Optimize the Benefits of Your Social Media

  • Tips on keeping your post organic
    • Aim to use 3-5 hashtags per post
    • Consider the time and day you post
  • Tips for growing your followers
    • Find people who share your companies values/interests
    • Comment, like, and share their posts
    • Follow them or add them as friends
  • Tips on communication
    • Address questions or concerns in comments or direct messages in the same day 

Social media can be an incredibly helpful marketing tool to advertise your business. The constant cycle of information online allows your business to be seen by those who otherwise may never have come across it. While social media can be an easy way to increase exposure, there are some ways to optimize its benefits. Here are a few tips to make sure your social media marketing strategy is the best it can be. 

  1. Keep your posts genuine

In an environment where you communicate through captions, it can be hard to make a social media post sound sincere, especially with the prominent use of hashtags. Hashtags can increase your exposure so you want to use them, but too many hashtags are a lot for a consumer to process. You want to find a balance and use about 3-5 hashtags per post to keep it simple.

  1. Schedule the creation and publishing of posts

You should have a schedule of what you want to post and when. This schedule will give you more time to interact with consumers and other companies online rather than spending a lot of time creating posts. Also, consider what day and time you post because the timing of a post can impact how many people see it. You want to take advantage of online traffic patterns.

  1. Grow your following 

The more followers you have, the more exposure you get. You want to create an online network of people and companies that have similar values and interests. Those hashtags mentioned before are what allow you to find the right people to engage with. Once you find those people, interact with their posts to get their attention. Like, comment, and share their posts to show your interest in them and they may reciprocate. Follow or add them as friends to establish a line of communication.

  1. Take advantage of every feature a platform has to offer

Most social media sites nowadays give you more than one way to post content, like how Instagram has posts and stories. You want to use those other features as much as you can because a profile of diverse content can bring in a larger audience. It also keeps the audience you already have engaged in your content. 

  1. Communication with consumers is key

Consumers interested in your business will reach out with questions or concerns in a variety of ways. Either through a Direct Message or the comment section of a post, you want to respond to their comments within the same day. A good response time will show that you are involved in the online community you have created and want the best for your consumers.

Critical Financial Tips to Maintain Your Business

  • Categorize expenses as best as possible for budgeting and tax purposes
  • Meet with your accountant at least quarterly to know your numbers
  • Use billing systems to automate and organize your receivables
  • Proactively negotiate terms with vendors to increase cash flows
  • Review your financial statement monthly

Staying on top of your finances is important to keeping your business on track. If you are organized and proactive with monitoring your money, you are giving your business what it needs to succeed. Now, saying you need to keep your money organized is easier said than done, so here are some ways you can maintain your finances. 

  1. Hire an accountant and bookkeeper who can actively partner with you. Having a bookkeeper is key to helping you with budgeting, preparing for tax season, and overall staying organized. 
  2. Work with your bookkeeper to correctly use your Charts of Accounts. This will allow you to properly track important data points about your business. 
  3. You want to categorize your expenses as best as possible. If you have the details of what you are going to spend money on, it will be easier to budget for the future. It will also prepare you for tax season. 
  4. It’s best to meet with your accountant on a regular basis. You should meet at least quarterly so you can keep track of your numbers and maintain steady plans for the future. 
  5. Using a billing system is a great way to monitor your money. If you have a billing system in place, you can automate and organize your receivables. Everything is in one place, and the automation aspect takes some weight off your shoulders. 
  6. Be proactive with vendors. If you proactively negotiate with your vendors you can increase your cash flow. That increased cash flow means more for you to expand your business. 
  7. You should regularly review your financial statements. By reviewing your statements monthly, you can easily see where your business stands financially. A consistent habit of looking at statements can prevent you from overspending and allow you to budget for the future. 

Accounting and bookkeeping are critical to maintaining your business. If at any point you don’t properly budget, you overspend, or you run out of cash flow, your business is at risk of going bankrupt. Financing can be a daunting task, but if you use organization tips like the ones above you will have no problem with it. All you need to do is find a schedule and system that works for your business. Tools like these give your company the chance to thrive without the stress that so often comes with managing money.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) Program

Sign up here for free business advisory: SVOG Advisory

The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

The Shuttered Venue Grant is being administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Who is eligible for the Shuttered Venues Grant?
 • Live venue operators or promoters
 • Theatrical producers
 • Live performing arts organization operators
 • Relevant museum operators, zoos, and aquariums who meet specific criteria
 • Motion picture theater operators
 • Talent representatives

Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements.

What other eligibility requirements?
 •
Must have been in operation as of February 29, 2020
 • Venue or promoter who received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020, will have the SVOG reduced by the PPP loan amount

What are the grant amounts?
 • For an eligible entity in operation on January 1, 2019, grants will be for an amount equal to 45% of their 2019 gross earned revenue OR $10 million, whichever is less.
 • For an eligible entity that began operation after January 1, 2019, grants will be for the average monthly gross earned revenue for each full month you were in operation during 2019 multiplied by six (6) OR $10 million, whichever is less.

How do I apply?
Applications will open on April 8th 2021.

Click here for SVOG Technical Assistance

During the first 59 days of opening SVOG, SBA will reserve no less than $2 billion of program funding for grants to entities that have no more than 50 employees.

What are the allowable uses of the funds?
Funds may be used for specific expenses, which include:
• Payroll costs
• Rent payments
• Utility payments
• Scheduled mortgage payments (not including prepayment of principal)
• Scheduled debt payments (not including prepayment of principal on any indebtedness incurred in the ordinary course of business prior to February 15, 2020)
• Worker protection expenditures
• Payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100,000 in annual compensation per contractor)
• Other ordinary and necessary business expenses, including maintenance costs
• Administrative costs (including fees and licensing)
• State and local taxes and fees
• Operating leases in effect as of February 15, 2020
• Insurance payments
• Advertising, production transportation, and capital expenditures related to producing a theatrical or live performing arts production. (May not be primary use of funds)      

Grantees may not use award funds to:
 • Buy real estate
 • Make payments on loans originated after February 15, 2020
 • Make investments or loans
 • Make contributions or other payments to, or on behalf of, political parties, political committees, or candidates for election
 • Any other use prohibited by the Administrator

What is the grantees’ obligation for record-keeping?

Grantees will be required to maintain documentation demonstrating their compliance with the eligibility and other requirements of the SVOG program. They must retain employment records for four years following their receipt of a grant and retain all other records for three years.

What can I do now to prepare for when the applications open up?
 1. Register for a Dun and Bradstreet  (DUNS) number
• Obtaining a DUNS number is a pre-requisite to registering for SAM,
• You cannot use a TIN, EIN or other means of identification for SAM

2. After receiving your DUNS # then register at the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM)

3. Collect documents that prove your eligibility and show your expenses, for PPP and/or RRG

4. Calculate your expected loan or grant using the appropriate calculation

How to register for a DUNS number?

Register online:
• Go to fedgov.dnb.com/webform
• Select “Click here to get your DUNS Number”, and follow instructions
• Check whether your business already has a DUNS #, and if not, request a new one

Register by phone:
• Call toll-free number: 1-866-705-5711
• Tell the operator you are applying to a Federal financial assistance program and need a DUNS #

What you need to register:
• Legal name of your business entity
• Address
• Phone number
• Name of the business owner
• Legal structure, e.g. LLC
• Year the entity was created
• Total # of employees, full- and part-time

Is there a fee for a DUNS registration?
• Registration is free

How long does it take to receive a DUNS number?
Typically it takes 2-3 days for you to receive a DUNS number – so register now

How do I register with SAM?

Register online:
• Create a user account at login.gov (the portal through which SAM operates)
• Enter your email address
• Have a working phone number – login.gov will send you a security code

When you register:
When the prompt, “Why are you registering?” appears, select: “I only want to apply for federal assistance opportunities like grants, loans, and other financial assistance programs

What you need to register:
• DUNS #
• Ownership information
• Bank account information
• Financial information
• Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN)
• CAGE/NCAGE (if you do not have one, you will be assigned one during  registration)
• Notarized letter for entity administrations

Do I need to pay for SAM registration?
Registration is free

What other information do I need to register on SAM?
Self-assertion from each entity, including but not limited to:
1. Data about the types of goods and services your entity provides
2. Entity size
3. Optional Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
4. Disaster relief data

Representations and certifications, related to an entity’s small business status, and responses to commonly used Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) provisions/clauses, and Architect-Engineer Responses

Points of contact: you will be asked to provide contact information for all mandatory points-of-contact provided during your registration, including but not limited to:
• Accounts receivable
• Electronic business
• Government business

Small businesses can sign up to receive updates:  Click Here

Preliminary Checklist of Documents:  Click Here

The SBA has developed Tutorials to assist small businesses:

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Overview

SAM.gov Entity Registration Training

Eligibility for Live Venue Operators or Promoters

Eligibility for Talent Representatives

Eligibility for Museum Operators

Eligibility for Motion Picture Theatre Operators

Eligibility for Live Performing Arts Organization Operators

Use of Funds

For additional information visit:  Click here

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