Contact: Lars Peterson, SBDC, (515) 292-6351
Chrissy Spoo, SBDC, (515) 292-6351
Kevin Brown, News Service, (515) 294-8986
IBN SERVES 20,000 BUSINESS PEOPLE IN FIRST YEAR
AMES, Iowa -- Since the Iowa Business Network (IBN) joined the worldwide web one year ago, it has helped more than 20,000 current and future business people from across the state, the nation and the world.
The IBN, www.iabusnet.org, a service of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), headquartered at Iowa State University, is an interactive business and entrepreneurial resource for learning everything from how to write a business plan to tips on how to garner federal contracts. The SBDC is an arm of ISU's College of Business.
Lars Peterson, SBDC associate state director, said the site is popular because the emphasis is on providing practical and useful information for business owners without the distraction of a banner or other forms of advertising. He said he expects the IBN to continue to grow in use.
"The number of users will continue to grow as the IBN becomes bigger and better than ever thanks due to new resource partnerships and even more up-to-the-minute expertise, information and direction to resources in almost every area of business," he said. For example, business owners can utilize the IBN for:
- Current seminar, conference and announcement news -- Topics run the gamut from general interest business events to specific employer groups. For example, an upcoming seminar package entitled "Shaping Your Veterinary Future" provides workshops on ways small practices can gain a competitive advantage. The SBDC also offers the "Iowa Family Business Forum," a program offering business strategies and support to help family businesses deal with their unique problems. The Sept. 2 program in Des Moines and Sept. 3 event in Iowa City will feature an expert on exit strategies for business owners.
- Waste and pollution control strategies -- The "Pollution Prevention" section is a hands-on resource guide of practical hints for reducing waste. An interactive test option aids business owners in spotting potential pollution hazards. A series of full- and custom-courses aid business managers in determining the specific government regulations applying to their business. The courses also offer plans of action for eliminating or reducing identified risks.
- How to make technology work for you -- The "Think It Over" section features incisive, how-to information on how small-business owners may profit by putting the Internet, intranets, and other new technologies to work. Specific performance areas include sales, marketing and cost accounting.
For more information, contact the SBDC at 1-800-373-7232. Interested Iowans may also contact one of the 16 SBDC regional centers in their area.
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