Story originally from In Business Magazine Greater Phoenix Area.
Small business is thriving in Arizona, and in Metro Phoenix specifically. Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University have programs focused on fostering entrepreneurialism; many of the Maricopa County community colleges are also active in this space with specialized programs, notably GateWay Community College‘s incubator, Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation; and numerous business incubators and accelerators throughout the Valley are helping startups launch successfully into the business community.
Success begets success, and In Business Magazine asked Joel Gottesman, Prinicpal at Liquid Capital of Arizona, to share insights on best practices and the changing business environment, based on his experience in these core concerns of all business enterprises: finance, human resources, leadership and management, marketing and communication, sales, and technology.
Question: Are there traditional “truths” (attitudes, ways of doing things) that need to be discarded in today’s business world?
Answer: Traditional “truths” would hold that you fund growth by obtaining capital (from yourself, friends and family, or established investor infrastructure), and then obtain working capital debt through alternative financing such as factoring or asset-based lending, or through a bank loan if the more stringent credit standards can be met. If additional capital is still needed, there are some new ways of raising capital through crowd funding, which is becoming more of a reality and utilizes social media to reach investors more readily. Other options include contract manufacturing or joint venturing for an initial period to reduce the time it takes to move forward on your growth plan.
Question 2: What is an innovative best practice you would advise to a fellow small-businessperson?
Answer: Find your sweet spot on how to engage prospective or existing customers or referral sources for growing your business. Social media provides a great opportunity to be out there to establish your business brand in a way that is not a “hard sell.” You have the opportunity to associate yourself and your business with creative trends and new ideas. Depending on your business model, LinkedIn and Twitter offer opportunities to build your network and business brand.