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What is Digital Signage? How Can My Company Use It?

Digital signage can be defined as any form of electronic display that is centrally managed and communicates targeted information, entertainment, merchandising and/or advertisement. Anytime you see a screen in public displaying some type of message, image or video, you are looking at a digital sign.

Twitter, Tweets, and Your Business

If you've heard the words "twitter" or "tweet" recently (and the odds are you have) and felt completely out of the loop, don't worry. Twitter is by no means a new phenomenon, but only really hit its stride in the past year and has finally entered the mainstream.

Are You an "Entrepreneur" or simply "Self-Employed"?

Both terms, “self-employed” and “entrepreneur” begin with the desire to make money from a business that you own and control. An entrepreneur, however, has the extra motivation to take the business to a higher level with drive, passion, dedication, technical skill and business knowledge.

Cloning Your Best Customers - Can it Be Done?

If you keep good customer records - name, address, how much they've spent with you over a period of time - you can use simple GIS analysis to determine what your best customers have in common and where you can find more of them. Basically, GIS (Geographic Information System) analysis means utilizing maps to display and analyze various types of data.

6 Practical Tips

Don't be lured away from the tried and true in your small business. While glamor businesses and social media can be successful, often down-to-earth ideas and tactics are your best bet. So here's a list of six practical tips.

The Great Sell Off of American Businesses

According to a Federal Reserve survey, approximately 50,000 businesses changed hands in the United States in 2001.

K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Survey)

Essentially, customer satisfaction surveys all strive to answer one simple question: Are we doing a good job?

Creating a Facebook Page: Easy & Free!

Recently, a client asked assistance to create a Facebook Page. It actually is pretty easy, however there are many issues that can make it seem complex.

Do I need a business degree to be a Wyoming entrepreneur?

Now that is a big question and a great one. Not necessarily but learning what a person who has earned a business degree knows is unavoidable to be successful. Starting with what skills do you need, in my opinion an overview of business administration and basic accounting is step one.

Process mapping?

Process mapping is usually considered a quality management tool with an overall goal of improving a process by looking for gaps in service, waste (time or product) or other issues.

Why Can't People Get Along and Just Do Their Job?

Each personality type has an Achilles Heel. Left unchecked, your Achilles Heel will undermine you and keep you from attaining what you want most in life. Is your Achilles Heel wreaking havoc in your life?

Does your company have what it takes to last through hard times and beyond?

In their classic book, Build to Last, authors James Collins and Jerry Porras articulated seven distinguishing characteristics of the world’s most enduring and successful companies.

How Do You Plan for a Sudden Loss of Leadership?

You usually don’t like to think about your final breaths here in this world, but with a family-owned business, along with grief, the subject arises sudden and unexpectedly – what do we do about vacant leadership in the business?

Guest Blogger: Carol Stark "Is Your Business Filling Up Your Local Dump?"

As a small business, you can make a difference in the longevity of your landfill. Cardboard, paper, metals, fluorescent light bulbs and nickel cadmium batteries can be recycled.

Making "Word of Mouth" Work for Your Business

Most businesses list a word-of-mouth marketing strategy as a single line item in their business and/or marketing plan. It is cost effective, but perhaps the most difficult strategy to successfully pursue. When successful, it is perhaps the Holy Grail for marketers.

Know Thy Self and Thy Customer: Part One

Many businesses often focus so much on their products and day-to-day running of their business that they lose sight of the customers they wish to serve with their products/services.

Using Local Search to Find Customers Online

Local search can be extremely helpful in building your business. It could be defined as local people looking for local businesses. Increase your chances of being found by local customers by getting listed in online phone directories.

Are there any new federal government contracting opportunities for women-owned small businesses on the horizon?

For government contracting purposes, identifying where the control of the firm rests is crucial.

Why Do A Business Valuation?

Business owners also need to periodically evaluate their own performance. Financial ratio analysis and business valuations can help them objectively determine their management effectiveness. This is not the only measurement of how well a business is operating, but can give you reason to ask more questions about how you operate your business.

Important Updates and Deadlines for All Businesses Involved in Government Contracting that are Required to Register in the Central Contractor Registration Database

The Central Contractor Registration database is the Federal Government’s directory of small businesses pursuing government contracts.

Are You PROACTIVE or REACTIVE When It Comes To Exiting Your Business?

You might want to ask yourself this question before it’s too late. There are two types of people in the world today. Those that think proactively and those that just react and decide their course of action based on the situation at the time. Proactive people look toward something they want to accomplish ahead of time and plan accordingly.

Website Management - a balancing act

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is the buzz term for increasing website visibility.

Using the Bucking Horse & Rider Motif on Products

What many people don’t know is that the bucking horse and rider (BH&R) is trademarked by the state of Wyoming and has been since 1936. It was originally worn by WWI soldiers from the Wyoming National Guard in France and Germany.

Social Media in the workplace?

Web 2.0 social media in the workplace? Is it good, bad, or both? Well, of course it probably depends upon what the employee and/or the employer is doing…

New Patent Classification System

Are you an inventor? Have you ever wanted to file a patent? Changes concerning the classification system are coming.

Customer Retention The Old Fashioned Way – Using New Fangled Tools

One of the things I hear for business clients frequently is that they don’t understand how customers think today.

Credit Card Processing for Dummies

The first step is to research the different types of credit card processors. Your bank is probably the first place to look, as they probably offer a business package that includes merchant services.

Social media - where to start?

Social networking sites and services like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are essentially online hangouts that have evolved into a branding, lead generation, and sales tool for business. With the right approach, they can help you promote your business, at a very low cost and sometimes no cost at all.

I have recently been contacted by a company offering to help my website to be found by search engines. Are these companies good or are they fraudulent?

Yes and no on both counts. If you cannot manage your website’s search engine optimization yourself, here are some things to look for and to look out for in any company you hire:

The Women-Owned Small Business Program is Your Firm Ready?

The US Small Business Administration recently published the final rule regarding the long overdue Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contracting Program, and it will be effective February 4, 2011.

WYEN 1-2-3 Webinar Series Prepares Small Businesses for 2010 GRO-Biz Conference

As a Procurement Specialist with the WY-PTAC, I counsel Wyoming Small business owners through the process of marketing themselves to the government. It was a pleasure to have had an opportunity to share this information via online technology!

Less Banks???-We Need More!

The recent bailout of Wall Street has begun to trickle down to Main Street as the Fed wants to "share the wealth" of the bailout with Main Street banks. The offer of preferred shares at a 5% dividend rate is essentially "free money" in the capital asset pricing model and which Main Street Bank wants to turn down "free money?"

Change Strategy

When a new manager is hired, change will likely follow. This isn’t a bad thing...unless the manager doesn’t implement the change thoughtfully. If you find yourself in this position, don’t rush into change, be thoughtful, analytical, and make a plan!

Hobby or business? What does the IRS Consider?

Generally, a trade or business must be an activity that is carried on with a profit motive and have economic activity conducted. The problem is that the "burden-of-proof" is the business owner's.

Website Drudergy; Are you willing to change?

Websites are a real hot topic these days because they are your word of mouth, your advertising and your customer service all rolled into one.

Show customers you're sincerely green

There's good news and bad news if you're looking for a way to let customers know you are serious about making your company green. The good news is that there are many third party organizations that certify businesses in the areas of environmental and social responsibility.

Password Management Mania

If you are like me, you have exceeded more usernames and passwords than you can possibly remember. Just generating a password is frustrating. Hopefully you are not using the same username and password for every site you log into: social media sites, banking, credit cards, your favorite online retailers i.e., Barnes & Noble, L.L. Bean, etc.

Podcasts for Business Learning

It took me a while to get used to listening to podcasts, especially while driving, but with long commutes without any radio signal, I've started replacing music to accompany me on the road with free podcasts that I download from iTunes. What I like about podcasts is that you can quickly gain a myriad of perspectives on an industry and learn about new sites, resources and tools.

Where Do I Purchase State and Federal Forms to Start My Business? John, Jackson, Wyo.

How many times do new business owners come to me AFTER paying for State and Federal Forms to start their businesses?

"Social Web is the Relationship Economy"

The title of this post comes from a comment made at one of the sessions I attended at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco.

Happy Healthy Workplaces

The American Psychological Association is involved in a project to promote psychologically healthy workplaces. Their Web site is filled with information to help you learn the benefits of creating such a workplace and practices that make it possible.

5 Useful Web-Based Applications for Businesses

I'm a fanatic when it comes to trying out new Web-based applications that can help me with my work. I am comfortable using the Web for almost any business task.

New Study Says the US Has One of the Lowest Small Business Sectors

A recently published study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research indicates that, contrary to popular belief, the US is not the hotbed of small business opportunity that many think it is.

I Have No Competition (and other fairy tales)

Developing a Facebook Content Strategy for Your Business Page

Social media is about relationships. Build a relationship with customers and potential customers. Personalize and humanize your page. People trust others when there is a personal connection.

Developing Cash Flow Projections

Have you applied for a business loan and been asked for projections or a cash flow? Most lenders will want this information but entrepreneurs often don’t know where to start.

Profit vs. Taxes

As we head into the last quarter of the year, many small business owners are looking to minimize their tax liability. That's a good thing, right?

Business Insurance is a Protection No Business Should Be Without

Business insurance (commercial insurance) is a protection no business should be without. Like the insurance for your home or car, it provides indemnification should you experience a sudden, unexpected loss.

Why should you attend the 2012 GRO-Biz Conference and Idea Expo?

The 2011 GRO-Biz Conference and Idea Expo was not your typical business conference. The combination of the two events, the GRO-Biz Conference and the Idea Expo, complimented each other well.

Wired Wyoming Companies Do Business Around the World

In an Associated Press news article dataed November 24, 2008 entitled "Information superhighway drives entreprenuerial spirit", Mead Gruver discusses the impact that companies are having in Wyoming that take advantage of our state's excellent internet bandwidth and connectivity.

What Are Set Asides?

What are Set Asides? You could read the FAR, Federal Acquisition Regulation book, yourself; Subpart 19.5—Set-Asides for Small Business, but I will try to put it in simple terms.

Do you think I should upgrade my computer operating system to Windows 7? Sarah P., Casper

Microsoft is offering six versions of the operating system: Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, OEM, and Enterprise. They are primarily promoting Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate. The program will support both 32 and 64-bit processors, and you probably want to have a minimum of 1GB RAM.

The 2013 GRO-Biz Conference and Idea Expo is the conference you do not want to miss.

The annual GRO-Biz Conference and Idea Expo sponsored by Senator Enzi, Governor Mead, the SBA and many others, is just around the corner. The opportunities are endless and the connections you will make are invaluable.

Success?? When can I dare to say my business is successful?

It's that time of year when Wyoming takes the opportunity to showcase our awesome entrepreneurs who have accepted the challenge of opening their own businesses across the state by sharing “Success Stories” in the upcoming annual WEDA (Wyoming Economic Development Association) publication.

Why Family Businesses are Special Today

Family-owned businesses are stable and optimistic, even in times of economic uncertainty. A recent national study by Kennesaw State University, the American Family Business Survey of family-owned businesses, studied the strengths, challenges and changes since a previous study done in 2002.

Proper Pricing is Key to Success in Troubled Times

Pricing is a vital part of marketing a product. It is generally considered one leg of the “4 p’s”, which are product, pricing, placement (location) and promotion. If any of these legs is weak, then your product will have a much lower chance of succeeding.

The impact of using portable devices to access the web

If you are selling a service or product and want sales from your website, you need to consider how your site works on something other than a regular desktop.

Watch Out PayPal, here comes Paymate

PayPal is practically a household word across many parts of the globe. It is no secret that PayPal showed such early promise as a means of sending and receiving payment for eBay auctions, that eBay eventually bought them out.

If Things are Tight

Every business is positioned differently in terms of overhead, employees, debt structure and the owners personal ability to withstand a slow down. Therefore there is no one answer to the question, "What should I do?"

What To Do In A Bad Economy

I recently received a newsletter from Curt Clinkinbeard, Author and Director of Training at the FAMEE Foundation with 4 suggetions for small business owners today.

Immediate Health Care Bill Impacts for Small Business

Much of the health care reform legislation doesn’t really kick in for another four years. However, as a small business there are some good things on the immediate horizon in the form of a tax credit to offset health insurance premiums. This provision of the bill takes force immediately.

I'm bored-there's nothing to do in Wyoming

What is there for kids to do in Wyoming?

The Economic Census – Vital Data for Business

During November and December over 4 million US business and around 11 thousand Wyoming businesses will receive 2012 Economic Census forms from the U.S. Census Bureau. This means that while many businesses will take part in the Census, not all will be asked to participate.

Workplace happiness

It is believed that when employees use their strengths it will tend to create a sense of purpose, and "happiness" with their work. So, what does this mean to you as a small employer?

The Bank Said I need a "Tax ID" to open a bank account for my new business. What is it and Where Do I Get One?

Many times a bank will tell a new business they need a Tax ID. What the new business doesn’t know is there are different types of Tax ID‘s. Do they mean an Employer Identification Number (EIN #) or a Wyoming Sales Tax Number? What are the differences?

Have you tried the very serious business strategy called "fun"?

Last week I posted about the Entrepreneurial Christmas Story project and one reader responded directly to me with this question: "It sounds fun and interesting, but let's get serious. How can it REALLY do anything for my business?"

Intellectual property and small business

Knowledge and ideas have always been a powerful force in economic development. As a small business owner, Intellectual Property (IP) is a key consideration in your day-to-day business decisions.

Guerilla Marketing: Leveraging Social Media to Market on a Shoestring

Internet based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio.

Tune into 200 million+ Wyoming contracting opportunities

I'm at the GRO-Biz Conference and Idea Expo in Evanston where I just had lunch with Robert Tompkins of the State of Wyoming Office of State Lands and Investments. He offered a great tip for Wyoming small businesses that want to keep abreast of contracting opportunities related to $200 million+plus state dollars spent in local communities.

How can I effectively promote my art business?

To have a successful art business, you must get your artwork in front of potential customers. Many artists believe that their work stands on its own merits and they will be wildly successful once their art is “found.”

The Social Media Storm

In my job I end up on email lists from a wide variety of organizations that I have accessed while researching for clients. One email that hit my in basket caught my attention with the following blurb.

Print Postage from your Computer

Online merchants or anyone else that sells often on the internet, may do well to consider using a a postage printing service like Endicia.

Are You Listed?

Is your business listed, for example on Google Places or Yelp? I would highly recommend you at least list your business.

Marketing to the Government - Getting Started

Meeting all the requirements to do business with the government, like obtaining a DUNS Number and registering in the System for Award Management (SAM), is only the first step a business must take in winning a government contract.

Grant available for making your business more sustainable

Wyoming Entrepreneur SBDC recently announced a program that’s designed to help you learn how to save money and increase profits through energy efficiency and sustainable practices. It’s called Sustainable Profits and it is one of the coolest things to come along for business in Wyoming!

Using Online Press Releases

Press releases have been the primary tool for communicating company news to the media since the first release was composed in 1906, disseminating news about a train wreck in Atlantic City. Originally, a press release was exactly what the term says: a release to the press.

Wyoming Business Leadership Institute: April 16-18 in Laramie

The second class of the Wyoming Business Leadership Institute, a collaboration between the UW College of Business and the Wyoming Business Council is scheduled for April 16 - 18 in Laramie.

Are You a Responsible Contractor?

How do you become a responsible contractor? Begin with smaller projects and develop a strong past performance record.

Wyoming Idea Expo: Doug Hall, Founder & CEO of Eureka! Ranch Intl.

They've identified 3 states "lead dogs" who had leadership, staff, vision who really get how to make things happen for small to mid-size companies.

The American Invent Act, First to File, and Provisional Applications

As of March 16, 2013, one of the most debated provisions of the America Invents Act (AIA) will take effect. As of this date, the “first-to-invent” system will change to the “first-inventor-to-file” system.

I Need to Build My Brand But I Don't Even Know What My "Brand" Is...

After discussing an article about Oreo's new branding strategies with some colleagues recently, one thing became clear: people have many different ideas on what your "brand" really is.

Register your business with the WY. Department of Employment - even if you don't plan on hiring employees NOW

One of the best kept secrets to businesses in Wyoming is the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Workforce Development Training Fund program.

Online Invoicing & Time Tracking Tools for Small Businesses

There are a number of online tools available that track time and do invoicing, and many are free, if your business has a very low volume of clients. FreshBooks is an interesting option that does time tracking and invoicing.

Attended a virtual conference recently?

For the month of May I attended a conference on Social Media. Yes, an entire month of sessions about social media presented by amazing speakers and opportunities to network with people from all over the world. How do you attend a conference for an entire month?

Maxing out your website

A properly developed and maintained, a website can be a great way to connect with your customers, open new markets and cut operating costs.

Can Your Business Withstand A Disaster?

Statistics show as many as 40 percent of businesses fail following a natural or man-made disaster. You’ve worked hard building your business and creating jobs in your community now take proactive steps to protect your employees and your business by doing preparedness planning and creating a business continuity plan.

A salute to the Small Business Administration’s 2010 Wyoming Small Business of the Year Award Winner Heidi Fabrizius of Precision Analysis

Knowing about Heidi will help others understand what it takes to be an award winning small business. I thought people might have an interest in knowing the story behind the 2010 award winner and what it took to become the SBA Wyoming Small Business of the Year.

Think Outside of the Bulb

In today's economy, every penny counts. Whether you're a business owner maintaining multiple facilities, or simply trying to cut costs at home, effective lighting techniques are crucial -- and that goes beyond just switching to the curly-cue CFL bulbs or the newer LED options.

When is a Patent Needed?

Among the various forms of intellectual property (IP), patents can be the most important for small businesses, which are often the leading agents in new and developing technology.

A Brief Press Release "How To" for Small Businesses

Press releases are a Great way to publicize your business and, best of all, they don’t cost anything but some time and effort.

Is Teaming with a Strong Sub a Guaranteed Contract Winner?

Teaming arrangements can enable companies to win contract awards they may not qualify when “standing alone.” Utilizing a teaming arrangement by including a member who can bring a high level of experience, technical capability, and past performance the team can score high on the evaluated criteria of the proposal and win the award.

Social Media Meets Corporate Ethics and the Law - Part II

John W. of Casper asks, “As my company increases our use of social media as a marketing strategy, I find myself encouraging my employees to participate on social media sites as a work activity. How do I determine what is ethical in terms of how employee time is spent online and what is expressed?”

I may be hiring some part-time help occasionally for my handyman business. Will I have to make these individuals employees, or can they be independent contractors? Steve L., Casper

Most new businesses tend to shy away from hiring employees, due to the complexities of doing payroll and submitting payroll taxes. Before you write a check to someone as an independent contractor, be sure that you understand how the IRS defines “contractors” vs. “employees.”

Reignite your passion by creating a "bucket list" for your business

January is the perfect time for a little introspection. You have probably considered personal changes you’d like to make in 2011. Eating healthier, exercising more, and spending more time with your family are all popular New Year’s resolutions.

Help!!! The bank said I need a "Tax ID" to open a new business account. What is that and where do I get one?

Many times a bank will tell a new business they need a Tax ID. What the new business doesn’t know is there are different types of Tax ID‘s. Do they mean an Employer Identification Number (EIN #) or a Wyoming Sales Tax Number? What are the differences?

Creating a Capabilities Statement

Last week, I was on the phone with a business owner who mentioned they were planning to attend the GRO-Biz Conference & Idea Expo next month. We were getting ready to end our call when I said, "Don't forget to bring a capabilities statement to the conference!" The person responded, "What is that?"

Five Social Media Time Savers

I hear lots of comments that social media takes too much time. For a small business owner it could very well be time worth spending. Don’t think of social media as replacing your current marketing strategies, but rather enhancing and increasing visibility to a viral audience.

Government vs Commercial Contracting

It is important to acknowledge the significant differences between government and commercial work and avoid any pitfalls which may arise.

As a new business owner, what taxes am I responsible for on the income I earn? Sarah A., Casper

Individuals who are sole proprietors, partners, or members of an LLC compensate themselves by taking a “draw” out of their business. The draw is your income from self-employment, and has no taxes deducted by the company.

The Use of Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Contracts in Construction

The use of Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contracts has been a very useful tool in federal government acquisition for many years. IDIQ contracts had historically been utilized as only single award contracts for the procurement of services or supplies until two important clarifications in federal acquisitions occurred.

I Have No Competition

Many people looking to start a business are encouraged when they think they have no competition. The natural assumption is that being the only game in town is advantageous because, well, you're the only game in town. But sometimes entrepreneurs overlook the fact that they have two types of competition: direct competition and indirect competition.

Tough Market Conditions Present Opportunities to Build Infrastructure

As a former [read as: reformed] banker, I find that a majority of my friends are either bankers, portfolio managers, or business service providers.

Are you using keywords to their fullest?

In my last article, I talked about the importance of linking strategies in web optimization. Second in importance to links are keywords. I know this term gets used and abused a lot, but it is still a top-ranking web strategy for online sites.


As some of you may already know - I really Like vacations and planning vacations.

Trends For 2009

By now, we're probably all tired of hearing about the state of the economy. Yep, it's bad, we get it. But for aspiring entrepreneurs, one of their biggest questions is what type of businesses are "recession proof"?


2014 Blog Posts

Your retail store CAN create an amazing holiday marketing campaign!

The holidays are just around the corner, but you still have time to plan and deliver an amazing marketing and sales strategy for the busy season ahead. Small town shops CAN compete with big box and online stores!

Website Usability: Keep it Simple

One of the most common problems on websites, and one of the most easily avoidable, is usability. Usability encompasses many aspects of a site: organization, ease of navigation, visibility of important information, loading speed, etc. Basically, anything that affects how somebody interacts with your site (and how easy that interaction is) can fall under the "usability" umbrella.

Important Payroll Notice for Payroll Checks Beginning 1/1/11

As part of the tax legislation passed in December of 2010, the Social Security tax withheld from employee paychecks decreases from 6.2% to 4.2%.

Why Social Media Fails

The biggest reason social media marketing fails is a failure to think strategically.

Global Business Culture

In today's market if a business has a website it is, essentially, doing business in the global marketplace.

Know Thy Self and Thy Customer: Part Two

Knowing your organization may seem obvious at first glance. With some introspection, you can take advantage of what you know about yourself.

Product Placement is Key to Success

Placement is a critical in marketing a product. It is generally considered one leg of the “4 P’s”, which are product, pricing, placement (location) and promotion. If any of these legs is weak, then your product will have a much lower chance of succeeding.

Wyoming Cottage Business Food Law

The state of Wyoming now allows food products that are not potentially hazardous to be made in home kitchens.

Marketing your Business to the Federal Government

If you are interested in doing business with the federal government, one of the things you will want to learn is how to market your business to the different agencies. Marketing to the federal government is a whole different ball game then marketing to the general population.

I missed the “Free Money” Workshop in Riverton last month. Can you tell me if there really is “Free Money” in the State? M. Dollars, Dubois, WY.

There is “Free Money” in the State and it is fairly easy to obtain. A terrific opportunity to business owners (with or without employees) is the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Workforce Development Training Fund program.

Business Partnering

One marketing technique I have seen more of recently is what I’ll call Business Partnering. Basically this means working together with another business to bring exposure to both.


2009 Blog Posts

We Are Here For You!

You may or may not be familiar with our staff, resources and services. WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz is a network of three programs: WY Small Business Development Center; WY Market Research Center; and Government Resources and Opportunities for Business (GRO-Biz).

Want some late night reading that will put you to sleep? - Not really?

I knew that the IRS has a lot of information regarding business taxes, but they also have a whole lot more. Check out and see what I mean.


2013 Blog Posts

Self Publishing Options on the Web - Wyoming Entrepreneur Guest Blogger - Aliza Sherman

There are many ways to publish a well-designed PDF document or one that is chock-full of great content. Offering your content in a downloadable format - or even selling it - helps you get the most out the content you publish.

10 Tips for Family Business Success

Here are ten of the qualities David Bork feels are essential for families in business together.

Thinking about going global?

The first step to expanding into the global market is to assess your overall organization and the products you wish to export.

I only need to borrow $5,000 to get my cleaning business up and running. My credit isn’t great and the banks aren’t interested in loaning me that small of an amount. Are there any other sources of financing that I could contact?

A microloan may be your answer. Microlending originated in the 1970’s with Grameen Bank in Bangladesh. The philosophy was to eliminate poverty through entrepreneurship. Since that time, the concept has expanded worldwide, operating through a number of different types of organizations. Today, microcredit is available in the US. Grameen Bank began operation in New York in April 2008.

Go Green, Travel Green and save money for your business!

During my travels in Wyoming I have become aware of possibilities for traveling “green.” After some research, I found ideas for making business travel more eco-friendly. Reducing the impact we have on our environment as individuals and businesses, we not only save money and resources, we help keep our state and our world beautiful.

The Most Important Thing About Business

Learn what's the single most important thing in business.

Creativity in the business world

Creativity might be defined in different ways, I define it as the thought process that leads to value added innovation. Creativity is asking "why", rather than accepting the status quo.

PSP - Personally Subtle, Globally Significant

So what is your PSP? Well first, what the heck is a PSP?

Anatomy of Blog Posts

First, let's look at some of the different types of posts - or posting styles - you can use when developing content for your blog. These basic blog post formats are commonly used and can add variety to your blog.

Is Kickstarter a good way to finance my start-up business?

The answer is “maybe”, as it is too early to be sure especially with unanswered liability questions for funded failed projects.

Doing Business in Rural Places

I co-wrote a blog post with Becky McCray from Small Biz Survival called 14 Tips for Really Rural Businesses. I mention working from remote places in Wyoming. In 2004 and 2005, I worked from my RV while living in Lander and working in Riverton.

Government Contracting … it transparent enough?

Operating in a fishbowl, working in a glass house, transparent contracting, these terms all refer to the way that federal contracting must conduct business in order to be completely open in its process.

Business or Hobby?

The Internal Revenue Service looks at unprofitable businesses with a doubtful eye. The laws and regulations, however, do not provide a specific definition of what constitutes a trade or business because no single definition can apply to all cases.

Creative Entrepreneurs

Business plans are very important and simply put--a business plan is a road map of where you want to go and how you will get there. Writing a business plan is hard enough, but for the right-brained entrepreneur, it may be especially difficult.

What makes a business an ethical business?

If you ask any business owner whether their business is ethical, they will probably tell you that they think it is ethical. Usually they have some reasoning to go with it, if nothing else “because I am ethical”.

Explore the Metaverse in Video

Need another life? A Second Life perhaps?

One of my favorite movies is Multiplicity starring Micheal Keaton. His character is a general contractor with too many irons in his life's fire. So, he has himself duplicated.

Do I pay sales tax when I buy a business?

“I want to buy a business, but someone told me that I will have to pay sales tax on the purchase of the business. Is that right?” – Bruce in Wheatland.


2011 Blog Posts

Q: What are some simple, quick-return action steps I can take to market my business to the government?

One of the most common questions I get as a Procurement Counselor is how to conduct some simple yet effective marketing to the government. It is important that contracting officers and purchasing agents know about your company and the products or services you provide.

Boring Website? Try Running it Like a Magazine!

One of the things we hear frequently at the Market Research Center is that a company's website is not generating the traffic that the owners would like. If this fits your situation, one of the first things you need to do is to make sure that your site is being indexed by search engines.

Windows 7 or Not?

Since filing for divorce with Apple several years ago (I gave them another chance recently, reinforcing the divorce decision), I have used quite a few versions of Windows They include but are not limited to ME, 98, 2000, 95, XP and the infamous VISTA. About 2 months ago I loaded Windows 7.

Central Contractors Registry: Make it my problem, please.

The CCR has become more difficult, less intuitive and a time bandit for too many people.

Living and Working on the Frontier of Wyoming - Part 1

Greetings from my mobile office on the Frontier of Wyoming. The season dictates the mode of travel for my work “commute,” but suffice it to say it will be a 10-minute walk, a 4-minute bicycle ride, or a 2-minute drive. It’s a cold one this morning, so I drove.

Freebies - Are They Worth It?

If you're a business owner, chances are you've considered giving away free samples of your products or services to drum up new business at some point. At its core, it's a brilliantly simple idea: I give people a sample to show how great my product is, and they'll come back for more!

It's That Time Again

It is that time again, when we and all SBDC's send out the annual Chrisman survey. We randomly select a certain number of clients who have received five or more hours of counseling from one or more of our team of advisors and market researchers.

AgriFuture Conference - Value Added

I just returned from the very informative AgriFuture Conference that was held in Laramie. It was a great time of gathering information from farmers, ranchers, ag students and government people.

Putting Social Media Concerns in Perspective

Earlier this week, I posted a link to an article on Twitter about the increasing adoption of social media by small businesses. The article, published by Frank Reed of the Marketing Pilgrim Blog, discusses the ways businesses are using social media, their successes, and some of their ongoing concerns about making social media a part of their operations.

Customer service?

To stay competitive, you must constantly monitor the quality of the customer service you offer. If the first experience is poor, you may never have a chance to change that expectation.

CCR Profile Set-up

Central Contractor Registration (CCR) has introduced a new process for their online registration for businesses engaged in government contracting. This new process requires all users to create a User Account.

Some Good Economic News

A newly released study by INSEAD (a leading European business school) ranks 130 countries on innovation in their economies. The US ranks as number one, followed by Germany, Sweden, the UK and Singapore.

Amazon's Top 10 Leadership Lessons

I just read an article the April 23, 2012 issue of Forbes article, George Anders talks about Jeff Bezos’s “Top 10 Leadership Lessons.”

Are Franchises for Me?

For many people, operating a franchise is a good way to start up a business. In a franchise, you pay the franchisor for the right to use the franchisor’s name and for assistance in setting up your business.

Web Analytics

There is a disconnect between people who are looking on the internet for specific information and web developers that make it hard to find. People want to do business with you and give up because of a difficult website.

Guest Blogger: Lauree Ostrofsky "Understand Your Customers to Target Them More Effectively"

Market research sounds corporate and expensive, but at its most basic it allows entrepreneurs to understand why customers choose them in order to reach them better.

US Economy - Still Number 1?

Even with more bad economic news every day, it seems many experts still believe “the fundamentals of the American economy are strong.”

Living and Working on the Frontier of Wyoming - part 2

A blog series about starting a business in Wyoming

Customer Service is Sooooo Important!

I am a consumer, you are a consumer, we are all consumers. I am writing this purely with my consumer hat placed firmly on my head. I am very passionate about small businesses and wish I had one myself.

Where Does Word of Mouth Start?

In my last post, I outlined a few ways in which your customers will be talking about your business – customer review sites, social networking sites, etc. I also urged you to participate in the discussion versus just letting it happen – if people are talking anyway, why not get involved? Word of mouth marketing is going to happen for your business, for better or worse. At least give yourself the chance to address any issues that customers may bring up.


2008 Blog Posts

When Should A Business Use Copyrights?

Copyright is protected under title 17, United States Code. It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by this law to copyright owners.

Resources for Doing Some Government Contracting Detective Work

Have you ever wondered how much money the Federal government spends in Wyoming, or what types of products or services a particular Federal agency buys? It's not as hard as you might think to find out!

Should you delegate your business bookkeeping tasks to a friend or relative?

Getting your new business off the ground in a highly competitive market will require not only knowledge and skill to produce your product or service, but will need a sound financial footing.

Retail Merchandising Tips

I recently had the opportunity to hear a nationally known merchandising and visual marketing expert, Bruce Baker, who was in Worland and Cody recently. I thought that I would share a few of the tips he gave to area retail business owners as they may apply to your business as well. Of course some will depend on budget, the current state of your storefront, the amount of space you have to work with, etc.

Web Sites and Social Media

As people become more enthused with social media like Facebook, Twitter, and a whole host of others, more and more business owners are asking if they should be using it. Many don't even seem to be getting much good out of their web site.

Photo Do's and Don'ts

You should never use a photo that you find on the internet without the express permission of the person who owns the copyright. This is normally the photographer, but can be an organization or company. Finding the copyright holder can be tough, especially since many photos on the internet are not properly attributed.

SAM the System for Award Management – UPDATE!

If you are interested in doing business with the federal government, one of the first things you will learn is that you must register and provide some basic information about your business.

Am I relating to customers on my website?

When we think about communicating with customers on a website, we have to think about different learning styles. Does your website take into consideration different types of customers?

I am a graphic designer who is considering joining a “coworking” space. Why should someone choose this, instead of just working from home? - Cindy in Lander, WY

Coworking spaces attempt to capture the best of different workspaces where freelancers and independent workers get things done— the flexibility of a home office and vibe of a café— and bring them together with an emphasis on collaboration and building community.

A little about cloud computing...

There are three levels of cloud computing. The bottom base is the infrastructure level where the hosting takes place. The next level is the platform level where developers develop new applications. The top level is where the applications are stored to be accessed by end-users. Now let’s back up.

Guest Blogger: Rod Trahan "Once a Year Is Not Enough, Know What's Happening In Your Game"

Can you imagine how a NBA Basketball game would turn out if during game the visiting teams coaching staff were required to sit outside the arena without any contact with their team until the end of the game? Do you think that team would be at a disadvantage?

Sell your products and services on cell phones using "mCommerce"

mCommerce means "mobile" commerce by the way. : ) More and more people are making purchases with their cell phones.

Keeping Trade Secrets From Competitors

As a small business owner, you likely have a wealth of information which is valuable to your business that, if known to your competitors, would give them an advantage over you in the business market. This Intellectual Property (IP) is known as trade secrets.

Do I Need Key Man Insurance for My Business?

After reading an article recently, entitled, “Have You Insured Your Company’s Most Valuable Resource?” by Dana Sydney of Dayton & Sydney, LLC, an insurance advisor, I would say that there are several good reasons for your company to carry insurance on your key employees and yourself.

Is Exporting For You?

Have you been thinking about starting to export your products outside of the state? Many Wyoming companies look at exporting as selling to Colorado or Utah. However, many of our products may well find a market outside the US.

Is Your Homepage Doing More Harm Than Good?

Your homepage is your first opportunity at grabbing your customers' attention. Make sure it does that instead of driving them away.

Writing for the Web

One of the services we offer at the Wyoming Entrepreneur Market Research Center is website optimization. The reason why we offer this service is that although websites are supposed to function as marketing tools, they often miss the mark.

Web Optimization Linking Strategies

Search engines use a method of indexing to organize the billions of web pages that exist in cyberspace. They would all like to show up on the first 3 pages of search engine results competing for those top spots.

America Invents Act and Fast Track Patent Examination

Patent ownership is a critical factor that some venture capital companies consider when investing in entrepreneurs and small businesses who hope to grow their businesses.

What's the deal with getting a DUNS number?

A DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) number is a unique nine-digit number assigned by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) for each physical location of a business.

Autumn Spruce-up

As school is getting back in session and the kids get a fresh start, how about a fresh look for your business?

Why Use Social Media?

Increasingly, many consumers are using social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to discuss companies, products and experiences with their friends and peers. Monitoring what people say about your company, your service and your products is an excellent way to find out what you’re doing right or wrong.

Has your CCR Profile disappeared!?!

The CCR is the Central Contractor Registration. It is a mandatory registration for all businesses to work with the government.

Is 2009 the Year of the Coupon for Websites?

According to Google, since 2004 the word "coupon" used as a web search term, has increased 257%. Wow, that's good to know!

The Unfamiliar Territory of Building a Website

There are two main options for getting a website. You can build your own using an online site building tool or you can hire someone to build it for you. Either way, you should start by educating yourself about websites.

Website Linking Strategies

Website linking strategies require attention if you are trying to increase your visibility on the internet. They are often misunderstood so some clarification is needed.

Improving Cash Flow

Cash flow issues seem to be a concern for many small businesses, and this time of year is usually more difficult.

Tell your entrepreneurial story and wrap it in Christmas cheer!

Twitter and Facebook and blogs, oh my! Are you wondering if these are serious business tools? They can be when you know how to use them.

Organizing Your Office

As summer begins to wind down and fall is just around the corner, I look at how I can organize my life at home and in the office. My home office has piled papers on my desk waiting to be filed, old files needing to be cleaned out and it seems like clutter everywhere. So I sit here wondering where do I start?

Wyoming Business Survival Day

In this tough economy, Wyoming businesses know they will have to run lean. Wyoming Entrepreneur.Biz can help. Call 1-800-348-5194 to schedule your free consultation with one of our business consultants.

What Are Your Tax Obligations As A Small Business?

When you are self-employed, it typically means you work for yourself, as an independent contractor, and you own your own independent business. Here are 5 key points that the IRS would like you to know about self-employment and self-employment taxes.

5 Ways to Collaborate Online - Wyoming Entrepreneur Guest Blogger Aliza Sherman

If you’re looking to collaborate more with your employees, team members and stakeholders, there are many opportunities to do this effectively and efficiently online. Virtual collaboration gives you and others the flexibility to access content and resources from a computer anywhere at any time.

Financial Literacy

I recently had someone tell me that after receiving their tax information back from the accountant, they realized that they need to have a better understanding of the financial side of the business.

With All of the Abilities of Social Media Are Websites Necessary?

Social media has exploded over the past several years.

Your Online Persona: Aligning Personality with Professionalism

If you're just venturing into social media and haven't gotten comfortable interacting via tools like Facebook or Twitter yet, it can be a bit nerve-wracking at first. How should you conduct yourself?

"Sustainability" Wears Many Faces - Untours Combines Unique Vacation Alternatives with Low Interest Loans to Promote Economic Development

“Sustainable” is defined as, “Capable of being continued with minimal long-term effect on the environment.”

Think Carefully When You Speak – You Might Be Offending a Customer

I had just finished a presentation where I was discussing the importance of marketing plans and planning to an audience of folks from the non-profit world. I thought the presentation went well and there was lively discussion at the end. All-in-all, I was thinking that this was a pretty successful day’s work.

The Internet and the World - an introduction

Recently, Amy in Burns asked me about tips to use the Internet to explore reaching the global market for her retail product.

Transcend Economic Cycles

In Scott Peck’s 1978 bestselling book, The Road Less Traveled, one simple paragraph states “Life is Difficult,” a principle also taught by the famous Chinese philosopher, Confucius.

Brilliant Definition of Web 2.0

This was sent to me from a collegue on EconDev. The drawing is the work of Jessica Hagy

Web 2.0 – It’s So 2005!

The constant sprouting of new “Webs” is confusing. There are about as many definitions of Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 as there are writers. This is my take.

Affordable Marketing Tips

Right now, with the economy in a slump —you need to capture every customer you can. That means you need to keep marketing, without it costing a fortune.

How to Create an Effective Budget

In order to address the financial struggles of small business owners, you must first understand and identify the problem. Budgets can be an effective way to quickly pinpoint where expenses are high and revenues are low.

Averting the "Fiscal Cliff"?

Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, averting the "Fiscal Cliff."

Americans are Fed Up --- But Not With Small Businesses

In a recently published survey by the Pew Research Center entitled "The People and Their Government: Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor, respondents were grouped by whether they were "content", "frustrated" or "angry" with the federal government.

Financial Health Check-up 2.0

Our program consists of a computer analysis of the historical financial data that will compare a local business to others in the industry as well as look at trends within the business itself. The result is an easy-to-read narrative report that can be viewed by the owner or with the assistance of an SBDC counselor.

Credit Card Debt an Indicator of Business Failure

A new study out by the Kauffman Foundation finds that the use of credit card debt by start-up companies reduces the likelyhood the company will survive the first three years.

Guest Blogger: Tim Bursch and "4 Tips to Profit and Impact"

More people want to integrate their social interest and business. But how do you make a profit and social impact? It doesn’t matter if you're running a bakery or a bank. You can make a difference. Consider these 4 steps and integrate a social mission into your business.

Is your sustainability message a bit stale? Spice it up and make it memorable!

Even though we are heading into warmer months of spring and summer, here’s proof that your sustainability messaging doesn’t have to be boring: In late January, the World Wildlife Fund launched a website ( for National Sweater Day (February 9).

Putting sustainability into practice

For marketers, think about how you can reward your customers for doing the right thing. Can you make something simpler, less expensive, or more convenient for them?

Social Media Meets Corporate Ethics and the Law - Part 1

John W. of Casper asks, “As my company increases our use of social media as a marketing strategy, I find myself encouraging my employees to participate on social media sites as a work activity. How do I determine what is ethical in terms of how employee time is spent online and what is expressed?”

Time To Prepare A New Budget

As you read this we are approaching a new year, and for most businesses a new fiscal year as well.

Promoting Your Business Online

You, as a business owner, now have tools at your fingertips that allow you to connect your services or products directly to your customers and customers-to-be. Better yet, it doesn't cost much to make an impact.

Wyoming Entrepreneur buys land in Second Life

The awesome journey continues...

Another PowerPoint Presentation?

Whether you like it or not, giving a presentation with PowerPoint is probably going to be unavoidable. So as long as you're going to use it at some point, it's worth learning a few simple tips to help make the presentation more effective and enjoyable for the audience.

Not Good Service, Not Great Service, But STELLAR Service

On a recent shopping trip I encountered stellar customer service. Not just good service, but STELLAR service – service good enough to write about. I keep thinking about how this excellent service made me part with a lot more money than I normally would and how happy I am about it!

You've Opened Your Business and There Are No Customers. Now What?

Day one of any business can be the most challenging. You’ve envisioned helping people, selling them products they want, making your customers happy and bringing in money and there you are by yourself.

Time to revisit one of the original economic stimulus programs?

Ever heard of the Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) program? The US Small Business Administration (SBA) HUBZone program is a place-based, race neutral program, created in 1997, to help stimulate the economy in areas with high unemployment or lower-than-average wages, by providing federal contracting preferences to businesses that are located in these areas and hire people who live in these areas.

Moondance Diner Dances well in Wyoming

Life has taught me that amazing people do amazing things. There are a few people, after all, that authentically stand out.

Why A Distributed Model in Wyoming?

I get a lot of questions about the operation that the WMRC runs in Wyoming, and one of the comments is often "why do you have centralized services?".

Tips to networking and relationship building when selling products and services to the government.

Do you want to market your goods and or services to government agencies? If so, developing an effective approach to the process can be helpful. The following are a few tips to that will prepare you for efficient communication that will be important when networking with contracting officers and other government agency representatives.

Where Do I Purchase Forms to Start my Business?

How many times do new business owners come to me AFTER paying for State and Federal Forms to start their businesses?

Can you really prepare for the "what if's" in your business?

Disasters always happen to someone else, right? I would like to share a story with you about an experience I had in dealing with the “what if’s”!

Electronic Payment of Taxes - Probably Not an Option Anymore!

Previously, once your business’s federal tax liability (including all taxes) during a calendar year exceeded $200,000 or your payroll tax deposits exceeded $50,000, you were required to use EFTPS or Electronic Federal Tax Payment System, in the second succeeding calendar year.

Savannah's Restaurant in Afton

Oil, natural gas and trona are not the only treasures that lye below the surface in Wyoming; there are culinary treasures as well like Savannah's Restaurant in Afton.

Executive Coaching: Is this for You?

Executive coaches are used extensively (well, perhaps before our current economic crisis) by large companies. A few years ago a study found that 86% of large companies surveyed used executive coaches to prepare their lower and middle managers for more advanced leadership.

Tips for Selling to the Government

Here are a few of the tidbits offered by the experts presenting last February—and a taste of what is coming up at the tenth annual GRO-Biz Conference Feb. 16-18, 2010 in Laramie.

Unintended Consequences - Cash For Clunkers May Hurt Lower Income Car Buyers

What happens to a market when 5% of the current supply is eliminated? In a free market the answer is obvious - prices increase.

Business Conference Calls? Try Skype - Free up to 5 Participants

Skype works using VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), the technology for transmitting voice conversations via the Internet. Skype subscribers can call other Skype subscribers, from computer to computer, free of charge.

Time To Be Cautious...

The January edition of the Wyoming Business Report carried an article by Russell Smith, the Region VIII Administrator of the SBA, titled "Time to be cautious when starting a small business".

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Economic Gardening

According to the United State Geological Survey, a GIS (Geographic Information System) is “a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information; that is, data identified according to location.

The 5 Days of Christmas......Accounting Style

The New Year is a perfect time to think about starting a manual or software accounting system for your business.

Business Benchmarks

Typically when we think of benchmarks, it is in relation to either the industry a business competes in, or it could be internal goals that the company has set for itself.


The answer to your questions is “It depends”. You don’t really need to purchase a new copy of QuickBooks every year, but you might want to.

Failed Social Media Resolution? Oh no!

There are so many social media options available, there is bound to be a struggle with how to start the project. A plan of action will break the task or resolution down into manageable parts.

Interns Rock!

No time? No money? No problem! Try hiring an intern. I have had interns for the past 6 years and they are a great way to stretch your resources and to bring enthusiasm, dedication and hard work to your business.

Time to Play Hooky?

Conventional wisdom suggests that when you are falling behind, you should just work a little harder to get more done. Productivity experts have filled book store business sections with tools and systems that can help you improve your performance and productivity.

eBay Boxes for Christmas

Selling items on eBay for Christmas this year? You can get free boxes for shipping Priority with the US Postal Service (USPS) and have them mailed right to your home.

Convenient Store Hours

From a customer perspective, if you work from 8 until 5, you need to be able to shop either after 5 or on the weekends.

Choosing a Credit Card Processor

Unfortunately, credit card processors seem to have many areas where they feel justified to charge you a fee. Different processors levy different fees for different services, and the fee percentages vary. Thus, choosing a processor on the basis of cost alone is very difficult.

Your Company’s Name – It’s Where It All Starts

I’ve had a number of clients over the years ask me why their company never shows up on search engine results. There can be any number of reasons why search engines aren’t “seeing” your website.

Is Blogging Worth It?

A well-written, regularly updated blog can establish you as a resource of information and will give customers a reason to continually visit your site.

They just opened a business incubator in Rawlins and I’ve seen these around the state. What types of businesses use them?

First, there are different kinds of business incubators often suited to the industry you are in.

Are Websites Becoming Obsolete?

Wyoming has helped numerous clients with their websites and we usually suggest developing one for those who haven’t already. It’s difficult to survive without a presence on the web, but here’s a sobering thought: Your website may be one of the last places customers look to find out about you.

Federal Government Spending

Government contracting can certainly be an effective way to increase sales and supplement your business, but some business owners assume the federal government doesn’t buy what they sell. However, it might surprise you to find out just how large and diverse the pool of government procured goods and services really is.

How to Maximize Inventory Profits for Your Small Retail Business

Utilizing your computerized inventory system to generate reports that accurately track sales history of inventory will help you maximize profits for your small business.

How Do You Engage Consumers?

I recently attended a fair; the Mother Earth News Fair to be exact. There were more than 250 vendors. If you are sitting in your booth looking bored, I will usually just walk by. If your product interests me, I may look for something to find more info-this is your cue to engage me!

What is Federal Unemployment Tax and why do I have to pay it, too?

The Federal Unemployment Tax Act, or FUTA directs both the states and federal government to run the unemployment tax program for the nation. The program provides payments to workers who have lost their jobs, such as what we have been experiencing during this recession.

What Type of Entrepreneur are You?

When I work with business owners and entrepreneur it is often extremely obvious that there are a number of different types of entrepreneurs. I recently came across the work of Skip Shuda, who has divided tech entrepreneurs into 8 types

Protect Your Accounting Data Two Ways

As the last invoices and statements come in and you finish up your 2008 accounting, it's time to backup your accounting records. Here are two important ways you protect your data.

Successful Business Acquisition

Some statistics say that nearly two-thirds of purchased businesses fail. Here are 5 strategies that might assist you in making your business acquisition more successful.


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Make reconciling part of your new year's resolution for 2019 with some advice from bookkeeping expert Rob Condie.
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If someone told you that about half the people who run fifty percent of America’s most active and inventive businesses will retire in the next five to ten years, would you care?
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Guest blogger Jessica Brauer explains how Wyoming entrepreneurs can build an effective, eye-catching website with easy-to-use, affordable website builders.
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Learn how Word of Mouth Marketing can help you reach new customers.
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