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UPDATE: CLIENT PROSPECT FOR FALL 2017 | CSUN VALLEY OF THE PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

EXCITING NEWS!

A collage of images from the CSUN Valley of the Performing Arts including a signed guitar, a signed poster by Leslie Odom Jr., and a large performance hall.The CSUN Valley of the Performing Arts Center (VPAC) has agreed to work with the Wells Fargo Center for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship (WFSCSBE) this coming fall semester 2017.

This past week we met with Thor Steingraber, Executive Director of VPAC regarding working with CSUN‘s business students in order to create consultative projects for the benefit of VPAC.  It could not have been a better fit.  The VPAC is very pro-education and works with students on a regular basis.  (Again: thank you Thor!)

VPAC has a complex business which includes several business units.  Business units include performing arts/live events, a foundation, a rentals business, and more.  Top students from the David Nazarian College of Business & Economics will have the opportunity to work with a real business that juggles a diverse array of business objectives this coming fall.

PROJECTS/SERVICES:

Projects are designed by the business professors.  Often clients receive a full business plan, a strategic plan, a feasibility study, an integrated marketing campaign, or at times a project based on marketing objectives.  In the case of the VPAC we discussed a potential data analysis project regarding marketing metrics, a business plan directed specifically at one of the business units, as well as a particular marketing project.

This fall’s lineup is looking exciting!

To apply for consulting from the David Nazarian College of Business & Economics students please fill out an online application.

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LOCAL CHARITY ACHIEVING NEW HEIGHTS WITH THE HELP OF CSUN BUSINESS STUDENTS

Young disabled girl on top of a horse with attendee providing assistance. Therapeutic riding.One of the worthy businesses with which we currently work is Ride On Therapeutic, a local non-profit in the San Fernando Valley of California.  Ride-On has two valley locations (Newbury Park and Chatsworth) and serves the community by providing therapeutic horsemanship.  If you have never heard of Ride-On please check them out; they serve the disabled community in a unique way.

ACHIEVING GOALS:

This spring semester California State University at Northridge students in the College of Business are working with Ride-On to help achieve their goals.  For example, Ride-On is working with business students to help clarify their organizational structure, formulate a plan for sharing overhead with other facilities (which they train), and formulate growth strategies that will help Ride-On pay off its current mortgage.

As you may imagine, competition in business is fierce, including the non-profit world.  Non-profit charities need to compete for consumers’ attention similar to the way for-profit brands compete for attention.

CHALLENGE:

Ride-On has a very loyal base of contributors once they have seen and heard what Ride-On is all about.  However, reaching new contributors is challenging; they must compete with the thousands of other non-profits vying for attention.  This is exactly what led Ride-On Therapeutic to seek student consulting from CSUN’s Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship this spring.

To find out how the project turned out, check back  mid-May to learn about the results.

To help reach your small business goals, follow our blog to learn more about small business  resources here.

To apply for consulting from the David Nazarian College of Business & Economics students please fill out an online application.

Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.

UPDATE: What’s Been Happening With Our CSUN Client Projects

Consulting. Image of 2 consultants in discussion in a business setting depicted by a graphic. Creative commons.CONSULTING PROJECTS:

More and more people have been curious to find out about collegiate consulting service. We often receive the question “What does the Wells Fargo Center do?” ,  “What’s entailed in the program?” , or “What kinds of clients do you help?”

To give you an idea, here is a snapshot of just 1 of the projects happening this spring semester 2017…

JOHNNIE’S NY PIZZA is a franchise pizza restaurant and delivery chain.  The owner stated that he was new to business and new to working within the franchise system.  Additionally, he was experiencing negative word of mouth in the form of Yelp reviews due to challenging pizza delivery conditions in a very congested, downtown area of Los Angeles.

As you can imagine, if an order is delivered later than expected (regardless of terrible traffic and parking) or on the cool side, the business receives negative online publicity.  It can really hurt the business.  The problem is that no one can control the gridlock in downtown LA.   So, what does an owner do?

Considering his investment in time and money the owner decided to reach out to us in order to get outside feedback about his new business.

Thankfully, the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship accepted his application to receive consulting from one of the California State University, Northridge‘s senior business classes.   In fact, Professor Joy Griffin has stated that a group is in the process of creating a full business plan for one of the Johnnie’s NY Pizza franchise locations.

The group has been meeting with the owner on a regular basis in order to analyze the situation and keep the owner involved and updated.  At the end of this spring semester (May 2017) the plan will be finalized and the business will receive a full copy of the business plan as well as an in-person presentation from the collegiate consultants.

Check back with us to hear more about what happens with this client project and to hear more about the other businesses that we have served by subscribing to our blog.

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Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.

MACHINE LEARNING: What can you do that an app can’t do?

image representing machine learningJP Morgan launched a new software last June called COIN which is able to review financial, credit, and mortgage loan documents within seconds, replacing hundreds of thousands of hours spent by employees normally.

The company has invested billions into technology in order to keep its competitive edge, reduce costs, and reduce human interpretation errors.  The up side of the implementation of this technology is the obvious improvements in speed, reduction in errors, and the ability to access data at any time.  The down side is that jobs will likely be reduced through the use of robotics.  Who may this effect?  Salespeople, underwriters, and administrative staff may find positions shrinking.  

To read more about how machine learning is influencing the lending and housing markets see JPMorgan at Bloomberg.

Source: Bloomberg.com Hugh Son

FOR MORE RESOURCES ABOUT SMALL BUSINESS, MARKETING, ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND CONSULTING FOLLOW OUR BLOG AT WFCSBE.
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Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.

Purpose, Passion and Empathy – In Business

What makes a business attract others? Image: from poor to great, symbolizing improvement! Creative Commons Collective, free to use and modify attribution.Beyond product and pricing, Kansas City’s Startlandnews.com addresses the issue at the ‘Conquer the Good’ conference.  The innovators discussed the idea that choosing between profit and people is not necessary.

Serving both is the goal!

To read about empathy in business, aligning your passion and purpose with your business, and social causes that investors find appealing go to Stardlandnews.com.

WFCSBE Outreach: Serving Northridge & the San Fernando Valley

The Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship  serves the Northridge, California and surrounding communities by matching local businesses in need of help with business professors at at the College of Business and Economics at California State University, Northridge.  Our mission is to promote student excellence, give back to the community and together improve the qualify of life for local residents and our business students.

To apply for help with your business, please fill out the online consulting form.

For more resources about small business, marketing, entrepreneurship and consulting follow our blog at WFCSBE.
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Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.

Trending: Getting Content From Your Employees!

Have you ever found it challenging to come up with new, relevant, trending content? The continual search for relevant content can become quite a task.Colorful image of 3-D social media icons  So, do you use a news service, marketing firm, search for social media content yourself, or re-post what’s going around?

Could you trust your online image to your employees? Well, you probably already do. After all, you hired them; they are the voice and the face of the company.  You might as well empower your employees to engage with others online on your behalf.

We at #WFCSBE can hear the wheels turning … “but I’m concerned about the professionalism of my content”.  Yes, social media must be managed, including organic content.  And we think that the pro’s out-weigh the cons.  After all, is it possible for a brand to come off as contrived? Is it that more likely to happen through real interaction with authentic users and employees, or do you think that is more likely to happen when content is paid?

If you have not considered encouraging employees to share content about your business, you might be encouraged to know that many companies have made a move in this direction with positive results.

More and more businesses are tapping into their most trusted resource: their employees! In fact, numerous companies are using employees for more than just organic content.  Yes, local check-ins and authentic news from sources within the company are likely to help boost results (according to some sources).  But more than that, your employees have the ability to create a more authentic voice for your content.

Read more about trending content…

Source: LinkedIn Trending Content

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Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.

Do Upheavals in Globalization, Tech, HR and Demographics Have You Perplexed?

Changes to the business environment are a constant, but managing those changes takes skill.  With the pace of changing demographics, technology innovation, and global competition, how does the little guy keep up?Time for Change - an image of a frog walking with a suitcase

CHANGE MANAGEMENT: HIRING A CONSULTANT

No one is completely objective all of the time.  If your business is experiencing challenges, perhaps a consultant could offer a fresh perspective.

For example, have you experienced trouble attracting qualified, engaged employees that are committed to the business?  Or perhaps you’ve been doing things the same way and they are no longer working for you.  Or maybe you want to KEEP your staff and still keep your MARGINS intact without losing them?

If change management is not your strong suit,  it may pay to hire a consultant.

The job of the consultant is to review and research your concerns and resources in order to arrive at recommendations for improvement.   But where do you find an accredited consultant?  You don’t – there is no such place.  However, different industries offer services to handle such requests.

For example, within the accounting industry Deloitte offers consulting within the area of human resources; they also offer the usual tax, accounting,  and systems implementation services, too.  Check out the article and video to learn more about the latest business and Global Human Capital Trends 2016.

HUMAN RESOURCES & THE MULTI-GENERATIONAL WORKPLACE

One trend is that the workplace is becoming younger (the Millennials) and older (the Boomers and Generation x) simultaneously.  Millennials are graduating college, entering the workforce and becoming parents while at the same time Generation X and the Boomers are changing careers, getting second jobs, or still working in their original careers.  People are living longer, which means the workforce is growing larger and more diverse.

At the same time the workplace is trying to keep up with technological improvements, social media, and global e-commerce.  Is your business equipped to manage multiple generations and their unique talents and needs?

To learn more about re-designing organizations read the Deloitte piece here.   Of course, you may request consulting from the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship and work with the David Nazarian College of Business & Economics students.  Many graduating senior and MBA classes work with local businesses to give students the chance to learn how to act as ‘consultants’.  To request consulting use the online submission form at the CSUN website.

Sources: Deloitte and WFCSBE at CSUN

Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.

STRESSED OVER TAXES? CSUN Students Offer Free Tax Prep Help

Tax Help imageWhen do I file my taxes & what should I bring?

By now you are likely accumulating your tax forms.  If you are an employee you should receive a W-2. If you have worked on contract you should receive a 1099 from each firm or individual. (Interest and royalties that you earned need to be reported, too. )

You should receive 1099 forms from your banks, investment firms, agencies and publishers (if applicable) within the next week.  The due date to send or publish these forms is tomorrow: January 31.  The tax filing due date for individuals is April 15; for corporations it is March 15.

If you have investments, you will probably receive a 1099-R later in February when the investment houses have altered their gains, losses, and interest calculations.  No investments? Then you should be ready to go if you have all of your forms.

What if I cannot afford a CPA?

CSUN accounting students offer FREE tax preparation assistance!  Low income individuals and families in the San Fernando Valley area including non-English speakers and the disabled are welcome.  The assistance is supervised by IRS employees.

To get more information visit the VITA  WEBSITE and keep your money!

Source: CSUN SHINE

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Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.

MISSION STATEMENT: How and Why Your Small Business Needs One

Image depicting a business mission statement. Two people near a graph with an upward arrow.

What is a mission statement?

A mission statement states the business you are in and the market you serve.  Some business writers might suggest that you determine what you do for your customers, what you do for your employees, and what you want from your business.   Whatever your process, the mission statement tells everyone what you are in the business of doing.  It is short-term; it is focused on where the business is going within a 1-3 year time frame, whereas a vision statement is more broad and long-range.

Here’s an example of Microsoft’s mission statement:

Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Why does your business need a mission statement?

A mission statement influences the allocation of resources.  It influences goals, operations, and profit.  As such it acts as a guide for determining boundaries for the business.

Perhaps more importantly is the foundation it provides upon which recruitment and strategy are formed – it helps to align owners, staff, and others.  As such it is a valuable tool in the planning process.

Sources: Cenage – Lamb, Hair, McDaniel MARKETING and AllBusiness.

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Author:Robin Yerian.  Robin studies Marketing and Business Administration at California State University, Northridge.  She has received an honorable mention for her secondary research regarding the millennial generation in association with the national American Marketing Association case competition for eBay in which she provided consumer insights.  Robin is the student assistant responsible for managing client relationships, communications, and social media for the Wells Fargo Center for Small Business & Entrepreneurship at CSUN.