WBEZ | Starting a Business http://www.wbez.org/tags/starting-business Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Hard Working Recursos en espaƒ±ol http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/08/hard-working-recursos-en-espanol/7400 <p>Los centros de <a href="http://www.illinoisworknet.com/vos_portal/residents/es/Home">Illinois workNet‚ </a> son centros de servicio con personas que tienen una dedicaciƒ³n al apoyar y desarrollar la poblaciƒ³n activa en la comunidad. Estos centros conectan las empresas y a quienes buscan trabajo con los recursos y servicios en Chicago. ‚ <a href="http://chicago.bbb.org/consejos-en-espanol">Better Business Bureau</a> tiene una misiƒ³n "ser la guƒ­a en avanzar la confianza del mercado." El BBB quiere crear una comunidad de negocios confiados. La pagina de Web tiene informaciƒ³n que puede ayudar su empresa. ‚ <a href="http://www.ides.state.il.us/default.asp">El Departamento de la Seguridad de Empleo‚ </a> La pƒ¡gina de Web del IDES tiene servicios como talleres de currƒ­culum vitae y trabajos, recursos en lƒ­nea para desempleo, y tambiƒ©n "subsidio de paro, programas de empleo y de entrenamiento, e informaciƒ³n de la carrera y de mercado de trabajo." ‚ <a href="http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalDeptCategoryAction.do?deptCategoryOID=-536900259&amp;contentType=COC_EDITORIAL&amp;topChannelName=Dept&amp;entityName=Business+Affairs+and+Licensing&amp;deptMainCategoryOID=-536900259">Esta pƒ¡gina tiene dos guƒ­as </a>: Una que tiene los pasos necesarios para aplicar y obtener una licencia de negocios con la ciudad de Chicago. La otra tiene puntos importantes para v los vendedores ambulantes en la ciudad. ‚ El ‚ <a href="http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalContentItemAction.do?contentOID=536892200&amp;contenTypeName=COC_EDITORIAL&amp;topChannelName=Business&amp;blockName=Promo+Item&amp;channelId=-536879030&amp;programId=536879129" target="_blank">Chicago Workforce Center</a> ofrece clases de alfabetizaciƒ³n para adultos en Ingles como un idioma segundo (ESL) en toda la ciudad. Esta pagina de Web es en ingles, y tiene la informaciƒ³n que necesita. Todos estos servicios son gratis para bƒºsquedas de empleos. Algunas de las bibliotecas pƒºblicas de Chicago tienen secciones especiales para estudiantes de ESL. <a href="http://www.learnatest.com/LEL/index.cfm/general/moreInfo/spanish" target="_blank">El Learning Express Library</a><a href="http://www.learnatest.com/LEL/index.cfm/general/moreInfo/spanish"></a> deja los usuarios hacer exƒ¡menes de prƒ¡ctica para el TOEFL y los exƒ¡menes de naturalizaciƒ³n de los Estados Unidos. Alguna de la informaciƒ³n tiene instrucciones para estos exƒ¡menes en espaƒ±ol. Necesita <a href="http://www.chipublib.org/howto/library_card.php" target="_blank">una tarjeta de la biblioteca</a> para usar los recursos en lƒ­nea.‚  Cuando se registre, use el nƒºmero de su tarjeta de la biblioteca como su nombre de usuario. <a href="http://www.literacychicago.org/index.htm" target="_blank">Literacy Chicago</a>, 17 North State St., Suite 900, (312) 870-1100, ofrece programas gratis para adultos que les interesa aprender y mejorar su ingles. Estos programas incluyen clases de alfabetizaciƒ³n para adultos en Ingles como un segundo idioma. Para mƒ¡s informaciƒ³n sobre direcciones y tiempos de clases, llama (312) 870-1100 o envƒ­e un mensaje a <a href="mailto:info@literacychicago.org">info@literacychicago.org</a>. <a href="http://www.literacydirectory.org/" target="_blank">Literacydirectory.org</a> es un directorio de programas de alfabetizaciƒ³n y ESL en los Estados Unidos. Puede elegir su lugar con cƒ³digo postal o con la ciudad y el estado y elegir clases de alfabetizaciƒ³n ypreparaciƒ³n para GED o ESL en su barrio.</p> Thu, 27 Aug 2009 07:54:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/08/hard-working-recursos-en-espanol/7400 Tweet This http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/tweet-this/7385 <p>Here's something to tweet about: small-business owners are looking at <a href="http://twitter.com/" target="_blank">Twitter </a> to increase sales and reach out to customers. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/23/business/smallbusiness/23twitter.html?scp=2&amp;sq=twitter%20claire%20miller&amp;st=cse" target="_blank">The New York Times writes</a> some small businesses use the digital word-of-mouth site as their sole marketing tool. That's not surprising; the Web site's free access and flexibility makes it easy for small-business owners to maintain. Anita Campbell at <a href="http://smallbiztrends.com/2009/01/the-ultimate-small-business-twitter-list.html" target="_blank">Small Business Trends</a> compiled a <a href="http://smallbiztrends.com/2009/01/the-ultimate-small-business-twitter-list.html" target="_blank">list </a>of Twitter users who tweet small business issues. Once you set up an account, you can start following these people and organizations who regularly post information by, about and for small businesses. <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/business/smallbusiness/30reputation.html?pagewanted=2&amp;em" target="_blank">The New York Times also posted</a> a guide to developing an online reputation: -Set up automatic alerts to notify you when your business is mentioned in a review or blog. -Local search sites are the new Yellow Pages - make sure your business is listed. The more complete your listing, the more likely you are to get good search results. -Respond to reviews to show readers that you are listening and that you care about customer service. -Online reviews are a gold mine of business intelligence. Analyze metrics to get a better sense of your customer demographics. -Don't write false reviews to puff your business or trash a competitor. You can severely damage your reputation...and look really silly. Suggested reading: <a href="http://www.yelp.com/business/review_response" target="_blank">Tips from Yelp</a> on responding to positive or negative reviews. <a href="http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/how_to_manage_your_online_reputation.php" target="_blank">A guide to Web tools</a> to track your online reputation. Not sure what to do next? Start by setting up a <a href="http://twitter.com/" target="_blank">Twitter </a>account. Create a name that reflects your business. Keep it casual: write your updates like you'd say them to give your customers a feel for the business. Start following other small-business owners and regular customers and watch your popularity grow.</p> Fri, 31 Jul 2009 10:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/tweet-this/7385 Chicago City Treasurer hosts free Small Business Expo http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/chicago-city-treasurer-hosts-free-small-business-expo/7375 <p>Thinking of starting a small business but have questions on where to start? Want to network with experts and other people interested in small businesses? <a href="http://www.chicagocitytreasurer.com/smallBusinessExpo/smallBusinessExpo.htm" target="_blank">The Office of the City Treasurer</a> is hosting a Small Business Expo from‚  8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.<strong> </strong>Friday, July 17 at the <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?oe=utf-8&amp;rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&amp;client=firefox-a&amp;um=1&amp;ie=UTF-8&amp;q=UIC+Forum&amp;near=Chicago,+IL&amp;fb=1&amp;split=1&amp;gl=us&amp;cid=0,0,14223295948482525221&amp;ei=GTFWSrjFKYLKsQOoxJH0AQ&amp;sa=X&amp;oi=local_result&amp;ct=image&amp;resnum=2" target="_blank">UIC Forum, 725 W Roosevelt Road</a>. The free expo will feature workshops and an opportunity to network with small business experts and others interested in the small business sector. Register <a href="http://www.chicagocitytreasurer.com/smallBusinessExpo/sbeAttendReg.htm" target="_blank">online</a>. For more information, call (312) 744-3976. <h2></h2></p> Thu, 09 Jul 2009 13:10:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/07/chicago-city-treasurer-hosts-free-small-business-expo/7375 Hard Working Event Helps Future Small Business Entrepreneurs http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/06/hard-working-event-helps-future-small-business-entrepreneurs/7366 <p>Wednesday marked our third Hard Working event. This time we focused on starting a small business. The event had an expert panel, Q &amp; A session and info tables where visitors could explore the different resources available. The audio of the event should be posted in the next week or so. So who was there? About 100 people showed up to learn more about how to set up shop and where to go for help. Carole Harris is a lead business development specialist with the <a href="http://www.sba.gov/localresources/district/il/index.html" target="_blank">U.S. Small Business Administration's Illinois District Office</a>. Mark Hutchens is in the winery business. He co-owns Robert Houde Wines, LLC with Robert Houde out of Bensenville, Illinois. Efrat Dallal Stein is the director of public information with the <a href="http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalEntityHomeAction.do?entityName=Business+Affairs+and+Consumer+Protection&amp;entityNameEnumValue=202" target="_blank">City of Chicago's Department of Business Affairs &amp; Consumer Protection</a>. Curt Roeschley is the director of the <a href="http://www.hullhouse.org/programsandcenters/program/smallbusinessdevelopment.html">Illinois Small Business Development Center at Hull House</a>. Elizabeth Gardner is the director of <a href="http://www.wbdc.org/" target="_blank">The Women's Business Development Center</a>. Carole Harris noted two important tips to starting a small business: Once you've created an idea, outline it and then look for business development resources at a local <a href="http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbdc/sbdclocator/SBDC_LOCATOR.html" target="_blank">Small Business Development Center</a>. Mark Hutchens of Robert Houde Wines, LLC started a business with his partner Robert Houde. He said one of the most important part of starting your own business is to determine if there's a viable market. Ask if it's the right place, time and product and if it is, go for it, if not, keep churning out ideas until you find one that fits. We answered some of your questions: Q1: Register your business, register your name and your assumed name, are all three of these the same thing? A1: No. Registering your business with the city and state and getting an LLC doesn't protect your name. You have to register your name with a trademark company and this is separate from the business registration. Q2: Where should I look for loans? A2: Mark found smaller community banks helpful because they usually keep the money local. Find a bank that's willing to work with the SBA. He also suggested trying <a href="http://www.sba.gov/services/financialassistance/sbaloantopics/microloans/index.html" target="_blank">microloans</a>. Q3: How can I get startup money for a nonprofit? A3: This is where it gets kinda tough. Some banks may have money set aside, but generally the nonprofit is working with a grant or cooperative. Carole suggests the <a href="http://www.clccrul.org/projects/community_economic_development_law_project.html" target="_blank">Community Economic Development Law Project</a>. Q4: How can I write a strong business plan? A4: Mark picked up a cliff notes version of "how to write a business model" from a used bookstore. I found an online version <a href="http://www.soyouwanna.com/site/syws/bizplan/bizplan.html" target="_blank">here</a>. Ask business people and experts at <a href="http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbdc/sbdclocator/SBDC_LOCATOR.html" target="_blank">SBDCs</a> for help. Q5: How can I find market research? A5: For market research, Mark suggested using<a href="http://www.google.com/" target="_blank"> Google </a>and looking at the <a href="http://www.census.gov/" target="_blank">U.S. Census Bureau</a>. Carole also suggested looking up North American Industry Classification System <a href="http://www.naics.com/search.htm" target="_blank">codes</a>. Q6: I already have a small business, how can I increase my sales? A6: Work with a marketing plan and talk to others in your industry. Carole suggested speaking with a <a href="http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbdc/index.html" target="_blank">small business development center</a> and trade organizations. If you couldn't make it this time, don't worry! <a href="http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Program_AMP.aspx" target="_blank">Chicago Amplified</a> recorded the whole session and we'll have it up on the site as soon as it's available. In the meantime, you can check out these additional resources: <a href="http://www.sba.gov/" target="_blank">Small Business Administration</a> <a href="http://egov.cityofchicago.org/city/webportal/portalEntityHomeAction.do?entityName=Business+Affairs+and+Consumer+Protection&amp;entityNameEnumValue=202" target="_blank">City of Chicago's Department of Business Affairs &amp; Consumer Protection</a> <a href="http://www.hullhouse.org/programsandcenters/program/smallbusinessdevelopment.html">Illinois Small Business Development Center at Hull House</a> <a href="http://www.wbdc.org/" target="_blank">The Women's Business Development Center</a> <a href="http://www.sba.gov/aboutsba/sbaprograms/sbdc/sbdclocator/SBDC_LOCATOR.html" target="_blank">Small Business Development Center</a> <a href="http://www.clccrul.org/projects/community_economic_development_law_project.html" target="_blank">Community Economic Development Law Project</a></p> Thu, 25 Jun 2009 16:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ltalleyatcpr/2009/06/hard-working-event-helps-future-small-business-entrepreneurs/7366 $35,000 in help for struggling small business http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/06/35000-in-help-for-struggling-small-business/7358 <p>This just came in from the SBA: ARC loans are deferred-payment loans of up to $35,000, available to established, viable, for-profit small businesses that need short-term help to make their principal and interest payments on existing and qualifying business debt. ARC loans are 100 percent guaranteed by the SBA and have no SBA fees associated with them. ARC loans will be disbursed over a period of up to six months and will provide funds to be used for payments of principal and interest for existing, qualifying small business debt including mortgages, term and revolving lines of credit, capital leases, credit card obligations and notes payable to vendors, suppliers and utilities. SBA will pay the interest on ARC loans to the lenders at the variable rate of Prime plus two percent. Repayment will not begin until 12 months after the final disbursement. After the 12-month deferral period, borrowers will pay back the loan principal over a period of five years. ARC loans will be made by commercial lenders, not SBA directly. For more information on ARC loans, visit For more information about all of the SBA's programs for small businesses, call the SBA Answer Desk at 1-800 U ASK SBA or TDD 704-344-6640, or visit the SBA's Web site at www.sba.gov.</p> Mon, 15 Jun 2009 13:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/06/35000-in-help-for-struggling-small-business/7358 Creating new jobs? http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/01/new-jobs/7234 <p>Bad job news is starting to get a little overwhelming. Everyday there is a new layoff story to read about. So I figured I'd shift gears...start thinking about where will new jobs come from. Any ideas? A few things I'm thinking about: entrepreneurs (if they can get the money to start new businesses), government contractors (if the stimulus package goes through)....what else? Where do you thinking there might be jobs in the future? What do you think could be done to help create more work?</p> Thu, 29 Jan 2009 12:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/ahill/2009/01/new-jobs/7234