7 Tips for Working With a Business Mentor

Working with a business mentor can be a valuable experience for small business owners, especially when they are staring out or going through a transition. A business mentor can share lessons about his or her successes and failures, be a sounding board for ideas, help generate business connections, and provide both encouragement and constructive suggestions. Here are 7 Tips for Working with a Business Mentor Establish Goals & Define Success Set goals for what you want to learn and where...

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Prairie Glass Studio Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Original article posted to the Topeka Capital-Journal June 10, 2017. Artistic ability shown at an early age has helped Kymm Ledbetter in her life and business, allowing her to create a world for herself and the community by producing beautiful fused glass art. “I was born with it,” said Ledbetter, designer and owner of Prairie Glass Studio, when asked about her love of art. She grew up in Orange County, Calif., and enjoyed scrapbooking before many people knew about the craft....

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5 Rules of Design

The line between good design and bad design can be crossed by simply using the wrong font. Design, just like any other profession out there, has rules to it, and breaking those rules can be the difference in getting a sale or losing a sale. There is a long list of design rules that one should follow, but to keep things simple, I have outlined my top 5 rules of design that should never be broken. Design for your audience...

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Sales Tax: What Kansas Photographers and Artists Need to Know

Since I am not a tax specialist, I asked Carl York, Tax Specialist with the Kansas Department of Revenue to review this article for me before publication and would like to thank him for sharing his expertise. ..... How exciting to start selling one’s original artworks … that is, until one starts thinking about taxes! Amongst our SBDC clients, we count painters, graphic artists, photographers, drone operators, videographers, and art gallery owners. So we are used to thinking about art...

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5 Strategic Digital Marketing Priorities of 2017

When it comes to the world of marketing, it seems to constantly change at a rapid pace that feels impossible to keep up with. Between changing consumer preferences and the frequent updates to social media platforms, it can feel pretty overwhelming at times. The good news is that whether you're a content marketer or a small business owner who wants to up your marketing game, you don't have to have an endless list of skills to keep up. Fortunately, the...

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Goals, Success & Reflection

Often when I work with small business owners, we discover that underlying whatever problem brought them to see me is a lack of clarity about direction. Even motivated individuals can lack an understanding of what they want out of their business or lack a vision of where business ownership fits into the greater picture of what they want out of life. That makes it difficult to set goals let alone work through strategies for succeeding. I see this, for example,...

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Finding My Way…with Books

Inspired by children with special needs and their families, and hopes of creating a more inclusive and accepting environment, Jo Mach, Vera Lynne Stroup-Rentier and Mary Birdsell started Finding My Way Books in 2013. They observed that children with disabilities are not well represented in literature, so the goal of FMWB is to honor children with special needs by telling their stories. The three hope this will help the development of skills needed for self-determination. "How to Start a Business...

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Spring Cleaning for Your Business

Spring cleaning might seem like an odd concept.  After all, shouldn’t we keep our spaces clean all year around? Yet the concept has enduring significance for both symbolic and practical reasons. Symbolically, springtime is a season of melting snows and cleansing rains that wash away the debris of winter and bring waters vital to life and also a season of fresh air, warmth, sunshine and renewed growth. These images serve as reminders that periodically we need to clear things out,...

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Twitter Etiquette for Small Business

So you decided that your business needs a Twitter account. That’s great! Twitter is a pretty useful tool that allows you to send out meaningful content in short, 140-character “bursts” to the world in real time. There are a lot of organizations and small businesses that can benefit from Twitter, and yours could too. However, Twitter - compared to Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest - is a whole other social media monster. What do you do now? How do you use...

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Raking Leaves: A Lesson in Life – Work Balance

Last weekend, when we were enjoying the most pleasant mild weather, I decided to seize the opportunity to do some yard work. A good friend of mine has two tween-age daughters who are always looking for spending money, so I offered to pay them $2 a bag to help me rake and bag leaves and garden clippings. It was fascinating to watch the different approaches that they took and wonder what kind of entrepreneurs they would make if they ever...

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