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StreetShares Blog - The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

StreetShares Blog

The Resource Center for Veteran Small Businesses

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4 Ways You Can Optimize Your Business's Brick-and-Mortar Experience
| StreetShares Blog

 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official opinions, policies, or positions of StreetShares or any of its affiliates.

It's no secret e-commerce has had an impact on brick-and-mortar businesses, and you can point to its growth in annual sales as proof: a steady 17% increase in annual sales year over year. However, people often miss out on the fact that e-commerce shopping is still tiny compared to brick-and-mortar sales. Also, the health of the brick-and-mortar industry shouldn't be summed up in just one metric.

It's not to say that e-commerce hasn't affected brick-and-mortar sales. More than 6,400 brick-and-mortar stores closed down in 2017, and key brands in the industry, like Sears, have also recently closed their doors. Much of that has to do with the growing e-commerce space.

Additionally, consumers are now largely plagued by the Amazon effect, which means they expect a seamless shopping experience with instant rewards. Consumers expect to find exactly what they're looking for with little effort and want the item(s) delivered within a very short time frame. However, this is by no means the end of retail. In fact, numerous stores have taken steps to take advantage of the intersection of technology and retail shopping.

Here are four ways you can optimize your brick-and-mortar experience to best fit today's modern consumer. 

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8 Social Media Marketing Strategies to Foster Your Veteran-owned Small Business 
| StreetShares Blog

By StreetShares on December 5, 2018

Even for veteran small business owners who are accustomed to multi-tasking and problem-solving, the entrepreneurial quagmire is still a reality. Entrepreneurs don't want to stop creating products and enhancing their services in order to spend time marketing. Running a business is a juggling act that requires developing the product or service, attending to administrative demands, and managing professional relationships. So where does that leave time to trumpet the company value propositions with a social media marketing strategy?   

In order for a business to stay vibrant in today's economy, it’s necessary to establish your brand, create brand awareness and get the word out. Even if your business is brick and mortar, it’s even more important to stay relevant and promote your business online.

Learn more marketing trends in the ebook, "5 Small Business Trends for  Vet-owned Businesses." Download now >>

The idea of utilizing social media to promote your business might seem tedious but think of it this way: online presence isn't just shameless promotion. If approached correctly, it's an opportunity to connect with your customers, other servicemembers, veterans and veteran business owners and to start smart and helpful conversations. Here's a basic social media strategy that will boost your company visibility without investing a ton of time or money. 

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6 Characteristics of a Responsible Business Lender
| StreetShares Blog

By StreetShares on December 4, 2018

Responsible lending is a term that can get thrown around in the lending industry—it sounds great and certainly makes financial institutions look good when they use it... But practically speaking, what does it mean? And more importantly, how does it affect you as a business owner?

It matters a lot, actually. If you’re looking for business funding to grow your veteran business, you want to work with lenders who will set you up for success. It’s in your best interest to work with a lender who practices responsible credit reporting, has an alignment of interests and provides you with the right-sized funding so you won’t default on a loan.

If your lender claims to practice responsible lending, here are the top six characteristics you should expect to see in them:

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4 Secrets to Become a Successful Veteran Government Contractor
| StreetShares Blog

The U.S. Government constantly adjusts and grows as new needs arise with changes in technology and resources. As the nation's largest consumer, the government needs an army of contractors to support its massive consumption requirements. As a result, the benefits available through government contracts are abounding. Veteran contractors are perfect candidates to fill this growing landscape because of your previous employment by the government. You’ve also learned lessons, acquired tools, and made contacts from your military experience that could be valuable in the government contracting space.

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Ways to Save on Veteran Small Business Taxes: Deductions & Credits
| StreetShares Blog

By StreetShares on November 27, 2018

Did you know that if you went “green”, hired a veteran, or started a company last year you might be eligible for three important but little known tax deductions?

Small tax deductions and credits take a little extra work, but your savings can really add up. Every dollar counts when it comes to running a veteran small business. We’ve compiled some resources of available credits and deductions your business may qualify for:

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Your Vote Determines the Winner of the Veteran Small Business Award
| StreetShares Blog

By Aubrey Shwedick on November 20, 2018

The finalists of this cycle of the Veteran Small Business Award, presented by the StreetShares Foundation and Sam Adams Brewing the American Dream, have been announced! Your vote determines which of these businesses will win a total of $25,000 in small business grant money. Learn more about the finalists under the cut, or click here to vote now! Voting ends at midnight Eastern on 11/24/2018.

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7 Signs it's Time for Your Business to Hire More Staff
| StreetShares Blog

By StreetShares on November 14, 2018

Business is great. Client orders for your services keep piling up. As a result, your employees are all working extra hours to beat deadlines. Unfortunately, fatigue is slowly kicking in, and you can see that your workforce results are beginning to head in the wrong direction. Is it time to make that critical decision and hire an extra pair of hands? If you hire too early, you might blow your workforce budget. If you don't hire fast enough, work will outpace your capacity and unfinished tasks will become the norm. So, how do you know if your business can afford additional staff? Here are seven signs to keep on your radar.

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Why Military Veterans Should Become Entrepreneurs
| StreetShares Blog

By Mark L. Rockefeller, Co-Founder & CEO on November 8, 2018

I’m one of the 2.5 million veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. I’m also an entrepreneur. And I’m not alone. The men and women of today’s armed services are uniquely positioned to become successful veteran entrepreneurs.

To my fellow veterans:

You have what it takes.

By nature of your military service, you possess the skills that are required to run your own business. As a Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine, you learned the importance of communication, focus, and drive to accomplish the mission at hand. You’ve encountered problems that need to be solved on the fly and you’ve done so instinctively. Recall one of the earliest reports from Operation Enduring Freedom: U.S. special operations forces in Afghanistan coordinated precision airstrikes from laptops on horseback—21st Century technology met old-fashioned creativity to get the job done. That’s called entrepreneurship.

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Top 10 Most Influential Military Spouse Business Owners
| StreetShares Blog

By Virginia Newell on November 1, 2018

Life as a military spouse can be full of adventure, fun, new beginnings and discounts galore. It also can be full of uncertainty, sacrifice and self-reliance; moves are endless, friendships are constantly evolving, and children are uprooted. Unfortunately, the transitory nature of the military has an especially deep impact on spouse’s employment opportunities.

Recent statistics have shown more than 90 percent of military spouses are underemployed or overqualified for the jobs they currently hold, and salary for those jobs is 38 percent less than the civilian equivalent. Beyond that, unemployment among military spouses is extremely high at 26 percent, or three times higher than the national average. Hiring managers tend to look for longevity on resumes – one thing that military spouses cannot provide.

We wanted to focus in on some incredibly influential military spouses who, through their successful businesses, have either worked to change the unemployment rate among military spouses or have simply found a way to defy the odds and have become influential through their admirable business models. We are excited to highlight these 10 amazing women as a way to show our appreciation for all they are doing in the military community and illuminate their own unique service to our country.

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Debt Financing vs. Equity Financing: Pros and Cons for Small Business
| StreetShares Blog

Growth. It is what small businesses must do to survive, it is how they thrive, and your veteran-owned small business is no exception.

It can be intimidating when determining how to finance that growth, but it doesn't have to be.

Armed with research and knowledge on business trends, growth, financing, and all of the options available to veteran-owned small businesses, you can make an educated decision on the best approach to financing your company's growth.

Let’s dig into three ways to finance your small business: self, equity, and debt financing. You can also download our handy ebook “The Basics of Small Business Financing” for a more in-depth look at your options.

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