Blog

Creating Your Call to Action 101

Thursday, December 11, 2014
Nowadays with everything online and focused on social media we need to remember that it is still important to go back to your basics of fundamental marketing. Remember when you would create a regular advertisement? Well, the focus of the advertisement was to get someone to do something. It is the same thing with the electronic versions. Only easier! Today I was skimming through articles online and found a new feature that Facebook is launching. It’s a Call To Action, or CTA, button that you can add on your homepage. How awesome is that? This means that now people won’t have to go through your profile down to your apps box to sign up for your email, or to go to your website, or whatever you have been trying to get them to do. Check out all the details for this new feature on the Facebook Business page.
Facebook Business Page Call To Action Button

The other thing that I wanted to share today was something I read from HubSpot Blogs. It was about the “11 Essential Elements of an Effective Call-to-Action”. To read the full article check it out here: The Complete Checklist for Creating Compelling Calls-to-Action
To sum it up here are the 11 elements for the perfect call to action.
1. Using Easy Language: This means don’t use your industry jargon, make sure you use language that anyone can understand. 5th grade level is great!
2. Always Keep Your Promises: If you say you are going to give them an E-Book, give them the E-Book. Make sure that whatever you promised in your CTA is followed through.
3. Give Up The Goods: If you want people to click on your CTA then you need to identify a clear value proposition that is going to appeal to that target.
4. Today and Today Only: Make it time sensitive, this makes it more appealing like it is a special offer.
5. Make it Big: Make that button big, make it really stand out with your other materials.
6. Make it Pretty: Keep it within your marketing strategy. If you have round shapes with neutral colors don’t go making a pointed neon icon for your CTA, it will throw off your target segment.
7. Make it Clickable or Fake It: Hyperlink the image or make it clickable, remember everyone on the internet is lazy. The easier you can make it the better and more likely they will use it.
8. Add alt. Text: This is not only great for SEO, but if your target market doesn't have great internet connection it will make it easier for them to see what it is.
9. Show it Off: Put it on your website and make it easy to find, perhaps even “above the fold”
10. Test Multiples: If you are trying one CTA try another and track the changes to determine what gets you better results.
11. Target to Each Target Market Segment: If you serve both business to business and business to customer you will need to market to them differently. Identify CTAs to each segment. One size doesn't fit all.

Free Bonding Education Program & Prime Connections

Monday, October 20, 2014
Are you a contractors that needs bonding and want to learn how to go about getting bonded or increasing your bonds? Below is a flyer about the Bonding Education Program being offered in Fort Collins November 5-7. It is provided by US DOT and is an intensive that will ensure contractors have the right information to work through this complicated process. Connect2DOT partners with the West Central Small Business Transportation Resource Center and we leverage their services to help our clients with bonding.

Business Protection Summit & Resource Day

Thursday, September 25, 2014
In today's complex environment, business face a diverse range of perils. Beyond the headline-grabbing catastrophic wildfires, common events such as mechanical breakdowns, supplier disruptions and changes in staffing can also threaten the success of any organization.

This event, hosted by the Colorado SBDC Network, Downtown Colorado, Inc and the Town of Lyons, will have four interactive, expert panels throughout the day; one-on-one consulting, a resource fair featuring federal, state and local resources; and a happy hour networking event to discuss lessons learned and best practices among businesses.


Strategies for Success in Byers

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Join the East Colorado SBDC for the all day event in Byers, CO!  This event will host 4 classes focused for small businesses and start ups.  The event is on October 15, 2014 and starts at 8:00 am and the last class will end at 4:00 pm.  Price includes breakfast, lunch, keynote presentation, four training seminars networking opportunities, & entry into Microsoft Giveaway! $300.00 in prizes. 

 The classes that will be hosted are as follows:

1. Colorado Sales Tax Law Fundamentals

Colorado Department of Revenue Taxpayer Education Specialist Ruth West designs and presents taxation training to businesses throughout the state. Her role encompasses researching Colorado tax law, assessing taxpayer education needs and reaching out to numerous facets of the Colorado community raising awareness of Colorado tax law compliance. An experienced instructional designer and facilitator across disciplines and industries, Ruth’s collaborations with subject matter experts have yielded comprehensive and modular training for national, regional and local executives, staff and clients. Ms. West enjoys presenting as a panelist, conference speaker, facilitator and live classroom trainer. Her favorite pastimes include researching baseball history and climbing Colorado 14-ers.

2. Make the Most of Your Website Traffic with Google Analytics

Are you worried that your website traffic simply disappears immediately after visiting your website? Maybe you don't know if your website is getting any traffic at all. Imagine how you could adjust your website if you knew for sure exactly what is working and what is not. Understanding Google Analytics and knowing where your website visitors come from, where they go, and why they leave might be what makes or breaks your online success. In this 90 minute seminar, you will discover how your website traffic behaves and what to do if your prospects simply leave without buying from you.

3. Time Management for Small Business

The number one benefit of time management is more business, which means more income. Time management will allow you to be more focused on key tasks, be more organized, have less stress, and have more time for family, friends, and other interests.

With effective time management, you will:

  • Maximize what can be accomplished in a work day
  • Maximize the use of the limited resources
  • Identify critical areas for special attention
  • Identify tasks that can be delegated to employees
  • Track progress toward your goals
  •  

4. No Guts, No Gain!

What’s holding you or your sales team back? This workshop will improve your effectiveness, strengthen your resolve and inspire you to action.

If you find yourself:

  • Blaming problems on the competition, the economy and bad luck
  • Being fearful and tentative during prospecting and sales calls
  • Baffled by what hold salespeople back from success
  • Angry over accepting too many put offs and delays and never seem to get to the decision
  • Frustrated over yesterday’s disappointments that keep you from enjoying tomorrow’s victories

Pricing:

Registration Dates

  • Through September 30th: $40.00
  • Starting October 1st: $50.00

Price includes breakfast, lunch, keynote presentation, four training seminars networking opportunities, & entry into Microsoft Giveaway! $300.00 in prizes. 

Keynote Presenter: Kelly Manning of Colorado SBDC

Location:

May Farms

64001 Colorado 36,

Byers, CO 80103

8:00am - 4:00pm

Register Today!

Phone:  970-351-4274

Online at

www.EastColoradoSBDC.com/training/seminars

 Thank you to our sponsors for their support to host this great event!


Colorado SBDC & SBTC to offer businesses discounted technology and support services

Friday, August 01, 2014
The Colorado Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC) announced today that it has formed a partnership to launch the Colorado Small Business Technology Cooperative (CO-SBTC) to offer businesses access to discounted technology and support services. 
CO-SBTC is a new not-for-profit member-owned organization that provides access to quality vetted technology and support services for small businesses at a discounted rate. Members will have access to the best pricing and suite of vendors available to bring their business to the next level. CO-SBTC provides ongoing service and support that will reduce the time, labor, cost and frustrations of trying to access these technologies and services on your own.
Examples of services provided include:
  • Video conferencing
  • VOIP phone/PBX service
  • Network and cloud accessible storage
  • Electronic document management
  • Graphic arts/marketing support
  • Client web portals
  • Bookkeeping, payroll and electronic invoicing services
  • Issue tracking and customer record management
  • Corporate-grade email
  • Website development and hosting
  • General IT and administrative support
Technologies and services provided are based upon need; the co-op can add additional services as membership grows.

The recurring monthly membership fee is $25. As a member-owned cooperative, monthly fees will decrease as membership levels increase and costs from vendors will go down. Members who join byAugust 30, 2014 will be guaranteed to have their monthly membership fee decrease by at least $5 each year for the first three years.

For more information and to join visit www.co-sbdc.org.

Free QuickBooks Class June 26th

Monday, June 02, 2014

Are you a new business or an existing business looking for a way to better track your books? QuickBooks is a great program for entrepreneurs and business owners to look at for this very task.  The East Colorado SBDC will be hosting a beginners training for QuickBooks on June 26th.  Due to the high demand for this course we are requiring a reservation fee of $50.00.  If you would like to register for the event you write a check to the East Colorado SBDC and when you attend the event you are given back your check.  If you don't attend we will cash the check to help secure our limited attendance. 

Join the Small Business Development Center, Peace of Mind Accounting, & The Windsor Chamber of Commerce for an instruction of how to best utilize your QuickBooks software.  This is a QuickBooks basic class that will instruct how to get around and learn common business terms used by QuickBooks Accounting 101. Learn how to successfully implement QuickBooks into your business. To get the most of the training it would be advised to bring a laptop with your QuickBooks software already loaded, but is not required. 

Are you…
  • Worried that your business is not running as efficiently as it can?
  • Concerned that you are wasting time with online tutorials?
  • Anxious to know how to maximize your efforts with QuickBooks?


During this workshop, you'll discover…
  • How QuickBooks works and how to get around. Learning common business terms used by QuickBooks Accounting 101
  • Setting up a QuickBooks Company
  • Working with Lists - Customer, Vendor, Item, and Chart of Accounts
  • Working with Bank Accounts: Writing checks, bank registers, transferring money
  • Entering and Paying Bills

Free money for businesses affected by September’s Floods

Saturday, May 03, 2014

If your business was recently affected by the floods last year, then you may be qualified for a grant by the Small Business Administration. So the question is how do I sign up? There are a few steps that you need to take in order to qualify. Before we jump into how to apply let’s talk eligibility. 

  • Your business must be located within a declared disaster area. Not sure if you are in this area? Click here to find a list of the declared areas.
  • You must meet the definition of Small Business as defined by the SBA at 13 CFR Part 121. View SBA Small Business Standards.
  • Your business is in good standing with the Colorado Secretary of State.
  • You must have at least $10,000 in uncompensated economic loss after applying to insurance company and to the Small Business Administration for disaster recovery physical damage and/or Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
  • Economic loss could come in the form of reduced revenues, damaged or destroyed equipment or inventory or other loss factors. 
  • You must have been in existence and had indications of profitability before the flood.
  • You must have at least $25,000 in projected annualized revenue but less than $1 million in liquid assets.
  • Grants will be reimbursement-based but the proceeds can be used for any legitimate business expense except deconstruction or reconstruction. 
  • Additional requirements may apply. 
If you are interested in applying for these funds the application period for round one will last for 45 days. You can submit an application to the centralized location per instructions on the Dola website or on the Colorado SBDC website to get help in compiling additional information require for your application per the checklist

Submit all the required information to the SBDC for review within three weeks of the end of the application period or you will lose your priority in the distribution line. The funds are first come first serve. The SBDC will help you submit this information on to a centralized review location. Click here to register as an SBDC client and schedule an appointment.

Flood Relief Grant Application Checklist

Thursday, May 01, 2014
Are you in the process of completing the grant application for the businesses that were affected by last September’s floods? Today we have a checklist that will help you along the way to ensure you have all the materials, but first let’s review what you will need to have in place when meeting with your SBDC consultant.

You will need to bring the following documents with you when you visit with your SBDC Business Representative on this application. If you have been in business less than three years you will need to bring what you have of the following documents:
  • Three years Personal Financial Statements
  • Three years of Business Balance Statements 
  • Three years of Business Profit and Loss Statements
  • Three years of Personal Tax Returns
  • Three years of Business Tax Returns
  • List of business employees and their wages
  • Business Plan if available
To view the checklist in full, view the Application Requirements Checklist.

Small Business Night at the Rockies!

Thursday, April 17, 2014