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A Small Business Blog and Small Business Tips Related to Growing, Marketing and Managing a Small Business.



Small business blog for small business owners, includes resources for businesses, small business grants, business plans, business letters, daily business tips, online marketing advice and information. Learn ideas for your small business.



Published: Mon, 29 Dec 2008 10:00:00 -0500

Last Build Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2016 18:39:00 -0400

 



7 Lessons Small Businesses Can Learn From Tech Startups

Sat, 19 Nov 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Starting a small business in the United States has never been easier and, in fact, small businesses make up the backbone of the American economy. 9 out of every 10 employees works for one of the 28 million small businesses across the country. Each month, a half million new businesses enter the market, of which about 70% will last at least two years and one-third will last longer than 15 years.

But what does it mean to be a small business?

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68 Percent of Millennial Small Business Owners Rely on Social Media for Brand Promotion

Thu, 17 Nov 2016 09:00:36 -0400

Millennial business owners depend on social media for brand promotion more than any other medium.

Shocked, right? OK, probably not. But just how much Millennial business owners are using this relatively new media — or how much they don’t use traditional media — may come as a surprise.

New data (PDF) from Magisto shows that 68 percent of Millennial small business owners and entrepreneurs depend on social media channels for developing awareness of their own brands.

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How to Build Up Your Small Business on Social Media

Tue, 15 Nov 2016 09:00:00 -0400

If you have a small business, you know you want to use social media like Facebook and Twitter to increase sales. Kim Garst has made her living telling businesses how they should use social media to their advantage.

The one thing all business owners say to her is that they want to use social media to make money. This is possible Garst says, but you have to first build a brand.

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10 Ways to Keep Your Small Business Moving Forward

Sun, 13 Nov 2016 09:00:00 -0400

When you run a business, it’s important to always keep an eye on the future if you want your business to grow and improve. Members of our small business community understand what it takes to keep businesses moving forward. Here are some of their top tips.

Make Sure Your Small Business is Prepared for the Holidays

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6 Proven Ways Content Marketing Benefits your Small Business

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 09:00:08 -0400

For small and local businesses, it can be hard to stand out against larger nationwide brands. However, content marketing can help your small business attract attention, and for relevant niches in your industry, too.

Content marketing is a marketing approach that involves creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to your prospective audience in the hopes of driving a consumer action, and it has numerous benefits for small businesses. It can give you the opportunity to not only expand your company, but also to build your reputation and establish a place as a trusted leader in the industry.

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The Small Business Guide to Virtual Assistants Both Human and Digital

Wed, 9 Nov 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Why Your Business Needs Virtual Assistants

If you are looking to de-clutter your business life so you can focus on serving your clients and customers, then virtual assistants are the perfect solution. They excel at the everyday tasks that keep your business up and running and can also handle the more complex tasks that you’re ready to hand off to someone else.

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How To Deal With Stress: Tips For Small Business Owners

Mon, 7 Nov 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Despite the potential for physical, emotional, and mental stress, you can learn to lead a sustainable and healthy lifestyle as an entrepreneur.

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16 Powerful Body Language Tips to Instantly Exude Confidence

Fri, 4 Nov 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Look the part You may be trembling inside, but you want to appear strong and in control. How can you communicate confidence that you may or may not be feeling? Try following these simple tips.

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The 5 biggest mistakes small business owners make according to Shark Tank stars

Wed, 2 Nov 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Small business owners have a problem with thinking big.

Thinking big doesn't mean getting a big head.

Small business owners mistake successful crowdfunding campaigns with success.

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50 Business Ideas for Teens

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 09:00:00 -0400

You do not have to be an adult to start your own business. In fact, there are many different business opportunities that teens can use to get their entrepreneurial journeys started. Here are 50 business opportunities for teens.

50 Business Ideas for Teens



Tips to Identify Your Customers

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 09:59:00 -0400

It is common knowledge that targeting customers will result in a higher sales conversion than non-targeted, random traffic that just happens upon your website. In order to effectively target your customers, you need to know who and where they are. Customers come in all shapes and sizes, so how do you discern which customers are the best to target?

The following are tips to identify your best customers...

Tips to Identify Your Customers



Yahoo Hacked: What It Means for Small Business

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Yahoo has confirmed that it was the target of what may be the largest cyberattack of all time. The breach took place back in 2014 and compromised the data of an unprecedented 500 million users.   - See more at: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/9435-yahoo-cyberattack.html#sthash.y9TRc8EM.dpuf

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50 small business ideas you can start on your own

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:06:37 -0400

If you want to start a small business but you do not have large cash flow, there are still many great opportunities available.

These jobs can be side businesses to start, but they may eventually replace your entire income.

A small business on the side was once a novel idea, but it has become more mainstream with the help of the internet and social media.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that freelancers and self-employed individuals may make up 20% of the workforce by 2020. The Small Business Association estimated in February 2015 that there are about 28,443,856 small businesses in America. Nearly 23 million of those businesses are single worker operations.

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Most Small Businesses Are Barely Saving Any Money, New Study Show

Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:00:00 -0400

As Federal Reserve officials gathered to issue their monthly assessment of the world's largest economy, a new study lays bare the extent to which many small firms are pressed for cash.

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How Creativity Can Drive Productivity in Your Small Business

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 09:00:00 -0400

As a general rule, true creativity is lauded across the globe. From the iconic Burning Man Festival, which is held annually in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, to ever-diversifying International Women’s Day, there are recurring events that celebrate the innate abilities and the creative potential that exists within us all.

Conversely, creativity is typically viewed as an inherently disruptive force in the world of business and commerce. After all, the boldness and distracting nature of innovative thinking is often considered to be detrimental to the basic mechanics of business management, while the endless pursuit of productivity often forces entrepreneurs to eschew creativity in favour of something more reliable.

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Businesses Going Green

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 13:47:17 -0400

A business that makes the decision to be environmentally-conscious will often promote goodwill among potential customers, while making the world a better place for future generations. Many businesses hesitate to adopt green practices because they fear it will hurt their bottom line and negatively impact profits. But many eco-conscious businesses discover that they can actually save money and bring in new customers who specifically patronize companies that actively make an effort to be environmentally friendly. Many customers may even be willing to pay a bit more for a product or service from a company that is green.

Businesses Going Green



This Experts Controversial Tips For Making a Great First Impression May Shock You

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 13:44:50 -0400

Perhaps it is time to embrace some new first principles.

Making a first impression is not easy. People are just so sensitive these days. Sensitive about themselves, that is.

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Why the Golden Rule Must Be Practiced in Business

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 13:42:47 -0400

One of the most valuable possessions that you have is your reputation -- and it is important to guard it at all costs. Profits can be lost and regained, but rebuilding a damaged reputation -- that is far more difficult.

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10 Overlooked Elements of Running a Successful Business

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 13:41:03 -0400

Running a business is complicated, which means there are some factors or tasks that tend to get overlooked. From basic concepts to more involved processes, members of our small business community have plenty of tips for dealing with those sometimes overlooked business tasks. See the full list of tips below.

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Small businesses put out of business by Internet crooks

Sun, 9 Oct 2016 21:00:22 -0400

Do you own a small business? If so, you are a favorite target of the Internet bad guys. More and more, they are moving away from well-prepared big businesses and stealing from small businesses, who are often unable to cope with even the most basic cyberattacks. Answer the following questions and then think carefully about what the answers mean for you.

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8 Secrets of Great Communicators

Fri, 7 Oct 2016 09:59:00 -0400

Great communication skills are a powerful tool to have in your arsenal. Here are eight proven strategies that will improve yours today.

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The Advent of Access: How Smart Phones Have Changed the World

Wed, 5 Oct 2016 09:00:00 -0400

With the ongoing move of smart phones towards near-ubiquity, much of society has come to take these do-all devices for granted. In overcoming the novelty of smart phones, many of us have lost our one-time sense of awe at this technology, and have ceased marveling at the effect it has had on the world around us. However, it is undeniable that smart phones have exerted a huge and multi-faceted impact on society, and continue to do so to this day.

The Advent of Access: How Smart Phones Have Changed the World



Innovative Ways to Market

Sun, 2 Oct 2016 09:00:46 -0400

Marketing is a three-syllable word that seems so simple, yet encompasses so much. Marketing is a multi-faceted approach to promoting a product or service. Both traditional and unconventional marketing methods have a place in the small business world. Marketing helps small businesses focus on building their brand and identity.

There are few limitations to marketing options, and the opportunities listed here are just a few that will generally result in a decent ROI (Return On Investment) for most small businesses. That said, do not be afraid to be creative -- no one knows or understands a small business like its owner, so think outside of the box and don't be afraid to experiment.

Innovative Ways to Market



IoT for Small Business: Effects, Opportunities & Platforms

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 11:22:50 -0400

Business Insiders premium research service, expects that there will be more than 24 billion connected devices on Earth by 2020 — approximately four devices for every human being on the planet.

And as the IoT expands, it will have a particularly profound effect on businesses, especially small businesses. Several IoT business opportunities will be created in the coming years as we head into an increasingly connected world.

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How Being a Millionaire Affects Your Happiness

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 11:20:51 -0400

Tai Lopez was born and raised on the wrong side of the tracks but he made choices early on in his adult life to move to the other side.

Today he lives in a massive Beverly Hills mansion, shares his tips for creating wealth and fulfillment on his super popular social media channels and rubs shoulders with the most successful people in the world.

So how did this all happen?

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Top 10 Tips for Data Theft Prevention

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 11:19:41 -0400

Is your business protected from a data breach? The largest data theft in history:

1.2 billion internet user names and passwords compromised
420,000 websites impacted
Well-known national brands and small companies affected.
Here are ten things you can do to protect your business.

1. Secure sensitive customer, employee or patient data.

Store paper files and removable storage devices (such as thumb drives and CDs) containing sensitive information in a locked drawer, cabinet, safe or other secure container when not in use.
Restrict access to sensitive data to those who have a need to know. Give employees access to only the information they need to do their jobs - whether it's online or in paper form.

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3 Steps To Creating A Killer Small Business Content Marketing Strategy

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 11:17:51 -0400

Small businesses generally face harsher circumstances when it comes to planning and launching a marketing campaign. They have less revenue and capital, which means they’re more limited in the strategies they can pursue. They have fewer resources, which means their teams are smaller and less experienced. And they generally have less data and first-hand experience with which to strategize in the first place.

One of the best marketing strategies for small businesses is content marketing, due to its approachability and affordability, but creating a content marketing strategy can still be an intensive and intimidating process.

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5 Brexit Tips for Small Business

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 11:16:36 -0400

How to Cope with Brexit
For small businesses owners, especially ecommerce merchants already selling (or thinking about selling) to UK consumers, the anxiety lies with unknown costs: what happens when Brexit takes effect? What new regulations or tariffs will be imposed on trade? How will that affect landed costs (taxes + import tariffs + shipping charges) to UK consumers? Will that change a seller's supply chain, and if so, how?

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6 SEO Advantages Small Businesses Have Over Major Firms

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 11:13:16 -0400

When small business owners think about getting involved in SEO, they often become intimidated (or frustrated). They see massive corporations and large businesses dominating the search engine world, and it is no secret why they are able to. They have access to tens of thousands of dollars (or more) to spend on online marketing, a highly talented full-time staff to oversee campaign management, and perhaps most importantly, they have been around for years, so they have had time to cement their authority in their respective niches.

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3 Tips for Making Your Customer Service Shine

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 11:11:13 -0400

1. Contribute to your community.
For Chiodo, offering his time and resources to the community is not a chore so much as it is part of his commitment to doing the right thing.

Last summer, for example, Chiodo and his team installed four new air conditioning units at a local animal shelter where the cooling system was on its last legs. Instead of handing the shelter a hefty bill, Chiodo worked with his distributor to have the equipment donated. He handled the labor for free.

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Ways To Simplify Content Marketing For Your Small

Sun, 11 Sep 2016 11:10:07 -0400

Content marketing is an important part of keeping a small business growing. It can help you to build credibility and authority, win you good positions in search engine results, and develop important relationships with your actual and potential customers.

The main problem for most small businesses is producing content at a consistent rate. There is so much to do when you’re trying to get a new business off the ground or take a semi-established small company to the next level.

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Mobile App Strategies Boost Revenues for Small Business Owners

Fri, 9 Sep 2016 11:08:31 -0400

Global mobile traffic now represents roughly 60 percent of internet traffic, making mobile apps a must-have for businesses. But consumers today increasingly expect an Amazon-like experience online. Small businesses do not just need to build a mobile app, they need to build a great one.

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Top 10 Fastest Growing Companies

Wed, 7 Sep 2016 09:00:00 -0400

These companies are making major strides--and major revenue gains. Check out the fastest growing businesses in the U.S.

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Explore Prime Locations for Small Businesses

Mon, 5 Sep 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Of all the elements in starting a new business, location is among the most crucial. But it’s more than just finding a good spot. A prospective startup owner may need to look at different cities in order to take advantage of the potential audience, costs and revenue opportunities.

There is plenty of research out there about what the best cities are for small businesses, and different studies will yield different results, based on their metrics.

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Does My Small Business Really Need Brand Management?

Fri, 2 Sep 2016 09:00:48 -0400

Brands are often associated with large businesses. However, a brand can be used effectively by small businesses as well to increase their profitability. Branding a new business is just as important as insuring your business and knowing when to hire an employee. Your business will not be maximizing its profitability if you are not building a strong brand.

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Social Media Donts for Small Businesses

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

A strong social network can become an asset for any business. Social media offers every business the opportunity to strengthen relationships with their target audience, creating loyal customers and even brand advocates. Exploiting this potential is no easy feat, but can be done if the medium is used well.

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The 10 Worst Places to Start a Business

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

More new businesses fail than succeed, according to the Kauffman Foundation. And U.S. Small Business Administration data shows that it is only a matter of time before at least half of all businesses go under: Nearly two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least two years, but only about 50 percent survive at least five years.

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12 Ways You Can Be Better at Content Marketing for Your Business

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Small business owners can now compete on an (almost) level playing field with big brands, all through applying the principles and use of content marketing. Regardless of the size of the business, the goal is the same: to use relevant content to attract qualified customers or clients.

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5 Things You Need For Your Small Business Infrastructure

Wed, 24 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

When you first start a business, you have your work cut out for you. Not only do you have to figure out if you have a viable product that people will actually pay you for, but you have to also find your customers, manage administrative tasks and deal with your staff, if you have one.

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9 Best Resources to Check Out before Opening a Small Business

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

There are so many things you need to know about before opening your own business, and it can get pretty overwhelming at times. You need to take advantage of any resources you can find that will help you to get where you need to be, and operate a successful small business, from information on creating business plans to the actual daily operations. Some resources are very helpful, while some are just a waste of time. To help keep you from wasting your time on the not-so-great resources, here are our 9 favorites.

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Most Small Business Owners Are Happy Staying Small

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

What defines a small business owner as successful? You might think the obvious answer is one who grows quickly and expands his or her operations. But a recent report by Emergent Research and Infusionsoft found that becoming a big business doesn't equal success for most small business owners.

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10 Things Your Business Can Learn About Rebranding from Electronics Giant Sharp

Fri, 12 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

When it comes to rebranding, what can your small business learn from a manufacturing giant like Sharp Electronics? Quite a lot, as it turns out.

After its purchase by Japanese electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision earlier this year, Sharp went through an extensive rebranding process to focus on its home appliance division.

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Facebook Is Giving a Huge Break to Small Businesses in Emerging Markets

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Facebook  is to let small businesses in emerging markets sell to customers for free directly through their Facebook pages, the social media company said on Wednesday, marking a new effort to build up potential advertisers in its fastest-growing regions.

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6 Best Tools That Small Business Owners Could Use to Promote Their Business Online

Mon, 8 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Marketing a business online can be a bit tricky with cost being a concern to most business owners. Some have to work with a low budget with most opting to find a free way to market their trade online.

There are tons of free tools businesses can turn to when it comes to marketing online. With that in mind, it may all boil down to where to start and which tool is best used first. The tools mentioned range from actual sites to free tools integrated with their marketing plans. Below are some of the tools that companies can consider using.

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How to Think Like a Brand

Fri, 5 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

When you consider branding from this perspective, you will likely notice that as important as affinity and equity are, the place your brand occupies in one’s mind surrounds the feelings that connect people to it. Be sure to remember this particular fact when you contemplate where your brand is and where you want it to be.

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11 Ways to Negotiate

Wed, 3 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Very few people actually like to negotiate. That's why so few people are good at negotiating; it's a task to be avoided or completed as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, negotiating is a fact of life--especially business life. Fortunately, negotiating has less to do with competition than simply communicating: explaining the logic and benefits of a position, convincing others that an idea or premise makes sense, showing people how a decision will generate a desired return, helping people understand the benefits of change...

In essence, negotiation skills are communication skills.

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Your small business marketing sucks — here is how to fix it

Mon, 1 Aug 2016 09:00:00 -0400

The formula for business success is simple but not easy. At the core, once you have your product or service figured out, your marketing plan should be a natural progression.

In fact, we would challenge the thinking that your business plan and marketing plan are one in the same to a certain extent.

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3 Legal Mistakes Every Businesses Should Avoid

Sat, 30 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Running a business is like running a marathon. You have the law, the government, and the competition all eagerly expecting you to make a mistake. Unlike in the marathon, any mistake you make cannot be forgiven. That being said, many of the mistakes businesses make are usually due to negligence and ignorance. Notwithstanding the intent behind these mistakes, you can be made to pay a huge price for committing them.

However, nothing can hurt your business as much as running afoul of the law in the process of running your business. Small business owners can pay the hardest for legal mistakes.

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5 ways states are luring small business

Thu, 28 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Georgia is among many states that are working hard to lure businesses of all sizes — and entice them to stay put. There's no one set formula that makes a state business-friendly, say business owners and experts. Rather, it is a mix of ingredients that, when combined, make a state an attractive place to set up shop.

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Businesses try to keep calm amid uncertainty of Brexit vote

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Britains vote to leave the European Union is already taking a toll on some small U.S. businesses, with canceled tour bookings in New York and U.K. retailers cutting back their orders from American suppliers.

The plunge in the pound against the U.S. dollar after the vote three weeks ago makes goods and services more expensive for those in the U.K. and means British tourists get less for their money while traveling elsewhere.

Many of the companies are trying to plot a course without clarity on exactly when or how a split may occur.

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Cheaper software puts small businesses in big leagues

Sun, 24 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Until recently, small businesses assumed that they could not access the same kinds of technology and opportunities that big corporations can with vastly greater resources. Rapid technology shifts have led many smaller businesses to expect more from technology.

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5 Technologies for Small Business Success

Fri, 22 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Cloud computing has revolutionized the IT landscape for startups and smaller organizations by leveling the playing field and making advanced software capabilities attainable to businesses with modest technology budgets.

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6 outsourcing tips for small businesses

Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

As most (if not all) small business owners know, you can’t do or manage everything. And some tasks (HR and accounting spring to mind) are often better left to the experts.

Of course, not every small or midsized business can afford to outsource functions, though in many cases the benefits outweigh the upfront cost. But whether you are planning to outsource or are just thinking about it, it pays to do your homework and due diligence before giving over part of your business to a third-party. Here are six things to consider before you choose a business right partner.

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SCORE Infographic: How Can Technology Help My Small Business?

Mon, 18 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

SCORE, the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, has gathered statistics on popular small business technology, such as mobile tools and the cloud, while revealing a need for improvement in customer relationship management (CRM) and data security.

Mobile technology is prevalent:

80% of small business owners use a mobile device at least once a day
56% use it for communication and scheduling
30% take notes and create to-do lists
29% check social media
24% bank online

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Cloud Computing Helps Lift Small Business Valuations

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

It takes more than a solid business plan and gumption to succeed in business nowadays. Growing your company in a competitive businesses landscape—and attracting interested investors—requires a solid footing in technology.

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Small Business Startup Checklist: Do Not Overlook These Items

Wed, 13 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Some people think starting a business will be this great thing to do and then as they move forward with the process quickly learn it is not always rainbows and unicorns.

Sure, it has it perks - you become your own boss, choose your own hours and the clients you would like to work with along with how much to charge them. Then, theres one of my personal favorites - you choose the dress code!

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13 Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses

Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

The first step to marketing is defining your end-game and strategizing your budget. The first question consultants ask those big, bad corporations going through restructuring is, What do you want? This is when you need to decide what is important to you; do you want to extend your reach or maximize local exposure? Are you looking for brand awareness or conversions?

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Become A Data Genius: Track Everything In Your Small Business

Fri, 1 Jul 2016 09:00:00 -0400

As someone that has worked for small technology-based businesses for years, I have come to learn some of the best habits of small business geniuses. While most business owners are unique and every business is different, there is one very important trait that is shared by the most successful ones: they track everything.

Tracking is one of the key pillars of a successful business. Without tracking, the business owner simply cannot know what works and what does not. It is also difficult to see where the inefficiencies are and how they can be improved upon.

The best way to become a data genius is to get into the habit of tracking everything when it comes to your business, and that includes the website, customers, and employees.

Since my experience mainly covers online and web businesses, most of the tips in this article will be relevant to those types of businesses. However, they can be modified and applied to just about any business.

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7 Offbeat Small Business Growth Strategies to Follow

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Because small businesses have shoestring budgets, they lack all the privileges large businesses enjoy. Tilting the ground in their favor is incredibly difficult for them. It’s no surprise that 90 percent of startups fail.

Expert tips can help them lower the cost while keeping the quality of the work high and meeting deadlines. Here are some offbeat growth strategies for startups:

Working as Outsourcing Partner
Competition with large businesses is futile for a small business. Co-habitation, on the other hand, can drive growth. A small business can cohabit with a large business by becoming the latters outsourcing partner.

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3 things every small business should do

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 09:09:00 -0400

Small businesses are a crucial part of Orlandos economy, but there's no denying that there are challenges in operating one, especially in the first few years.

In fact, there are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States. According to data from the Small Business Administration, in 2013 about 630,000 small businesses launched, and of those, close to 80 percent still had their doors open in 2014.

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6 Daily Habits That Will Make You Look Smarter and More Powerful

Sun, 12 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Growing up in a large firm with a strong sense of history and culture, I heard a lot about executive presence--what it was, who had it, and what any aspiring leader would need to do to get it. Here is what I found.

What is executive presence?
Executive presence is the combination of communication skills, technical competencies, perspective, and temperament that instill a sense of confidence in a leaders viewpoints and decisions.

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7 Email Marketing Best Practices

Fri, 10 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0400

The content of your email message is important, but your design is the first element that recipients will see. If you want readers to see your message instead of clicking to the next email, it is essential to please their eyes and pique their curiosity. Here are a few keys to a winning email design:

1. Make it mobile friendly.
Two out of three emails are opened on a mobile device. Make sure that your email design is based on elements that work well in that environment.

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SCORE Tips - Pick a Niche and Own It

Wed, 8 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0400

SCORE provides free mentoring to hundreds of business owners in Southern Arizona every year. Many of those business owners are just starting a new business. Here are some of SCOREs tips to consider before you open a new business:

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How to Automate Social Media and PR for Small Business

Mon, 6 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0400

It  is not easy being a small business competing against the big boys. They have got the budget, the expertise, and the size to push you around. That said, it does not have to be half as hard as some small businesses make it. For example, for many businesses, their social media and PR plans can be a lot easier and communicate far more authority besides.

To that end, today we’re going to look at how you can automate both to make your efforts both easier and more fluid, using some simple best practice and strategic planning.

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How Small Businesses Can Make the Most of Big Data

Sat, 4 Jun 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Big data and business intelligence (BI) used to be only for enterprise companies. Now, however, thanks to the software as a service (SaaS) revolution, even small businesses can afford to track and tap into a wealth of information.

However, becoming a data-driven small business is not easy. Because you are dealing with complex troves of records that have multiple sources and are therefore highly unlikely to be structured uniformly, it can be difficult to process it all and interpret it into insights your business can actually use.

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(Counterintuitive) Tips to Run a Small Business

Sun, 29 May 2016 15:20:52 -0400

Being an entrepreneur or business owner is, for a lot of people, choosing to work 80 hours a week for yourself to avoid that 40 hours you’d be working for someone elses corporation. That was absolutely true for us when we first started. In our first few months as entrepreneurs we each got in a minimum of 80 hours per week - that’s a lot of work! We realized pretty quickly that we needed to change something. We were drowning!

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20 Simple Tools Your Small Business Needs Now

Tue, 31 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Running your own business is no simple task. From hiring and payroll to other day-to-day operations, there are a million different responsibilities needing your attention throughout the work week. With a few of these tools, you can make your business run more efficiently and in turn, take the stress off of your shoulders.

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Small Business Administration suggests 10 steps before committing to a new business idea

Sun, 29 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

If you think so, or at least want to explore the idea, SCORE and our mentors are ready to assist you confidentially and at no charge. It’s a long, winding road to entrepreneurial success. The more advocates you have, the better chance you have to realize your dream.

Do not go into business if you know little or nothing about it.

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Why Small Businesses Should Focus on Scaling Their Content Marketing

Fri, 27 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Having a small online marketing team doesn’t mean your company can not scale content marketing initiatives. It means you must know what the best strategies are and have your team focus on a few they can do well.

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5 Marketing Hacks Small Businesses Tell Me Have Changed Their Lives

Wed, 25 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

I work with a ton of small businesses, and I love it. I love seeing different business models, helping entrepreneurs with limited resources and experience, and getting unique perspectives that you just can not find in bigger, often more cookie-cutter business establishments. One-on-one, we can share information and insights, and build a strategy that is helpful for their business.

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Micro Businesses Love Independence, Worry about Cash Flow [Survey]

Mon, 23 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Ninety-four percent of independent workers love the control that independence provides, but 67 percent say their top concern has to do with inconsistent income in their micro businesses.

This is according to a recent survey of more than 600 independent workers conducted by the folks behind Invoice2go, an invoice app that allows small businesses to create and send professional invoices from any device.

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5 small businesses to start after 50

Sat, 21 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

The passion that spurs someone to dream of starting a business is not reserved for the techie Millennial in the torn jeans and hoodie. Even the person in the relaxed-fit khakis and reading glasses can feel the zeal.

Research shows Baby Boomers may have a greater passion for entrepreneurship than younger generations. One report showed that, in 2014, those ages 55 to 64 had a higher rate of new entrepreneurial activity than the stereotypical risk-taking 20 to 34 age group.

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10 Free Tools Your Small Business Should Be Using Today

Thu, 19 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Although your small business needs a healthy amount of software to conduct operations, it's not necessary for you to spend a fortune on web-based products. In our comprehensive testing of business and consumer software, we have come across dozens of incredible and free solutions that can help you get the job done. We've tested free tools in almost all facets of business—from email marketing to endpoint protection to project management.

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4 Ways to Boost Ranking For Your Own Branded Terms

Tue, 17 May 2016 09:59:00 -0400

You may have a list of specific keywords and phrases you're targeting, or you may be more in the add amazing content and see what happens, camp.

However, the idea of optimizing for branded keywords may not have crossed your radar. Branded terms are words or phrases that are specific to your company. They often include your business name, but also may include certain trademarked product names or your website name. For Apple, some examples of branded terms might be:

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Small Business Tools for Entrepreneurs

Sun, 15 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Starting your own business is exciting, hectic, and frightening all at once. You are laying it all on the line, and your to-do list stretches seemingly for miles. Whether you are still in the planning stage, writing up a business plan, or ready to open for business and hit the ground running, it’s tough to do everything by yourself.

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50 Thoughts That Can Motivate You to Do Anything

Fri, 13 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Motivation can be hard to come by, especially in the face of challenges or difficult work. When you are thinking about implementing that new idea, or starting that new company or beginning that new regimen -- this is the new year, after all -- it is easy to talk yourself into procrastinating. Or worse, avoiding your goal altogether.

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How to name your small business: Keep it short and sweet

Wed, 11 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Deciding what to call your company is probably one of the most fun and exciting aspects of  starting a small business. You might have launched this venture by scribbling business name ideas on a bar napkin while hanging out with friends.

But naming your small business is also serious business. Your decision could affect your ability to reach a broader audience and grow. And making the wrong choice could even get you in legal trouble.

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10 Ways To Cure Your Mobile Phone Bill

Mon, 9 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Cell phones are ubiquitous, and tend to be important if not necessary to own. Yet sometimes the cost of owning and using a mobile phone can get out of hand. And the prevalence of daunting cell phone bills only grows as more and more apps and functions that use data come into popular use.

The high cost of mobile data is a familiar problem for many; too many of us have run up against exorbitant bills after underestimating just how much data we have been using. And, for those with restricted monthly data allowances, exhausting the monthly supply of data can be irritating or even crippling for those who often depend on data.

10 Ways to Cure Your Mobile Phone Bill



5 Tips Every Small Business Owner Needs To Know

Sat, 7 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

1. Have a point of view and unique product offering

Commodity businesses such as books and electronics were the first to see e-commerce really squeeze out mom and pop stores. The product offering is uniform and easily comparable.

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6 Principles for Small Business Automation

Thu, 5 May 2016 09:00:17 -0400

Entrepreneurs and small business managers are hands-on folks. They are often involved in nearly every aspect of the business — from marketing to fulfillment to accounting to website design. At some point, however, all of that special attention may actually inhibit growth, so that the business leaders need to step back and let some processes happen automatically.

The term business automation is broad. For some businesses, it might mean automating physical processes like product assembly. For others, it might mean setting up automated emails to occur when a customer takes some action.

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Small Business Finance Tips

Tue, 3 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

There is no way to get around some of the challenges that come with being a small business owner. But the proper tools and support can help you navigate the world of debits and credits more smoothly.  Here are a few financial challenges you may face and some small business finance tips for managing them.

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What Your Small Business Should Do To Look Like A Social Media Pro

Sun, 1 May 2016 09:00:00 -0400

As social media use continues to grow, so does the number of marketing opportunities for small businesses. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults now use social networking sites, according to Pew Research, up from just 7 percent in 2005.

Learning how to use a wider range of social media tools can help small businesses target prospective and existing customers on these platforms. Here are four tips to consider:

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SCORE

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

You know what they say about free advice: Sometimes, it is not worth the price.

But that does not apply to the folks at SCORE, who provide advice to startups and established businesses. Their advice is free and it often results in businesses that get off the ground and grow.

SCORE was originally known as the Service Corps of Retired Executives, a nonprofit organization partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration and created in 1964 by President Lyndon Johnson.

Now, it is just known as SCORE.

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Hacking Leads to Precautions for Small Business Data

Wed, 27 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

According to a December survey of owners by the National Small Business Association, cybercriminals raked in an average of $32,000 from small business accounts.

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Disrupt With These Ideas

Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

There are 28 million small businesses in the country, and they provide most of Americas jobs and sales. According to the Small Business Administration, large companies have cut four million jobs since 1990, while small businesses have created eight million. Most small businesses want to become big businesses, so a new dog-walking service is probably not going to turn into the next Uber (though you never know! Dream big!).

Here are some of the top, best, most promising industries you might want to consider where businesses are growing. They are also ripe for disruption.

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Tailor Your Small Business for Success

Sat, 23 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

For any business to succeed, achieving product/market fit is a primary goal. But verifying that your product or service meets a strong market need and can stand up to competitors is certainly not an exact science, nor does it typically happen overnight. Building momentum in a market requires patience and comes with no guarantees as customers’ needs, regulatory landscapes, and competitive pressures change over time.

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How to Configure a Small Business Facebook Page

Thu, 21 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Things to Know About Your Brand New Facebook Page

It blinks, it cries, it drinks from a bottle. That is right, kids, your new Facebook Page can do everything other little dollies can, and even more.

Lets take the beginning of this song and do it nice. And easy.

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U.S. Government Hits Goal for Women Owned Small Businesses

Mon, 18 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

After almost two decades, the federal government for the first time has been able to meet its goal of awarding five percent (worth $17.8 billion) of all contracts to women-owned small businesses.

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Three Small Business IT Security Solutions You May Not Have Considered

Mon, 18 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Everyone by now is well aware that IT networks are subject to various cyber threats, and small and medium size businesses (SMBs) must protect against them just as larger enterprises do. But these threats are not limited to the online world. SMBs also have to protect the IT equipment itself from physical dangers.

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Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail

Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Over 51% of businesses will fail in their first five years (U.S. Census data), and even 25-30% of venture-backed businesses fail.

If you want to innovate and put yourself out there, you have to accept that every entrepreneurial venture is a risk.

But how can you reduce that risk of failure for your next startup?

Often, it helps to turn to the experience of others, to learn what lessons we can from their failures, and cut the learning curve for ourselves. Even if you feel like you are reaching (or surpassing) your prime, it is never too late! Jeffrey Brotman, founder of Costco, didn't launch that successful company until he was into his forties.

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10 Examples of Instagram Ads and the Lessons They Can Teach

Wed, 13 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Without further ado, then, here are some of my favorite Instagram ads, as well as some that I would have handled differently, and the lessons you can learn from them.

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Top 15 Small Business Loan Mistakes You Can Make

Mon, 11 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Small businesses have traditionally had a hard time accessing extra capital — i.e. through small business loans — from banks, big and small. And economic realities and forecasts dictate, generally, just how generous these institutions are at any given time.

Still, small businesses aren’t exactly being choked off entirely from getting approved. And the market has been improving for small businesses seeking loans. But in order to get a lender to take a flyer on your small business, it is best not to make a rookie mistake on your way to getting that loan approval.

Below are some of the top small business loan mistakes you can make.

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Want To Escape The Cubicle? Here is How To Be Your Own Boss

Fri, 8 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0400

Many people who work a regular job dream of walking out of their cubicle and starting their own business. And every year, about 800,000 Americans do just that.

Dave Selden is one of them. His business grew out of his passion for beer — glass after glass of it. That is immediately clear when you take a look at a video on his website.

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10 Top Small Business Blogs

Wed, 6 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0500

Do you like to read good content online? I sure do. One of the key secrets to being successful in business is to be a voracious reader. I learn a great deal by reading individual and corporate blogs online. If you're like me, I bet you want to to know who provides the most valuable content at every stage of business ownership. I put together a list of 10 top small business blogs to follow to help you improve skills for running your small business. Remember, you must grow yourself to lead your business effectively.

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5 Ways to Cut Small Business Expenses with Tech

Mon, 4 Apr 2016 09:00:00 -0500

For initial, up-front investment or a low-cost monthly subscription fee, there are great tech products and services that can save you money in the long run on common business expenses. Here are a few tips for small businesses with fewer than 10 employees.

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Brands Small Business Owners Recommend and Some They Do Not

Sat, 2 Apr 2016 09:09:45 -0500

To trust or not to trust. That is a question small and medium-sized business owners often find themselves asking when it comes to relying on certain brands for day to day business operations and other needs.
Keeping their interests in mind, Alignable, a Boston-based platform for local businesses, has launched the SMB Trust Index. It measures companies based on an assigned Net Promoter Score, submitted by contributors on the Alignable platform.

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Women-Owned Businesses Grow, Yet Gender Gap In Small Business Finance Remains

Thu, 31 Mar 2016 09:00:50 -0500

Much has changed since 1994 when the U.S. government implemented an initiative to spend at least 5% of its contracting dollars on women-owned businesses. Today, women-owned businesses in the U.S. account for approximately 9.4 million companies and generate more than $1.5 trillion in revenue nationwide. Although it has taken more than two decades to reach its goal, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that small businesses  that are majority owned by women earned $17.8 billion in federal contracting dollars, which amounts to about 5% of the $400 billion budget for federal contracts.

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7 Social Media Tools For Small Businesses To Manage Their Social Presence

Tue, 29 Mar 2016 09:00:15 -0500

With the positive effects of social media marketing becoming more and more apparent, most small businesses have started working on a social media marketing strategy.

One of the main aims of social media marketing is to stay relevant to your audience. This might be harder for small businesses as they have more to juggle, in terms of handling tasks. Social media tools and apps can help reduce the stress of multi-tasking and keep your social media activities consistent. Below are social media tools for small business to help make your life as a social media marketer easier.

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Why Tax Planning is Key for Small Business Owners

Sun, 27 Mar 2016 09:00:00 -0500

The 2015 tax season is here. Tax planning is a critical part of a small business owners financial plan. The majority of small business owners ignore tax planning; yet good tax advice is a very valuable for a successful business. There are many tax planning strategies available to small business owners. Below are a just a few:

Lowering your tax rate to reduce the amount of taxable income
Taking advantage of available tax credits
Controlling the effects of the AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax)

I encourage business owners to work with a competent accountant or CPA on at least a quarterly basis to take full advantage of all the tax provisions that are available.

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National Small Business Association Reports Uptick in Small Business Growth

Fri, 25 Mar 2016 09:00:00 -0500

A full half of small business owners see growth opportunities in the next six months, while 17 percent say they are already seeing that growth.

Only 33 percent say they see no immediately growth opportunities ahead. That’s according to the most recent survey by the National Small Business Association.

According to the National Small Business Associations 2015 economic report (PDF), nearly 75 percent of small business owners surveyed are confident in their businesses — the highest percentage recorded in the last four years. However, there was a relatively less positive outlook among the small business owners on the overall economy than even six months ago.

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