Category Archives: Business Advice

Emerging Leaders Launches in South Texas

Emerging Leaders

South Texas small businesses are now eligible for the SBA’s 2019 Emerging Leaders Initiative. The program provides “no cost” intensive entrepreneurship education as well as training to those who want to elevate their businesses to the next level. As an offering from the Lower Rio Grande Valley District Office, the course includes nearly 100 hours of classroom time. Participants also have opportunities to work with experienced coaches and mentors. Additionally, small business owners and…

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Chatbots for Customer Service:

Chatbots are computer programs that are able to converse with people online using human-like speech. They’re common within messaging apps and live chat features to help businesses answer customer queries, increase sales and save time. And they’re getting more popular by the day. In fact, 80 percent of businesses plan on using chatbots by 2020, according to a study from Oracle. Not sure how a chatbot could benefit your organization? Here are…

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STC Hosts Small Business Social Media Courses

STC Instagram

South Texas College will soon offer an online program for small businesses seeking to increase their presence on social media. “Instagram Brand Worthy Basics” starts Feb. 26 and will teach small businesses how to increase their fan base or followers on the social media site. The new eight-class program is an offering from the college’s Continuing Professional Workforce Education. Public relations guru Giselle Mascarenhas will lead the Instagram course. “Every small business,…

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Boots to Business Reboot Aids Veterans

Boots to Business Reboot takes place Feb. 22 at the RGV Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, providing aid to veterans as small business owners and entrepreneurs. The program takes place from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., providing an overview of business ownership as a career vocation. Additionally, veterans receive an outline and knowledge on the components of a business plan and a practical exercise in opportunity recognition. An introduction to available public and…

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Mentoring: the Missing Link to Small Business Growth and Survival

As a former small business owner and entrepreneur, I know first-hand the support, resources and access to networks and financing that entrepreneurs need. While there are many businesses that experience success, the fact remains that only half of all small businesses survive more than five years (source: SBA Office of Advocacy); and about 10-12 percent of all employee-based firms close each year. There is growing evidence, however, that connecting a business…

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Slippery Slope of Dishonesty

Honesty is not quite the lonely word Billy Joel thinks it is. Managers and workers alike lament the loss of honesty in the workplace. Labor wants a leader to practice honesty and openness. Management seeks to hire honest, hard workers. Both are often disappointed to find it lacking in the other. Honesty in the workplace is critical to harmonious and productive relations, yet it is often one of the least…

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Work Visa Rules See Changes

On the same day that President Donald Trump visited the Rio Grande Valley to drum up support for a border wall, a group of business people gathered to learn about immigration issues facing workers and employers. “It’s really hard to keep up. Changes are occurring on an almost daily basis and the changes are affecting immigrants and employers,” said immigration attorney Belia A. Pena, who presented the workshop sponsored by…

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Feeding Growth in Employees

employee growth

As important as feedback is, we get and give too little of it – and often too late. Whether you’re the leader or not, you need to keep feedback as a ready tool for yourself and your team. For most organizations, feedback is given once a year during the annual performance review. It’s generally not a pleasant experience because most managers don’t know how to do it well, and most…

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Five Reasons You Need a Business Plan

business plan

If you are starting a small business, there is no shortage of advice on the steps you should take: registering your business name, getting a Tax ID, deciding on a business structure and applying for the needed permits and licenses. While these are all very important steps to take, a business plan will be central to how you start, grow and develop your business. Here are five reasons why you…

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Is a Secured Business Credit Card Right for You?

For business owners, one of the major reasons to have a business credit card is to keep your business and personal expenses separate. This allows you to track your business spending while providing financial flexibility. Since business credit cards offer a revolving line of credit, they can be used at a moment’s notice to cover unforeseen expenses, or to make a specific business purchase, or to cover bills when cash is…

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