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Small Business Help… November 24, 2009

Posted by Julie Duriga, CPA in Uncategorized.
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I had lunch with Sharon Oxendine last week.  Sharon is an amazing friend and is passionate about small business and every client she serves.  Sharon is the director of the Women’s Business Center in Asheville as well a regional director of Mountain BizWorks. 

What is Mountain BizWorks?  I am always surprised at the number of small business owners who are not aware at the level of assistance that is available to them in their own community.  Mountain BizWorks is a small business incubator.  The cornerstone of Mountain BizWorks is the Foundations class.  What is the Foundations class?  We break down the business plan into seven weeks and help small business owners understand and write their business plan.  The business plan should start at thirty pages which is daunting and difficult if it is something that you have never done before. 

Of course, I believe that Mountain BizWorks is the best in the world at helping small business owners.  Our Asheville small business incubator offers many other services such as business coaching and professional assistance from lawyers, accountants, marketing experts and a wealth of other knowledge is always prepared to assist.

Look around your community for resources to assist you in your small business.   Your community may have a SCORE office or you might be lucky enough to live in Western North Carolina and be able to work with Mountain BizWorks.  There might be a similar small business incubator that is waiting to help you!  If you ask for help, you will be amazed at all of the people who want to see you succeed.  Just Ask!

Look around your community for similar resources to assist you in your small business.  Sometimes, just another set of eyes is all it takes to shift your direction and pave the way for prosperity. 

Visit www.MountainBizWorks.org for more information and for all of the small business help you could possibly ask for!

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What’s In A Name? How Should I Name My Business? August 28, 2009

Posted by Julie Duriga, CPA in Uncategorized.
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j0438994In my research for the book Confessions of Entrepreneurs, (I decided that I would include stories of many, many entrepreneurs, rather than just my story.  What do you think?)  Don’t  you think it will be more interesting to have many entrepreneurs telling of the mistakes that they made in their business rather than just one (me) person confessing the errors of their ways?

As a CPA, I had only one choice to name my business, Julie Duriga, CPA.  That was my choice.  We were going to call it Duriga Accountants but my state board told me that was not possible.   

I was surprised to learn that one of the first mistakes that some small business owners make is the way they name their business.  They give their businesses names that are meaningful to them or a name that is meaningful  in their family or a name they think it is really cool.  Some small business owners give their business a name that is sophisticated and sometimes give their business a Latin name.  Which sounds fun but in fact you spend useful, valuable time explaining what the name means rather than how you bring value to other people’s lives. 

I ran into a friend at the YMCA the other day and she told me that her and her husband had an organic landscaping company called Terrat Systems.  I asked her if she did Terraces after asking her to repeat this several times and she sighed heavily and explained that the name was just Latin.  Quite honestly I am not entirely sure that I am spelling Terrat correctly, I tried to Google it but nothing comes up that is relevant.  They currently live in Asheville and have a nursery, I asked her what the name of their new business was and she proudly declared that it was called, “Carolina Native Nursery.”  It says it all, doesn’t it?  We can move on to more important aspects of her business rather than asking to repeat the name and asking her what it means….

Give your business an un-sexy, easy to understand business name that people can easily identify what  value you bring to the world.   You will save a great deal of time and you will be able to move on to talking about the more interesting things about your business right away.  You only have a few minutes to make a good impression…spend those few minutes impressing your audience with your product or service!

Networking Events Or Community Service? August 12, 2009

Posted by Julie Duriga, CPA in Small Business, Uncategorized.
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j0432756I love the optimistic energy of an entrepreneur, the air sizzles with hope and excitement.  When small business owners are starting their business,  I believe they underestimate how difficult and how long it takes to develop and maintain their business relationships.   Business is all about relationships, regardless of what you are selling.  People want to buy from people that they know.   How do you do that?  There are so many networking groups and opportunities to meet other people…it is difficult to decide which path to choose.

If you are starting your own business or you are currently in business for yourself, be sure to give yourself time to develop those relationships.  Make sure that you are putting yourself in front of people doing what you enjoy.  Your passion and enthusiasm will come through and people will be drawn to your positive energy. 

 I have always thought that networking events for the sake of exclusively networking were artificial.  I prefer putting myself in front of people doing what I enjoy and let the business come as it may.   It feels more authentic and genuine to volunteer as a way to meet people.  Of course, I let folks know what my business is about but when I am volunteering or participating in something that interests me, there is so much other stuff to talk about.  If you are just starting out,  consistency is critical.  Being someplace that you love to be over and over again will grow your business in a meaningful and sustainable way. 

Visit my website at www.UniversityForBusiness.com for a free preview of my video for small business owners.