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UHV Small Business Development Center “Building the Texas economy, one business at a time”. The UHV SBDC is part of a nationwide small business assistance program serving the small business community and federal, state and local governments. The center offers counseling, training and technical assistance to existing and start-up businesses in an 11-county area. To make an appointment for business services or register for a UHV SBDC workshop, call the center at 361-485-4485 or email at


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Texas Small Business Needs

Posted By jean smith, Thursday, November 10, 2016

UHV SBDC needs small business survey responses!  Your assistance is needed to encourage small businesses to take the survey. 

Please share the survey with your members.  There is a link to the survey on our website  in addition to the direct survey link listed below.

A survey graphic has been attached to this email which can be used in your digital communications with your members. 

The Texas Small Business Needs Assessment Poll is a partnership between the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ Community Development Department and the Texas Small Business Development Center Network.
This survey focuses on small business needs in Texas and contains questions on firm size, performance, strategy, financing and employee skills. The responses collected will be critical in helping us identify emerging issues and areas of strength and areas of needed improvement in the small business community.
Taking 5 minutes or less to complete, find the survey at


Thank you for helping us make sure that the small business voice in south Texas is heard.

If you have questions, just contact our office at 361-485-4485

Tags:  Business  entreprenuer  small business  small business entreprenuer finance  transitions  UHV  UHV SBDC 

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All About Leadercast Victoria

Posted By jean smith, Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The FAQ's of Leadercast Victoria 2015

More info on the event at our website Leadercast Victoria
Buy your tickets at

What is Leadercast?
Leadercast is focused on building Leaders Worth Following. Leadership is not reserved for those with a ‘C’ in their title. We need better leaders in our communities, businesses, organizations, and in homes across the world. Leadercast exists to serve individuals and organizations across all sectors who want to become intentional about raising their standard of leadership.

Why the theme of “The Brave Ones”?
An essential behavior for any leader is the act of bravery. Bravery is not a moniker that can be bought… it cannot be self-appointed. Bravery is not attributed to everyone, but is reserved for those whose innovation in their industry cause them to stand out from the crowd, whose unyielding effort and error push their organizations into new territories, and whose boldness compels them to stand up for those less fortunate. These are The Brave Ones.
The Brave Ones have existed throughout history. Some are unforgettable icons, others names will never be remembered. They exist across all industries, societies, and at every level of leadership. Join us at Leadercast Live in 2015 as we explore The Brave Ones, and learn what it means to lead in such a way that create bold cultures, builds faithful employees, and produces high achievement.

Who is speaking?

  • Rudy Giuliani, 107th mayor of New York City from 1993 to 2001
  • Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate
  • Seth Godin, best-selling author
  • Aja Brown, mayor of Compton, Calif.
  • Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP AG, the world’s leading provider of business software
  • Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios
  • Andy Stanley, leadership author and communicator
  • CMDR Rorke Denve, Navy SEAL commander and author
  • Bill and Giuliana Rancic, award-winning personalities and co-hosts of Leadercast
  • and more

When does it start on May 8th?

Registration for the event begins at 7 a.m. May 8 with the program starting at 7:45.


Who is sponsoring Leadercast Victoria?

The presenting sponsor for this year’s Leadercast is TDECU Business Services. Other sponsors include All Things Crossroads, Klean Corp International, Comfort Keepers, Chick-fil-A of Whispering Creek, Parkway Church, H-E-B, Dignity, Golden Crescent Magazine and TDECU Retail Services.

What benefit to bringing a group?
Don’t lose $44 dollars to attend this event. Get 10 or more people together and pay $80.99 per ticket instead of $125 at the door. Get your group of interested colleagues, your leadership team or your management team and make it a day of building leaders worth following. For instance, get a group of 10 + people together and qualify for this $80.99/ticket price.

What is Leadercast?
Leadercast is focused on building Leaders Worth Following. Leadership is not reserved for those with a ‘C’ in their title. We need better leaders in our communities, businesses, organizations, and in homes across the world. Leadercast exists to serve individuals and organizations across all sectors who want to become intentional about raising their standard of leadership.  It’s a one day experience to challenge you, refresh your leadership spirit and learn new skills from leaders in a variety of disciplines. Additional attendee perks will  be provided to attendees at the event like after-event access to Leadercast materials.

Is there a local focus as part of the event?

Yes, our sponsors will be present and attendees will have the opportunity to engage with them.  In addition, a local leadership program is always part of the Leadercast Victoria experience.  This year UHV Interim President Vic Morgan will give a presentation about the “Ten Commandments of Leadership.”

Do I need to bring anything?
Attendees will receive event journals, bags with event materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks at Parkway. Everything necessary will be provided at the location, so attendees can focus on the speakers and leader content.

Is there an app for that?
Yes, there is an app for attendees to enhance their Leadercast experience.  Leadercast 2015 is available for both iPhone and Android mobile users, the new Leadercast 2015 app connects you with attendees and speakers on May 8th like never before! The Leadercast 2015 app is the best way to enhance your event experience & acts as a roadmap for your leadership journey. You’ll have access to Access Real-Time Talk Summaries, Network with Other Attendees Worldwide, Speaker Profiles, Event Agenda, Take Notes, Download Exclusive Content and more.

What Else??
This year attendees get an access code at Leadercast Victoria that will allow them to replay one, two or all the speakers from the live event.  The code will allow replay of the event through May 15.

More info on the event at our website Leadercast Victoria

Buy your tickets at

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Tags:  Brave Ones  Leader  Leadercast  Leadercast Victoria  Leadercast Victoria 2015  leadership 

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Starting a Small Business

Posted By jean smith, Thursday, January 29, 2015

Considering the option of starting a small business?  Here are a few key topics to think about before “jumping in.”

1. Don’t Jump Into a Partnership.

Many times people go into a partnership because they are afraid of the unknown and want to share their fear. That’s not a good reason for having partners. In a short time, you’ll overcome your fear, but you are going to be stuck with your partners for a very long time. The only time you should have a partner is when he/she provides something you don’t have. However, needing more cash is not a good reason to partner.

2. Cash Flow

Your business lives and dies with cash flow. Make conservative estimates about sales and costs. Know how much it will cost to start your business. The number one killer of small business is negative cash flow. Don’t become a victim.

3. Know the market.

Work in the industry before you open your own shop.  You might even realize what you thought would be a fun and exciting business for you, isn’t that fun once you are responsible for keeping it open.

4. Marketing/Sales

In order to own a successful business you have to be comfortable with selling and with marketing. You might have the best products in the world but if people don’t know about it, you’ll never keep your doors open.

5. Reduce Risks

You owe it to yourself to reduce risk whenever possible. You accomplish that by really knowing your industry and by being on top of your cash flow.

You also need to understand a little about law.  Should you form as a dba, S-Corp, C-Corp, LLC?  This is where having a good business attorney and CPA is smart. Also reduce risk by having the proper business insurance in place.

6. Your Plan

You business plan isn’t a guarantee of success but you can almost guarantee failure if you don’t have a plan. Ideas are wonderful but business is about execution. And proper execution demands that you have a good solid plan and that you understand all the details.

7. Be Flexible

It’s true that you need a good solid business plan but you also need to be flexible. Nothing occurs exactly as planned. You have to be willing to go with the flow and be willing to upgrade your business plan as conditions change.

8. Focus on Your Goals

The reason you go into business is to have more control over your life.  Therefore, your goal should be to make your business a financial success. While you certainly can use your business as an expression of your passions and values, your business must be profitable.  

Above are key elements to consider when thinking about starting a small business.  Be prepared and research your ideas.  The more prepared you are when the doors open, the better the chance you and your business will survive.


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Tags:  business  Kacey L Butler  no-cost  start-up  UHV SBDC 

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Why a business should write a business plan?

Posted By jean smith, Monday, August 25, 2014

Business owners tend to start a business and not write a business plan. Usually writing a business plan is the last thing on an entrepreneurs mind, because entrepreneurs are ready to hit the ground running. Also many small business owners do have a business plan in their head, but not on paper. According to the definition of a business plan is a plan of future strategy: a plan that sets out the future strategy and financial development of a business, usually covering a period of several years. As a business advisor I like to refer to a business plan as a road map for the entrepreneur. Plans tend to help businesses steer in the right direction. Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going you might wind up some place else”.

A business plan tells the story of where you are today, where you want to be, and how you are going to get there. A written plan allows you to share your vision with employees, bankers, vendors, etc. A typical plan consists of a management plan, marketing strategy, financial projections, competitor analysis, customer demographics, research, and an executive summary. Each section takes time, thought, and research to complete. As you can see it is not something that is usually completed over night and the main content has to come from the entrepreneur.  One of the most important and overlooked parts of the business plan is the exit strategy. An exit strategy is a plan of how you will leave the business once you decide to sell your business or retire. Having an exit strategy helps you make better business decisions now based on the number of years you think you will be in business. For instance, if you plan to be in business for five years versus twenty years, you will make different management and financial decisions based on this planning. You may decide not to take a loan that will take you fifteen years to pay off if you plan to sell your business in five years.

Another thing to consider is a business plan is also something that can be revised as you see fit. This means that it is not something that is set in stone. Business plans change, as owners get more “seasoned”, business grows, or when opportunities come along. You should always look over your business plan to see if you are following it, if it is working, and if you can do things better. Reviewing your business plan can be done on a quarterly or yearly basis, or as you see fit. A business plan is not meant to be put on the shelf so you can say you have one. You need to use it! If you have already started your business without one it is not too late to put one together.

For more information, contact the UHV-SBDC at 361-485-4485, or  Mark Martinez is a Certified Business Advisor with the UHV-SBDC and can be contacted at .

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Tags:  Business  Business Plan  entreprenuer  small business  UHV SBDC 

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IRS Regional Practitioner Meeting

Posted By jean smith, Friday, August 22, 2014

Accounting professionals sign up now to attend the IRS Regional Practitioner meeting scheduled for Victoria on Tuesday September 16, 2014. The IRS Small Business/Self-Employed Stakeholder Liaison Office offers periodic local liaison meetings and seminars for the tax professional community. These sessions are designed to share important information about IRS programs and issues with tax professionals.

Tax law changes happen frequently and require the accounting professional to stay updated.  The Internal Revenue Service, in partnership with the Texas Society of Enrolled Agents, Texas Chapter of the National Associations of Tax Professionals and Texas Small Business Development Centers will offer an informative session at the IRS Regional Practitioner Meeting in Victoria.  This one day event on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 will be held at UHV, University Center, Multipurpose Room.   Topics for this event include Keeping up with Earned Income Tax Credit due diligence, Child related tax benefits, Employment tax issues, Schedule E and net investment income tax/Form 8960, Individuals and health care taxes, and Divorce related tax issues. This event helps area professionals learn of tax changes and be prepared for the upcoming tax season. 

Enrolled agents may earn up to 7 hours of continuing education credits, other tax professionals may qualify, depending on the requirements of their organizations. Your Practitioner Tax Identification Numbers (PTIN) is required to receive Continuing Education Credits.   The registration fee of $50 includes lunch, and seminar materials. Check-in begins at 7:30 am. Seating is limited, UHV Small Business Development Center recommends early registration. Register at

Tags:  enrolled agent  IRS  practitioner  tax preparer  UHV SBDC 

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Plan To Pay Yourself From the Beginning

Posted By jean smith, Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Plan To Pay Yourself From the Beginning

By Joe Humphreys


Next month I will celebrate my eight years with the UHV Small Business Development Center.  In that time, I have met with over 650 individual clients.  When I first started, I assumed all businesses were different and unique.  What I have learned over time is most businesses have the same problems with unique owner personalities.  In writing this article, I would like to address one issue I have encountered over and over again, owners not paying themselves from their business.  When starting a business, a prospective owner has to create a budget with honest and realistic expectations both in the revenue potential and the cost of operating the business.  Typically, the income is overstated and expenses understated, it looks better and makes the decision to go into business easy.  The one expenditure left off of the planning budget typically is the personal salary of the owner.  Often times I hear, “I am putting everything back in the business” or “I want the business to succeed” or, my favorite, “my spouse makes a good living and I don’t need a salary”. 


Whether your business is to pursue a passion of yours or to provide you with a job, it should bring in money to your household.  In setting up your business plan and model, your planned owners draw or salary should be included as a fixed cost for planning your break even and profit.  Along with profit projections, money to pay notes and money for an emergency fund, owner’s draws have to be planned and expected from the beginning. 


After you have done your research, your planning, and your business modeling, if your business will not be able to pay you, you should rethink your decision to go forward.  One of the discussions I often have with clients in regard to starting a business is to run the business on paper, before renting property or investing any money in it.  If the business will do everything you need it to do and show a promise of success on paper, it just may work in the real world.  Your business should be able to do three things financially, pay the financial obligations you have, give you a return on your investment, and pay you a decent salary.  All three are important. 


Joe Humphreys is the director of the UHV SBDC.  The UHV SBDC is part of a nationwide small business assistance program serving the small business community and federal, state and local governments. The center offers counseling, training and technical assistance to existing and start-up businesses in an 11-county area. To make an appointment for business services or register for a UHV SBDC workshop, call the center at 361-485-4485 or email at 


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Tags:  small business entreprenuer finance 

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Owning a Business is a Full Time Job

Posted By jean smith, Monday, July 29, 2013
June 15, 2012

As I sit here writing this article and wrestling my son away from the computer power cord, I'm reminded of all the entrepreneurs out there balancing work and family.  When a client comes to visit with me to plan starting their business, one of the questions I ask is, what about your family? Are they supportive of this venture? Can you be away from them for 12-16 hours a day? How supportive is your spouse?  The answers to these questions are important in order to make your business work. Just ask anyone already in business, they will say they work their tails off to make the business a success. 

So what can you do to make sure your family and work life will mesh? Sit down with them and have an honest conversation about what you plan to do.Talk about the time commitment it means for you. Also consider your personal values and beliefs. What is most important to you? Are you OK with spending the greater part of your days owning and operating a business? By owning a business, are you able to give your family the life you want for them and the life they want from you?

I attended the Chic-fil-A Leadercast event. It made me think of all the choices one makes in life. Going into business is one of them. Staying true to yourself, your family, your employees and your core values is vitally important.  Patrick Lencioni, a speaker at the event, talked about choosing a few core values that your business stands for that makes you true to yourself. Then you stick to them, no matter what.  He talked about Chic-fil-A and their core value of staying closed on Sundays.  Lencioni said "You know it's a core value when you're willing to be punished for it.” For instance, Chic-fil-A is "punished” with no revenue on Sundays because they are closed. The company maintains its core value of having that day off so their employees can spend it with family.

Even though Sunday is the second best sales day for fast food, being closed that day is their core value, it keeps them true to themselves. So what are your core values of our business and how do you stay true to them?  To help understand the balance of work and family, I'm reading a book by another speaker from the event, Andy Stanley. The book is called "When Work and Family Collide.” It talks about what or who you are willing to "cheat” in order to stay true to yourself and family. It's about who you choose to spend your time with and how you can balance your time with family, work, your employees and your customers. Stanley believes that when you figure out the right balance, that keeps you true to your core values, then you can have a successful work and family life.

Hopefully, I've left you with some thoughts to ponder and some resources to tap into to help you with starting and operating your business and setting core values for your company and family. If you're at a loss for where to begin, ask an SBDC advisor to help you determine your core values, mission and company vision.

Lisa Barr, Associate Director with the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center has over ten years experience in retail business, primarily in the management and operations sectors.  Lisa is a Certified Business Advisor, Level IV. Lisa consults clients individually at the office and in the city of Yoakum and DeWitt,, and Victoria Counties.  She has helped start, expand, and save a number of businesses in her service area.  At all locations she teaches seminars some of which are Social Media, Disaster Prep, Customer Service, and Business Boost.  Lisa also speaks to local civic organizations, lenders, and local community leadership about the SBDC program and economic development.

Tags:  Balance  Barr  Business  support  UHV SBDC 

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Learn 3 tips to maintain healthy credit score

Posted By jean smith, Monday, July 29, 2013
When I was a banker, the majority of my denials for loans stemmed from bad credit.

What not many people realize is that without a decent credit history, it doesn't matter how much cash you have to use as a down payment. If you have bad credit, your ship has sunk before it sets sail.

However, there is an exception to this rule.

Medical collections that have hurt an individual's credit score are not viewed with such scrutiny such as credit card collections, repossessions or foreclosures would be.

Having said that, if a person has at least an average credit rating most bankers are willing to negotiate and work with their customers in order to find a way to make the loan happen.

The following tips can be used to make sure you are doing your part to keep your credit score as healthy as possible:

  1. If you cannot afford to make big payments to knock out credit card debit, at least pay what you can afford. Even if you are not making the minimum payment, you should send the creditors what you can. By not paying at all, you have set the tone for the credit relationship.
  2. When making a large purchase such as a vehicle, if you are familiar with a certain bank or credit union, inform the dealer that you already have financing needs taken care of and give them that institution's information. Talking to your bank or credit union beforehand is also a good idea. If you do not do this, the car dealer will most likely send your information to other lenders until they find an approval. Repeated inquiries to your credit will lower your score.
  3. Keeping a close watch on your credit report is a good way to make sure there are no surprises when it comes time to make a purchase such as a car or a house. One way to make sure there are no blemishes on your report is to visit You will be able to obtain a credit report from each of the three reporting agencies annually at no charge to you.

Following these practices can mean the difference between having a healthy credit report and working for a very long time to rebuild a diminished one.

Seems to me a person would rather take care of business now rather than fight for many years to come only to get back where they started.

 Brian Cunningham is a Business Advisor, with the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Center.  Brian’s experience in business began in banking in 1999 right before he graduated college.  He has worked for large banks such as Frost Bank and Wells Fargo, and also worked for a Citizens State Bank in Edna for the past five years.  He served as the banks Vice President and Chief Lending Officer. Brian counsels clients in the Victoria, Jackson, Calhoun and Aransas counties.  He holds a Bachelor’s of Business Management from Texas State University. 



Tags:  banking  credit score  cunningham  UHV SBDC 

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Business Transitions

Posted By jean smith, Monday, July 29, 2013

With over eighty percent of current business owners being of the baby boomer generation, it is imperative to focus on business transition to the new potential younger generations.  More than half of these current business owners are seeking to retire and leave their place of business in the next five years.  So, what does this mean for your community?  Can your community afford to have businesses shut their doors?

Communities need sustainable business.  Without successful business transitions, a large majority of the businesses in rural communities could shut their doors, which decreases jobs and wealth in the community.  Each job in rural areas equals at least $112,705 in total economic impact.  Existing businesses (6 years or older), generally sustain and create higher quality and higher paying jobs, which in turns leads to a higher quality of life in communities.  How will your community keep these businesses open?

There are three major options most business owners consider for exiting a business:

  1. Sell the business.
  2. Family Succession.
  3. Sell inventory and assets and close the doors.

The most popular option typically is to sell the business, and this process generally takes at minimum 3 years.  Why you ask?  Think financials. Lenders and other private investment firms request at minimum 3 years of financial from the current business owner to prove the company’s health and worth.

Family succession is the second most popular option.  This process can take up to 7 years. First the business owner has to have a successor that is willing to take over the business, and more importantly, is interested in taking over the business. Then the process of training that successor can be lengthy due to involvement and length of experience.  Sadly, most family successions fail within the three years of transition.

The third option, and the least popular option, is selling the inventory and shutting the doors.  Most often, this option is a result of a death or illness to the owner or a close loved one of the business.  In other words, an unforeseen circumstance.

Without a proper exit strategy or plan, businesses end up leaving our communities with little to no warning, creating higher unemployment and higher leakage into other surrounding communities; neither of which is desirable.

Seeking assistance from local organizations, such as the SBDC, can greatly improve the survivability of businesses in your community. By offering counseling and training services, mostly at no cost, these business owners gain the knowledge they need to successfully transition their business, whether they are selling or purchasing.  Understanding every aspect of the business is critical to surviving in today’s competitive environment.

Image  Kacey Lindemann Butler is a Certified Business Advisor, III with the UHV Small Business Development Center.   Kacey consults clients individually at her office in Gonzales and also in Karnes and Lavaca Counties.  She also teaches training seminars and speaks at local civic organization functions.   Kacey has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business and Management with a concentration in finance from Texas State University.

Tags:  Business  butler  SBDC  transitions  UHV 

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