Tag: phoenix score

Video: Mark Cuban’s 12 Rules for Startups

Mark Cuban 12 Tips for StartupsIf you’re in business and you don’t watch Shark Tank, you’re missing out on the best business advice you can ever get. You can catch reruns on ABC on Friday nights and weeknights on CNBC Primetime. Even when watching shows you’ve watched before helps you grab tips that you may not have caught before.

It comes down to finding something your love to do and then just trying to be great at it.”
Mark Cuban

In this video, Mark Cuban, notorious serial entrepreneur, shares his top 12 Rules for Startups:

  • Is it an obsession?
  • Know your core competencies
  • Not just for company founders, but for those thinking of working for a start-up
  • How are you going to monetize it?
  • Go with what you know
  • Flat and open
  • Have fun!

Thinking of starting something up? Meet with a SCORE Mentor for FREE! Or attended one of our seminars – check out the list on the left side of this blog for the next classes or visit our website.

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Arizona Corporation Commission Launches new eCorp Website for Businesses

The Arizona Corporation Commission Launches eCorp – A Site Providing Enhanced Services for Businesses: http://eCorp.azcc.gov

Arizona Corporation CommissionIf you’re starting a business in Arizona, you need to file the appropriate forms with the Corporation Commission. This new site makes it easy to:

  • Search to see if your business name is available
  • Learn where to start
  • Get statistical data about Arizona businesses
  • Get copies of your company’s filing and status
  • Get their current processing times
  • A Services page for quick access to available services such as online Certificates of Good Standing, annual report email reminders, and records requests
  • Ten Steps to Starting a Business in Arizona.
  • It’s compatible with the major web browsers and mobile devices.

Here’s a video tour and tutorial of the site:

All corporations and LLCs doing business in Arizona must file their business entity documents with the Corporation Commission. There are approximately 198,145 corporations and 643,498 LLCs registered to do business in our state. Last year, the Commission received 373,067 business filings.

If you need help deciding which type of entity you should be, a SCORE mentor can help you with that for free!!! Click here to schedule a meeting. We have several locations in the Phoenix Valley.

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Judy Fishman – Publishing Entrepreneur Extraordinaire – A SCORE Success Story

By George Obst, Certified SCORE Mentor

Judy Fishman - Publishing Entrepreneur ExtraordinaireWhen I ran into Judy Fishman at the 2nd annual Greater Phoenix SCORE Symposium in March, it became clear there was an inspirational success story that needed to be told.

Judy Fishman got a great start in her publishing business and SCORE was there to help. A graduate of Queens College with a major in English, Judy entered the publishing industry as a trainee in advertising production. There, she volunteered to write the company’s newsletter and that provided her with the writing sample she needed to apply for a position in the editorial department of another publishing company.

LMT Magazine Five years later, Judy, an entrepreneur at heart, had a yen to create her own publishing business and saw an opportunity to do so within the dental field. With a second mortgage for financing, she began working on the first issue of a magazine for the dental laboratory industry – LMT .

SCORE was there for her when she needed help on the business side of this adventure. A SCORE mentor, in Norwalk, CT. met at her home office to advise her about setting up a payroll, establishing and tracking a five-year plan, and finding trusted sources for service providers such as insurance and accounting. And that was over 30 years ago.

Competition was tough as she competed with five other dental magazines aimed at her target market but, with enthusiasm, conviction, and perseverance, Judy’s magazine became the leader in the field with a 70% market share of allocated advertising dollars. A major reason for her success was the fact that she surveyed her readership and asked for continuous feedback from customers and then initiated changes based on this information. Having customers communicate their opinions are key to creating an intimate customer experience.

Another significant factor contributing to success was her creation of a unique selling proposition. Judy created an industry trade show with educational programs sponsored by the dental companies that advertised in the magazine. She started in one central location and then spread to two other key regions in the country. No other national laboratory publication brought advertisers to the table to meet face to face with their dental laboratory owner/technician-customers.

Judy commented, “Our shows create a more intimate connection between us and the industry suppliers/manufacturers as well as with our readers. We are more than ‘just another magazine,’ and are known for our efforts to satisfy the needs of our community.”

Judy attributes her success to her 16-person staff, empowered to produce quality results. She believes in treating her staff the way she would like to be treated, and staff members have responded in a totally committed way to ensure unity of purpose and exceptional results.

History tells the story best. Three of the competitors that Judy confronted at the start of the magazine have long since closed. She continues to own the dominant market share and has become one of the highest-ranking women executives in the dental industry.

January 2015 was an epic month, setting a record in ad revenue. Congratulations Judy and staff.

The success continues.

SCORE, with over 70 certified mentors in the greater Phoenix area, helps entrepreneurs succeed who are either starting a business or leading a small business. SCORE mentors listen intently, and then, at no cost to the client, bring objective plan development and problem solving in constructive and productive one on one sessions. This may take just one meeting or as many meetings as the entrepreneur feels are helpful and necessary. And remember, as a resource partner of the US Small Business Administration, there is never a fee to the client. If business financing is needed, SCORE mentors will advise on the necessary steps that will increase the client’s chances of securing outside financing.

Schedule an appointment with a SCORE mentor today at a convenient location. Click here to jump-start your success.

George Obst, Certified SCORE MentorGeorge Obst is a Certified SCORE mentor with more than 30 years experience profitably managing and growing businesses, including start-ups, purchasing, financing and selling businesses.




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Don’t Design like it’s 1999 – 4 Website Design Choices that make Viewers Cringe

By Erik Wong, GoDaddy

4 website design choices that make viewers cringeWebsites are like snowflakes: no two are ever quite the same. They’re often a reflection of the designer’s creativity, the utility of the site itself, or an example of a current trend in design communities. If you’re a small business looking to make an impression with your customer base online, it’d be in your best interest to pay attention to those design factors to ensure that said impression be a damn fine one.

You see, as varied as our preferences are, there are a handful of design choices many people find almost universally poor in taste. As your partner in your online presence, GoDaddy does not want you to be “That Guy” — you know, the one with the outdated or obnoxious website packed with blinking headlines, rainbow hues, bedazzled backgrounds and cluttered copy.

So when designing your site, here are four major content mistakes to avoid at all costs:

Flashy or color changing text  

Yes, it's attention-getting, but really?

Hang on, my satellite phone is ringing … 1999 called and it wants its site designs back. But seriously, while still useful for things like Craigslist ads, flashing or color-changing text is one of the most obnoxious and stubborn holdovers to web designs from the past. A well-designed site with good content doesn’t need to rely on gimmicks to draw your attention to key areas.

Like the old adage goes, saying the wrong thing louder doesn’t make it right.

Hard to find or out-of-place information

Don’t hide menus or button in the clutter of your pages, and be sure to include all relevant information in plain sight, including prices, menus, service areas, and so on. If you run a physical business, display your hours and location(s) clearly in an obvious place on your site. You would think this goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many sites overlook this kind of stuff.

Poorly-created videos

Having videos on your site is a terrific idea. It keeps your customers engaged and gives you dynamic content to break up monotony. We know you aren’t Michael Bay, though, and we forgive you for that. Your video doesn’t have to be extravagant and it shouldn’t even cost you anything to create. While I’ve covered things to avoid when making a video for your site already, I feel it’s important to touch on just a few of the major no-no’s before the camera rolls:

  • Don’t wing it, have a script and a controlled environment.
  • Use a tripod or stand to keep the camera stable to prevent the shaky-cam look.
  • Speak clearly and concisely; avoid muttering, heavy breathing, and filler words (“Umm,” “like,” and “you know”).

And if you do have videos or audio on your site, DO NOT set it to auto play once the page loads. I may be an extreme example, but the last time I went to a website that had an auto play video, I threw my speakers in the garbage out of spite. Now I can’t hear anything…

Busy, busy backgrounds!

A common misconception about website backgrounds is that they’re just another place to display information or set the stage for your site. The reality is video, .gif, or slideshow backgrounds only distract from the actual content on the page. Think of it like the walls of your house. You don’t need LIVING ROOM painted in big red letters to tell your guests the room they’re in. The sofa, TV and coffee table convey that information just as well.

You want your background, like the walls of your house, to accent the content of the site and frame the major areas of information, not to distract from them

While this is by no means a comprehensive list, as long as we have covered the basic Do’s and Don’t Evers you should have a solid foundation to build a truly kick-ass website that you can be proud of. If you have any friends who still follow the old design tropes, show them your modern makeover or recommend a visit to GoDaddy for help. Remember: friends don’t let friends design obliviously.

About the Author

Eirk WongErik Wong is a small business/tech consultant for GoDaddy and a freelance pop-culture writer. He has written a regular column for a current events blog, and his commentary has been featured on realclearpolitics.com. Connect with Erik on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.

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Symposium Re-Cap Photo Gallery

The Greater Phoenix SCORE 2015 Small Business Symposium was a huge success! We had over 900 attendees registered, 50+ exhibitors and an excellent line-up of speakers. All the presentations were recorded and we’ll have the videos soon. Here are some of the shots from the event.

These were our speakers:

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There was a whole lot of mentoring going on!

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Here are some of the exhibitors!

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We couldn’t have done it without over 40 of our hard-working SCORE mentors & volunteers! These are just a few of them:

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And it wouldn’t have been a success without all the great attendees! Thank you all for coming! Here are just a few shots:

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And as always, a special thanks to our Sponsors!

And thanks to Grand Canyon University for hosting! Awesome venue!

If you didn’t get a chance to have a free 1:1 mentoring session, click here to schedule one.

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Who Needs A Business Plan?

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or own an existing business, December is a great time to write a business plan or, if you have one, to dust it off and revisit your plan. You may ask why December?

Because December is National Write a Business Plan Month.

December is National Write a Business Plan Month
This can be a start for your business plan. Then you need to put it on paper.

The old saying, “if you don’t know where you are going, how are you going to get there?” applies to travel as well as business plans. Without a plan, the business death rate is more than twice as high as businesses that have well thought out and written plans.  And think about this – investors and banks won’t loan you money if you can’t support the need for capital with a rationale that makes sense.

Does the plan have to be very long, complicated and intimidating? The answer is an emphatic NO! But it does have to be well thought out, and incorporate the following:

Company Description, market analysis, service or product line, marketing and sales, financial projections, and funding request.

Another way to look at this is to answer the following questions:

  • What is the customer’s problem?
  • What is your solution?
  • What is your business model? (How will you make money)
  • Who is your customer and how many of them are there? (Target market)
  • What is your competitive advantage?
  • Who are your management team members?
  • What are your financial projections?
  • What funding do you require?

You can make your business plan stand out among the reams of business plans if you incorporate the following:

  • Be clear about what you have to offer. What are you really selling? What is your market niche?
  • Understand what makes your business unique. What needs does your product or service fulfill?
  • Understand your competitors, which areas they focus on, which areas they ignore, and your potential opportunities.
  • In other words, what benefits do you offer customers, what differentiates you from the others, and how will your business stand out in the crowd?

Whether it’s a brand new business or an effort to put new vitality in an existing business, December is a great time to initiate a plan to achieve success, or greater success in 2015. Your investment in time will pay big dividends.

SCORE, a resource partner of the US Small Business Administration, can provide expert advice (FREE!) to help you create a “great” business plan. With more than 70 mentors in Greater Phoenix SCORE can help you execute your plan to maximize your success.

2 steps:

  1. Click here to download free business plan templates from SCORE.
  2. Start writing your plan, filling out all applicable information
  3. Click here to schedule an appointment with a SCORE mentor to have your plan reviewed for free.

About the Author:

George Obst, Certified SCORE MentorGeorge Obst is a Certified SCORE mentor with more than 30 years experience profitably managing and growing businesses, including start-ups, purchasing, financing and selling businesses.


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