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An Easy Way to Grow and Reach Your Market: Podcasting

Thursday, September 06, 2018

An Easy Way to Grow and Reach Your Market: Podcasting

If you’re looking for an inexpensive and effective way to educate, inspire, and serve more customers, podcasting just might be an excellent choice for you. Even though its been around for at least 15 years, podcasting is still in a state of steady growth. The latest numbers indicate that the number of listeners worldwide has reached almost 100 million. Interestingly, there are only just over 200,000 podcast creators currently active in the content arena. Compared to blogging and video creation, podcasting is still a relatively small competitive field.

I did my first podcast in 2008 on a website that I’d created for home recording beginners. Back then the process of producing and distributing the podcast was cumbersome and time consuming. There were a lot of steps between having an idea and people listening to me telling them the latest in the world of home recording equipment and techniques. Just setting up all the necessary accounts and distribution channels took several days. Luckily, those days are over.

What used to require thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment, and a steep learning curve in technical ability can now be done with a smartphone and a free app called Anchor. With Anchor you can record, edit, interview guests, add music and sound effects, and with one click distribute your podcast to all the channels you need to reach. Anchor also allows you to announce your podcast episode releases to followers on Facebook and Twitter, and it allows you to embed your podcast episodes in html friendly email services and websites.

For those who would still like to attain the highest level of professional quality the news is equally encouraging. High quality recording technology has become available at a price that is affordable, and there is a wealth of free resources to learn how to use it. Services like SoundCloud and Pippa provide reliable audio hosting for a low monthly cost, and with a couple of hours of setup time, you can create a feed for your podcast that will be available alongside those of celebrity hosts like Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuck.

If you’d like to explore podcasting as an easy way to market and promote your business,  Larimer Small Business Development Center will be hosting a workshop, Podcasting Made Easy on Wednesday October 24, 2018 at 12PM. I’ll be sharing practical information on necessary equipment, planning, producing, and delivering your podcast with simplicity and ease. I’ll also provide a few templates that you can copy and use to streamline your production and distribution process.

The registration page for this workshop may be found HERE. Early registration is encouraged. Admission is FREE!

Franklin Taggart is a business consultant at the LBDC & the SBDC. Franklin’s specialty area is helping independent creative professionals build successful businesses.

Published by MaryAnn Huffines LBDC

Efficiency Works for Business

Friday, August 31, 2018

Lunch 'n Learn - Podcast Made Easy

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Podcasting Made Easy

Wednesday, October 24, 2018
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Larimer SBDC - Rocky Mountain Innosphere
320 E. Vine Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524 (Map It!)

While some online media platforms have begun to slow in growth, podcasting continues to grow in both reach and scope, second only to online video. More people are listening to podcasts in their cars, offices, and homes than ever before.   Podcasting is an easy way to reach new markets, and to stay visible in those you have already cultivated. It is also a fantastic way to bring value to your audience through sharing your knowledge, inspiration and wisdom.

In this Lunch and Learn SBDC Consultant Franklin Taggart will take you through the steps to create and launch your own podcast. You will learn:

  • Necessary equipment and platforms. 
  • Formatting and production. 
  • Identifying and expanding your audience. 
       and more...

Franklin is an experienced podcast creator and producer.

Franklin Taggart
SBDC Consultant

Small Business After Hours - The Ins and Outs of Franchising

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Ins and Outs of Franchising

Tuesday, August 28, 2018
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Larimer SBDC - Rocky Mountain Innosphere
320 E. Vine Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524 (Map It!)
Are you considering buying a franchise but do not know where to begin?  Come hear from our franchise panel from those that have been there and done that as they share their experience and expertise to educate you as you explore the amazing world of owning a franchise.

We'll cover topics such as:

                Why would you choose a franchise instead of building a business from the ground up?
                What are the essential personal and professional qualifications of owning a successful franchise?
                How do you find the ideal franchise?
                What are the costs involved in owning a franchise and can I obtain financing for a franchise?
                What are Franchise Disclosure Documents and Franchise Agreements?
                Can I replace my current income and how long will it take?

Our Panelists

 Jim McWilliams

Jim McWilliams graduated from the University of Nebraska with a Bachelor’s in Business. He worked for Goodyear in various positions for over 19 years. Positions included managing retail stores, Division Sales Training Manager supervising up to 20 retail stores and Franchise Business Manager. Jim owned up to four retail Goodyear Stores in Fort Collins, Loveland and Cheyenne during a 24 year period. He sold the business in October 2007. Also, during this period, Jim owned a Duds and Suds laundry mat franchise and Mail Boxes Etc. franchise.

 Charlie Morris

Charlie Morris has a Bachelor's Degree in Business.  He has worked in retail in various positions for the past 48 years.  Positions included managing retail stores, store design, fixture design and opening new stores. As VP of Retail Store Operations, he was responsible for 34 retail stores, which included personnel training, marketing, inventory purchasing, inventory management and distribution.   For the past 19 years, he has owned and operated a retail franchise "Learning Express Toys" in Fort Collins.  During these 19 years, he also served on the Franchise Advisory Council, Marketing Advisory Board, conducted cash flow and inventory management seminars at Learning Express Conventions.  He sold his business in July 2017. In addition, he has been a member of the Fort Collins Breakfast Rotary Club for the past 14 years, serving a variety of board positions including Community Service, PR and Membership.

 Thea Moeller

Thea Moeller, owner of Your Franchise Business, is a franchise consultant on a mission to match aspiring entrepreneurs with the best franchise option to exceed their goals.  She works with her clients from day one of dreaming to the actualization of their own business; providing research, education, resources, and support along the way.  Thea graduated from Cornell College, with bachelor’s degrees in Business & Economics, and Wellness.  After graduation, she spent over 10 years developing her knowledge in sales as a representative, specialist, trainer, and manager for large corporations.  Grateful for the experience, but dissatisfied with the growth limitations and having no work-life balance, she opened Your Franchise Business to help others seamlessly transition from employee to employer. 

Small Business After Hours - Your Art in the Digital Age, handling newest trends

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Your Art in the Digital Age

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm 

Larimer SBDC - Rocky Mountain Innosphere
320 E. Vine Drive
Fort Collins, CO 80524 (Map It!)

Are you looking to take your art into the digital age? 

Are you already digital, but looking to understand the latest trends, platforms, uses and ways artists are digitizing their work? 

If you are looking to communicate, sell and work online in some capacity as a creative in the 21st century this discussion and networking session is for you.  Hear from working creatives in the fields of photography, film, music, graphic design, digital art and web content creation about how they operate in a digital world, where they see growth opportunities and key takeaways on how to add this to your creative business model.

The session provides networking time as well as a panel discussion with audience participation.   
Our Panelists

Kyle James Hauser


The first year of Kyle James Hauser’s music career began auspiciously: he performed at CMJ, SXSW and the Toronto Int’l Film festivals; was a competitive finalist at Telluride Bluegrass and Rocky Mountain Folk festivals; and released his first record “Oh Oh” on sonaBLAST! Records. 

A graduate in Songwriting from Berklee College of Music, Kyle James Hauser went on to study banjo under Jayme Stone, Noam Pikelny, Chris Pandolfi and others. He’s been involved in over a dozen album releases over his career, and his album "You a Thousand Times" reached #1 on Colorado Public Radio a month after its 2014 release. His songs are featured in film and television including Judd Apatow’s The Big Sick, MTV's series 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom, Where Hope Grows and many more.

Kyle James Hauser’s performance credits include performances at the Kentucky Derby, and sharing the stage with Nathaniel Rateliff, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, The Head and the Heart, Brett Dennen, John Hiatt, David Grisman and more. Playing with Colorado band Rapidgrass 2014-2016, Hauser released two albums and toured internationally, most notably headlining La Roche Bluegrass Festival in France and winning 2015’s RockyGrass Competition. In 2015, Hauser also seized the opportunity to co-write a ballet with one of the country’s most highly-regarded regional ballet companies, the Louisville Ballet.

Hauser currently works in Artist Development at Bohemian Foundation’s groundbreaking incubator, The Music District. He’s been involved in music nonprofits Louisville Folk School (as co-founder), Think 360 Arts, Colorado Music Collective and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In addition to a private teaching practice he teaches songwriting at the Berklee College of Music and has given masterclasses at schools all over the country, including Oberlin Conservatory and Swallow Hill. 

Elias Martinez 

Elias Martinez is assistant vice president for brand strategy and creative director at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. At CSU he’s responsible for setting the institution’s overarching brand strategy and leading a cross disciplinary creative team dedicated to its realization. While at CSU, his team has helped cultivate a university culture that has led to record enrollment, fundraising, and community engagement – all signs of a strong brand.

Prior to CSU Elias was a creative director at Zeus Jones, a Minneapolis digital marketing and branding firm. At Zeus, he had the privilege of working with General Mills, Cheerios, Wheaties, Google, Nordstrom, Purina, Cheerios, Betty Crocker, and Nike. His work has been featured on ESPN, The Today Show, Deadspin, The Dieline, The Guardian, Bleacher Report, Esquire, Death and Taxes, and the front page of Reddit.

Ethan Bach

Ethan Bach is the founding CEO of Alt Ethos, founding E.D. of Denver Arts + Technology Advancement (DATA), an artist, and consultant.  Westword calls Ethan, “An entrepreneur with an eye on the future’s future.” Bach holds and MFA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and uses creative technology to foster deeper connections.

Andrew Schneider

Andrew has extensive experience in performing arts, marketing, film making, trends in arts and creative community building. Schneider co-founded and leads Create Places, an economic and workforce development nonprofit that provides support to increase creative and arts-related employment in Northern Colorado through initiatives like Techstars Startup Week Fort Collins, Artup Week Fort Collins, Open Streets, North Fort Neighborhood Connections, and others. The Downtown Artery, a 14,000-square-foot arts hub in downtown Fort Collins adopted Create Places nonprofit mission earlier this year and hired Andrew Schneider as managing director to lead the organization through the period of growth and transformation. Downtown Artery was recognized in 2018 by the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts for outstanding partnerships and engagements with the arts — familiar territory for Schneider, who will also continues  to work in the nonprofit space outside of the Downtown Artery’s footprint.

MyBizColorado – Streamlining Business Startup

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The State of Colorado has just launched a new service to help emerging businesses open their doors with more ease and efficiency – MyBizColorado. This online tool is a single path to interact with multiple state agencies to help expedite the process of starting a new business.

Participating agencies and partners include: Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Revenue, Department of Regulatory Agencies, Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade, Governor’s Office of Information Technology, Secretary of State’s Office, Statewide Internet Portal Authority and Colorado Interactive, LLC.

What services are available through the MyBizColorado?

  • Register for a sales tax license
  • Register employees for wage withholding
  • Register employees for unemployment insurance
  • Resource library and tutorials on business requirements, as well as planning and developing a new business, and get information on necessary professional licenses.

*It is required that filers register businesses and trade names with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office before using MyBizColorado.

MaryAnn Huffines

Consultant Spotlight - Peggy Lyle

Friday, April 06, 2018

This month, we turn the Consultant Spotlight on Peggy Lyle, District Director for the Downtown Fort Collins Creative District. Peggy is always looking for new ways to advance the city of Ft. Collins and make an impact in the creative industry. 

A native of Santa Fe, Peggy is passionate about the arts and creative approaches to business and communications.  With 20+ years of event production, marketing, and programming for Downtown Fort Collins and The Rhythm Co., she’s aided musicians, performers, galleries, artists, non-profits, small businesses and events navigate promotion, audience cultivation, programming and business strategy. Highlight Projects/Boards: Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest, FoCoMX, Colorado Brewers’ Festival, FC Gallery Walk, Downtown Fort Collins Creative District and TriMedia Film Festival.

Peggy is available for consulting at the Larimer SBDC on for an appointment, 970-498-9295.
5 Questions for Peggy Lyle:

1) What's new with you?  Spring has arrived and the creative juices are flowing.  With Artup Week Fort Collins just behind me I have launched head on into the next set of projects like FoCoMX 10th Annual festival, and the Downtown Fort Collins Creative District work plan.  As a matter of fact, we are producing an ART + LAW: Fort Collins workshop coming up Friday, April 13th, where artists and musicians can learn about the Colorado Attorney for the Arts program and get their arts' focused legal questions answered. It's always good to know you have a lawyer on your side. I certainly hope the creative business community comes out to join us on April 13th.    

2) Thoughts on the local creative environment for 2018?  I think that momentum is rising for creatives. They are embracing their power to be change agents and successful entrepreneurs while seeking a place at the table.  I continue to see creative entrepreneurs hunger for business education and resources and the quality of ideas ramping up each month.  It seems to me that perhaps younger generations are inspiring older ones to take their dreams seriously and with a new digital world more things seem possible.  That hunger is resulting in Fort Collins being a leader of the creative industry in Colorado and I am excited to continue to ride this wave! 

3) What do you enjoy most about consulting?   It sounds cliche, but I genuinely love helping and teaching people to succeed.  I love the little things like talking through a client's dilemma, sharing a new perspective, connection someone to a new resource and being a cheerleader for their dreams. 

4) Favorite creative networking spots in Ft. Collins?  The Music District programs, shows at the Carnegie Center for Creativity, The Downtown Artery any day, Hot Dish Monthly Art Nights and at shows (concerts and gallery shows).  Finally, just sitting on a patio in downtown Fort Collins, you see so many people allowing connections and ideas to pop up!   

5) One piece of advice for anyone looking to start or grow their creative business? Remember it's a "business" that requires a solid idea, lots of energy, a targeted customer and a competitive edge.  Creative businesses can be real and profitable without compromising your art! 

Find out more about Peggy Lyle and her work at Downtown Fort Collins Creative District

Art + Law: Fort Collins - April 13, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

Join us for a full day of legal workshops for attorneys, creative professionals and arts organizations. Registration includes workshops, lunch, entertainment and networking. Colorado Attorneys for the Arts - CAFTA will share information about their program of pro-bono work for the arts and creative industry and share knowledge of Intellectual property and legal issues for creatives (as it relates to Music, Performing Arts, Visual & Design Arts and Literature) 

The workshop includes an interactive networking lunch and live entertainment! 

$15 pre-register/$20 at the door

Art + Law Registration

SBDC Day - March 21, 2018

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Celebration of SBDC Day set for March 21, 2018

Businesses have always celebrated ribbon cuttings, grand openings and company anniversaries, and for a second year they’ll be able to celebrate the people who help them turn their dreams into reality – Small Business Development Centers.  America’s SBDC Day is set for March 21, 2018, a day that will unite nearly 1,000 SBDCs across the country and the hundreds of thousands of clients they’ve served in their near 40-year history.

SBDC Day is a national proclamation of the success of America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) on the success of the nation’s dreamers, innovators and doers – America’s small businesses. 

“It’s great to see SBDCs, their clients and supporters come together to celebrate SBDCs and their amazing clients. With SBDC support small businesses around the country raised over $5 billion in capital and created nearly 100,000 jobs,” said Charles “Tee” Rowe, President & CEO of America’s SBDC.

Since 1980, 63 state and regional Small Business Development Center networks have provided free one-on-one consulting to small businesses at nearly 1,000 locations throughout the nation. A new business is opened with the assistance of the SBDC around the country every 30 minutes; a new job is created every 5.5 minutes; more than $100,000 in new sales are generated every 8.2 minutes, and small businesses are able to obtain more than $100,000 in capital every 10 minutes. 

America’s SBDC network is a partnership that includes the U.S. Congress, SBA, the private sector, and the colleges, universities and state governments that manage SBDCs across the nation. SBDCs provide management and technical assistance to an estimated one million small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs each year. Small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs can go to their local SBDCs for free, face-to-face business consulting and at-cost training on writing business plans, accessing capital, marketing, regulatory compliance, international trade and more.

Small businesses, partners, and advocates are invited to help spread the word about SBDC Day using the hashtag #SBDCDay. On March 21, participants are encouraged to share how their local SBDC has created a difference in their life and community. SBDCs nationwide will collectively share, in real time, the success stories and notable impacts SBDCs collectively have on the small business community at large. This special day will also be celebrated through public relations initiates, campaigns, and online and in-person events.

For more information about America's SBDC and the services they provide visit

Consultant Spotlight - Nikki Larchar

Monday, March 05, 2018
This month, we turn the Consultant Spotlight on Nikki Larchar, Co-founder of simplyHR. Nikki specializes in all things human resources and employee-related challenges. 

Nikki brings a unique blend of work experience, ranging from managing employees at both small and large establishments to consulting business owners with all of their human resource needs. With over five years of work experience in human resources and over ten years of her career dedicated to managing teams, Nikki has experienced human resources both at the front lines of a business and as a consultant to business owners. 

Partnering with business owners has provided Nikki with a sense of fulfillment. With an enthusiastic attitude and a SHRM-CP certification, she is eager to help your work family! In her free time, Nikki enjoys trying new restaurants and breweries in Fort Collins, taking her dog Albert for long walks, and playing music with her husband (she plays guitar and sings). 

5 Questions for Nikki Larchar:

1) What's new with you and your business?  We are currently working on a harassment training tool in the form of a comic book! We are so excited to bring a fresh and innovative approach to the way that business owners, managers, and HR departments provide workplace harassment training. We're also going to be crowdfunding the project, which is a new adventure for us. We also recently updated our website to have a client login. We are now able to provide the most up to date forms and documents and keep our clients updated on the latest HR rules and trends.   

2) Biggest Human Resources issues for 2018?  Harassment training and prevention is most certainly high on the list. We are also seeing a lot of questions come in around marijuana use, remote workers, and as always, the continued updates to rules and regulations that can sneak in during the year.

3) What do you enjoy most about consulting?   I love getting to know other business owners, find out what they do, and then offer my help in the best way possible. HR can be a tricky subject so I love when I get to work with other entrepreneurs to talk about how HR impacts their business.

4) Favorite St. Patrick's Day activities in Ft. Collins?  Since I live and work near Old Town and I love going out and getting at least one green beer, it's only St. Patrick's Day once a year! And I'm pretty sure if I was drinking green beer on any other day, people might look at me weird.    

5) One piece of advice for anyone looking to start a new business? Get ready to make mistakes! The beauty of entrepreneurship is that we get to try things out and if it doesn't work we can change it. So get ready to make mistakes, to change and adapt, and to have fun while doing it!

Find out more about Nikki Larchar and her business at simplyHR