The South Bay Women’s Conference is Here!

The South Bay Women’s Conference is Here!

As a proud sponsor of the South Bay Business Women’s Association (SBBWA), here at AB&P we are so excited to announce that early bird tickets to this year’s annual South Bay Women’s Conference are now available! A local non-profit organization based in the South Bay, Los Angeles region, the SBBWA focuses on empowering and strengthening working women in the community by providing support, encouragement, education, and networking opportunities through their many monthly events and mixers. And as the crowning jewel of the SBBWA’s events, the South Bay Women’s Conference is no exception. Featuring keynote speakers, scholarship giveaways, networking luncheons, and plenty of like-minded businesswomen and vendors, the South Bay Women’s Conference is an all-day event that never fails to send its attendees home feeling refreshed, empowered, and brimming with new business connections. Plus, with ample sponsorship opportunities, the South Bay Women’s Conference makes for an excellent outlet to help earn a new business valuable exposure with the leading ladies in local business. The real beauty to the South Bay Women’s Conference, however, is that all ticket proceeds go towards funding scholarships for young, forward-thinking women in the community helping them to achieve their goals and attend the college of their dreams. However, as the scholarship amounts are entirely dependent on sponsorships and how many conference tickets are sold, we need your help to ensure the brightest futures for scholarship recipients. To help women in your community and sign up for a day of fun, laughter, learning, and lasting relationships, click here to purchase your early bird tickets today while rates are still low! This year’s South Bay Women’s Conference...
Keys to Small Business Innovation

Keys to Small Business Innovation

One of the keys to any successful business, regardless of its size, is innovation. Developing new ideas is the fuel which will keep your business up to date. Innovation will keep operations, products, and services fresh. Adding this fuel will make your business more competitive. According to a study from PwC, an overwhelming 93 percent of business executives believe that “organic growth through innovation will drive the greater proportion of their revenue growth.” But, what exactly is innovation? The answer to this question can and will vary depending on your industry or market. Want to encourage innovation in your small business? Here are a variety of ways to do so:   1. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Keep innovation simple by improving your existing products or services, trying out a new marketing strategy, or finding a supplier that is offering you a better rate. 2. Make innovation a routine. Schedule an hour or so each week to brainstorm and exercise you and your team’s creativity and establish goals that encourage you to improve your business through techniques like mind mapping. 3. Solicit suggestions. Ask or survey your employees, customers, and even vendors or suppliers if they have any suggestions on how you can improve your business. 4. Get your team on-board. Have them involved in the entire innovation process, such as solving problems during a meeting, providing a suggestion box, rewarding them for their ideas that become implemented, and providing creativity or innovation workshops. 5. Invest in innovation. Purchase technology and equipment that can improve your business operations. Also invest in developing new products and services. 6....
Optimism for Small and Medium Sized Businesses in 2018

Optimism for Small and Medium Sized Businesses in 2018

Optimism is growing among small-to-medium sized businesses in 2018 in light of new tax reform legislation, according to a new survey of accounting professionals released by Right Networks. The survey, which sampled 365 accounting professionals at CPA firms and small-to-medium sized businesses, revealed that nearly 54 percent of SMBs felt “very confident” about the economy heading into 2018 compared to a year earlier. Over 70 percent of SMBs responded that they were either “very confident” or “moderately confident” in their business prospects for the upcoming year, compared to a year ago. Customer Retention/Acquiring New Business Tops SMB Priorities for 2018 The survey found that an overwhelming percentage of small-to-medium sized businesses cited winning new business and clients – while retaining existing customers – to be the top challenge for 2018. Over 44 percent viewed this as a priority in the coming year, with finding and retaining talent (19 percent) and dealing with rising health care costs (18 percent) as next in line. Cloud Functionality Drives SMB Growth The survey found that cloud applications are at the heart of expected SMB growth in 2018. Two-thirds of those responding reported they already use or plan to roll out a cloud based accounting application in the coming year. Another 57 percent of the overall respondents indicated that they either use cloud storage or plan to this year. Not surprisingly, over 57 percent of responding SMBs indicated they work remotely every day, with another 21 percent indicating that they work away from their central office at least several times a month. Proposed Tax Reform Spurs Growth in Confidence The survey found that nearly...
Budgeting for a Promising Marketing Plan (Pt. 2)

Budgeting for a Promising Marketing Plan (Pt. 2)

In our first blog post, we set up the foundation that building a successful company almost always involves successfully marketing your product, your service, or yourself. We talked about the importance of budgeting wisely in establishing a marketing plan because it can be easy to misuse and waste a lot of money without prior preparation. We discussed the three important first steps of knowing your sales funnel, knowing your operational costs, and setting your marketing budget based on business goals. Here are the three final steps to developing a marketing budget as part of your marketing plan: 4. Position Marketing as an Investment, Not a Cost More often than not, marketing budgets descend from the top of the organization where marketing teams are considered cost centers and the marketing budget is perceived to be an expense. By this thinking, organizations will look at last year’s marketing expenditures and make a decision about where they want to spend more or less. Instead, your marketing budget should be treated as an investment, something that will bring a quantifiable and ascertainable return on investment over time. 5. Consider Your Growth Stage Setting your marketing budget will also be influenced by whether your organization is in growth mode or planning mode. Growth Mode. If you’re in growth mode, you’ll need to generate top-line revenue at a faster rate, so you might consider deeper investments in more of the quick-win marketing techniques.Take an iterative approach in further developing your website, so your website can become a central marketing hub rather than an online brochure. Iterative development and maintenance could consume a significant part of...
Budgeting for a Promising Marketing Plan (Pt. 1)

Budgeting for a Promising Marketing Plan (Pt. 1)

Building a successful company almost always involves successfully marketing your product, your service, or yourself. It is important to budget wisely when coming up with a marketing plan, because it can be easy to spend money in vain if planning is not involved. For example, if your target audience is older consumers, marketing money spent on social media campaigns may not be effective in reaching them. One of the best ways to make sure that your marketing money is being well spent is to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy and come up with a solid marketing plan. Here are the first three of six steps to developing a marketing budget as part of your marketing plan: 1. Know Your Sales Funnel Building an effective marketing budget requires a deep dive into your sales funnel, where you’ll track results throughout the revenue cycle, from prospect to customer. Harvesting this data from your marketing automation software or CRM makes this process relatively simple: How many site visits do you have per month? How many leads are you generating per month? How many of the leads convert to sales qualified leads (SQLs)? What’s the cost of generating these SQLs? (e.g., website development, outsourced content creation, Pay-Per-Click, time spent by marketing and/or sales to nurture these leads, etc.) How many leads convert into opportunities? How many of those opportunities close as new deals? What’s the typical value/revenue of a new deal? 2. Know Your Operational Costs Next, you’ll need to understand your operational costs: How much would it cost in time and labor to deliver contacts? Does your internal staff have the bandwidth...
6 Mistakes to Avoid for your Start-Up

6 Mistakes to Avoid for your Start-Up

As you begin your start-up company in 2018, it is highly important that you prepare well and not make commonly-made mistakes. Preparation is everything, and failure to plan will result in setbacks that could have been prevented had you spent a little time reviewing these common errors. Reading through these tips, provided by Alejandro Cremades, will provide you with a foundation for everything you want to avoid in order achieve success in 2018. 1. Too Many Members on the Founding Team Cremades noted that one of the biggest reasons behind failure in start-ups is that they start out with too much equity in the hands of too many early shareholders. Although giving equity is great in motivating and enrolling the help of individuals when your start-up is lean on cash, too many can create many unnecessary and avoidable problems. 2. Overhead is Too High If overhead is already too high, or the profit margins are going to be too small, the management team should rightly be concerned. One of Sam Walton’s core principles when building the Walmart empire was to always control costs better than the competition. That’s where he found his advantage, and sustainability. Not everyone wants to run a discount business, but there is no lack of scale or revenue at Walmart. 3. Weak Marketing Plans Scaling and generating real revenues is going to require a realistic and aggressive plan. If this isn’t your area of expertise, look for guidance.  Furthermore, start-ups can’t only rely on paid advertising, especially if they have only identified one or two channels to use. 4. No Technical Founders If you aren’t technical,...

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