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Wyoming Business Tips for Jan. 13-19


January 4, 2013 — A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Elizabeth Parks, researcher at the Market Research Center

“My business is doing OK, but how can I bump it up a notch?”  Roy, Story.

I’m so glad you asked.  As we start a new year, it might be a good time to take a good, hard look at your business. Are you marketing as well as you can? Are your competitors sneaking up on you? How about that website? Have you looked at your content? Perhaps there are things that you can do to do a better job of connecting with customers on the Internet. 

Tax time is upon us. As you get out your spreadsheets, take a good look at where your money is going. Do you have enough cash flow to meet expenses? How about your profit/loss margins? Perhaps you could increase your bottom line by contracting with the government. You might be amazed at the depth and breadth of products and services that the government uses. They depend on small businesses like yours to fill their needs.

Here at Wyoming Entrepreneur, we can help with all of these questions and much more. A network composed of the Market Research Center (MRC), Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), we are your resource for business strategies and development. 

The MRC is a full-service resource for competitive intelligence, consumer markets, demographics and local, regional, national and international trends. We also offer website optimization services and can help you understand how your website functions as a marketing tool for your business. 

Business advisers at the SBDC can help you better understand how the different parts of your financial picture actually work together. It is really a snapshot of how your business functions. If the figures are off balance, there is a good chance that things on the shop floor could be improved. 

Government contracting can be a frightful experience for small businesses that are crunched for time and don’t want to deal with the maze of online registration and the process of negotiating contracts. That is where our PTAC office comes in. They are experts at walking you through the contracting process, showing you how to respond to RFPs and becoming familiar with government databases.

There is an amazing conference scheduled Feb. 19-21 in Cody. It is our annual GRO-Biz conference and has two tracks. One is the business track that highlights successful business strategies. The other track is government contracting. Representatives of more than 50 government agencies will be available to provide one-on-one advice on how to obtain contracts. For more information and to register, go to  http://www.uwyo.edu/sbdc/grow_and_succeed/ptac.html

Now is the time to raise the bar for what you can accomplish. You are living in the best state in the country to have a business. To increase your bottom line, take advantage of all of the resources that Wyoming makes available.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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