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How to get Federal Contracts for Your Small Business

Below is a posting by the SBA four days ago.

How to get Federal Contracts

for Your Small Business

When: Thurs. Feb. 27, 2020

Time:   8:30 am – 1:00 pm

Where: Liberty Hall Corporate Center

            1085 Morris Avenue

            Union, NJ 07083

Fee:     No Cost

Info:     Rogers Ramsey 908-527-1166

Each year, the federal government spends over $100 billion on goods and services from small business owners like you.

This seminar will provide small business owners with a general understanding of government contracting and the federal procurement process. Janett Peralta from the U.S. Small Business Administration and Maryanne Williams from the

UCEDC Procurement Technical Assistance Center will discuss:

How to conduct thorough market research to find opportunities

Techniques and strategies to market more effectively to win federal business

Subcontracting Opportunities

Contract types

Contracting Certifications

Federal Business Opportunities

System for Award Management (SAM)

Forecast

Don’t miss this free seminar and learn how to increase your chances of winning  contracts from the federal government.

REGISTER HERE

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Small Business Expo 2020 – PHILADELPHIA

The Small Business Expo 2020 is coming to Philadelphia on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM. Attendees of this expo will have an opportunity to network with thousands of businesses, entrepreneurs & start-ups

*Fast-paced speed-networking sessions to build your network.
*Establish hundreds of new & valuable contacts.
*Interact with the movers and shakers of small businesses.
*Leave the show with qualified and targeted sales leads.
*Surround yourself with passionate business owners.

These are the 5 different levels of registration.
1. BRONZE, Exhibitor Hall, Workshops, Keynote Speakers, Business Card Exchange. Free.
2. SILVER, BRONZE PERKS, PLUS: Access to Speed Networking Sessions. Cost of $28.16.
3. GOLD, BRONZE & SILVER PERKS, PLUS: Access to Networking Happy Hour with Open Bar & VIP Express Check-In (skip the check-in line). Cost $54.67
4. VIP (Most Popular!) BRONZE, SILVER & GOLD PERKS, PLUS: Lead Scanner App (scan badges & collect contact info) & Priority Seating in Workshops & Speed Networking (skip the line) Cost $107.72
5. VIP + Eblast (Best Value!) BRONZE, SILVER, GOLD & VIP PERKS, PLUS: We will include your company’s advertisement in our post-show email to the attendees. Cost $266.85.

My colleagues at Keystone Business Brokers look forward to meeting you at the Expo.

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Using Focus Groups to Acquire Marketing Research (a cost effective research technique)

Using Focus Groups to Acquire Marketing Research
(a cost-effective research technique)

Many small businesses don’t take advantage of using marketing research techniques to determine the needs and wants of their target market. Before starting a promotional campaign it is wise to get feedback from customers. The focus group is the first step in gathering qualitative data for your research.

Basics of Conducting Focus Groups
Focus groups are a powerful means to evaluate services or test new ideas. Focus groups are interviews, led by a moderator with 6-10 people at the same time in the same group. One can get a great deal of information during a focus group session.

Preparing for the Session
1. Identify the major objective of the meeting. 
2. Carefully develop five to six questions.  
3. Plan your session.
  4. Call potential members to invite them to the meeting. Send them a follow-up invitation.  5. About three days before the session, call each member to remind them to attend.

Developing Questions
1. Develop five to six open-ended questions – Session should last one to 1.5 hours — at this time, one can ask at most five or six questions. 
 2. Always first ask yourself what problem or need will be addressed by the information gathered during the session, e.g., examine if a new service or idea will work, further understand how a program is failing, etc. 
 3. Focus groups are basically multiple interviews. Therefore, many of the same guidelines for conducting focus groups are similar to conducting interviews.

Planning the Session
1. Scheduling – Plan meetings to be one to 1.5 hours long. Over lunch seems to be a very good time for others to find time to attend.  
2. Setting and Refreshments – Hold sessions in a conference room. Configure chairs so that all members can see each other. Provide name tags for members, as well. Provide refreshments, especially box lunches if the session is held over lunch.  
3. Ground Rules – All members must participate as much as possible. Implement the following three ground rules: a) keep focused, b) maintain momentum and c) get closure on questions.
  4. Agenda – Consider the following agenda: welcome, review of agenda, review of goal of the meeting, review of ground rules, introductions, questions, and answers, wrap up.
  5. Membership – Focus groups are usually conducted with 6-10 members who have some similar nature, e.g., similar age group, status in a program, etc. Select members who are likely to be participative and reflective. Attempt to select members who don’t know each other.
  6. Plan to record the session with either an audio or audio-video recorder. Involve a co-facilitator who is there to take notes.

Facilitating the Session
1. The major goal of facilitation is collecting useful information to meet the goal of the meeting. 
1. Introduce yourself and the co-facilitator, if used. 2. Explain the means to record the session.
  3.  Carry out the agenda.   4. Carefully word each question.  5. Allow each panel member to carefully record their answers. Facilitate discussion around the answers to each question.  
6. After each question is answered, carefully reflect a summary of what you heard.   7. Ensure even participation. Consider using a round- table approach, including going in one direction around the table, giving each person a minute to answer the question.   8. Closing the session – Thank members for coming, and adjourn the meeting.

Immediately After Session
1. Verify if the recorder worked throughout the session.  
2. Review your written notes clarify any notes that don’t make sense, and ensure pages are numbered.     
3. Write down any observations made during the session. For example, where did the session occur and when, what was the nature of participation in the group? Were there any surprises during the session?

Moderating focus groups YouTube link: https://youtu.be/xjHZsEcSqwo

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Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Q4 and Annual 2019 GDP: Economy Grows 2.3% in 2019

Statement from U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on Q4 and Annual 2019 GDP: Economy Grows 2.3% in 2019
Economic indicators
Wilbur Ross
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, January 30, 2020
Office of Public Affairs
(202) 482-4883
publicaffairs@doc.gov
Today, the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the fourth quarter and annual gross domestic product (GDP) numbers. The Bureau found that the real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter and 2.3 percent for all of 2019, continuing to beat expectations.
“Since the beginning of this Administration, critics have predicted doom and gloom for the American economy,” said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. “They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. President Trump continues to unleash incredible growth in the American economy despite the effects of Boeing’s problems with the 737 MAX and the General Motors’ strike. GDP for 2019 is more great news for the American economy and is even better than what today’s numbers show due to those two special factors. Beyond this, Americans continue to experience tremendous increases in employment and wages that prime 2020 for further economic gains. When you add in the benefits of USMCA, the Phase One Deal with China, the two trade deals with Japan, and the re-working of the free trade agreement with South Korea, America is back and competing on the world stage.”
The GDP continues to beat performance predictions before the 2016 election, and there was other good news in the BEA report:
The U.S. has the largest GDP of any country in the world, and it continues to grow at a sustained rate. U.S. GDP reached an all-time high in 2019 of $21.43 trillion.
The growth of the goods GDP rose by an impressive 4.7 percent, while services was at 1.7 percent.
Consumer spending increased by 2.6 percent last year and spending on durable goods surged by 4.7 percent in 2019.
Personal income reached an all-time high of $18.6 trillion, up from $17.8 trillion in 2018.
The personal savings rate increased to 8 percent for the year, with Americans saving $1.31 trillion in 2019, up from $1.21 trillion in 2018.
The long period of massive import surges of goods is finally abating. For the year, imports of goods rose by only 0.2 percent, the lowest yearly increase since 2009.
To view the Gross Domestic Product, Fourth Quarter and Annual 2019 full release click HERE.
Bureaus and Offices
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Leadership
Wilbur Ross