3/16/2023 0 Comments
Legal Considerations for Start-Ups
Last month almost 20 Ashland area entrepreneurs joined us at The Local Bar and Grille for our Legal Considerations for Start-Ups presentation.
This class was focused on new business owners and anyone thinking about starting a business, including hobbyists thinking about registering their business, and people who are just starting to charge for their talents. People in the early stages of planning and growing their business had their questions about business structure, insurance, business debt, and more answered by local attorney Tyler Wickman.
The most common legal questions for start-ups revolve around the different business structures such as partnerships, non-profits, LLCs, and Corporations. A lot of people are surprised to learn what the terms really mean, different benefits, different requirements of the owner, how the choice can affect their taxes, and how their choice of business structure provides a layer of protection for the owner.
Entrepreneurs also ask about business debt and insurance—for example, who is responsible for a business loan if the business fails, or can’t make the payment? Or— What kind of insurance do I need, and if being a corporation protects the owner, why is insurance necessary?
We plan to offer more classes for entrepreneurs and business owners throughout the year. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more.
Have you ever wondered what makes a brand or a product resonate with you?
Maybe it's the recycled fiber, or the way the company demonstrates ecological sustainability in other ways? Maybe it is the way they celebrate inclusivity and diversity. Maybe they emphasize your favorite sport, or a luxurious lifestyle, true love, or less pain...
Chances are it stuck a value chord-- it answered a need or generated a good feeling that reinforces a facet of yourself that you represent or seek to maintain or strengthen. Your customers buy products or resonate with brands that are some version of themselves. Preferably the best version, right?
When you're using social media platforms to market your brand and products, think of your values and what you stand for. Most entrepreneur's businesses are extensions of themselves and so their brand identities will be similar to their personal brand. Your ideal customers will have similar values.
What words, phrases and topics resonate? What words will you share, express and incorporate? It's wise to avoid competitor names, old company msision statements, anything that is no longer relevant or used in your company communications.
What kind of images do you want to use? What will resonate with your ideal customer?
Emojis? Sure, just make sure they are on brand! Use only the ones that represent what you stand for.
That's all for today!
7/5/2022 1 Comment
EXACTLY why you need a TEAM
"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together!" That's what the proverb says.
At AADC, we believe that’s true for all kind of goals – especially in business!
If you’re starting your business journey, you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, research shows you’ll benefit from building a support team around you.
The reasons make sense. In addition to support, your team can provide accountability, fun, confidence and even a fun bit of competition, if you like.
Remember that communication is key, and depends on the type of relationship you have with the members of your group. Is it someone you see regularly anyway? A professional? Casual acquaintances? All of those can play a role, but it’s on you to be clear about your needs and expectations.
Even with a team and a coach, you’re still the quarterback of your own business. Only you can do the work!
If you have a business idea or a goal you’re reaching for, call an Entrepreneur Resource Coordinator today to learn how we can help you get set up for success in any phase of business growth!
7/1/2022 0 Comments
The SECRET She Didn't Know
CAN YOU RELATE?
She had a great idea for a business!
Or she thought maybe she did.
But...Every time she sat down to think about the business and write some things down she lost all sense of direction thinking about all the things.
She didn’t know where to start.
She looked at a couple of places to rent and had even gone to talk to a bank once but they wanted a business plan…
and that looked complicated.
Even though a business plan would give her some much needed and desired direction, somehow she believed it was complicated...mysterious even.
Wasn’t there someone who could offer some guidance on that?
And the financial projections… overwhelm. Completely overwhelming. She didn't know where to start, or how.
It wasn't fear of failure, or "perfectionism" holding her back-- no. It was simply not knowing where or how to start. She didn't know how EASY it could be made. She didn't know THIS ONE SECRET that I'm about to share.
When she looked around and saw so many successful, cool, and fun businesses in her community she just knew she wanted to be part of it-- that her business could bring herself and others a similar kind of satisfaction and joy. She just didn’t know how to get started.
YES! FINALLY! One day she saw a social media post about a local organization that helps people start and grow their businesses. FOR FREE.
So she made an appointment.
We, here at AADC were able to coach and guide her through the business plan, and help her with cashflow projections, and refer her to others, and really get her actions and goals aligned so she could kick some @$!.
Oh yeah and we have a bazillion resources and contacts for all kinds of services. We are well connected.
Soon we were all able to see her vision become a reality.
If you can relate, and want a hand, give us a call, drop a message in the comments or send us a message.
4/26/2022 0 Comments
Ready Vet Grow, Veteran services
Ashland Area Development Corporation (AADC) is looking for Ashland and Bayfield County veterans who are interested in starting their own businesses. Carver Harries, AADC Executive Director, recently announced that the organization has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Wisconsin Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) through the Veterans’ Entrepreneur Grant Program. The funding will support the successful Ready-Vet-Grow program, which is designed to provide professional entrepreneurship instruction, customized coaching, and mentorship to military veterans who would like to launch a new business in Ashland or Bayfield Counties.
In 2018, AADC received a similar but smaller entrepreneur grant from DVA which was used to fund the first Ready-Vet-Go program. Classes offered instruction in subjects like business plan development, bookkeeping, marketing skills, and legal considerations for new businesses. The program also featured a mentorship component designed to connect participants with local veterans who run successful businesses. “The networking aspect can be instrumental in helping a good business plan become a successful business,” Harries said. “AADC partners with knowledgeable local veterans who are willing to share their time and expertise by serving as mentors to new veteran entrepreneurs through this program.” Participants who successfully completed the classes and developed a business plan were also eligible for funding to help get their start-up businesses off the ground and running.
As a result of the 2018 Ready-Vet-Grow program, several new entrepreneurs successfully launched startup businesses in both Ashland and Bayfield Counties. Local veteran Scott Weber and his wife Laurie completed the program and officially opened their business, Window Licker Cannery, last year. “Between the two of us, we have more than fifty years of experience in business,” Weber said, “but we’ve always worked for other people. This course opened our eyes to all of the things that we thought we knew but didn’t.” Weber noted that the information regarding business taxes, insurance, and the differences between types of corporations were of particular value as they made decisions about moving forward with their canning business. “The Ready-Vet-Go program helped us both hone our business skills. It helped set us off down a particular path that was right for us and our business.”
“Starting a business can feel overwhelming and intimidating,” Harries said. “AADC has the resources and an established track record of helping businesses in the Ashland area for many years. This grant from DVA will allow AADC to provide targeted professional support to the local community of veterans who can continue their tradition of leadership and discipline in an entrepreneurial context.” Harries added, “Veterans who own businesses often seek out other veterans when making hiring decisions. Laying a foundation for healthy, veteran-owned businesses in Ashland and Bayfield Counties through customized support and education allows increased opportunity for service members who grew up here to return home to work and live after they separate from military service. This program is an investment in our community.”
This year’s Ready-Vet-Grow program will be comprised of a series of evening classes held at AADC’s Enterprise Center in Ashland. Enrollment is open to Ashland and Bayfield County veterans regardless of what type of business they would like to start, how much experience they have in business, or where they are in the process of developing their business concept.
For more information, to receive updates about the 2022 Ready-Vets-Grow program, or to add your name to the list of interested participants, veterans can stop in to the AADC at 422 3rd Street West in Ashland, call (715) 682-8344, or email email@example.com.
4/19/2022 0 Comments
Aligning Action with Goals
Ashland Area Development Corporation
AADC started in 1957 to help incoming and existing businesses get the help and resources they need in all stages of planning and growth from start-up to expansion and retention. We specialize in three key areas: Business plan writing and review (and business classes), Management of our Incubator Space so you can find commercial rental space for your business (what a streamlined serice!), and Administration of four revolving loan funds so you can have your operational and equipment needs met so you can do the thing that drove you to start your business to begin with!
Business Services, Business Coaching, Ready Vet Grow,