The place to start and grow your business


SMART goals

Make Your Goals SMART-er»

Setting goals the SMART way can help you reach your goals, whether it’s a short-term goal of losing 15 pounds or a long-term one of saving enough money to start a business. The act of writing goals down forces you (and me) to focus on those goals in a SMART way. So, this year, I resolve to turn my resolutions into SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, and within a reasonable Time-frame.

credit definition

What “Credit” Really Means»

Even though buying on credit is convenient, it is not always a good decision. Once a person crosses that line, of buying now and paying later, the process becomes more tempting to buy items we do not need or items that are on sale. Instead we should be asking ourselves, “Can I pay off the debt in a month before interest is added?” “What is the long-term benefit of this purchase?” “Will I end up paying more (in the long run) for the item than it is worth?” “If I had the cash, would I make that purchase?” “Is it a need or a want?” The wise reasons for not using credit cards are:

financial education for teens

Financial Education: Get ‘Em While They’re Young»

You hear it all the time, “I wish someone taught me financial education when I was in school. That sure would have saved me from learning the hard way!” It is a hot button topic right now, especially considering the current state of the economy. Can we prevent future generations from repeating our mistakes? The answer to that question is a resounding “YES!”

It’s All About Perspective

Giving: It’s All About Perspective»

As a non-profit, WESST only exists because of people and organizations giving us money to do what we do best—helping entrepreneurs from the idea stage to actually starting and expanding their own self-sufficient businesses. What is the perspective of our investors? Our investors want to know that the investment they are making is a good one. To answer that question, we have to be able to produce actual, quantifiable results.

NAWBO Goes Global

NAWBO Goes Global with Inaugural Exporting Event»

Last week, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) New Mexico chapter presented its first time ever program, Go Global with NAWBO. “With the world getting smaller and with increasing competition from foreign and domestic sources, NAWBO wanted to present options to members and guests on how to grow their businesses with exporting opportunities.

global economy

Can I Sell My Products and Services…Abroad?»

So, your business plan has proved to be a good tool — a roadmap essential to your building a successful business domestically. Maybe you sell regionally or throughout the U.S. and now you are thinking of expanding your business to international markets. Good thought since exporting can even out sales and cash flow. But before spending too much time and money on research, there are a few things to contemplate before you begin your Export Business Plan.


5 Truths You Need to Know About Social Media for 2012»

Many small business owners approach social media like a Whac-a-Mole player who swings the mallet wildly. Rather than launching an assault on social media like a hit-or-miss game, plan out a strategy. Because without preparation, your social media efforts can quickly fizzle. Before you embark on a social media campaign, consider these five practical truths about social media that will help you develop a winning strategy.

a picture is worth 1000 words

How to Optimize Images to Improve Your Website Visibility and Traffic»

We’ve all heard the phrase, “A picture is worth a 1000 words.” But in the case of a website, this only holds true if you use words to describe your image to search engines. You see, search engines can’t really “see” your images. But they can read what you say about an image through text.

This information can be conveyed several ways, including:

market research

Can I Sell My Products or Services?»

“Can I sell my products or services?” “Who will buy what I sell?” and “How do I know if my products or services have value?” The answer to all of those questions lies in market research.

“Market research” is a term used to describe a broad range of ways to find out information about target customers, competitors and industry. When doing research, it is important to be clear about which aspect of the market is the subject of the research: customers, competition or industry.

niche marketing

What is a Market Niche?»

A niche is a narrow subsection of the market that is not being served or not being well served. Even though it is narrow by nature, it should not be so narrow that there are not enough customers to sustain a business. The most profitable niches are low on competition and high on demand. The next question might be, “Why is it useful to carefully define a market and focus on a niche?”