Where can I find information on small business grants for African Americans, Women, and Transgender?
We are a small Pop Culture and gaming shop out of the Orchards Mall in Benton Harbor MI looking to find out more information about small business loans and grants available to first year businesses. Our partnership includes an African American, 2 women (one of which is disabled), and a Transgender Woman. We are having troubles finding the financial support to get us where we are needing to be. We are curious about any resources that could help us get that most needed foothold.
This is an combined answer to both of your questions.
The time to research and apply for grants is before you open, not when your back is to the wall. If you applied today, it would still be months before anything was approved. You’ve only been open 5 months and if you are in trouble already then you didn’t have enough in the bank to have opened for business. Retail stores with a very narrow market like yours take time to develop a steady customer base, and before you opened you should have had enough capital to carry you through a year or more with practically no sales. I’m surprised that you didn’t consult with SBA, SCORE or other agencies because they no doubt would have told you you weren’t capitalized enough to start. To be in a position so soon where $3500 is going to make or break you definitely shows a lack of capitalization. To raise that kind of money in a hurry probably means going to family and/or friends.
Call your congressman and ask how to find out about programs for small businesses. Your local university’s business school might also have a program that provides advice (not money) to fledgling businesses. Maybe they can offer a student to you an an internship to help with market research or marketing ideas.
The question is whether a quick boost in sales would be enough to carry you. If the mall itself is not doing great, then try to negotiate a smaller rent or other arrangement, which they might agree to rather than see an empty storefront. See if the manufacturers of the products you sell can help you with promotional assistance or other help. Check with the local radio stations that cater to your target customer base to see if they will do some kind of promotion at your store.
Before putting any more money into the business, you need to determine if it is feasible. If your current problem is a temporary blip or an indication that the business simply won’t work.
I wish you the best.
What’s the best site for creating a free blog for my business?
I have a small marketing consulting business and would like to use a blog to share my knowledge and promote my services. What is the best free service for this type of activity?
1. Set up your blog. You can have the option of using their URL (e.g. Http://widgetsblog.blogger.com) or use the blog software in your own domain name (http://www.widgetsblog.com). Some of these are free, while some has monthly/annual subscription
Here are some places that will allow you to create your own blog
Moveable Type http://www.sixapart.com/movabletype/
2. Create great content. Everything starts with content. Give a reason why visitors will frequent your site. Why will they want to read your blog? Why will they want to spend their time in your blog? Provide value, useful information and other benefits to the readers.
3. Get traffic to your blog. You can’t earn from your blog if the blog does not have traffic. Getting traffic is going to be your biggest challenge.
Here is a comprehensive list of places where you can list your blogs and syndicate its content – Resources for Marketing Your Blogs and RSS Feeds http://www.powerhomebiz.com/onlinemarketing/blogs.htm
Use carnivals, which are a technique for showcasing your blog. Carnivals occur once a week, and you need to submit your blog post to the carnival moderator. Here is a submission form: http://www.conservativecat.com/Ferdy/Carnivals.htm An example of a carnival in action is that of the Carnival of Entrepreneurship hosted by About.com http://entrepreneurs.about.com/od/entrepreneurblogs/a/entrecarnival.htm
4. Think of how to monetize your blog. One of the most common way of earning money from blogs is through advertising and donations. Here are some ways you can earn money from your blog:
Google Adsense http://www.google.com/adsense
Chitika eMinimalls http://www.chitika.com
Text link ads – you can sell for fixed price for a fixed period of time
Donation (yes, you can beg)
Affiliate programs such as Commission Junction http://www.cj.com and the Amazon Associates program
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how do i find the approximate annual growth rate for my market?
I am doing research on starting a business. I plan to have 2 local markets; in my city and a very close and neighboring metropolitan; Austin, Tx.
My business has to do with the wedding industry, but a certain “niche” of the wedding industry. I can also see my business doing well selling online. as there are few that do this service and the ones I have found online do very well. How do I approximate the annual growth rate for my market if it includes four different variables: 2 different cities, internet customers, and my niche?
I doubt you will find anything specific by city – the numbers of businesses in one area too small to be meaningful
what you need to do is determine is there is already too many competitors for you to be successful
How would i go about getting into the advertising market? Where is there a good market for hiring?
also what schooling should i obtain?
Depends on what type of advertising you want to go in to. Advertising sales doesn’t really require school beyond high school, if you can sell.
I assume you mean actually creating advertising though. There are different branches of the adv. Profession. There is creative, planning, media and interactive.
Creative is actually writing and designing the ads. The most fun, but pays the least.
Planning has to do with analyzing trends and helping a brand decide which angle to take, which message to send to the consumers.
Media is more about crunching numbers, at least at the beginning. Also covers purchasing ad space (billboards, magazines, etc.)
Interactive is the newest branch. It covers interactive advertising, and not just internet. Any kind of personal device (phone, iPod, etc.) has potential to carry adv. Messages. This degree is the hardest to get, as only one or two schools offer it, but the salary starts around $65k for someone with a Master’s degree. As more people get into this branch, it may drop.
The advertising market is pretty tight, so you definitely need to go to a good school to get in. UT Austin in Texas has one of the top programs for all four branches, especially creative and interactive. Miami Ad School, VCU in Virginia, or San Francisco Academy of Art are all great creative schools, but be careful, as some don’t offer actual degrees. You just learn advertising.
Then, you’ll need to be in NY, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle or Miami to get a good start with a major agency.
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How much does public transportation cost p/month in Seattle? Monthly Passes? and how reliable and good is it?
Thinking about moving to Seattle in a couple months.. we currently live in Austin Texas and rely on public transportation we pay ten buck a month to ride the buses here just wondering how good and reliable they are and how late do they run? I looked at the website but found it confusing…
Wow, $10/month to ride the buses?!?! Is that unlimited riding (like a bus pass)?
Here in Seattle, it’s a little more expensive. Without a bus pass, here’s the rates (rates just went up last month) for Metro:
One-zone = $1.50 off-peak or $1.75 peak
Two-Zone = $1.50 off-peak or $2.25 peak
A bus pass that will have $1.50 on it (will get you anywhere whenever the fare is $1.50, otherwise you make up the $.25-.75 extra) will cost you $54/month.
I have a pass that has $2.50 on it, allowing further rides and inter-zone/inter-county rides, and it costs $90. I have this because my work pays for it, but I use it pretty frequently and don’t drive.
The prices sound high, just compared to $10/month from Austin, but in comparison to driving, it’s like pocket change!
Why do Texas cities embrace the worst of suburbia?
Low density settlements, megachurchs,strip malls of far as the eye can see,long commutes,big box stores;etc or is it just because Texas is just so damn big as it is.
Where is Junction?
Texas is HUGE. Texas is HOT. Texas is FLAT (well, maybe not as flat near Austin but flat just about everywhere else).
Since it’s so huge, land is cheap. People naturally spread out. Because of the automobile and a century of cheap gas (now over), people live miles from work and just drive everywhere. You’d be crazy to walk, even if you lived close to work because it’s so darn hot all the time.
Also, Texans (Houstonites in particular) despise government regulations. Houston has NO ZONING LAWS and Texas in general keeps them to a minimum. In Houston specifically, if you want to open a liquor store next to an elementary school and across from a Korean “massage” parlor, there’s no law stopping you. This means that builders of commercial endeavors (strip mall owners) can just build whenever and wherever they please as long as they can afford to buy out the previous owners.
I’m the first to admit that it does look rather like God ate a bunch of strip malls and then tried to throw up in Galveston Bay and MISSED!
PS I’m not trying to excuse the ugly side of the place – I’m just trying to give you a reason.
PPS Austin, for the most part, has avoided the “ugly trap” that so much of the rest of Texas has fallen into. There are still some excessively suburbanized areas, but much of Austin is just gorgeous.
PPPS Junction is a small town about 1.5 or 2 hours northwest of San Antonio. It’s on Interstate 10 on the way to El Paso. The drive is SOOOO flat and SOOOO monotonous that the area is stereotypical (at least to most Texans) of dull, lifeless wasteland.
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What is it like living in the Washington , DC / Baltimore area like?
What is the cost of living ?
Is it a good place to live?
The reason I’m asking is because I’ve just been recently hired by the Us Secret Service and I’m just wondering what its like to live there. I’ve been a resident of Texas for over 25 years and haven’t lived no where else since 1979 .That was back when I was military kid.. So I am excited and scared at the same time about the new move and changes in my life.
First, Congrats on the USSS job!
I’m originally from Austin, Texas, but have lived in and around DC off and on for over 35 years. Great town, lots of fun, LOT’s of free stuff to do (museums, galleries, some shows, monuments, parks, etc). It’s a great place to live.
Cost of living is high, with housing being the most expensive item. If you don’t mind small, buy or rent something close to the city, it will dramatically reduce your commuting time. Start off by getting something in nearby Arlington, VA. It will be small (very) and expensive (very), but likely safe and easy to get to. Then learn the city, what’s a good place, what’s not. What you’re comfortable with, what you’re not. It’s a very diverse area, there’s bound to be a community you’ll fit into quickly. I’m in a mixed marriage (B&W) and we live in Arlington, love it.
Initially, bring only what you need for work. You can always buy furniture, or have your’s sent later. Work with a realtor to find a place, try www.weichert.com or www.longandfoster.com. First. They are the two big firms here. Also, check www.washingtonpost.com for rental listings. The USSS should also have some information about moving here.
We have 4 full seasons here, not like the 2-3 in much of Texas. Summer is hot, not like Texas, but the humidity is MUCH higher and will take some getting used to. Spring and Fall are great. Winter is Cold! Think of the Texas panhandle at night in January. It can be bitter cold. Coldest I’ve ever been is standing on the US Capitol west front in January. The wind just whips right through you. So bring ALL your clothing, and be ready to buy more.
Buying clothing here is great. Lots of stores, lots of bargains, lots of options. Start with the basics, USSS business attire, whatever that is for your job. Keep it simple and conservative, mix up your accessories for spice. The USSS culture is pretty conservative, at least in appearance. (I’m an ex-Federal Agent, worked with them a lot).
The night life is great, lot’s of great bars/restaurants/etc. It’s not NY, but there’s always something to do. If you’re bored in this town, it’s your own fault. Parks and recreation are plentiful, but remember, between DC and Baltimore, plus the surrounding suburbs, there’s about 7 million. Get used to crowds. Learn to use the metro system.
The cultural life is what I like the most. Theatre, shows, museums, art galleries, events on the National Mall, the political scene, etc. Broadway shows come here, the National Symphony is here, there’s plenty of Rock/Jazz/HipHop, even Country if your looking for it.
Do the Tourist thing in the spring, before most of the tourists arrive and the summer heat. Get a White House tour, the Capitol building. See the more famous monuments. It still impresses me now.
Be excited, have fun and Good Luck!
I’m retired and would like to work part time in Austin,Texas,where would I look.?
I have a CDL class A Tanker endorsement.Have driven Haul Trucks,Passenger vans.Operated front end loaders.
Austin.craigslist.com would be a good start of where to look. I see multiple listings for jobs when I search “CDL” on the Austin Craigslist.
Coca-Cola has a place here that has openings all the time as well from what I see which you can watch the careers section of their website for.
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How long does an eviction stay on your record?
I am ending my lease at my apartment early and therefore have to pay a fee(an extra months rent) when I leave. But I just got laid off from my job and I doubt I’ll be able to pay that right when I leave.
Do you think that they will start the same process as they would if they where going to evict me or would it just stay on a record of some sort?
I was a property manager for many years. You are not being evicted. A landlord files for eviction in order to get a tenant to be removed from the property (several reasons, most often unpaid rent). Since you are leaving they cannot evict you. They will undoubtedly be willing to make payment arrangements with you. Management companies have enough people who simply leave owing money and it is never recovered so to have a tenant that is willing to pay what he owes, even if it is going to take time, is something that is a reasonable request. They would only take you to small claims court to recover unpaid rent if you do not pay. Make payment arrangements that you can afford – they will work with you, and pay on time. This will give you a good record with the company. If you are planning on moving into other rental property you will have to account for the time that you lived at this address, therefore needing a good rental reference. If you have made payment arrangements and there are no other problems with the company or landlord you should get a good reference to follow you to subsequent rentals. They can put it on your credit record if you do not pay, and they could tell a future company inquiring about a reference for you that you did not pay what you owed.
I worked in the Austin Texas market for several years, where rental requirements are quite stiff. I worked for several different major companies and was never allowed to rent to anyone who owed money to another complex. This was very important. Make small payments if you need to, but do it regularly until paid off. Smart that you are looking into this and taking care of it. Hopefully you will be back at work, or get a better job soon. Good luck.
Is Austin,Texas a good place to relocate to for a 29yr old single male?
I currently live in Cincinnati, Ohio. Looking for a change, my friends suggest I look at Austin. I am in sales with a degree in Business Management. The singles scene does interest me…..thoughts on jobs, apartment costs, dating scene?
Portland Oregon is a beautiful city with all kinds of people ,more diverse than Austin . The singles scene ? Like all the girls at the bars wearing denim skirts or jeans ..just kidding(sorta) . I lived there for a year and it’s really not very interesting there . I guess it really depends on what u are interested in and what u think is there… Austin Has a real stuck up yuppie vibe .. There’s alot of black people downtown at the bars if that interests you.. If u are hoping to date interracially. Austin is expensive… And there’s alot of hype about the city being a great place but that’s doubtful that it’s as great as some people say..You want a change? Go to Portland or San Francisco or if u want to go to Texas then go to elpaso but not Austin
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How can i sell my goods online too. Do i need to consult any internet marketing strategy consulting firm?
How can i sell my goods online too. Do i need to consult any internet marketing strategy consulting firm? Is that affordable?
I would suggest starting off with ebay.com first. It is relatively easy to set up and very cost effective. You can also start your own store own ebay and have customers shop your store on ebay, and already have a large market for your product. I would definetly recommend that you research ebay first and maybe give it a try first. At lot of people use ebay to start and continue their business online even when they maintain there own website due to the fact that so many people already shop there and its a new way to build clients.
Consider looking at a few of their tutorials.
How much do consulting firms charge for business reports?
For business reports such as business plans, marketing strategies, product assessment etc…, how much do firms charge for creating such reports? Do they usually charge an hourly rate or flat fee? Is it going to cost thousands of $$?
Most likely, you are going to pay a hefty amount of money. But it really depends on a number of factors such as the following:
1. The amount of work needed…
2. The consulting firms (larger firms have more overhead and charge higher)
3. The industry (some industries that have low consulting needs and very specialized usually pay much more than widely spread ones)
4. The importance of the study needed and how strategic it is
5. If it is going to be conducted on site or off-site.
But you are looking at around $2000-$5000 for a 1 week worth of work for a regular report.
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How i can learn seo or search engine optimization online?
I am looking to learn seo online for free and i have good command on English. Please provide me with the links so that i can read them and start learning.
Pls Visit these Link
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What legal structure should be set up for a one person consulting business. I also have a wife who helps some
I am developing a web page and already do some consulting work, but wondered if it is better to form and LLC, just a sole proprietorship, etc. What has the best advantages with taxes and has the least risk for my type of business. (Advice on search engine optimization). My wife may do some minor work, but could be added as a partner, if that is helpful. As it is a small business just getting going, I don’t know if I want to pay huge fees for corporate setup, if it is not helpful or necessary at this early phase of my business. I will be working on the internet, but physically am located in New Jersey. Any help would be extremely useful. I’ve been given a lot of conflicting advice.
At a minimum do llc, you want to shield your personal assets. Incorporating is not all that expensive either. There is a lot of advice out there, think you should just go to a legal website (american bar association or something like that) and follow link(s) to get writeups describing your options and listing the pluses and minuses (ie tax considerations) of each.
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I’m gunna make my own star wars film does any body have any advice for a beginner?
I need to know where i can get a enexpensive Video camera in Austin Tx but has good picture and i need some special effects for the light sabers and Blasters
For professional grade equipment, consult your local yellow pages. What you want to find are people who make video scrapbooks and video tape weddings. If you are lucky, you can get a job with one of them. Summer is a busy time for these outfits and they might be looking for extra help.
The job will teach you not only how to operate the equipment, but lighting, camera angles and editing. In exchange for your time working for them, they might let you use their editing equipment to make your movie. If nothing else, it will let you see what kind of equipment they use and if the equipment can do what you need it to do.
Home from Freddie Mac?
I found out that a home I’m intrested in is on the Freddie Mac website. Is the price listed the price I would pay or can I offer a much less amount? Where’s all these good deals we’re hearing about?
Your comment is a perfect example of how real estate prices are local. You may live in an area that is not experiencing the extreme glut of foreclosures and short sales of other places.
If Freddie Mac has a house listed for sale, that is the price they want to get. You can make an offer for any amount you like, but they are (at this time) under no obligation to lower their expectations.
Typically, lender owned foreclosed properties are listed at what they believe is the fair market value of the house. That is what they want to get – fair market value. Some of the lender/owners want to cover all their losses, but they seem to be getting more reasonable about that.
Also, if they owned the loan on that house, there is a good chance that they own the loans of other homes in the area. They would probably be hurting the value of their other loans if they “fire sale” this house.
So, unless there is something about the condition or location of this house that is significantly inferior to other houses in the area, the asking price is what they think the house is worth.
Usually, the lender/owners of foreclosure properties will reconsider their asking price after it has been exposed to the marketplace for 30 days. They may reduce the price on their own, or they may accept an offer at a reduced price. And so on at 45 days, 60 days etc.
You probably want to consult with your real estate agent about how to proceed to make an offer on this house. If your agent is not familiar with purchasing a Freddie Mac owned house, a call to the listing agent may give valuable insight in how to write the offer.
For example, when I was a listing agent for Freddie Mac houses there were certain “absolutes” for my marketplace (Austin, TX) – Freddie would pay the owner’s title policy, Freddie would allow no more than 3% of the purchase price in concessions to the buyer such as help with closing costs, a residential service contract, etc.
I didn’t think they were hard to deal with and I thought they did a pretty good job of pricing their properties – compared to other lender/owners I had to deal with.
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Did you switch from PC to MAC?
What has been your experience with switching from PC to MAC? Better? Differences? Regrets?
As no one from the “Switchers” has answered in a week, I’ll take a shot.
I started out with Mac more than 20 years ago, when my daughter was entering MIT and wanted one. I played with it quite a bit, and thought, “I’ve gotta get me one of these.”, and did, and I’ve had one, two, or more, Macs since then. I have four right now.
But, I have had a lot of Windows experience. We have an very large extended family spread all over the country. My father had 7 brothers and 4 sisters, and my mother had 6 sisters and one brother. We do a lot of traveling and visiting each other for family reunions, Xmases, weddings, vacations, just visiting, and of course, funerals.
Unfortunately, by demographics and marketing, most of my relatives are members of the unenlightened great unwashed masses and haven’t learned the benefits of drinking upstream of the herd . And, they’re amazed when I plug my Airport Express into an open router port, or if they don’t have an open port or even a router, plug my Airport Extreme between their modem and their PC, and am wirelessly online with my MacBook Pro on their ISP in a couple of minutes. And, if they’re wireless, put them online via my Express or Extreme with nothing more than a password, when they can’t keep their own wireless going at least some of the time. No need to have them down for a couple of hours while we figure out how to get “their” internet back in spite of all the Windows “Connection” and other “Wizards” available. That, trying to get their PCs to do what they’re amazed my Mac can do, and being sure their “Network” will work when I leave is where the Windows experience comes from, many hours of it. They’re also amazed when they come to my place, and all it takes is an open port or a password, and they’re on “my” internet with no muss & fuss, and my Network is for sure gonna work when I un-network or un-password them.
In all those years, I’ve never encountered a “significant” piece of software that isn’t available for the Mac, in some form, other than the software that runs one of my many cousins’ computer driven sewing machine. When I get my MacBookPro by her house, it’s gonna have Windows running on it, even if just to confim that software will run on the MBP. I’ll convert her from the “Dark Side” , yet.
My daughter’s now in IT in Austin, telecommutes most of the week, doing her work faster & easier on her Mac than she could do it on the PC at work, or, when she has to, does it in Windows on her Mac faster & easier than it would get done on that PC.
All anecdotal? Yes, but try it. Go Mac & you’ll never go back …
Where can I find affordable corsages/boutonnieres in the Austin area?
My boyfriend and I are going to prom [for church] tonight, and we need to find a place that sells affordable corsages/boutonnieres locally, in Austin. I’ve done some internet searches, but none of the websites are very conclusive. My mom said she’s just going to drive around, but do you know if we can get them somewhere besides the florist shops? Do department stores sell them or somewhere like central market? I know it’s a cheap substitute, but it doesn’t have to be really nice, just real flowers. Thank you so much for your help in advance.
Have you checked the local grocers or farmer’s market for fresh flowers? Add a little green floral tape, some ribbon and a pin and you can design your own. Exactly like you want it, fairly inexpensively.
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I feel completely lost! I own a home service business that began to grow. Good thing, right?
Well the problem is that once it began to grow, I needed to add staff, get a bigger office, more vehicles, etc., etc. What started off as a small home based cleaning and home repair service branched off into new home construction. Good, right? Well, I took my attention off my home services business to concentrate on construction. I built a home that is now on the market to be sold but I’m sure you can guess how well that’s going. Anyone in the market for a 500k house in downtown Austin, Texas??? So now I’m going back to my roots and trying to redevelop my home service business. I’ve been cleaning carpets, repairing water heaters, climbing on roofs…anything to get the bills paid. My issue is that I loved to construction process. Designing homes with the help of architects, meeting with tradesman, picking out finish materials. I’ve been thinking about going to school to get some type of degree in this field. It just feels like I’m so far away from doing another project because of lack of financial backing. I’m trying to stay motivated to keep working my small service business but I’m just not making enough. House payments, car payments, bills. Overwhelming! If you were me, what would you do???
First, i would review my expenses with an eye to cutting back on cost; second, i would concentrate on home service and maybe home repair. Since people would definitely be repairing their houses instead of building new ones given the state of the economy. The housing situation is definitely down. You might take advantage of the doldrums by getting that degree you were thinking about. You might look into enlarging your geographic coverage in the hope of getting more business. You can also look up government and institutional clients which may give you building repair contracts. Concentrate on your core competencies and keep it up.
Know of any local remodel / builders in the Austin, Texas area?
Our family has been building our own house and we need a little extra help getting it done. I’m looking for quality, inexpensive, fast workers to help us do the job. Enter-to-win programs do NOT work for us and we are very unlikely to be chosen due to our circumstances, so they are out of the question. We need workers who are efficient, honest and flexible; all of which criteria are difficult to find, I am aware. If you know of some small business or hometown service that sounds like they could work for us please leave an email address, project reference, phone number, website link or any other contact information. I’ve been searching everywhere and nothing seems to fit the bill. Thank you so much if you can contribute! -K. W.
You may go to the Standard Pacific and David A for help. They are both very great and famous builders in Austin. These two companies build great houses for people to buy and also offer workers for people like you. They are professional and honest. Standard Pacific and David A have a very good reputation in this city. You can try.
The contact info of Standard Pacific is: 26 Technology Drive
Irvine, CA 92618-2301
Telephone: (949) 789-1600
David A is seated at 4571 Ware Creek Road in Williamsburg. The official web is www.davidnicebuilders.com
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