As we prepare for fire season, just as we create our plans at home, so too must we plan for our businesses. Emergency Planning is mission critical for small businesses because they are especially vulnerable. Small business do not have the same resources or capacity as larger organizations do to recover from wildfire, and often the small business is a primary source of income for an entire family or more.Read More
Building an online store can be a daunting task – but using an already built eCommerce platform can make things much easier. Shopify is a hosted eCommerce platform used by big brands like the LA Lakers, Kylie Cosmetics and Tesla – as well as more than 800,000 small businesses in 175 countries.Read More
Get ready for the 2019 tourist season with these ten tips from Marc Willson, a nationally known expert and speaker on helping independent and rural retailers, restaurants and lodgings win and keep customers.
West Business Development Center, in partnership with Visit Mendocino, the City of Fort Bragg and Mendocino Coast Chamber of Commerce, is bringing Willson to the Coast for a dynamic, one-time only event Friday, May 17th at Fort Bragg Town Hall from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.Read More
In the world of internet jargon, SEO is a term thrown around almost daily. But what does it really mean? The technical definition for SEO is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results”. The real-life translation of SEO is “making your business shine online” -- so you can get found by your customers.Read More
Ever since Mark Manguera and Caroline Shin partnered with chef Roy Choi in Los Angeles and started a Kogi Korean BBQ truck in 2008, food trucks have sparked a dining out revolution. Far from just “street food”, food trucks offer top-notch cuisine and drive their success with mouth-watering Instagram posts and well-timed Tweets. The industry is now at $2 billion and growing every day, empowering minority and women-owned businesses, revitalizing communities and even driving economic growth.Read More
Instagram is a simple-to-use platform with more than 1 billion users – and 72% of those users buy products they see on Instagram*. That means if you have a small business, you need to be there.
With more than 25 million other businesses on Instagram, you will join a platform that has the ability to broadcast your brand, your products, and special features to millions of potential customers.Read More
Long before anyone sets foot in your business they’ll visit your website – your website actually IS your brand to your customers and potential customers. According to Google’s 2016 data, 68% of consumers who conduct local searches on their smartphone go to a store within 24 hours, and nearly 50% make a purchase within a day. 91% of customers have visited a store because of an online experience and 37% use the Internet to find a store at least once per month. So, what does your website look like?Read More
Cookies, cakes, fruits, nuts, jams, jellies, crackers, chips, pancakes, sauces, meats, seafood, mushrooms, organic, local, homemade – is your mouth watering yet? These are just a few of what we know as specialty food items – those delectable tidbits we fill up our grocery cart with or send to friends and family on special occasions.Read More
Most entrepreneurs start their business fueled by a passion, after they identify a need in the market, or simply go out on their own after working for a company for many years. Entrepreneurs are a special breed, combining creativity, drive and a lot of hard work in order to see their dreams come true. Often, even with the best business idea, solid financials and a thriving customer base, true profit year over year can be elusive.Read More
Whether you just bought a food truck or you’ve had an idea for a restaurant business for years, now’s the time to learn everything you can about opening up your own food services business.
Our first workshop this year on food service in our Food for Thought series, is Thursday, February 21st in Ukiah. Julia Siderakis, former owner of Ukiah’s beloved Garden Café and instructor at Mendocino College, and Steve O’Mara, entrepreneurial expert, will teach you all the basics you need for getting up and running in your culinary business.Read More
If you’ve had a brick and mortar business, or are thinking of starting an online business, this is the workshop for you.
Join Veronika Monell, the CEO of JumpStartNOW in Fort Bragg or Willits, February 13th or 14th or 15th to learn everything you need to know about going online. This dynamic workshop will cover why eCommerce is a huge opportunity to increase your profits, what to consider before you start, how to identify customers and creating your online marketing strategy.
Living in Mendocino County most of us are familiar with basic earthquake and fire safety, but preparing your business is entirely different proposition. Advance planning for disasters is a way to safeguard the years of work and love you’ve put into your business, and protect both your people and your assets. plan.Read More
We’re celebrating the new year by offering a whole new slate of exciting workshops this year on everything from how to use Instagram to turning your passion into profit. We’ll also be partnering with Visit Mendocino for a workshop series on Hospitality in the Digital Age and, offering a full program of workshops on Culinary Entrepreneurship called Food For Thought and more.Read More