC Network to scholarship financial training and management across the Treasure Coast region. Valued at $499, the Florida SBDC at IRSC is encouraging business owners to register not only themselves but their bookkeepers, payroll execs, and others who may benefit from strengthening their budgetary knowledge.

Business owners, key managers, entrepreneurs, business advisors and others whose decisions have an impact on a company’s financial performance should consider participating. The Profit Mastery program is designed to enhance the financial management skills of all business managers.

To register please email [email protected] or call (772) 336-6285

Steve LeFever, Founder, and Chairman of Profit Mastery is a national leader in the development of practical financial programs and training for the independent business community. His dual role as a successful entrepreneur and as a commercial banker gives him a unique perspective on financial analysis, business management, and practical business decisions.

Sessions held in Fort Pierce by the FSBDC at IRSC are facilitated by business analyst, Clifton Vaughn. Vaughn is a Graduate of Miami-Dade College, Florida International University, and the St. Thomas University has over 40 years of business experience working in South Florida as an auditor, financial controller, financial planner, and small business owner and operator. During his years as a business professional he spent time in the airline industry, construction, consulting with small business owners, and teaching business and accounting courses at Johnson & Wales and St. Thomas Universities. Clifton has served on the Boards of Directors of the Miami-Dade Chamber of Commerce and the Miami-Dade Partnership for the Homeless.

To learn more about the program itself please visit www.profitmastery.net To register or inquire about future sessions in other counties, contact your Florida SBDC at IRSC at [email protected] or call (772) 336-6285.

 

 

Profit Mastery Training Program

Jan. 10, 2022|

Tips for Managing Cash Flow

Tips for Managing Cash Flow

 

Michael Bernard

What’s the No. 1 reason small businesses fail? Cash flow, not lack of profits.
About 80% of small business failures happen because of poor cash-flow
management.

Mike Bernard, a consultant at the Florida SBDC at Indian River State College and a financial specialist, says he hears it all the time from his clients: “My business made a profit last year, but I don’t have any money to pay my bills.” Bernard notes that many of his clients have sizable sums of their operating cash tied up in Accounts Receivable or Inventory.

 

Remember, cash flow is not the same as Profit. Are you profitable but still struggling month to month in managing cash flow? You are not alone. Managing when money enters and exits a company is crucial to
business survival and growth.

Bernard, a Financial Analyst, stated, “A lot of businesses can sell their products, but they don’t understand their working capital cycle. A company, as we teach in our Profit Mastery seminars, can sell itself right out of business.” As businesses continue to grow, they must control their cash flow. For example, business owners get excited when they get a government contract. However, they need to understand the specific terms attached, like not being paid for 60 to 90 days. Meanwhile, you have to buy inventory and pay your fixed overhead
expenses. Can you sustain that?  If you cannot and do not get additional capital, sometimes it is better not to pursue the contract. What else can you do so your business does not become a statistic? The first and perhaps most important is to set aside time in your week to think about your strategy and try to understand your financial information. Small businesses are so much into day-to-day operations that they do not think enough about the cash flow cycle. You have to be constantly vigilant about looking
for ways to improve your cash flow. It is the lifeblood of your business.

“A business owner needs to regularly review and analyze the business’ financial statements and working capital cycle,” said Bernard. “Is this the best you can do, or are there additional strategies and tactics to generate and improve cash flow?” Bernard also notes, a thorough review of the business’ payables and receivables can uncover opportunities to shorten the operating cycle.

A Few More Ideas:
- Every industry has its own set of Metrics. The FSBDC at IRSC has a database of
these metrics to help you analyze how you are doing compared to your industry.

- Make it a daily routine to review the business’ actual daily cash balance.

- As you recognize potential cash flow problems, create strategies that correct the
problems.

- Accounts Receivable: Consider granting discounts for prompt payment. Such as 2 – 10 Net
30 (2% discount if paid in 10 days, or full payment in 30 days). Also, ensure that your terms are not too long and that your receivables are quality accounts to keep delinquencies down.

- Accounts Payable: Be careful on the payables side, also. Buying inventory that does not move becomes stale and then obsolete.  In addition, this time, you want terms on your side – as long as possible to pay and negotiate
volume discounts.

- Inventory: Compare inventory turn rate to the industry average (Metrics) to see how you compare. Remember, inventory that does not turn fast enough is money left on the shelf that could be in your pocket. Have a sale for slow-moving inventories or donate it to a non-profit for a tax write-off, and negotiate just-in-time contracts so that you can
keep as little inventory on hand as possible.

- To increase cash flow from sales growth, open newer, less costly distribution
channels, increase prices where you can and introduce new technology to help
reduce sales costs.

- Spend and collect with care.  Watch overhead costs, always negotiate on price.
Give credit very carefully but collect very aggressively.

This article is provided by the Florida SBDC at IRSC, the small business development Center within Indian River State College’s School of Business. The center’s team of business experts works one-on-one with hundreds of entrepreneurs and business owners each year by providing confidential, no-cost consulting. The center’s mission is to help treasure Coast businesses grow and succeed.

Jan. 10, 2022|