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GALATUNE Reaches Kickstarter Funding Goals

09/12/2016 Comments off

galatuneAdam Wik, SBDC client and owner of Galatune, a table top battle card game company, used his considerable marketing skills to great advantage exceeding his Kickstarter funding goal, raising $20,841 from 138 backers. The Galatune game involves two to five players who each control a champion warrior. They fight each other at the same time and get points by defeating their opponents (see video).  Pre-orders are now being taken for the game on the Galatune website http://www.galatune.com/ with a December 1st release date.

Wik is a Wright State University Marketing graduate and is currently pursuing his MBA.  Galatune is a game he developed as a child, perfected it through playing it with family and friends, and in 2015 he launched his business to bring the game to market.  He was the 2016 winner of the Wright Venture competition; a business competition for Wright State students which allows them to present their ideas to a panel of potential investors.

Wik has advice for those launching Kickstarter campaigns:

  1. Make the campaign page perfect. Search for similar campaigns in your category with top levels of funding and use them as a template.
  2. Know that Kickstarter isn’t a magical lead generation tool. Its first a platform to collect funds, and secondly a lead generation tool. Every campaign will be a bit different, but from my personal experience and research I’d say a strong project should only expect around 35% of its funding to be generated through Kickstarter leads. That means that the remaining 65% needs to come from a combination of your existing network of followers and 3rd party advertising.
  3. Build your network first. I mentioned that most of your funding will be coming from your existing fan-base, so spend at least 3-6 months building a solid audience first before launching the campaign. This can be done through trade shows, social media, and face-to-face networking.
  4. Start Day One strong. The way Kickstarter’s search algorithms work, it is VITAL that day one of your campaign gets a sizable chunk of donors and funding. How do you do this? Make sure you have a line of loyal family, friends, and fans ready and eagerly waiting for that Kickstarter page to open. Stay in good contact with them and let them know how important it is to give on day one
  5. MOST IMPORTANT TIP: Don’t make your Kickstarter too long. Only set your window open long enough to cover your planned networking. For instance, if you don’t have any events or ads or networking planned, your Kickstarter might as well only be one or two days long. People will not magically flock to your Kickstarter without promotion, so each day of the campaign should be justified by your active marketing schedule.

Congratulations to Adam Wik and Galatune, truly a Client on the Move!

Galatune

Centerville Knit & Crochet Open for Business

08/23/2016 Comments off

Centerville Knit and Crochet LogoKnitters and yarn artists can celebrate!

Centerville Knit & Crochet opened their doors August 23rd at 8018 McEwan Road.  Owner and Navy veteran, Beth Thorowgood, had a vision to create an easy shopping experience for knitters and crocheters with a welcoming and relaxing space for them to interact with other knitters and crocheters when they have time to slow down.  This full service yarn shop features high quality yarns and notions, books and patterns, classes, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff and a robust online presence so clients will have all the information theCenterville Knit and Crochet yarn displayy need before they arrive at the store.

Centerville Knit & Crochet welcomes yarn artists of all skill levels and hopes to introduce the art to a new generation. Their current class roster includes classes in both beginning knitting and crocheting.

For more information about the shop and their hours go to their website at centervilleknits.com  or call 937-979-4130. For more information about the Small Business Development Center at Wright State University’s Raj Soin College of Business call 937-775-3503 or visit www.sbdcwsu.com.

Trade Finance Opportunities for Exporters: A Look at SBA and EXIM Export Loan Programs

04/29/2016 Comments off

Trade Finance Opportunities for Exporters: A Look at SBA and EXIM Export Loan Programs

This program is for anyone contemplating or involved in international trade. Trade finance programs enhances any company’s cash flow management by providing programs to help seize global opportunities. You can add these financing tools to your financial resources. Be the hero by increasing export sales and keeping the profits coming in by utilizing smart payment methods.

This program will review the SBA export loan program.  The knowledge you gain can be used to create a financial plan for short, medium and long-term export growth.  By strategically managing your business’s assets, your export sales will grow, you will minimize credit risks, and maximize profits.

You will learn more about:
SBA Trade Finance Programs
>  Export Express Loan Program offers financing up to $500,000. It is the simplest export loan product offered by the SBA and allows participating lenders to use their own forms and procedures. The SBA determines eligibility and provides a loan approval in 36 hours or less.
Export Working Capital Program loan provides advances for up to $5 million to fund export transactions from purchase order to collections. This loan has a low guaranty fee and quick processing time.

> International Trade Loan Program

offers loans up to $5 million for fixed assets and working capital for businesses that plan to start or continue exporting.
EXIM Programs
EXIM offers loan packages, such as loan guarantee, direct loans, finance lease guarantee, foreign buyer financing, export credit insurance, and more.
The Export Credit Insurance provides US businesses with solutions to protect against foreign buyer nonpayment in turn support the export of more American made goods and services.
> Working Capital Guarantee can help exporters lacking access to finance by working with your bank to help secure financing for export sales.  Your bank receives a loan “guarantee” from EXIM, guaranteeing repayment for a percentage of the bank’s loan if your borrower defaults. This loan can be used to pay for labor, materials, and other inputs required to fulfill sales.
> Foreign Buyer Financing can be offered   to your buyers which can provide you a competitive edge. US exporters of capital equipment and services face a special set of challenges when attempting to win global sales.  Foreign buyers who require extended term financing may face prohibitively expensive borrowing rates in their home country, blocking them from buying US products.  This loan guarantees support US exporting in securing competitive
financing for their creditworthy buyers.
By attending this program you can learn more about each program, find out eligibility terms, use of funds, and application process to utilize these loans and programs.  Start benefiting today!
Date:  June 22, 2016
Time:  8:30 am – 10:00 am
Place:  248 Rike Hall,    Wright State University
There is no fee for this program, but you must be register as space is limited.
TO register:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/trade-finance-opportunities-for-exporters-a-look-at-sba-export-loan-programs-tickets-24780763932
For additional information contact Kathy Marshalek @kathy.marshalek@wright.edu or 937.775.3524

Export Compliance 101: Understanding the Basics of the U.S. Export Regulations

04/29/2016 Comments off
Export Compliance 101: Understanding the Basics of the U.S. Export Regulations 
This program is for anyone involved in international trade.  From classifying your product for an export shipment to applying for export license, there are a number of U.S. export laws that you must be aware of and comply with.
“US Export Regulations affects all companies: small or large; domestic or global; manufacturer or service provider; military or commercial. “
You will learn:
> the definition of exports (and how they can even happen in the US)
> the distinctions between export and import international trade regulations
>  what US agencies govern exports:
> where to find US Export regulations: FTC, EAR, ITAR, OFAC, DOE
>  key terminology
> how to determine when a license is required and the different types of license
>  about fines and penalties for violations
> compliance red flags
>  how to identify an boycott statement
> how to establishing effective compliance policy and training
More than ever before, businesses today need to comply with export control requirements. With enforcement actions by regulatory agencies on the rise, now is the time to understand the U.S. export laws and how they apply to you and your business.
WHEN
Friday, May 20, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM (EDT) Add to Calendar
WHERE
Wright State University – 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, OH 45435

COST:  $55

TO REGISTER:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/export-compliance-101-understanding-the-basics-of-us-export-regulations-tickets-24368405557

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  Contact Kathy Marshalek at kathy.marshalek@wright.edu

 

International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE)

10/29/2015 Comments off

IMAGE grants are back for another year of funding. The Ohio International Market Access Grant for Exporters (IMAGE), funded by the state of Ohio and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), is designed to increase exports and create jobs. The IMAGE grant offers financial assistance for small businesses to promote their products and services in international markets.

If you have any interest in the IMAGE grant program, please take the time to apply and get the process started. It will be very competitive this year, so don’t wait until the end and miss the opportunity.

WHAT does IMAGE cover?

IMAGE funds will reimburse companies a maximum of $10,000 (50 percent on expenditures up to $20,000) for participation in the following activities:

International Tradeshow Exhibition

  • Booth space rental and construction
  • Freight costs to ship booth and materials
  • Trade show registration fees
  • Travel expenses and domestic trade shows are not eligible

Approved Trade Missions

Individual Market Visit supported by the state of Ohio in-country support, USCS Gold Key Service or Food Export Market Builder

  • View supported market research assistance through the state of Ohio in-country support, the US Dept. of Commerce Gold Key service and Food Export Market Builder.
  • Economy-class airfare in accordance with the Fly America Act
  • Lodging rate as set by the U.S Department of State
  • Interpreter fees, ground transportation, meals and incidentals are not eligible
  • Travel expenses limited to two people

International Advertising

  • Cost of production and placement of advertisements in magazines, newspapers, posters, billboards, direct mail, on TV, radio and international websites
  • Printing costs are not eligible
  • Website Development
  • Website translation into foreign language, search engine optimization and localization services ($3,000 reimbursement maximum in this category)

Translation Services

  • Marketing material translations and localizations
  • Label, packaging and technical manual translations
  • Printing costs are not eligible

COMPANY Eligibility

The IMAGE program requires the application to be signed by a corporate officer, certifying that certain eligibility criteria will be met. Guidelines for eligibility include: the company operates a licensed business in Ohio to manufacture, assemble and/or distribute a product or provide an exportable service; company certifies that the products to be promoted contain a majority of U.S. content. U.S. content is valued at export-works price minus the aggregate value contributed by foreign suppliers, including labor and material; and nonprofits are not eligible.. There are other eligibility criteria listed at http://development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_image.htm.

HOW to Apply?

For application guidelines and tips, visit http://development.ohio.gov/bs/bs_image.htm. The application can be found at: http://odsawebportal.development.ohio.gov/Account/Login.aspx?inf=eR/s8MUzN+nlwbq7FnWJrwTKXV2ddhyXa+YFIOvwG+s=

If you have questions concerning your company’s eligible reimbursements, contact Thien Bui at IMAGE@development.ohio.gov or 614.466.4996.

The SBDC, International Trade Program can assist you with determining the events and activities that support your export marketing plans. Call Kathy Marshalek for an appointment or suggestions at 937.775.3524.

Small Business Exporter of the Year 2016

10/29/2015 Comments off

The SBA will make Small Business Exporter of the Year awards to eligible small businesses at the State level (from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam) and the National level to small business owners who represent the nation’s strong entrepreneurial spirit and rich diversity. In those states served by more than one SBA district office, each district office will select a district level winner and the State winner will be selected at the regional level. The National Small Business Exporter of the Year will be selected from the regional level winners.

Who is eligible to be nominated for this award?

Any individual who owns and operates or who bears principal responsibility for operating a small business that is engaged in exporting may be nominated. Partners who jointly own and operate a small business may be nominated as a “team,” so long as the number of individuals in the team nomination does not exceed four. A nominee for Small Business Exporter of the Year must own or operate a business defined as “small” for its primary industry under the applicable SBA size standards. Individuals who have received the Small Business Person Award or Exporter Award at the State level within the past five years are not eligible. Elected officials are not eligible. Nominees must also be residents of the United States or its territories. Nominees will be subject to background checks. Small businesses owned and operated by nominees must comply with federal civil rights laws. While receipt of SBA assistance is not required, it is preferred. Consult your nearest SBA district office if you have questions.

Who may submit nominations for this award?

Any individual or organization dedicated to the support of the small business community in the United States, including, but not limited to, trade and professional associations and business organizations, may submit nominations for the Small Business Exporter of the Year award. Individuals may also self-nominate. Individuals may not be nominated for more than one National Small Business Week 2016 award category. SBA employees may help to solicit nominations, but they cannot submit nominations on behalf of the nominee.

Where are the nominations to be sent?

Nominations must be submitted in one of two ways:

1) Nominations may be submitted to the U.S. Small Business Administration district office in the state or territory where the nominee is located; or 2) Nominations may be submitted via the online nominations portal on http://awards.sba.gov.

What is the deadline for nominations?

All nominations for Small Business Exporter of the Year submitted to the U.S. Small Business Administration district office in the state or territory where the nominee is located must be postmarked or hand delivered to the appropriate SBA District Office no later than 3:00pm ET, January 11, 2016. All nominations submitted through the online nominations portal must be uploaded and submitted no later than 3:00pm ET, January 11, 2016.

What information must the nomination package contain?

Nominations must contain the information required below. Incomplete nomination packages will not be considered. All evaluation/selection criteria must be specifically addressed.

1. A completed background form (SBA Form 3300, Award Nominee Background Form) which is available through SBA district offices and the online nominations portal. For “team” nominations, a background form is required for each team member;

2. A completed nomination form (SBA Form 3302, Small Business Exporter of the Year) which is available through SBA district offices and the online nominations portal;

3. An original 8” x 10” or 5” x 7” photo of the nominee or a digital photo – at least 300 dpi is required; photocopies are not acceptable. For “team” nominations, a photo of each nominee or group photo is acceptable;

4. Additional supporting documentation deemed significant by the nominator, including news clips, letters of recommendation, nomination letter (if not self-nominated) and other evidence of the appropriateness of the nomination (supporting documentation must not exceed 10 pages). Videos will not be considered.

What are the evaluation/selection criteria for the Exporter of the Year award?

In evaluating the nomination packages for the Exporter of the Year award, the judges will use the following criteria:

1) Increased sales, profits and/or growth of employment because of exporting.

2) Creative overseas marketing strategies.

3) Effective solutions to export-related problems, including trade financing, payment, and currency issues; market-entry and logistical challenges; cultural differences, etc.

4) Demonstrated encouragement of other small businesses to export.

5) Volunteer assistance to other small businesses entering the export market.

6) Cooperation with other businesses in the creation of export trading companies and/or introduction of unique trading relationships, products or services.

What are the selection procedures for this award?

SBA will make Small Business Exporter of the Year awards to eligible small businesses at the District, Regional, and National levels.

Winners at each level will be selected by a panel of judges that may be comprised of both SBA employees and non-Federal employees. The National Exporter of the Year will be selected by the SBA Administrator based on, but not restricted to, the recommendations of the panel of judges of federal employees. Non-federal employees serving as judges must sign a conflict of interest/non-disclosure certification.

Other SBA Awards

SBA is currently seeking nominations from the public for exceptional entrepreneurs. You can use this online portal to submit your nomination for the following awards:

  • * Small Business Person of the Year Awards
  • * Small Business Exporter of the Year
  • * Phoenix Award for Small Business Disaster Recovery
  • * Phoenix Award for Outstanding Contributions to Disaster Recovery
  • * Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award
  • * Veteran Business Outreach Center Excellence in Service Award
  • * Federal Procurement Award- Small Business Prime Contractor of the Year Award
  • * Federal Procurement Award- Small Business Subcontractor of the Year Award
  • * Federal Procurement Award- Dwight D. Eisenhower Award for Excellence
  • * 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award
  • * Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award

 

*New Workshop* – Creative Thinking Toolbox for Small Business 10/28/2015

10/01/2015 Comments off

Looking to Boost your Creativity?

Creative Toolbox for Small Business
WARNING: DO NOT ATTEND THIS WORKSHOP… unless you want to turbo-charge your thinking skills… Do you have an established small business or are you thinking of starting one? Finding creative solutions to your customers’ needs is a daily chore. In a fast-moving and crowded marketplace, those who innovate and offer a more creative approach often win.

In this 2-hour, interactive workshop, we open the vault and share some of the Creativity secret weapons used from Silicon Valley to Madison Avenue. Large companies have been using these techniques for decades. You’ll see the creativity hacks, shortcuts, and worm-holes not taught in college. Learn how to apply them to your business. They are quick to learn and can be applied instantly.

What if it’s Monday morning, you’ve not had your coffee yet, and you MUST be creative? What if you don’t think you are a creative person? Doesn’t matter! Armed with these techniques, anybody can boost their creativity. These skills help in multiple small business situations:

* What kind of business should I start? What is my niche? How can I leverage my knowledge and skills into a compelling offer for clients?

* How can I stand out as a more effective employee or vendor?

* How can I more effectively solve problems?

* How can I boost sales with a promotional event, give-away, or ad?

Eventbrite - Creative Thinking Toolbox for Small Businesses - Afternoon

About Your Instructor: Jeff Cole is an author, consultant, and speaker who has trained over 5000 people in process improvement methods. He has over 30 years of experience in applying creativity techniques to help improve business processes. Jeff has helped organizations across a wide range of industries in public and private sectors, both domestically and abroad. He can be found at www.LSSCert.com

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