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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: Tue, 2 Jan 2018 16:55:37 -0500


What It Takes To Be A Small Business Owner

Mon, 22 Jan 2018 16:51:01 -0500

The freedom to chase your entrepreneurial dream is one of the great foundations of America. Owning a business is a freedom the U.S. Census Bureau of Labor Statistics records 29.6 million Americans pursue today, supporting local communities with products and services while contributing millions of dollars and jobs to the American economy.

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How to Start a Sustainable Small Business

Fri, 19 Jan 2018 16:50:04 -0500

Roughly 60 percent of millennials want to increase sustainability efforts in business. Millennials make up the largest group of consumers besides baby boomers, and 72 percent are willing to pay more for products from businesses committed to sustainability.

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To Be Successful, Stop Making Excuses and Face Your Fears

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 16:48:19 -0500

Do you constantly find yourself making excuses? Do you try to ignore the toxic work environment you’re in? Are you in denial about your exercise and health regimen? Whatever it might be, if you want to be successful, you have to identify these things and face challenges head-on.

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The Top Recurring Billing and Payment Tools for Small Business

Mon, 15 Jan 2018 16:46:34 -0500

Here’s a list of the top recurring billing and payments tools to transition the process from the ledger to the internet.

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Paychex sees small business job growth slowing, but wages rising

Fri, 12 Jan 2018 16:42:27 -0500

Minimum wage increases in states across the country are helping drive up wages, although the rate of job growth at small businesses has slowed down, according to payroll giant Paychex.

The Paychex | IHS Markit Small Business Employment Watch, which Paychex compiles with the research firm IHS Markit, ended the year with a decline in small business job growth, but with wages higher compared to the previous year. The Small Business Jobs Index slipped to 99.70 in December, down 0.16 percent for the month and 0.78 percent for the year.

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5 Reasons Brick-and-Mortars Will Always Succeed

Wed, 10 Jan 2018 16:41:24 -0500

Technology has made it so you can start a new business without even paying for a lease. Simply using your laptop and smartphone, you can create an ecommerce site and have customers buying items from you with minimal expense.

But technology solutions are not always as helpful and convenient as they’re cracked up to be. A brick-and-mortar store is still a huge plus for many types of businesses, especially if you sell products that people want to try out.

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What Is Going to Happen in 2018

Mon, 8 Jan 2018 16:39:46 -0500

This is a post that I am struggling to write. I really have no idea what is going to happen in 2018.

Will the crypto markets continue in their bull cycle? I have no clue.

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The Small Business Guide To Instagram Growth

Fri, 5 Jan 2018 16:37:18 -0500

In recent years Instagram has risen to become one of the social media giants, with over 800 million monthly active users, it can be a fantastic tool for businesses and brands. Not only is it a great platform to showcase what you have to offer, it’s also a great place to make connections, get involved in influencer marketing and reach new clients and customers. So how can you use the platform to make money? Here are some Instagram tips for small business owners.

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An Almost Guaranteed Way to Achieve Every Goal You Set This Year

Wed, 3 Jan 2018 13:36:34 -0500

New Years resolutions: We love to make them. And, statistics show, we almost never keep them. (Eighty percent of people who make New Year's resolutions abandon them by the second week of February.)

Of course you could try using silence to accomplish a goal. Or you could try to sneak up on big goals. Those strategies help, but they are far from foolproof.

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4 Simple Ways to Grow Your Brand on Instagram

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Having a smart mobile marketing strategy is an important part of building your personal brand online. Leveraging your social networks to their fullest potential is also important for visibility.

Instagram is one of the most widely used networks today that can help build a larger audience and following online, making it a must-engage tool for brands. Posting relevant images, ads and videos that your audience will love is just one part of the success formula.

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These 5 Strategies Will Keep Your Employees Energized

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0400

The worlds top companies are starting to manage employee energy like a strategic asset. They know that ever-increasingly pace of change requires more and more human energy. Any entrepreneur will tell you that it take a tonne of energy to grow a business. The key is to manage it; sometimes you have to exert energy, other times you need to conserve it to go the distance, and after a sprint you need to replenish it.

A group of senior executives from companies like Facebook, Alibaba, IBM and Johnson & Johnson got together to come up with strategies to better manage collective human energy in their companies. Here are their top five hacks to maximise human energy:

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Amazon takeover of Whole Foods may be good for small businesses in natural food industry

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0400

For entrepreneurs in the natural food and products industry like Constantine, Whole Foods has served as a launchpad of sorts for companies looking to get on mainstream store shelves. Companies and local farmers often would get into one or two locations and grow from there if their products took off. Like the big supermarkets and food manufacturers who are nervous about Amazon's size and power, many small suppliers can see benefits of the combination, but are also concerned what it could mean for them.

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4 Things Smart People Do When They Are Tasked With a New Project (Other Than Panic)

Wed, 22 Nov 2017 09:00:02 -0400

Recently, I was asked to take over an existing project. And, like most people, my first inclination was to feel completely intimidated and overwhelmed.

This assignment -- along with its longstanding processes and its related team members -- was all brand new to me. And, if that wasn't enough to have me breathing into a paper bag, managing this project also required me to branch out and exercise some skills that I had previously left untapped.

My chest gets tight at the very thought. Can you relate? Being asked to take on a new work endeavor is a great thing (hey, you must be doing something right!). But, it can also plant plenty of seeds of self-doubt.

Fortunately, this recent experience opened my eyes to some better, more productive things you can do when you're tasked with a new project -- aside from just panicking.

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How Clever Retargeting Persuades Customers Who Looked But Did not Buy

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Did you know that nearly 96 percent of your first-time visitors are not ready to purchase from your website right away? That means in most cases, in order to make a sale, you need to encourage your visitors to return more often to your site.

Retargeting is the best way to target your first-time visitors on different marketing channels and encourage them to return to your site. Since retargeting helps you to target your existing prospects, it will likely boost more engagement than untargeted ads, making your entire campaign cheaper and cost-effective.

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21 High-Paying Jobs of the Future

Sat, 18 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0400

When looking for one of the best jobs of the future, two considerations will be crucial: what jobs are well-paying, and what jobs will expand dramatically in the next decade?

Jobs in healthcare and tech tend to tick both boxes.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released its biennial projections for job growth across hundreds of occupations between 2016 and 2026.

We took those projections and combined them with BLS estimates of the 2016 median annual earnings of those jobs -- using the geometric mean of the two numbers -- to come up with a ranking of the best jobs of the next decade.

To focus on good, high-paying jobs, we restricted our list to those with salaries higher than the 2016 median annual wage of $37,040.

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Amazon Business Prime Shipping Changes the Game for Small Business Procurement

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:00:26 -0400

Amazon Business Prime Shipping is a paid annual membership program, which enables registered multi-user business customers to take advantage of unlimited fast and free shipping. The program is currently available for Amazon Business customers in the United States and Germany.
Small businesses are often faced with the challenge of sharing passwords for authorizing procurement and shipping tasks. With Business Prime Shipping everyone in a business account automatically gets Business Prime Shipping.

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How To Get Your Small Business Noticed Online

Tue, 14 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0400

While there are hundreds of thousands of brands competing online, there are a few e-commerce sites, like Amazon, that top the rest. Amazon is the big box store of years past. At one time, consumers would shop at several small businesses to get what they need, but later, larger stores like Walmart popped up, serving as one-stop shops for every consumer need.

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Holiday Marketing Guide for Small Businesses

Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:00:27 -0400

We have officially entered the holiday season! October through January is filled with holidays from Halloween to New Years. As a small business, you can take advantage of this joyful time by taking your marketing efforts to the next level. There are many different ways a small business can celebrate (and profit from) the holidays, so let’s jump right into to our extensive guide.

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Small Businesses: How to Network Like a Pro

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Networking skills: sometimes it feels like you either have them or you do not. Putting yourself out there at social gatherings comes so naturally to a lot of folks, while others struggle when forced to strike up conversations with strangers.

Networking can be especially overwhelming for small business teams, who usually do not have a safety net of colleagues at networking events — or a big company name in their back pockets. Yet networking has clear benefits that can help your company and career. Not only does it expand your network of contacts, it introduces you to new opportunities, advice and opinions. Put in a little practice, and networking makes you more visible and even helps boost your self confidence.

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Square Expands Lending To Reach Small Business

Wed, 8 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Last summer, Square began offering loans to non-Square merchants with the help of a restaurant software partner called Upserve. Now, the payments and financial services company has created a formal partnership program with the long-term goal of reaching millions more.
Square Capital is launching the partnership platform with BigCommerce, an e-commerce software company that is letting Square make loan offers to its tens of thousands of small business clients.

Square is also extending loan offers to restaurants that work with its own delivery service, Caviar, but which do not already process payments through Square.

Taken together, these new partnerships give Jack Dorseys company a way to jumpstart further expansion of its lending program, which has already extended $1.8 billion in funds to more than 140,000 businesses since its launch three-plus years ago.

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The State Of Small Business Marketing

Mon, 6 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Marketing is a moving target these days. Technologies evolve and customer behavior seems to change almost every day.

Small businesses tend to be a little slow with marketing developments. Some are cutting-edge, of course – but most wait until theres proof a tactic works.

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Startup Slump

Fri, 3 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Economists say big businesses like Amazon, Google, and Facebook are hurting entrepreneurship and creating a startup slump in America, according to a report in The New York Times.

In 2015, some 414,000 new businesses were created, the Census Bureau reported on Wednesday. While that's a slight increase from the previous year, it's still far less than the 558,000 companies formed in 2006, the year before the recession hit.

The cause of that downturn may be that big businesses are eliminating their competition.

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5 Affordable Franchises You Can Start for Less Than $10,000

Wed, 1 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Everyone says that starting a business is expensive and risky, but it doesn't have to be. One approach, which some consider safer, is owning a franchise. It has a proven business model, a brand built in and corporate support. And not every franchise will cost you millions. In fact, you can start some franchises for less than five figures -- and not just random, bargain-bin franchises, but companies that made our 2017 Franchise 500 List.

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How AI Tech Is Changing Small Business Marketing And Customer Service

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Whether you realize it or not, artificial intelligence has become a ubiquitous part of our lives. Companies large and small are embracing the opportunity to achieve more and set bigger goals by using AI. Solid proof of this embrace can be seen in CRM giant Salesforce, which embeds AI into its leading CRM platform. Driven by the idea of democratizing AI so companies of all sizes can deliver smarter, more personalized, and predictive customer experiences, Salesforce created Einstein, your personal AI data scientist to guide you through your day.

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Learn About Social Media Algorithms, Augmented Reality and More Changing Business Trends

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 21:09:00 -0400

The tools, platforms and methods you use to grow your business are constantly changing. So you need to keep up with all the latest updates and trends. Members of the online small business community have some great insights about these changing tools and trends, ranging from social media algorithms to augmented reality. Read on for some helpful tips.

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The A-Z of Popular Business Startups: A State by State Guide (Infographic)

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 09:00:37 -0400

So many small businesses start as a dream. But what types of businesses are entrepreneurs currently dreaming about starting? Online equipment marketplace Bid on Equipment recently created an infographic showing the types of businesses that are most popular with prospective entrepreneurs and current business owners. Here’s a rundown of the findings.

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4 Budgeting Tips For Small Business Owners

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Every business needs well managed capital to scale. If you’re able to budget properly, then there will always be enough capital for you to grow your business. Every business operates differently which means there is no universal formula to creating a viable budget for your company.

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The 15 Most Profitable Small-Business Industries

Fri, 20 Oct 2017 09:00:05 -0400

Thinking about launching a new business? Here is where to look to for high profit margins.

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11 Cyber Security Questions Every Small Business Should Ask

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:00:00 -0400

The big question therefore is: are you prepared for a cyber attack? Small business credit provider Headway Capital, has compiled data to help you check yourself.

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10 Ways to Break Your Small Business Out of a Rut

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 09:00:28 -0400

When your small business gets stuck in a rut, you need to find a quick way to snap out of it. This can mean finding a new source of inspiration, following some new trends or even kickstarting your marketing efforts. For more on breaking your small business out of a rut, check out these tips from members of the online small business community.

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18 Secrets From CEOs Whose Companies Will Not Stop Growing

Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:00:00 -0400

On the lists 10th anniversary, we asked the founders of 25 of the 142 remarkable companies that have earned a spot on the Inc. 500/5000 list 10 times or more to reveal how they have sustained and managed hypergrowth. What follows is a sampling of their sage advice

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14 Startup Tips From Small Business Pros

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Experts from the nations 63 Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are more than happy to share their advice for starting and growing a business successfully. They work with entrepreneurs every day, providing free and low-cost consulting. Collectively, SBDCs help a new business launch every 31 minutes, and provide more than 1.3 million hours of consulting services to entrepreneurs annually.

To get you started, we’ve asked some of these advisors to share their best tips for new businesses.

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13 Places to Find Small-Business Grants for 2017 and 2018

Mon, 9 Oct 2017 09:00:00 -0400

There are sources for women or minority entrepreneurs and virtually anyone else.

The money may not be enough to keep you afloat for several years, but it can make a big difference. Here are 13 places to find small-business grants. And although there is no way to know if LendingTree will repeat its $50,000 small-business grant competition, it still has information on applying for grants and what grant issuers are looking for.

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50 Small Business Ideas for the Homebody

Fri, 6 Oct 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Want to start a business from the comfort of your own home? There are plenty of business opportunities out there for homebodies. So if you are looking for a way to make some money without having to be away from home most days, here are 50 ideas.

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Meet The Future Of Small-Business Health Insurance: Self Funding

Wed, 4 Oct 2017 09:00:00 -0400

A few months before most of the Affordable Care Act provisions that restructured health insurance markets took effect, a broker described the great lengths to which he thought many small businesses might go in order to keep their relatively low insurance premiums. He anticipated that these small companies would start to pay employee health care costs out of their own treasuries — what's called, in the industry, self-funded insurance.

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10 Tips for Building a Customer Focused Business

Mon, 2 Oct 2017 09:00:00 -0400

For tips on keeping your business customer focused and more, check out this recent content from members of the online small business community.

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3 Things Smart Employers Look for in a Resume

Sat, 30 Sep 2017 09:00:00 -0400

For the same reasons a resume is never enough to get you the job you really want, no one hires a new employee based on their resume alone. Qualifications, education, experience, it all matters, but most hiring managers quickly scan and sort resumes before moving on to the next step in the hiring process.

So how can you get better at reviewing resumes to identify the candidates you want to interview? The following is from Simon Wistow, the co-founder and VP of Product Strategy at Fastly, who looks for three key things on every resume.

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To Be Successful, Be Patient With Your Imperfections

Thu, 28 Sep 2017 13:53:49 -0400

Even though I’m learning and growing daily, life is still challenging. The more I learn, grow and become better, new challenges present themselves to me.

I am learning, over and over again, that being challenged, making mistakes and not knowing what I am doing is part of life. And there is nothing wrong with that.

To Be Successful, Be Patient With Your Imperfections

3 Ways Entrepreneurs Are Making IoT More User-Friendly

Tue, 26 Sep 2017 13:51:54 -0400

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a rapidly evolving technology sector. As the popularity of connected devices increases with consumers, the number of entrants into the market grows. But rapid growth and iteration have had some unintended consequences in the IoT space, especially when it comes to usability.

IoT More Friendly

Outstanding Leaders Exhibit More Than Just Emotional Intelligence--They Have These 7 Traits, According to Neuroscience

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 13:49:46 -0400

The topic of emotional intelligence (EQ) continues to dominate leadership conversations. Rightly so. However, in a Harvard Business Review (HBR) article that highlighted research by Daniel Goleman and Richard Boyatzis (experts on the topic), EQ is only the beginning.

Whereas EQ has an emphasis on individual psychology, there is a more relationship-based version called social intelligence. Social Intelligence, as defined by Goleman and Boyatizis, is a set of interpersonal competencies built on specific neural circuits and responses that inspire others to be effective. In other words, based on neuroscience and biology, there are certain leadership behaviors that elicit positive emotional responses in your team members.

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Small Business Hiring Rises

Fri, 22 Sep 2017 13:48:03 -0400

U.S. small businesses added more workers in July and plan to ramp up hiring in coming months. That is according to the National Federation of Independent Business monthly employment survey, due out later today.

Small Business Hiring Rises

Build a Following for Your Business with Facebook Watch

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 13:46:17 -0400

A Look at Facebook Watch

The Facebook Watch platform, which will be accessible on mobile, desktop and in Facebooks TV apps, will focus on shows that have episodes that fit into a theme or storyline. And users can follow their favorites so that they never miss episodes. There will also be features to help users discover new shows that fit with their interests or that their friends are talking about.

To start, Facebook Watch will only be available to a limited number of publishers while Facebook grows the platform. But the company plans to roll it out slowly to more users in the coming weeks.

Build a Following for Your Business with Facebook Watch

How Small-Business Owners Should Be Using IoT

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:44:05 -0400

By 2020, there will be more than 24 billion connected devices. This wave of connections is already impacting the way we live and work. Of course, for small-business owners, life and work are usually intertwined: Running a business is a 24/7 job.

Thankfully, the internet of things (IoT) can actually help small-business owners streamline their processes and work more efficiently. Think of those 24 billion devices and services as an opportunity to work smarter, not harder!

How Small-Business Owners Should Be Using IoT

Small Business Confidence Bounces Back

Sun, 17 Sep 2017 13:38:17 -0400

After five straight months of declining or flat readings in small business optimism, Julys update from the NFIB showed a big turnaround. With economists expecting the headline index to come in at a level of 103.5, the actual reading came in at 105.2. This puts the index back within a point of its cycle high and indicates that despite a lack of progress in DC, small business owners are seeing improved conditions on the ground.

Small Business Confidence Bounces Back

How to choose a retirement plan for your small business

Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:36:46 -0400

Have you procrastinated about setting up a tax-advantaged retirement plan for your small business? If the answer is yes, you are not alone. Even so, this is not a good situation. You are paying extra income taxes every year that you could easily avoid. However, you still have time to set things right and line yourself up for major tax savings for this year and beyond. This column explains the basics about your tax-smart retirement plan options.

When you cut through all the technical details, you’ll discover that tax-advantaged retirement plans come in two basic varieties:

Defined-contribution plans, which come in several different flavors.
Defined benefit pension plans.

How to choose a retirement plan for your small business

Small Business Today: What Is in a name?

Wed, 13 Sep 2017 13:35:07 -0400

It is common knowledge around the Friedman household that when Emily was born, if she had been a boy instead of a girl, her name would have been Ted. Katie was also going to be named Ted and so was Jenni. When a boy was born to us in 1994, just a few short weeks after we moved to Ankeny, to no one’s surprise, we named him Ted.

Small Business Today: What Is in a name?

Never Forget

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 13:40:02 -0400

#neverforget - September 11th

6 Things Your Small Business Needs to Spend More Money On

Sat, 9 Sep 2017 13:28:00 -0400

Businesses are incredibly difficult ventures to start. More than half of all businesses fail within five years of starting, according to statistics gathered in 2016. While this is far better than the traditional belief that half fail within a single year of starting, it is still clearly a challenge to start and continue running a small business.

6 Things Your Small Business Needs to Spend More Money On

A Small Business Guide To Selling On Amazon: Be Ready To Compete On Price

Thu, 7 Sep 2017 13:26:03 -0400

Amazon can truly be called a retail innovator, and since its inception as an online bookseller in the 1990s, it has forever changed the way consumers shop for products. Amazons reach is staggering -- nearly 50% of internet users in the US live in a household with a Prime membership and receives more than 2 billion visitors every single month.

A Small Business Guide To Selling On Amazon: Be Ready To Compete On Price

Three Key Success Metrics Every Small Business Owner Should Focus On

Tue, 5 Sep 2017 13:17:53 -0400

Your small business is up and running, and you have a product or service that you are excited about. How do you boost your chances of building a venture that will last for the long term? A government statistic shows roughly 40% of Australian businesses fail within the first four years.

Three Key Success Metrics Every Small Business Owner Should Focus On

Fake News Hurts Small Business

Sun, 3 Sep 2017 13:11:34 -0400

Here is a fact: fake news is everywhere.  There is not a reputable news source out there distributing information with an objective, unbiased voice. It just does not exist anymore.

Where are the Cronkites, the Huntleys, the Brinkleys? In this frayed political climate, fake news seems to be at the very top of every discussion; it’s almost inescapable

Fake News Hurts Small Business

Hot Take: Why Are Small Business Owners So Happy?

Fri, 1 Sep 2017 13:09:08 -0400

In other words, small business optimism is mostly a false front, not anything real about how he is expected to affect the economy. There was sort of a pent-up demand to rebound from the unwarranted fall in optimism during 2015, and when you combine that with a lot of support for Trump, you get a spike in reported optimism.

Why Are Small Business Owners So Happy?

10 Classic Small Business Social Media Mistakes

Wed, 30 Aug 2017 13:07:46 -0400

The try-out period for social media is long past. Even tiny businesses – even many who don’t even have their own websites – know they need to be on social.

10 Classic Small Business Social Media Mistakes

How to plan an exit strategy for your small business

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 09:00:00 -0400

However, a business exit strategy not only means having a plan for the unexpected - including financial hardship, injury, disability and even death - it also means having a plan for the succession or transfer of ownership of your business when it comes time to hang up your hat and retire.

How to plan an exit strategy for your small business

How to Link From Your Content to Build Leads and Connections

Fri, 25 Aug 2017 13:04:28 -0400

Whenever we create digital content, we reference other web pages, either for further reading or to give a credit. In most cases, we link out in order to create better content and provide the reader with more information on the subject.

But did you know that links can provide further value for your business? If you approach it strategically, linking out can actually bring leads and business contacts.

How to Link From Your Content to Build Leads and Connections

34 Things You Need to Give Up to Be Successful

Sun, 13 Aug 2017 12:53:27 -0400

1. Wasting five minutes.
When you have five minutes of down time, how do you spend that time? Most people use it as an excuse to rest or laze.

By lazing for five five-minute breaks each day, we waste 25 minutes daily. That's 9,125 minutes per year (25 X 365). Sadly, my guess is we're wasting far more time than that.

34 Things You Need to Give Up to Be Successful

A Startling Small Business Statistic

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 09:00:14 -0400

Google reports that 60% of small businesses globally don't have a website yet.

Amazons Tepid Response to Counterfeiters Frustrates Sellers

Wed, 19 Apr 2017 09:00:00 -0400

On Tuesday, independent tech publisher No Starch Press found out that Amazon was selling counterfeit copies of Python for Kids, one of its popular programming books. A concerned customer alerted Bill Pollock, the founder and publisher of No Starch. He immediately knew what he was up against, because Pollock has dealt with this problem before.

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How and Why Your Small Business Should Be Recycling Paper

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 21:00:00 -0400

Chances are, your business goes through a fair amount of paper. Even if you have tried to go paperless or cut back on printing hard copies of documents, you likely have some paper products that need to be disposed of.

But instead of just throwing away all of that paper, your business can recycle it. Recycling paper comes with many potential benefits and is relatively easy. Here are some tips for recycling paper in your small business.

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Digital Marketing Strategies Small Businesses Should Adopt

Fri, 14 Apr 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Digital marketing is a very broad term that includes website design, social media, online advertising, email advertising, SEO and more. This can be extremely confusing to the local business owner simply looking to attract more eyeballs on their site. They are typically too busy running operations to investigate which digital marketing strategies work best for their business.

In an effort to help local business owners such as restauranteurs, dentists, doctors, lawyers and any other service provider, I have put together the digital marketing strategies that all local businesses should adopt in 2017.

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Top Cities for Millennials Looking for Small Business Jobs

Wed, 12 Apr 2017 09:00:00 -0400

It is generally assumed that millennials are seeking jobs in coastal cities — New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles.

But new data from shows that millennials looking to work for small businesses are actually narrowing their searches toward inland cities.

Cities Where Millennials Want to Work for Small Businesses
In fact, when identifying metro areas where millennials are most often looking for work at small businesses. Oklahoma City topped the job board’s list, not L.A. or New York.

This is the latest crop of data looking at generational trends among job seekers.

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4 Small Business Trends That Are Steadily on The Rise

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 09:00:00 -0400

A social media presence is considered a necessity and not a luxury.

Having a presence on social media has become an absolute must for almost all business ventures.

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How Small Business Owners Can Avoid Sears Fatal Mistake

Sat, 8 Apr 2017 09:00:30 -0400

Sears built its business dominating catalog sales, fulfilling the pre-smartphone on-demand demands of its clientele. This revolution in direct-to-consumer sales created loyal customers, a nationwide network of stores and decades of profit. Times became more challenging for Sears following the rise in popularity of Walmart, which offered similar goods for cheaper prices, and Amazon, which led the charge on ecommerce, and has spent billions of dollars on capitalizing on fast delivery.

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How to make your small business ready for a potential cyber attack

Thu, 6 Apr 2017 09:00:16 -0400

In a technology climate riddled with ransomware and other threats, there’s no room for complacency.

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How to Create Your Small Business Retirement Succession Plan

Tue, 4 Apr 2017 09:00:05 -0400

When it comes to retirement and succession planning, a recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey suggests that business owners are not necessarily as prepared as they ought to be. Seventy percent of business owners surveyed say they do not have a formal written plan in place outlining what they will do with their business if they decide to retire or can no longer continue working.

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Why Brick-and-Mortar Retail Technology Is One of the Best Industries for Starting a Business in 2017

Sun, 2 Apr 2017 09:00:00 -0400

Tech startups can help optimize retailers' in-store operations and customer experiences, enabling them to keep up with competition from e-commerce companies. This category includes hardware and software such as sensors that track foot traffic, interactive tablets that boost customer engagement, and mobile point-of-sale applications.

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6 Tools You Need to Make 2017 Your Most Profitable Year Ever

Fri, 31 Mar 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Getting there starts with breaking down profit into its components and using six tools to move those pieces in the right direction.

Profit is revenue minus costs. But to boost profit, it helps to break it down further into gross profit -- price times quantity minus variable costs (e.g., costs that increase with each unit of product you sell) -- minus fixed costs (e.g., salaries, benefits, rent, and utilities).

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4 Ways Small Businesses Can Compete Against the Major Competitors

Wed, 29 Mar 2017 09:00:05 -0500

Moving into a new city or job can be daunting, the hassle of finding accommodation, the stress of moving personal items and most especially the people or city accepting someone new might not be pleasing.

The same applies to small businesses that are launching into an industry ridden with bigger competitors. For an SMB, finding a niche can be time-consuming but rewarding on the long-term.

In the article below, I will be sharing 4 effective marketing strategies for SMBs against bigger competitors.

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The 5 Things No One Ever Tells You About Starting a Business

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 09:00:45 -0500

Entrepreneurship is experiencing a romantic renaissance of sorts, a startup spring if you will. Everyone wants to hang a shingle on the back of their budding unicorn. It is culture and it is growth and it is hustle. Starting a business today seems to look really good on a t-shirt.

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3 Reasons Why Small Businesses Crash and Burn Online

Sat, 25 Mar 2017 14:38:32 -0500

The internet is the perfect forum for small businesses to compete with big brands. Audience reach, social sharing and unlimited sales and marketing opportunities have leveled the playing field between big and small companies. Still, a surprising percentage of small businesses have remained on the sidelines. Either they do not have an online marketing strategy, or the one they are using is inadequate, and therefore unsuccessful. So why are some smaller companies not taking full advantage of this potent and indispensable marketing tool?

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How to Avoid Double Taxation with an S Corporation

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:37:06 -0500

Paying taxes is unavoidable, yet that does not mean you need to pay more than necessary. You can make smart decisions to minimize your tax burden, without running afoul of the IRS.

For small businesses and entrepreneurs, business structure impacts how you pay taxes, and potentially how much you pay as well. The biggest difference is whether the business is its own entity responsible for paying taxes or whether the business’ profits are passed along to the owners’ individual taxes.

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6 Ways to Think Outside the Box When Marketing Your Small Business

Tue, 21 Mar 2017 14:24:13 -0500

Sometimes budget limits small businesses from executing their marketing ideas, but not every successful strategy requires a lot of money. Here are six outside the box ways to market your small business that are both inexpensive and effective.

1. Get personal.

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Watch Out For Fake Fonts! And Other Small Business Tech News This Week

Sun, 19 Mar 2017 14:18:02 -0500

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 – A new form of ransomware centers on a fake font update.

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Elon Musks Surprising Strategy for Thinking About Everything

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Elon uses the Richard Feynman technique from what I have read about his approach, mixed with first principles.

... which is, basically, in simple terms: do not try to remember, but try to understand; when you understand, you will remember automatically.

Sounds simple? But yet, so many people do not do it like that. They try to cram loads of info and facts into their brains, especially students, with the result of forgetting a lot of it.

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How Business Intelligence Is Being Disrupted for the Better

Wed, 15 Mar 2017 21:13:57 -0500

More targeted marketing was one of the biggest contributions enterprises welcomed when big data first hit. Big data allowed brands to create elaborate, yet personalized campaigns that evolved to become increasingly effective as salesmen and marketers learned how to actually use all of the data they now had access to. But now, big data has become so broad and complex it has outgrown its ability to provide tangible results without the translation of an IT department.

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The Mindset Shifts You Need to Meet Any Goal

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 09:09:57 -0500

Optimism is powerful -- but so is preparation. In a live chat, Todd Herman explained that too much positivity can actually derail your goals. To that end, he shared three essential questions everyone should ask themselves to stay truly grounded.

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Want to Have More Creative Breakthroughs? Redesign Your Day According to This Step-by-Step Guide

Sat, 11 Mar 2017 09:09:23 -0500

You stare at a blank screen for what seems like hours, waiting for your brain to come up with a brilliant idea, and it never comes. There has to be a better way to brainstorm, right?

There is--and it might be as simple as doing the laundry.

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10 Lies People Believe About Success

Thu, 9 Mar 2017 12:00:00 -0500

To understand the truth, we must first understand the lies that make it difficult to grasp.

1. Success means the same thing to everyone.

It does not.

Some people value success in pure cash. Some people value it in the freedom that cash buys. Some people see success in how many lives they impact for the better. And some people judge success by how well they perform any given task at any given moment.

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What Small Business Owners Can Learn From Wegmans

Tue, 7 Mar 2017 21:18:11 -0500

Atop many business award programs sits privately-held and family-run Wegmans grocery stores, from No. 4 on FORBES list of Americas Best Employers. Based in Rochester, NY, the supermarket has an ardent fan base – including Alec Baldwins mother, who refused to move to California and give up her access to the grocery store – and legions of die-hard shoppers.

And who can blame them? Clean stores, huge inventories, reasonable prices and a seeming dedication to making life easier for its customers, Wegmans offers many lessons small businesses can learn from and apply.

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4 Social Media Resolutions for Small Businesses

Sun, 5 Mar 2017 09:00:00 -0500

As 2017 unfolds, small businesses should take a look at what did not work in 2016 and find ways to improve in the upcoming year. While you work to control spending and shed some of the holiday pounds, don’t forget about making social media resolutions for your business.

Social media in 2017 will really be a defining factor in successful marketing strategies and strong businesses. In 2016, social media boomed for businesses. It was part of marketing strategies in previous years, but new advertising updates for social platforms and business-friendly changes made it easier than ever for organizations to make connections and offer valuable customer service.

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What Small Businesses Need to Do to Win in Online Retail

Fri, 3 Mar 2017 12:09:00 -0500

Companies that can figure out how to take advantage of new technologies for digital retail will outsmart and outpace competitors.

Any company of any size -- whether it is one employee working out of her basement or a multi-national company balancing millions in revenue -- must consider how digitization is affecting business as we know it.

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4 Trends in Website Design That Small Businesses Need to Know

Wed, 1 Mar 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Small businesses are an integral part of our economy. Every business aims to solve a problem and create value in doing so. This is particularly true of small businesses. They provide a service or product that meets local needs and can fulfill requirements for larger businesses.

The benefits of small businesses are numerous, but often they can have difficulty creating, sharing, and establishing their message. Entrepreneurs, startups, and freelancers watch their budgets carefully, and expenses outside of delivering the product are kept to a minimum. That means marketing budgets get shaved first.

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Small Business: How do you become a Social Media Maven?

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

How do you stay on top of the latest trends in your field?

I read a lot of blogs. I stay on top of Google Webmaster Central Blog, Search Engine Land and Moz Blog are ones that I read. I network with colleagues in the field to see what they’re doing, what they’re hearing and learn from them. There are a few SEO and social media marketing meet-ups in town that I attend.

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Will Trumps Tax Plan Benefit Small Businesses?

Sat, 25 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Steven Mnuchin, Trumps candidate to run the Treasury Department, has stated that comprehensive tax reform will be an immediate priority of Trumps administration, and that his focus as Treasury Secretary will be stimulating economic growth and creating jobs through tax reform.

But how will this affect small businesses and their owners?

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Macro Economics and Small Businesses

Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away – in Internet terms that’s about 10 years ago – a small business owner did not have to worry too much about macro-economics. Well, that was a nice trip down Memory Lane.

Today, Main Street business owners have to operate every day in their micro-economy, while keeping an eye on what is happening at the macro level. Alas, macro-economics is not easy to get your head around when your highest priority on Monday morning is to cover payroll on Friday.

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Why I Look for Longevity on Résumes

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 09:59:00 -0500

More and more hiring managers no longer view longevity on a résumé as a positive attribute. Some believe it indicates the employee lacks diverse work experience; others that the employee is complacent, or is afraid of change. This could very well be the case, but to me (and I may be coming from an old school of thought), stability on a résumé is something that hiring managers should still value. It can demonstrate loyalty, dependability, expertise and commitment.

More specifically, here is how I evaluate longevity in a potential employee, in an attempt to see if it should be embraced, rather than dismissed.

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The 5 Pitfalls Of Naming Your Small Business

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Everyone told us that the name Worstofall Design would not work. You can not use negativity in your branding, they said.

We decided to go with our gut and ignore the rules.

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7 Power Habits of Great Leaders and Business Icons

Fri, 17 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Our never-ending quest towards self-improvement is a long journey of small steps. Small habits we repeat day after day, week after week, year after year. Small habits that have turned us into who we are today can also determine who we will become in the future. Below are 7 Power Habits of some of the greatest human beings to ever live.

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Top 10 Things that Keep Small Business Owners Up at Night

Wed, 15 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

When it comes to buying and selling, small business owners are pretty good at that – every company is founded, and has been built to do those things. But operating a small business in the 21st century has become more complicated than ever before, which is why people who know small business know the best way to find out what’s really going on is to ask the owner what keeps them up at night.

One organization that knows how to ask small businesses the right questions is the National Federation of Independent Business.

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7 Tips for Building the Small Business of Your Dreams

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Being a business owner is a dream of many; but a reality of only a few. Especially when it comes to actually making it in the small business space. It requires persistence, preparation and dedication.

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5 ways Trump can help small-business owners

Sat, 11 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Optimism among small-business owners has soared as entrepreneurs hope that President-elect Donald Trump will enact policies aimed at helping them.

Trump has promised to ease regulation. While some on Main Street cheer the goal, changing anything substantial about regulation is easier said than done.

But there are other ways that a Trump administration can make life easier for small businesses. Consider this five-step plan his first 100 days agenda for Main Street.

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Top 10 Tax Deductions for Small Businesses

Thu, 9 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

These Deductions Can Really Help Your Bottom Line
When you deliver your files, receipts and spreadsheets this year, make sure to schedule some time with your accountant to discuss tax deductions that could save your business vitally important revenue. You may be aware of many of them already, but here’s a refresher course just in case.

For example, you probably know that while your salary is a non-deductible draw in many cases, you can deduct the salaries and wages you pay your employees. And speaking of wages, you can also deduct the fees you pay to professional service providers such as accountants, lawyers and perhaps even your tax preparer. Yay!

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How Donald Trump stands to impact the economy and small businesses

Tue, 7 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Joe Spencer has seen plenty of booms and busts in his hometown of Detroit over the years running his small business, Louisiana Creole Gumbo since 1983. He watched as the auto industry imploded and housing collapsed, and he grit his teeth through the subsequent recession.

But these days, things are looking up for his resilient restaurant, famous for its gumbo served five ways. It hit $1.2 million in sales last year, leading him to open a second location.

Now one thing is on his mind: How Donald Trump stands to impact the economy, and what might that mean for endeavors like his around the country.

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How to Protect Your Small Business from Cyber Attacks

Sun, 5 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Small business owners might assume that their small size makes them immune to cyber threats. Cyber criminals, in other words, only go after the big, flashy opportunities, like the major cyber attack on Target in 2013, which compromised roughly 40 million credit and debit card accounts.

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Top 10 Things That Keep Small Business Owners Up At Night

Fri, 3 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

When it comes to buying and selling, small business owners are pretty good at that – every company is founded, and has been built to do those things. But operating a small business in the 21st century has become more complicated than ever before, which is why people who know small business know the best way to find out what is really going on is to ask the owner what keeps them up at night.

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6 Ways to Increase Your Chances of Success When Starting a Business

Wed, 1 Feb 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Are you starting a business for the first time? It can be challenging to step out of your comfort zone and go head to head with competitors, manage customer orders and deliver a desirable product. Putting in the right amount of market research goes without saying. But how do you increase your chances of success when starting a business? Check out these 6 ways here.

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Here is How Businesses Use Technology to Boost Productivity

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Interconnectivity is at the core of our digital universe, and with tech advancements, staying on top of trends is critical to career success. With 86 percent of U.S. adults1 18-29 owning a smartphone, most students, recent grads and longtime employees are seasoned in adopting new technologies.

Preparing for the future of automation and digital security can help jobseekers adapt to the future of tech. As you consider your career goals in todays digital world, there are four things to ask yourself.

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Why You Need to Redo Your Employee Handbook

Sat, 28 Jan 2017 09:00:00 -0500

In the wake of new rules and new attitudes, HR departments changed the talk about equality in pay, hiring, promotions and retention.

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10 Must-Read Business Books for 2017

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Asking for that promotion or finally starting your own business is easier with an inspiring read in your back pocket. Plan to pick up one of these books in 2017 to boost your creativity, or learn leadership lessons from the best.

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10 Small Business Website Errors That Drive Customers Away

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 09:00:00 -0500

Visitors seldom leave a small business website with a neutral impression. For most prospects, your small business is an unknown quantity, so their first impression of your company will either make them more comfortable doing business with you or less comfortable. For this reason, you want their first experience with your website to inspire them to contact you—not your competitor.

These are the 10 biggest website problems that can drive potential new business away:

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