We served 34 clients through high-touch services. TAP assists a wide variety of clients with an emphasis on women- and minority- owned entities. Of clients served, 33% are minority-owned and 70% are women-owned small businesses.
We began offering high touch consulting services and workshops in Spanish to Latino entrepreneurs and business owners.
We grew our team by 30%. We hired our first paid employee and onboarded 21 new team members from across the tri-state area with broad experience in banking, marketing, product management, technology, communications and law.
TAP was chosen as a TOP 10 FINALIST for the 1010 WINS / Canon Maxify Small Business Grant Challenge.
"Both (consultants) got the issues I have...they were able to address the big issues and give me valuable outside recommendations that I can use."
"...recommendations were well thought out and strategic. They helped us identify a new target market and new business sales program that we recently implemented that was originally not on our radar."
"To have two people who have knowledge, particularly on the financial side, look at my numbers and tell me where I'm doing well and where I'm not, that was extraordinary."
"TAP has really helped me define and articulate my product differentiation; they are doing a fantastic job helping me communicate this effectively via my packaging, marketing materials and social media."
This year TAP embarked on a unique TAP Project at the request of our partner, Community Capital. Funded by a grant from JP Morgan Chase Bank, we created a rubric that identifies the core competencies necessary for growing and sustaining businesses and establishes a mechanism to assess entrepreneurial skills in a variety of functional areas. The diagnostic tool will be used to provide a consistent, comprehensive and measurable approach to assess key skill levels of small business owners and to inform the subsequent delivery of technical assistance. The rubric will be used to uncover and prioritize areas for improvement and to enable technical assistance providers like TAP and their clients alike to track progress over time.
“Partnering with TAP was a natural fit - a great opportunity for us to offer our members a way to develop their best business practices to attract and support new customers."
"TAP consultants are very smart and provided fresh, helpful and insightful feedback."
"The discussion on branding and value proposition was very useful; I left the workshop with new ideas and intend to use the advice to grow my business."
"The discussion was useful because it allowed us to break down the different aspects of our business. It pushed us to think a little harder about the experience we offer our customers when they visit our store."
TAP continues to support the Buy Local effort in Scarsdale, an innovative and collaborative initiative set in motion in 2014 with the goal of driving more customers to Scarsdale businesses and educating stakeholders on their role in enhancing the vibrancy of Scarsdale’s retail hubs. Our team conducted research, worked with landlords, brokers and current and potential tenants to address vacancies, revived community events and aided in the marketing and promotion of new stores, events and initiatives. The change was seen and heard throughout our community and we are so proud.
After conducting a series of focus groups, TAP found a strong consumer interest in pop-up shops as a way to test the market for new brands and merchandise, or to have ongoing access to sale items. In response, several Village businesses worked with building owners to lease temporary space and create hugely successful pop-up shops.
In addition, TAP welcomed new tenants, I Am More and PopoJito, and worked with both on their successful launches. We also recently created a New Merchant Handbook to help them integrate into the community.
In an effort to increase foot traffic and bring vitality to the Village, TAP helped organize and promote the successful pilot of a new Farmers Market. In addition, we partnered with the recently re-energized Scarsdale Arts Council to sponsor two community-building events: Rock the ‘Dale and Art the ‘Dale. In the absence of an active Chamber of Commerce, TAP also helped put together an ad hoc group to organize and sponsor Light the 'Dale, the annual holiday tree lighting ceremony, in Scarsdale Village.
In 2017, we hired our first paid employee, taking a step towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of our organization and an invaluable investment as we seek to institutionalize our practices. In addition, we recruited and trained 21 new team members with a wide range of skills and expertise. This growth improves our ability to offer advice and services to an increasingly diverse demographic.
Providing opportunities for our consultants to advance their skills is part of our mission. To that end, we offered training on Social Media for Small Business: techniques and advertisement opportunities small businesses should be using and LinkedIn: how to leverage the latest LinkedIn techniques for self-branding. In addition to those skill-building opportunities, participation at various brainstorm sessions to share best-practices for client engagements, a focus group for one of our retail clients and networking and team-building events were available to our team. Two of our consultants made the transition back to paid employment this year, and while it may be bittersweet, it is a true measure of success for our model.