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NEW! Business Tips

  • June 16, 2015 Image preview

    See if you can solve this riddle:  “I will work for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.  I will never call in sick and I am never late for work. I will even be at work while you are home and I will attract the attention of 80% of the mobile market.”  Who am I?

    If you guessed… a sign, you are correct.  This riddle was adapted from the Signage Foundation for Communication Excellence and the International Sign Association, ISA.  According to the ISA, your business sign is your handshake with the buying public.  This visual “handshake” directly impacts the success of your business. 

    Consider the information from the University of San Diego study of 187 businesses and their usage of signage.  The study indicated the addition of a pole sign will increase gross sales by 15.7%.  Even with compelling research, some business owners fail to recognize the importance of an effective sign.

  • June 08, 2015 Image preview

    At the Angelo State University – Small Business Development Center, we will interact with over a thousand people each year that either want to start a business or are in business.  Of those that want to start a business, a small percentage will come in and tell us they have an idea for a business but they do not know if it is a good one and want to know our thoughts about their idea.

    It is never a simple question to answer.  There is no way to just say yes or no.  Making the decision to start a business requires a lot more than just having a good idea.  It involves a lot of research into the industry and into the market.  It involves understanding the difference between the industry and the market.

    Beyond understanding that difference is that you have to decide if the idea is an opportunity.  What is an opportunity? For businesses, an opportunity is a problem for which you have found a solution.  Ideally, you solution either the only solution to the problem.  The next best situation is when your solution may not be the only solution, but it is the best solution.

  • May 19, 2015 Image preview

    In his books Borrowing for Your Business, and Borrowing to Build Your Business, former San Antonio banker George M. Dawson discussed seven questions asked in any borrowing situation. I believe these seven questions can help any business borrower better understand how lenders evaluate their loan proposal. Below are some thoughts using the seven questions.


    First, how much money do you want? This question seems straightforward but some borrowers have not determined how much they really need. Lenders want to know the borrower has taken the time to pin this down as accurately as they can. Remember to allow for contingencies, as the unexpected may happen. Another key is to borrow enough so you do not have to go back to the lender asking for more right away. Borrowing too little may just be enough to get you in trouble.

  • May 11, 2015 Image preview

    There are many things that are great about owning a small business, but entrepreneurs say there are many aspects that aren’t as glamorous.  Running a small business requires considerable sacrifices, according to a new study from email marketing provider Constant Contact that surveyed business owners.  Specifically, 56 percent of the small business owners surveyed said they feel like they can never be away from their business, while 51 percent don’t have time to focus on themselves.  Also, more than 40 percent don’t take vacations or see family and friends as much as they would like.

    Owning a small business can also be a drain on your personal finances.  The research discovered 41 percent of owners have all of their money tied up in their business.  In addition to all the sacrifices they make, small business owners face a variety of challenges.  Because most owners are in charge of everything from sales, marketing and operations to customer relations, payroll and accounts payable, the entrepreneurs surveyed think the struggle of having to wear so many different hats is the most difficult part of their job.

  • April 21, 2015 Image preview

    One day you may be able to purchase stocks in order to support a local business.  If State Representative Tan Parker’s HB 3425 continues to make headway, investors in the Concho Valley area would be able to purchase local stocks through an exchange with a name such a Concho Stock Exchange, Tom Green Stock Exchange or even San Angelo Stock Exchange.

    What make this bill so attractive to investors?  Currently, an investor in an initial public offering would be required to be a certified investor with $2M in assets and over $250K as yearly income.   It is estimated that only 2-2.5% of investors in the United States qualify to invest at this level.  The remaining 97.5 to 98% of investors are locked out of the market.



Business Tips Archive

The most current Business Tips article is available on the San Angelo Standard Times online newspaper The following Business Tips articles are provided for you in an Adobe PDF format.