Perfect Pitch: How to Avoid Common Presentation Pitfalls

By Finance New Mexico

By Finance New Mexico

If you’ve ever had to pitch a business or product idea to an investor or potential partner, you know the presentation can make or break the deal.

Because the stakes can be high, serious entrepreneurs quickly learn what to avoid when giving a presentation, whether it’s a 30-minute speech before a peer group or six-minute proposal to Demo Day investors. Continue reading

Demo Day Gives Startups a Platform for New Products

By Kathleen Gardenswartz, marketing and curriculum director, ABQid

By Kathleen Gardenswartz, marketing and curriculum director, ABQid

Trish Lopez is restless, and she has every reason to be. She has spent the last three months in the ABQid accelerator program, testing assumptions, talking to hundreds of users and customers, building a website and logo — all while tenaciously driving her startup, Teeniors, forward.

Lopez’s natural charisma makes the program’s required networking effortless, but it’s Teeniors’ mission — to match tech-savvy teens with seniors who need help using technology to connect with loved ones — that is motivating this intergenerational solution. Continue reading

Ropes Course Builds Communication Skills

By Patricia West-Barker for Finance New Mexico

By Patricia West-Barker for Finance New Mexico

Unless you are an entrepreneur laboring alone in your garage, your company’s success may depend largely on the quality of the team you’ve assembled to conduct your business—whether that team is made up of two, 20 or 200 people.

To find out what makes high-performing teams tick, MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory monitored the communications of large numbers of people as they went about their work. The study, published in the Harvard Business Review in April 2012, found that “communication plays a critical role in building successful teams.” Face-to-face interactions (versus email, phone and text) were extremely important, as were the frequency of non-work related conversations. Continue reading

Federal Programs Can Help Beekeepers Build Habitat, Create Products

By Finance New Mexico (reviewed by Terry Brunner, state director of USDA Rural Development)

By Finance New Mexico (reviewed by Terry Brunner, state director of USDA Rural Development)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has lots of resources for New Mexicans who keep bees for profit — and those who have lost hives to colony collapse.

The federal programs aren’t designed for hobbyists who want to help a critical species, but even small-scale beekeeping operations can qualify for assistance building and protecting their businesses. Terry Brunner, state director of USDA Rural Development, urged beekeepers to research the following programs: Continue reading

Business Development Services Help Clients Improve Bottom Line

By George Kenefic, Director of Enterprise Empowerment, The Loan FundBy the time a client gets a loan from The Loan Fund, she’s in a committed partnership with the nonprofit lender. That’s because The Loan Fund offers business development consulting to all potential clients — not just those who receive loans.

The Loan Fund loan officers provide “pre-loan consulting” the moment they receive an inbound call or greet an office visitor.  And consulting continues after the client walks out the door — either to get more prepared or to start putting the loan money to work building a business, creating jobs and improving communities. The Loan Fund is fully invested with the people whose business startup and expansion plans it helps finance —even with those who aren’t ready for a loan. Continue reading

Businesses Find the Evolutionary Path to Profitability

By Claudia Infante, Projects Coordinator, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership

By Claudia Infante, Projects Coordinator, New Mexico Manufacturing Extension Partnership

One obstacle to improvement in a typical American company is the assumption that change requires months of planning, major expense and a work stoppage or slowdown. Then there’s the fear that old habits and practices will slowly return as people forget what they learned amid the pressures and demands of running a business.

Even when the need for change is obvious, such companies often resist fixing something until it’s utterly broken.

An alternative, nonreactive view embraces change as a continual process of incremental improvements and tweaks — not as an exercise in obsessive compulsion but as an adaptive approach to reducing waste-related costs, eliminating inefficiencies and optimizing competitiveness. Continue reading

Understanding Accounting Basics Empowers Business Owners

By Finance New Mexico

By Finance New Mexico

Accounting is the lingua franca, or common tongue, that allows business owners in multilingual New Mexico to communicate no matter what language they speak at home.

A basic understanding of accounting principles allows entrepreneurs to take batches of numbers and translate them into easily comprehensible statements of performance and profitability. It helps them keep track of money as it enters and exits their coffers and make reasoned decisions based on what the numbers say. Continue reading

Los Alamos National Laboratory Programs Help Española Company Become Regional Job Creator

By Carole Rutten, Acting Director of LANL’s Community Programs Office

When Eric and Celina Quintana started their residential and commercial cleaning service in 1994, their goal was to dominate the janitorial services market in Northern New Mexico. Two decades later, Performance Maintenance Inc. provides janitorial equipment and supplies to Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and sells environmentally certified cleaning products nationwide. Continue reading

Incubators and Accelerators Nurture Entrepreneurs

By Finance New Mexico

By Finance New Mexico

Isolation is the scourge of entrepreneurship — a dark echo chamber that amplifies setbacks and blocks critical feedback, encouragement, ideas and resources.

Business incubators and accelerators are the antithesis of that negative space, and New Mexico is home to about a dozen of these business-nurturing organizations. Both prepare businesses for growth, but they use different models and often intervene at different moments in the life of a company. Continue reading

Office of Business Advocacy — a One-Stop Shop for Clearing Bureaucratic Roadblocks — Will Now Help Entrepreneurs Launch and Grow

By Angela Heisel, New Mexico Economic Development Department

By Angela Heisel, New Mexico Economic Development Department

Governor Susana Martinez and Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela established the Office of Business Advocacy (OBA) in January 2011, and have been extremely pleased with its success. Since then, the OBA has saved or created more than 2,000 jobs by helping businesses navigate the sometimes complicated processes of permitting and licensing that can slow job creation and business growth. Now the OBA is expanding its mission.

“The Office of Business Advocacy has done remarkably well helping small businesses that may not have the time or Continue reading