BizSuccess Tips
October 2020
To run a successful business, you need to attract and recruit exceptional talent. Finding the right person for your empty position can be difficult. Here are 9 tips to help streamline the process and find your perfect employee.
We rounded up 8 professionals who have successfully developed and brought their products to market. Below are their essential steps to an effective product development process!
Neither citizenship nor residency is required to start a small business in the U.S. There are rules and processes that non-citizens must follow to make their dream a reality.
COVID-19
Resources, information and assistance from across state government
Upcoming Local Workshops and Information
In-Person Events Are Suspended;
SCORE Charlotte Online Support Is Available

The health of small business owners, their employees and our Mentors is our top priority. All SCORE chapters across the country have suspended in-person events, including mentoring sessions and workshops, until further notice.

Mentoring Sessions

Mentors are available to participate in remote mentoring sessions via phone, email and video. If you already have a SCORE mentor, ask them if you can use a remote mentoring method for your sessions. If you don’t already have a mentor, you can request a business mentor today. Our Intake Team will get your request and contact you.

Local Workshops - Simple Steps are virtual
Business Growth Workshops are BACK!
Sign up TODAY!
First part of the Simple Steps Workshop Series;
Is Starting a Business Right for You?

Is Starting a Business Right for You? Start-up Basics: This is an introductory workshop.

Start-up Basics: This introductory workshop focuses on the basics of testing your business idea and identifying the key factors that influence start-up success. Start-up Basics provides you with an overview of the skills and tools you need when deciding to start a business. In this session, you learn about: the advantages and disadvantages of owning a business, the most profitable form for your business, and the fundamentals of formation, organization, marketing, cash flow and funding sources.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop #1
Time: 12:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Date: Oct 22
Registration ends: Oct 21
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop #1
Time: 5:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Date: Oct 29
Registration ends: Oct 28
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop #1
Time: 12:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Date: Nov 18
Registration ends: Nov 17
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop #1
Time: 5:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Date: Dec 1
Registration ends: Nov 30
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop #1
Time: 12:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Date: Dec 3
Registration ends: Dec 2
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
Second part of the Simple Steps Workshop Series;
Next Steps To; Is Starting a Business Right for You?

Next Steps To; Is Starting a Business Right for You?

Attend this comprehensive four part series of workshops to help you test your new business idea and gets you started on the right path. Free one-to-one counseling is also a part of the workshop process. Join us for 4 three-hour sessions that help you understand the basics of:
  • the concepts involved with assessing a business idea,
  • marketing your product or service,
  • understanding business financials and how they work, and
  • how to fund and finance your business. 
Session 2: Business Concept
Session 3: Marketing Plan
Session 4: Financial Projections
Session 5: Funding Sources and Next Steps

Attend all four sessions for $150.00. 
(Additional people from the same company are an additional $50.00 each. Contact danny.fischer@scorevolunteer.org for discount code)
Virtual Simple Steps for Starting Your Business Workshop Series #2-5
Time: 5:45 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Date: Nov 3, 10, 17, 24
Registration ends: Nov 2
This will be conducted as a Zoom meeting.
The Zoom link will be sent via email prior to the event.
UPCOMING Programs - Subject to Change
Effective Digital Marketing Channels for Small Businesses - Oct 15
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
(this can be taken in a series with "Marketing to Your Target Market and Research Tools" and "SEO for Non-Techies and Small Businesses" or as a stand alone workshop)
In this digital world, with all the digital transformations that are happening within corporations around the world, traditional marketing principles are still valid. Digital marketing, however, adds two important elements to traditional marketing. It offers new marketing channels that should not be ignored, and as important, customers leave a forensic trail in the form of digital footprints. 
These footprints enable tracking and monetizing every marketing step, campaign, program, activity and value derived from these channels. With this enormous amount of data at our disposal, marketeers can make better informed decisions.
Marketing in the digital world is no longer mainly art. It is now half art, half science. And science, over time, will grow to occupy a much larger piece of the entire marketing pie.
In this webinar, you will learn:
  • What Are the Digital Marketing Channels?
  • What Is the Most Important Channel?
  • Why Is a Unique Selling Proposition Important for Digital Marketing?
  • Key Elements to a Successful Digital Marketing Strategy
  • Why Is it Important to Have a Digital Marketing Strategy?
Fee: Free
SEO for Non-Techies and Small Businesses - Oct 22
5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
(this can be taken in a series with "Marketing to Your Target Market and Research Tools" and "Effective Digital Marketing Channels" or as a stand alone workshop)
We will now go over what search engine optimization (SEO) is and how business owners and entrepreneurs can leverage it to gain business advantage.
This presentation will address:
  • What is SEO, or Search Engine Optimization?
  • Creating a Keyword Driven Content Strategy
  • What Is a Long Tail Keyword?
  • What is On-Page Optimization?
  • What is Off-Page Optimization?
  • How Do You Get Backlinks to Your Site?
  • What is Black-Hat Optimization?
Fee: Free
Small Business Guide to Hiring and Payroll - Oct 23
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
In this Workshop the Small Business Owner will learn about:
  • Hiring Employees vs. Independent Contractors
  • Understanding Payroll
  • - Self-employment taxes
  • - Payroll taxes
  • - CARES Act tax credits
  • - Avoiding the 5 most common payroll mistakes
  • Correctly Classifying your Workforce
  • - Exempt vs. non-exempt
  • - Overtime rules
  • - New W4
Fee $40
Promo Code: When registering Apply promo code 25OCTNMA to receive a 25% discount.




Visit www.sba.gov/nc and click on the events page for more information.
Hosted by the North Carolina District Office

Second Tuesdays of the Month
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Learn about the SBA's contracting assistance programs and gain a competitive edge from the federal certifications you may be eligible for.

Nov 10, 2020 - Women-Owned Small Business Program - Register Here

Dec 8, 2020 - 8(a) Business Development Program - Register Here

Jan 12, 2021 - HUBZone Program - Register Here

Feb 9, 2021 - Various Small Business Certification Programs - Register Here

Mar 9, 2021 - 8(a) Business Development Program - Register Here




A group of local founders, mentors and entrepreneurial resources proudly hosts a monthly “Founder’s Meet-Up”.

First Wednesday of each month
Time: 5:30PM – 7:30PM.
2020 Women’s Leadership Conference
presented by Catawba Valley Health System

November 12th from 7:45 am -12:00 pm
November 13th from 8:00 am - 11:00 am
This two half day virtual learning experience is designed to celebrate the strengths of women and equip leaders with actionable strategies to overcome the hurdles faced in the work environment. This is an immersive leadership development experience designed for women and allies to drive results and accelerate the advancement of women in leadership.
Grow With Google
Marketing Webinars
Don’t Miss These Official Grow With Google Marketing Webinars Designed to Grow Your Business During These Uncertain Times.
Register Today for October and November
SCORE NC has partnered with the Grow With Google team to present these free webinars designed to grow your business during COVID-19 and beyond.
 
Now more than ever, businesses and nonprofits need to know how to reach and engage with customers online - to continue to generate leads, make sales, and grow revenue. Led by Grow With Google Trainer Demming Bass, these are “can’t miss” webinars customized with ideas and strategies on how to market online during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
 
As a bonus, ALL attendees will receive up to $150 in Google Matching Ad Credit (first-time users) to immediately market their business or nonprofit. 
 
Attendees will walk away with free tools, a proven plan, and messaging strategies they can implement immediately - no matter their level of marketing "know-how" or expertise. But hurry! Spots are limited and will go fast.
Are your online marketing, website, email and social media campaigns working for you? Are they making or costing you money? Do you even know? This presentation will show how data and analytics can help businesses gain insight into how consumers engage with them online. We’ll offer tips for using Google Analytics to analyze customer trends and provide best practices for turning these insights into well-informed, actionable decisions.
 
In this webinar we’ll talk about:
·      Identifying business goals (and how you plan to use your online presence to achieve them)
·      Incorporating data into your plan and how to find actionable insights in customer patterns and trends
·      Selecting the best tools to help you find the answers you need
·      Demystifying Google Analytics and learn how to make it work for you
                                             
Friday, October 23: 11 am - Noon EST - SCORE NC
Video marketing is highly effective in boosting brand awareness, generating leads, increasing sales, and connecting with your audience. YouTube reaches 91% of the online population in the US. Today, when people want to know how to do something, they often turn to YouTube first. Get best practices for creating a YouTube Channel and compelling video content that promotes your products and services and drives engagement with your brand. Best of all - anyone can accomplish all of this at little to no cost and little to no experience with technology or video production. We’ll show you how!
 
In this webinar, you’ll learn how to:
·       Create and brand a home/channel for your business on YouTube
·       Create videos that capture the audience and achieve your business goals
·       Organize your channel to attract viewers interested in your product/service
·       Promote your business with video (even to those with short attention spans)
·       How to stream video with YouTube Live and grow your customer base.
 
Thursday, October 29: 9 am - 10 am EST - SCORE NC
Explore Google My Business, a free tool for local businesses that want to connect with customers on Google Search and Maps. This is a deeper dive into Google My Business profiles and a great follow-up webinar to Reach Customers Online with Google.
 
In this webinar you’ll learn:
·      Why an accurate up-to-date Google My Business Profile is critical in today’s economy
·      How to attract and engage customers and turn them into raving fans
·      A step-by-step guide to creating and verifying the perfect Google My Business profile
 
Friday, October 30: 9 am - 10 am EST - SCORE NC
Learn how to create a search-friendly website that drives user action and supports your goals. Whether you’re launching a new website or sprucing up an old one, this workshop will help. 
 
In this webinar, you’ll learn the six characteristics of a great website and how to ensure your website is:
·      Goal-oriented to increase conversions and calls to action
·      Organized and easy-to-search to reduce bounce rates
·      Useful so visitors come back again and again
·      It’s functional, so customers see real value - leading to loyalty
·      Intuitive to use, on any device, so visitors stay
·      Findable by search engines so you show up at the right place, time, and device
 
Thursday, November 5: 9 am - 10 am EST - SCORE NC
Coronavirus Support
RETOOLNC will offer guidance and funding to Historically Underutilized Businesses
North Carolina minority and women-owned businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic will have access to guidance and $12 million in grants to help them weather the crisis, Governor Roy Cooper announced today. The North Carolina Department of Administration has launched a new grant program, RETOOLNC, to help North Carolina Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms impacted by COVID-19.
Access to Capital - Food Service Recovery Grant Program
Through the Access to Capital Food Service Recovery Grant program, the City of Charlotte will distribute $4 million in federal CARES Act funding to restaurants, bars, food trucks, caterers and music venues located within the city limits of Charlotte. Grants will be awarded in the amount of either $10,000 or $25,000, depending on number of employees.

The grant application period is open from September 21 at noon to October 19 at 5 p.m. Note: the application period may close earlier if all funds are distributed.

Foundation For The Carolinas serves as the City’s grantmaking partner for this effort. Assistance is available at 704.998.6499 or CLTCityGrant@fftc.org
Food Service Recovery Grants are part of the city’s Open for Business strategy, an effort to distribute $50 million in federal CARES Act funding to small businesses headquartered within Charlotte city limits and the local workforce impacted by COVID-19.

Carolina Small Business Development Fund Partners with the City of Charlotte to
Educate and Empower Charlotte Small Businesses
All City of Charlotte small businesses are eligible to receive an actionable recovery plan and business support services if they complete a Business Needs Assessment. Businesses that complete the assessment will receive a $10 reward and gain access to a library of 15 virtual courses. Businesses that complete at least one training will be entered into a lottery to receive a small business resource or tool tailored to their specific needs valued up to $500.
 
The program will be administered by CSBDF. For more information about the program, visit https://carolinasmallbusiness.org/initiatives/city-of-charlotte-covid-19-program/.
SBA Alert:
The U. S. Small Business Administration Warns Loan Applicants to Beware of Email Phishing Scams
COVID-19 Small Business Emergency Stabilization Loan Fund
Mecklenburg County has committed $5 million for this fund, which is for businesses with up to 50 employees. Those companies can apply for loans of $5,000 to $35,000, which can cover expenses like payroll, utilities, rent, and equipment. The loans will be available for up to 10-year terms with an interest rate of 3%. You can find the application here.
Micro Business Stabilization Fund
Another new program from Mecklenburg County, this fund is for even smaller small businesses, ones with five or fewer employees. The county has set aside $1 million of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds for this program, and each business can apply for loans up to $10,000. Businesses can use these loans for routine expenses, such as payroll, rent, and utilities. The loans have a maturity of three years at 0% interest. You can find the application here.
NC Covid-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program
The Golden LEAF Foundation has set aside $15 million for a loan program designed for North Carolina businesses that have suffered economic losses because of COVID-19. Businesses can take out loans of up to $50,000 with 0% interest and no payments for six months. If the loan is not repaid within six months, the loan will convert into a term loan. There is no cap on the number of employees applying businesses must have, a foundation spokeswoman says. There’s been significant demand for the program, and state officials are considering adding more money to it.
Free Resources
UPCOMING NATIONAL WEBINARS
October 14 | 1 PM ET
This lively discussion will delve into the available training and resources for women business owners and entrepreneurs in rural America.
October 15 | 1 PM ET
Sponsored by Nav. Identify the crucial factors lenders are evaluating now, and steps you can take to position your business for financing in the coming months and years.
October 20 | 1 PM ET
Sponsored by Deluxe. Actionable strategies to increase sales and influence customers by increasing online reviews.
October 22 | 1 PM ET
Sponsored by FedEx. Get some creative ideas to help you boost sales during the peak holiday season and improve the customer experience.
October 29 | 1 PM ET
Access to capital continues to be one of the major factors blocking the progress and growth of Hispanic business owners.
What you Might Have Missed
Browse Our Webinars
Did you miss a live SCORE webinar?
You can view the recordings online anytime. Watch and learn at your convenience.
Score helps YOU succeed!
Find Your Business Mentor
Get Business Advice
Talk to a SCORE mentor for expert answers to any of your business questions - no question is too big or too small.
Small Business Resource Centers
Small business owners are resilient and can power through this challenging time, with SCORE by their side. Don't miss out on the latest resources, training and mentoring opportunities to help you survive and thrive.

Book a Librarian - Business Research (Virtual)
Book a 1-hour time slot for a 1-on-1 video call with a librarian!
Learn how you can access the library's online business resources including directories, databases with demographics, mapping tools, market and industry reports, and more.

Registration Note: A valid email address is required in order to receive instructions before the meeting.
These are available Monday - Friday, 11:00am-noon.

Questions or assistance:
Mimi Curlee, Librarian
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library 
Information Services - Main Library
704-416-0106
SBA Lender Match Program
Tool for Small Businesses to Connect with
CDFIs, Small Asset Lenders Participating in PPP
Lender Match is a free tool that takes the mystery out of getting an SBA-backed loan and streamlines the process. 

Finding the right lender and finding the time to obtain a loan can be the biggest challenge for prospective borrowers. Lender Match solves this problem.
 
This free online referral tool connects small business borrowers with participating SBA lenders.
The future is upon us, and the SBA is proud to be leading the way. To learn more about Lender Match visit www.sba.gov
SCORE Charlotte Local Sponsors and Partners
Helping entrepreneurs find the best franchise opportunities. At FranNet Carolina, they partner with aspiring entrepreneurs and individuals interested in becoming business owners.

Through their free consulting services, their consultants will provide the valuable research and guidance necessary to feel truly confident in your decision.

Your Charlotte Mecklenburg Library understands that the key to successful business management and healthy growth is convenient and swift access to the best resources. They provide reference services and library resources to help the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area businesses succeed. 
 
Their Mission: To improve lives and build a stronger community.


Mimi Curlee, Librarian
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library - Main
Find and Reach Your Ideal Audience
The advertising solutions you need to engage the right customers and grow your business.


SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. We have been doing this for more than 50 years. 

Because our work is supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, and thanks to our network of 10,000+ volunteers, we are able to deliver our services at no charge or at a very low cost.
 
Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.
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