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The Making It! Entrepreneur Digest

The “Making it!” Small Business & Entrepreneur Digest features a diverse selection of articles relating to entrepreneurial thinkers & business people which provide valuable motivation & guidance in all your business endeavors.

Small Business News Feed:

Featured Article:

Business Success Habits7 Habits of Great Small Business Owners

There are various options for small business credit card solutions.

Start employee rewards programs to enhance performance for your business

 

Business Startup

business meeting

 

Customer & Client Relations

 Customer and Client Relations

Business Insight & Beyond

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Latest Business Article

How Veterans Should Run A Small Business

Currently 12 million veterans are in the labor market, and 3.6 million of them are small business owners. If you're among those veterans making the leap into owning your own business, the rewards (and challenges) can be significant, but there is help out there if you're looking to become an entrepreneur. One of the first places to start is the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which has an Office of Veterans Business Development that offers support to those braving the new waters of running their own business.

The Promise and Perils of Equity Crowdfunding

A disruptive new way for small companies to raise capital is putting a spotlight on the readiness of a tightly regulated securities market to adopt the openness of the Internet — and has sparked debate about whether the change will spur economic growth or become another vehicle for fraud.

The Best 30 Home-Based Or Low-Cost Business Ideas For 2014

If you're thinking about starting your own home-based or low-cost business, the available options can seem overwhelming. What type of business is the best fit for your background, skills, and interests? If you don't have a lot of initial capital to invest, which ones can be started at a low cost? And, most important, which home or low-cost business has the best chance of succeeding, especially with the U.S. economy still on the rebound?

How To Fish For Next Big Entrepreneurial Idea!

So, why not have an eye one those trending business ideas all over the world? Who knows… maybe you can help yourself to come up with your own idea… or adapt one to your own style or location!

Start a Killer Restaurant: 6 Tips

Advice from a white guy in Texas who became an award-winning sushi chef and restaurant owner.

So Are You Dreaming To Be A Millionaire By Next Year?

So your dream is to have a startup business this year and be bought out for millions next year. Here's some graphics lessons on why that timetable may not work!

Top 10 Ways Entrepreneurs Pivot a Lean Startup

The popular view of a real entrepreneur is someone with a big vision, and a stubborn determination to charge straight ahead through any obstacle and make it happen. The vision part is fine, but successful entrepreneurs have found that the extreme uncertainty of a new product or service usually requires many course corrections, or “pivots” to find a successful formula.

Starting a Freelance Business – How to Take Care of Legal, Tax and Contractual Paperwork

If you are new to freelancing or thinking of becoming a freelancer, you'll no doubt have lots of questions, especially about the legal and regulatory paperwork you need to obtain and manage throughout the business year.

20 Cheap Businesses You Can Start in Your Spare Time

If you’re thinking of starting up yo,ur own business, but don’t want to make a huge investment, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of 20 cheap startup business ideas that won’t break the bank, and you can work on in your spare time.

46 Ways to Start a Business With No Money

Most people who want to start their own business don't have a ton of money laying around and it's probably one the most common questions I get emailed about: How can I get started without a lot of cash?

Veteran Entrepreneurship the Road to Success

It’s never been a better time for you to start your own business. As a veteran you have the skills, discipline and work ethic to make you one of the most successful small-business owners in the United States. In fact, Small Business Notes reports that the success rate for veteran business-owners is higher in comparison to their non-military counterparts.

Starting a Business? 10 Steps Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

Starting a business? Confused about the planning, legal and regulatory steps you should follow? Did you know that home-based businesses are required to hold permits to operate legally in most states? What about incorporation?

9 Great Business Ideas for 2013

Looking for some good business ideas for 2013? If you're hoping to start a business next year, now's the time to start planning. Here are nine new business ideas we think will be poised for success in 2013.

Innovative Business is Often Not Business as Usual

The number of assumptions involved in designing any product is staggeringly large, and usually fundamental. Take bikes. You know they'll probably be made out of some kind metal, whether aluminum or steel, unless you're talking about the very expensive racing types built from lightweight carbon fibers. Would you believe cardboard?

Giving Back While Starting Up

How is it possible for a 20-year-old Indonesian designer, who has never been to the U.S., to get his t-shirt designs in stores like Gap? A company called Threadless. I've known about Threadless, which is an e-commerce site for user-generated T-shirt designs, for a while. But recently I was able to visit the company's headquarters in Chicago. As I spoke to founder Jake Nickell, I was struck by how Threadless became a business. He said the initial goal was to "give the creative minds of the world more opportunities to make and sell great art." There was no business plan, no marketing scheme, no sales goals--just a desire to support a community.

Business Plan Or Business Heart?

You want to start a business. So you need a plan, right? No. Not really. As part of the research for the book I'm — Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck, HBR colleagues interviewed and surveyed hundreds of successful entrepreneurs around the globe to better understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur and build a really great business. One of their most striking findings was that of the entrepreneurs surveyed who had a successful exit (that is, an IPO or sale to another firm), about 70% did NOT start with a business plan.

Get These Four Things Right When Starting Up

Most VCs and entrepreneurs believe start-ups are inherently iterative, that a string of mistakes doesn't prevent success, but may even be the path to it. Generally, that view is correct, but there are a few choices made early on that have implications so deep as to be functionally irreversible, with profound implications for outcomes. Product and business models are evolutionary by nature, but we see four things a young company must get right:

What Does It Take To Run A Business

Running a business takes action and planning. There are times when being the boss means decisions must be made quickly with limited information and limited time. However, long-term it is also helpful to have  plans for day to day operations and growth. Today’s wrap-up looks at both sides of this critical balance.

Startup Using The Entrepreneurial Spirit

All it takes to become an entrepreneur is a big idea and a million dollars – right? Len Schlesinger, president of Babson College and co-author of Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future, argues that’s a pernicious myth – and it may be harming your career.

 

Crowdfunding For Startups

With crowdfunding, you can say goodbye to getting a business loan from financial institutions (and loan sharks!) and say hello to the age of community-powered business startups.

 

The Golden Era Of Advertising

Oftentimes when people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them I work in advertising, they ask, “Don’t you wish you got to be an ad man in the golden era, like on Mad Men?” I usually smile and respond with “What makes you think the golden era was 40 years ago?

 

Ideas for Startups

I think this is often the case. I think people believe that coming up with ideas for startups is very hard-- that it must be very hard-- and so they don't try do to it. They assume ideas are like miracles: they either pop into your head or they don't. I also have a theory about why people think this. They overvalue ideas. They think creating a startup is just a matter of implementing some fabulous initial idea. And since a successful startup is worth millions of dollars, a good idea is therefore a million dollar idea.

 

How To Find Startup Ideas That Make Money

Most of the so called startups or webapps which are based on "game-changing" or "cool" ideas never end up making any money. So, if your aim is to make money, pursuing such ideas can be risky. While idea-driven startups rarely make money, I professed market-driven approach for someone looking to find startup ideas that actually make money.

 

How to Make a Vision Board

A vision board (also called a Treasure Map or a Visual Explorer or Creativity Collage) is typically a poster board on which you paste or collage images that you've torn out from various magazines. It's simple. The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live, or where you want to vacation, your life changes to match those images and those desires.

 

11 Tips for Crowdfunding: How to Raise Money From Strangers

Do you need to raise funds to get your idea off the ground? You've got a brilliant business idea, but your bank lacks your vision. (Or perhaps you lack the collateral.) Maybe you reached out to friends and family, but you know they lost their shirts when your brother-in-law's salmon-flavored energy drink flopped. Is this the death of your nascent business? Not. So. Fast. Social media is changing more than the way we market and communicate. It's changing the way we raise capital.

 

Why Startup Businesses Fail?

No one is a stranger to the high failure rate that start-ups and new small business ventures suffer with. According to the U.S. bureau of labor statistics, nearly six out of every ten businesses shut down within the first four years of operation, sure it doesn't sound as bad as what the usually common misnomer is about nine companies failing out of every ten that start, but it's still bad enough.

 

Finding an Angel Investor: 5 Things You Need to Know

So you have a great business but can't find enough money to take it to the next level? And you just know that if you found someone with good intentions and deep pockets, also known as an angel investor, he or she would see the light and invest in your company -- and everyone would get rich?

 

Sample Coffee Shop Business Plan

A sample business plan for a coffee shop which can be used to create your own business plan or help you assess the risks and benefits of opening a coffee shop or similar business.

 

Find a niche for your small business and gain a competive edge

Years ago, I had a client who was an interior designer. When I asked which customers she was targeting, she said, "People moving from their starter homes to a bigger house, people moving from a bigger place to a smaller house, people moving into their first homes, even those moving into apartments."

 

Usps Vs Ups Vs Fedex Vs Dhl

A brief overview of top delivery options for small businesses. Price comparisons, tips on finding hidden costs, packaging tips and customer service ideas.

 

How to Start a Startup

You need three things to create a successful startup: to start with good people, to make something customers actually want, and to spend as little money as possible. Most startups that fail do it because they fail at one of these. A startup that does all three will probably succeed.

 

Tips for Getting a Small Business Loan in 2011

The loan underwriting process is becoming more demanding for small businesses, and it's essential for any start-up or those wishing to expand to be diligent in knowing all the ins and outs of getting a loan. Heading into 2011, there are some expert tips that can give any small company an advantage in the lending market. Here are the top six suggestions from industry professionals for getting access to the cash you need to fund your small business.

 

Good Credit Ratings Will Help Your Small Business

Establishing good credit is a key step for a small business, and not just because it paves the way to getting loans at good rates. High credit scores can also lead to better payment terms from vendors. And it can mean more sales, because business customers sometimes check the credit rating of a new firm before trusting it with their orders.

 

Business Ideas on a Budget

This is a great one going into the holiday season. Believe it or not, there are people who wouldn't be caught dead going anywhere near a mall, but they're not comfortable with buying certain items online, either.

 

5 Things to Remember When Starting a Business

There are thousands of tasks that every small business owner must consider and do in order to set up a new business. However, whether you are a new small business owner or an experienced entrepreneur, here are five things to remember when setting up a small business.

 

Start-up Advice for the City Girl on a Budget

What are the first steps you need to take when starting a business ? I have outlined some crucial steps that will help guide you in the right direction.

 

Getting Your Business "Off the Ground"

What is dinering your performance and success? You didn't plan on it taking so long to get "off the ground".  The economy seems to be coming back, why isn't the money flowing it?

 

Entrepreneur Guide to Profit

During troubling economic times, Americans are increasingly choosing to demonstrate their entrepreneurial spirit. More home based businesses and small businesses are being started by persons looking to experience Entrepreneur Profit.

 

6 Tips to Start and Run a Successful Business

It’s not something that most of us would dare venture, but starting your own business venture does have its share of excitement. There are pessimists who say that 9 out of 10 new ventures fail, but then, failure is a relative term.

 

Business Startup Funding
One of the greatest tools needed to overcome hurdles in business is to seek for the solutions to surmount these hurdles.

 

Business Startup The Easy Way? Franchise, MLM, & Existing Businesses
Entrepreneurs who aren’t sure what kind of business to start, but know they want to be on their own are often drawn to the idea of buying a ready made business.

 

18 PR Tips for Startups
PR is one of the most misunderstood disciplines in the marketing department and many startup entrepreneurs are quick to under estimate and under value it.

 

Top Ten Startup Mistakes: That Almost Always Lead To Business Failure
Get on the road to success and learn top mistakes to avoid when starting a business.

 

 

Facts and Figures About Starting an Online Home Business
Starting a home business, especially online, is an exciting challenge and it can be a very rewarding experience too if you follow a few simple steps.

 

How a Start-Up Business Can Look

Like a Professional Organization
One of the most challenging aspects of starting a successful business is getting noticed as a professional organization.

 

Bootstrapping Basics Entrepreneurs Need to Know
One key to success is bootstrapping. Here is some practical advice for bootstrapping a start-up or small business.

 

7 Tips on Starting a Business After You Have Lost Your Job

Thinking about the world of entrepreneurship? Here are some tips to get you started on the right path.

 

Top 10 Tips for Entrepreneurs to Start and Stay in Business

Starting a new business? Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to entrepreneurship.

 

Starting Up A Business - How to do Break Even Analysis

Break-even analysis is a good tool for quickly determining if an idea has any legs under it.

 

Does Your Business Have a Plan? It Should

Here are the benefits of budgeting, planning, and performance measurement for your business.

Latest Business Article

Dissecting Innovation - 6 Keys to Developing New Markets

Drawing on the work of a number of thoughtful researchers as well as our own work, we are exploring a set of theories that can help managers respond to the ever-changing circumstances in which they find themselves. Specifically, these six lessons will help managers make the right decisions to successfully build new-growth businesses.

How To Start Exporting For Small Business

Ninety-six percent of all consumers live outside the United States, which makes exporting your products a highly effective way to expand your small company’s customer base and boost your bottom line. There are plenty of potential pitfalls, and effectively navigating around them is critical. Our company now does more than half of our business abroad, but we had to learn some hard lessons along the way.

Lacking Customers? Why & How To Find New Distribution Channels

You can evaluate a new distribution channel or improve your channel marketing / management at any time. It’s especially important to think about distribution when you’re going after a new customer segment, releasing a new product, or looking for ways to aggressively grow your business.

Jedi Mind Tricks: 17 Lesser Known Ways to Persuade People

You want to be persuasive. The power to influence people to get what you want is sometimes all it takes to be successful. These are some tactics, discovered through psychological research, that you have probably not yet heard about, but have the potential to increase your persuasive abilities.

Infographics: Comprehensive Guide to Online Marketing

From the Noob Guide - a six-month course to take anyone from marketing zero to hero.

The Coming Era of 'On-Demand' Marketing

Digital marketing is about to enter more challenging territory. Building on the vast increase in consumer power brought on by the digital age, marketing is headed toward being on demand—not just always “on,” but also always relevant, responsive to the consumer’s desire for marketing that cuts through the noise with pinpoint delivery.

Infographic: Chief Marketing Officers and Social Media

As you may know, social media is changing the face of modern marketing. CMOs or chief marketing officers are starting to invest in social media platforms in order to promote products and services. Yet not every social media Website can offer what CMOs are looking for. Here is a guide to the top social media sites and what they can do for CMOs.

Developing Deep Insight Into Your Customers – XPLANE's Empathy Maps

The topic of this post is an innovative technique for developing a "deep" understanding of your customers – their environment, behavior, concerns, and aspirations – called the Empathy Map. The Empathy Map is presented by Osterwalder in his book, but was originally developed by Dave Gray at XPLANE .

Should You Leverage the Upcoming Easter Holiday in Your Small Business Marketing Strategy?

With Easter coming up, you might be wondering if you should leverage the holiday to throw a coupon or bonus to your consumers or include anything related to Easter in advertising material. Leveraging Easter to boost your sales may seem like the tacky thing to do since many big companies use Easter as a key time for promoting.

How to Set a Marketing Budget that Fits your Business Goals and Provides a High Return on Investment

Whether you run a small business or a multi-million dollar corporation, marketing is essential to your profitability and growth. Yet many small businesses don't allocate enough money to marketing or, worse, spend it haphazardly.

5 Ways to Grow your Business in 2013

Like the old adage says, "If your small business isn't growing, it's shrinking." So we've put together a list of five ways to help you review your marketing goals, and make plans for growth in 2013.

Preparing Your Small Retail Business for the Holidays

For most people, the holidays are a happy time - but the jolly feeling may be particularly strong for a small retailer that is looking forward to hearing the jingle of the cash register, notching up Christmas sales to be recorded by their accounting software.

3 Ways to Promote Your Brand Without Facebook

Facebook is slowly but surely adjusting its algorithm to require brands to pay for exposure to their own fans. Recently, a blog post from Weber Shandwick mentioned that a Facebook vice president had announced that the free ride for brands is over. Frustrated by the lack of reach Facebook was allowing on the Dallas Mavericks Facebook page, owner Mark Cuban tweeted that he was looking for another alternative for the popular giant.

Building Relationships: 5 Ways To Create Trust

The Brits have an expression, "Too clever by half." It is not a compliment: It refers to people who create a sense of distrust because they come across as wily. Whether working with employees, vendors, prospects, or clients, one of the most valued elements of a relationship is trust.

The Big 7 Marketing Mistakes To Avoid

Sales goals help you sell, right? Well, not really. In fact, sales goals can get in the way of a successful sale, if you spend too much time thinking about them. The wrong focus can actually make it trickier to build a solid customer relationship so make sure you're getting these right.

From Goal Oriented to Process Oriented: How To Maximize Results

Sales goals help you sell, right? Well, not really. In fact, sales goals can get in the way of a successful sale, if you spend too much time thinking about them. The wrong focus can actually make it trickier to build a solid customer relationship so make sure you're getting these right.

 

How To Win Back An Angry Customer

For all the money you spend training your customer service staff, the essence of what you need them to do boils down to five key phrases. Teach them these, and you'll find you'll win back most of your disgruntled customers.

 

Telephone Etiquette - 6 Excellent Tips

The telephone has been in existence for 136 years, but the way some people use it, you'd think it was invented yesterday. With business travel at an all-time low, there is simply no skill more important to business success (especially in sales) than the ability to build rapport during a telephone conversation. When you can't shake hands or look somebody in the eye, your voice (and your voice alone) must be able to communicate "I am capable and trustworthy."

 

115 Marketing Strategies For Small Business

The most common question entrepreneurs ask me, is "how can I improve my marketing with no or little money?"  With this in mind, I asked for help from the TPE community and here is what I got... 115 ideas.  Skim them or read them in detail, but whatever you do make sure you go through the list. Just one of these ideas may trigger a marketing opportunity that you never considered before.  Just one of these ideas may take your business to a whole new level!

 

11 Ways to Double Your Customer Base in Four Weeks

Double the volume of business clients or customers within a single month by following simple but highly effective steps to generate leads and successfully convert them into paying customers. The secret to a truly successful business lies within a keen understanding of the needs and desires of the market - and it is ultimately individual people who constitute that market.

 

5 Free Ways to Attract New Customers to Your Small Business

As a small business owner, I know firsthand the pressure to attract new customers in a challenging economic climate, especially on a limited (code for nonexistent) budget. Fortunately, there are some powerful things you can do today -- without spending a penny -- to tap into the power of the Internet and make it easy for prospective customers to find your small business. That's right: free. All you need is computer access to get started.

 

How to Throw a Client Party That Doesn't Suck

The stated purpose of a client event might be to celebrate a holiday, recognize a milestone together, or simply say thank you for their business. But there's also a bottom-line business reason for spending the time and resources that go into a client party: retaining or gaining business. Given this, the stakes for planning and hosting client events are high, and mistakes can be costly.

 

2 FREE Tools to Help Grow, Systemise and Improve Cash Flow in Your Small Business

We all know that 2 core functions of any businesses are to keep 'the books' in good order, and also to keep our customer relations in good order. We have put together 2 key resources for small businesses to help them manage their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and accounting needs for FREE.

 

Five Things Every Small Business Should Know About Public Relations

Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are great, but the basics of public relations remain. You still need coherent messages, valuable networks and great stories. Here are five must-haves for successful PR.

 

Excellent Customer Service: A Must for Small Business

Any business, especially a small business, needs repeat customers to survive. To achieve this, a business needs to offer excellent customer service. Great customer service is essential to help small businesses attract and retain the customers they need to survive and compete against the big boys, and more so in a downturn economy.

 

7 Tips to Attract New Customers

In order to build and maintain strong relationships with customers, many companies are turning to customer-relationship management (CRM) software packages.  These programs allow companies to store and quickly access important sales, marketing, and other critical data about customers.

 

What the New Consumer Mindset Means for Marketing

Watching the changes in their own neighborhoods, as stores close and foreclosure signs keep popping up on their streets, has made even the most carefree consumers more conscious of their spending habits.

 

How to Turn an Unhappy Customer into a Happy Customer

If you want to be successful and happy as an entrepreneur, you need to start thinking about situations like this in a non-toxic way. Here are some alternative ways of thinking and dealing with Yipes-The-Customer-Might-Fire-Me issues.

 

How Are You the Customer You Seek?

In truth, there were times in my early entrepreneurial career where I failed on this front.  I humbly report that I was not the client for others that I so deeply treasure to be today and seek to work with as a vendor myself.

 

Customer Service Versus Sales Representatives: War of the Incentive

Customer service can often be seen by businesses as a necessary evil, a burden on the finances and something to try to provide at minimal cost.

 

Tips for Internet Marketing

An important Internet marketing tip everyone ought to use is just to optimize your web site for the search engines. Now what does that mean?

 

Customer Service - How Review Sites Can Make or Break a Business

Customer service is not given the attention it should be given. If there is one aspect of more importance to your business than any other, it is this.

 

Impact of Retail Display and

Store Design on Buying Decisions

A retail display is a merchandising display that showcases shop inventory or featured products. Take the right steps to make profits- don’t leave conversions to chance.

Brand Loyalty is One of a Company’s

Most Important Assets

Every business must create a marketing strategy that results in brand loyalty.

Three Proven Ways toAttract

Clients, Fast!

It is possible that you may have the best product on the internet. Start today with these three proven marketing methods.

 

Customer Service Management

Tips- Part 2

Now let's look at some practical customer service management tips to help you get the job done.

 

Customer Service Management

Tips- Part 1

Customer support teams play a critical role in ensuring customers are satisfied and in retaining customers.

 

How do Your Attract Customers

to Your Business?

To help you with your marketing efforts, here are effective strategies so you can target and attract customers to your business.

 

Marketing Tactics for Small Business

Marketing a small business is not difficult if it can identify something unique that makes it stand out from the crowd.

 

Simple Tips for Creating and

Executing Your PR Plan

You don’t have to be a PR expert to develop and run a simple public relations campaign. Here are tips to get you started.

 

How to Shine at Customer Service

Marketing is essential to the success of any business. But there is more to marketing than advertising. Much more.

Latest Business Article

10 Core Business Values That Really Matter and Why

We asked prominent Stanford GSB alumni an open-ended question: “What values are important to you in business?” Below you’ll find a combination of personal maxims and principles that may guide your own business values. 

Rapid Technology Innovation Creates A Smart, Mobile World

Smart technology offers the promise of remote access to health care and education, while blurring boundaries between industries. The power of the individual will grow and new competitors will emerge, disrupting industries and creating new business models.

How To Make Mistakes For Entrepreneurs

Sometimes you make mistakes – big ones, little ones and everything in between. If you never make a mistake, then you are playing too conservatively, staying within a comfort zone. Sooner or later, you have to push out of your comfort zone.

The 'Hierarchy of Entrepreneurs’ Needs'

When American psychologist Abraham Maslow set out to quantify human development he went straight to the lives of the most capable humans of his era, including Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglass. His results, published in the 1943 paper, A Theory of Human Motivation, are often summed up in what we now call Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

A Master Storytelling Lesson For The CEO

Persuasion is the centerpiece of business activity. Customers must be convinced to buy your company's products or services, employees and colleagues to go along with a new strategic plan or reorganization, investors to buy (or not to sell) your stock, and partners to sign the next deal. But despite the critical importance of persuasion, most executives struggle to communicate, let alone inspire. Too often, they get lost in the accoutrements of company speak: PowerPoint slides, dry memos, and hyperbolic missives from the corporate communications department. Even the most carefully researched and considered efforts are routinely greeted with cynicism, lassitude, or outright dismissal.

My Business is Failing, Is It Time To File Bankruptcy?

Many people have turned to bankruptcy as a solution to their financial situation. Whether to stop a foreclosure on a house, a repossession of a car or a wage garnishment, bankruptcy can provide a fresh start and allow you to rebuild your credit and get back on a healthy financial footing.

Neuroscience's Look At True Entrepreneurs And Managers

Are entrepreneurs wired differently than managers? Are they better equipped to make decisions about risk and innovation?

Small Business Experts Take on Growth Strategy and Technology [YouTube Playlist]

The SBA/Dell Strategies for Growth series presents interviews with successful entrepreneurs and experts who know how to grow a small business. Real stories and topic-specific advice will help you decide if your business is ready to grow. What does it take to be a successful entrepreneur?

New Essential Services from SBA's Small Business Week

It's National Small Business Week here in the U.S. Companies and organizations are sharing products, tips and information with the small business community to help small companies perform better. From new cloud-based services and payroll apps … to tips on using productivity tools, here is some of what's out there.

Drama of Married Business Partners - From The Altar to IPO

For Julia Hartz, co-founder and president of Eventbrite, the event and ticketing web platform, starting a company with her husband, Kevin, was not exactly part of her master plan. "Part of me has actually blocked out the decision-making process I went through before going into business with my then-fiancé," she says, only half-joking.

Failure Is An Option

Unfortunately, small businesses fail at a higher rate than large businesses.  While we accept this, it somewhat flies in the face of logic.  After all, small businesses are run by owners who can achieve entrepreneurial returns rather than managerial bonuses, so incentive is high.  Conventional wisdom is that small businesses have fewer, and closer relationships to customers (think Ace Hardware franchisees vs. Home Depot.)  And lacking layers of overhead and embedded management they should be more nimble.

How To Find International Success On A Shoestring

Starting a global business may seem daunting – but with a good idea, the right tools and a clear strategy, anything is possible.

Advanced Entrepreneurship

What makes an entrepreneur successful? Many have tried to answer this question, but few have delved deeper into what distinguishes a good entrepreneur from a great one.

7 Unconventional Ways Businesses Can Borrow Money

When conventional credit markets get tight, individuals and businesses are pushed to seek alternative lenders to obtain financing. Some of these alternative financing sources have been around for a long time, but the 2007-2008 credit crunch spawned some new potential financing sources for business owners and individuals, as well as some new ways to access them.

The Entrepreneur's Psychological Traps

One might think that entrepreneurs should cloak themselves in a coat of overconfidence, as they might otherwise never have the courage to undertake risky initiatives...

Don't Let Strategy Become Planning

I must have heard the words "we need to create a strategic plan" at least an order of magnitude more times than I have heard "we need to create a strategy." This is because most people see strategy as an exercise in producing a planning document. In this conception, strategy is manifested as a long list of initiatives with timeframes associated and resources assigned.

The Seven Deadly Sins Of Social Enterprise

Liam Black's mantra of avoiding the common errors that blight the sector. They are sins that social enterprises are prone to committing. However, they have nothing to do with religion. So it isn't about wrath, greed, sloth, pride (OK, may be just this one), lust, envy, and gluttony.

Assess the Value of Your Networks

While sifting through interviews in a Catalyst report about leadership, numerous references to networks and the importance of networking kept emerging. A key reason why women lag behind in leadership is that they are less likely to have extensive networks to support and promote them as potential leaders.

Top Tax Trends For 2013

In 2012, taxes made headlines and it is likely that taxes will continue to be at the forefront in 2013. Congress needs to act on many measures impacting small businesses. The IRS is in gear to continue or initiate a number of programs impacting small businesses.

5 Things You Should Measure in Your Small Business in 2013

There are a lot of numbers in a small business. Most entrepreneurs do a lousy job of reviewing their financial statements while trying to manage their business. However, numbers are a very powerful tool in business to measure results against your goals.

Wealth Creation: Small-Business Owners Do It Their Way

In reflecting on their wealth creation, America's Millionaire small-business owners take their cue from the classic Paul Anka song: They did it their way.

10 Words That Could Lead You To Great Success

Having published hundreds of success stories over the years, whether that of Holocaust survivor Felix Zandman who to survive, lived in a tiny underground ditch for 17 months and later became a world renown physicist who built a Fortune 500 company.

A Key to Success: Gratitude

I'm utterly convinced that the key to lifelong success is the regular exercise of a single emotional muscle: gratitude.People who approach life with a sense of gratitude are constantly aware of what's wonderful in their life. Because they enjoy the fruits of their successes, they seek out more success.

7 Tips to an Excellent First Impression

Research shows that customers decide whether or not they want to work with you within two seconds of meeting you face to face. That puts the burden on you to make certain that those two seconds really count. The only way to do that is to prepare ahead of time. These tricks may help.

Charismatic People's 10 Habits

Some people instantly make us feel important. Some people instantly make us feel special. Some people light up a room just by walking in.We can't always define it, but some people have it: They're naturally charismatic.Unfortunately, natural charisma quickly loses its impact. Familiarity breeds, well, familiarity.

LinkedIn: 7 Not To Be Missed Tips

Today, LinkedIn is the No. 1 social media platform for professionals. Estimates of professional participation in LinkedIn are as high as 83%. But when I talked to one of my friends--social media expert Alexandra Gibson from OttoPilot Media--she told me that she sees too many professionals making a lot of mistakes. Here are the seven she sees most often.

Here Come The Intrapreneurs

In the wake of Facebook‘s IPO, and despite where the stock goes from here, one thing is clear: Entrepreneurs–especially successful ones–are the new rock stars of business culture. Despite this trend, the reality remains that for every successful entrepreneur who builds even a modestly successful business, there are thousands who struggle and toil endlessly and may never see the fruits of their labor come anywhere close to commercial success. Add that to the fact that while entrepreneurialism seems to be enjoying a golden age of sorts, it isn’t for everyone.

Business Etiquette

The word "etiquette" gets a bad rap. For one thing, it sounds stodgy and pretentious. And rules that are socially or morally prescribed seem intrusive to our sense of individuality and freedom. But the concept of etiquette is still essential, especially now—and particularly in business.

Nip And Tuck Those Savings - 6 Overlooked Tax Deductables

Check out these six commonly overlooked tax deductables.

The Art Of Storytelling For Business

Instead of taking the time to craft captivating stories, most entrepreneurs create dreary Powerpoint presentations filled with facts, jargon, buzzwords, and graphs. Powerpoint (and laziness) has killed our ability to tell good stories, but this is a habit we need to ditch.

Beating The Odds With Savvy Entrepreneurism

Ever wondered why some entrepreneurs have luck and success, while others struggle to catch a break? As an Angel investor, I quickly learned that luck has very little to do with it, and now look for some personal characteristics and leadership styles that separate the potential winners from the losers.

Invaluable Tips For Strategic Thinking

Every leader's temptation is to deal with what's directly in front, because it always seems more urgent and concrete. Unfortunately, if you do that, you put your company at risk. Here`s hpw to become the strategic leader your company needs.

 

Six Personality Traits Of Great Leaders

The best entrepreneurs are passionate, innovative, demanding and caring. Very few possess all of these trait, but may certainly display the followingsix key traits.

 

Five Key Skills To Find An Angel Investor

Growthink - a leading entrepreneurial consulting firm that has helped thousands of clients develop business plans - reveals the secret to finding angel investors.

 

Why Personal Branding Is Important For Small Businesses

You've heard a million times that most small businesses fail after the first or second year. So what happens to an entrepreneur when their business is gone? The answer is that they are taken down with their company unless they've built their own brand simultaneously while operating their business.

 

An Unlikely Place to Nurture the Entrepreneurial Spirit? Jail.

In August 2009 Jeff Smith, then a Missouri State Senator, pled guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice and resigned his seat. Five months later he went to federal prison-and found it bustling with resourceful men with shrewd business instincts. B.J. was one of many fellow inmates with big plans for the future. He vowed that upon his release, he'd leave the dope game and fly straight.

 

How Positive Psychology Can Boost Your Business

To understand how positive psychology-the so-called science of happiness-is being used by entrepreneurs, it helps to look at a company under siege. After all, it's one thing to talk about the connections between a positive mental state and a healthy company when a business is running well, turning a profit, and grabbing new customers. But tougher times really test entrepreneurs, separating those who hunker down and hope the worst will pass from those who use their strengths to find opportunity amid rubble.

 

How to Hire Your First Employees

Entrepreneurs preparing to hire their first employees should proceed with caution. It's costly to commit to an employee's salary and benefits. And what start-up can afford to have even one employee who isn't working to full capacity? Firing an employee can mean not only severance pay (and sometimes litigation), but also time and resources devoted to finding a replacement.

 

How to Develop a Business Growth Strategy

There are many ways to guide a business through a period of expansion. Turning a small business into a big one is never easy. The statistics are grim. Research suggests that only one-tenth of 1 percent of companies will ever reach $250 million in annual revenue. An even more microscopic group, just 0.036 percent, will reach $1 billion in annual sales.

 

Hot Business Trends for 2012

I have just returned from our national conference (the Association of Small Business Development Centers) in San Diego where I sat in on a class led by Rieva Lesonsky of www.smallbiztrends.com. She gave a great presentation on what's going to be HOT in business in 2012.

 

2011 and 2012 marketing trends - "Be On The Cutting-Edge, Not the Bleeding-Edge"

As the global economy struggles to rectify a myriad of issues, and social media marketing becomes strategically necessary, small businesses have exciting opportunities to expand in new directions this year.and beyond.

 

Top 10 Reasons Small Businesses Fail

One of the least understood aspects of entrepreneurship is why small businesses fail, and there's a simple reason for the confusion: Most of the evidence comes from the entrepreneurs themselves.

 

5 ways small businesses can boost cyber-security

It's no secret that the internet is rife with threats that can be difficult to deal with, but small businesses with limited resources shouldn't just throw in the towel, security experts say. Simple things can go a long way to securing any business against computer security breaches.

 

Things You Need to know about Small Business SEO

SEO is a term that many business owners will have heard of but may not understand very well. As a business owner you need to know most importantly what SEO can do and why it is important to you and your business however at the same time you need to understand how it works. By understanding how SEO works you can make sure you are choosing an efficient and affordable SEO company and also know what to expect and when.

 

Advertising Advice for Small Business Owners

All business owners struggle with advertising to current and potential customers. Both independent retailers and chains need to reach them locally, and it’s a no-brainer to have a website. However, the modes of reaching the public are growing, yet not everyone we know or want to know likes using them!

 

New Social Media News

Social media is coming into its own as a tool for networking and marketing in small business and larger brands a like. Beginning with blogs and moving into the rapidly expanding worlds of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and more there is a lot to learn AND a lot to be gained, so log on and enjoy!

 

What Martin Luther King Jr Can Teach Us About Business

"I have a dream" by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is one of the most famous speeches of recent history. Aspiring leaders study it to see how memorable words that sketch a big, compelling vision can inspire significant change.

 

How to Improve Entrepreneurship Education

Entrepreneurs and educators agree on two fundamental points. The first is so obvious that it hardly bears repeating but let's restate it anyway: entrepreneurship is very, very important. Entrepreneurs are the critical driver of job creation and economic prosperity.

 

Profit from the NFL's Business Plan

If there’s one sport out there that’s synonymous with profit, it’s football. The game brings in billions in revenue through ticket sales, cable contracts and licensing fees and sales of merchandise and apparel.

 

How to Start an Online Business for $100

Today's economy isn't doing anyone any favors, and if you're one of the unfortunate folks to have been served a layoff notice, you might be facing a long haul when it comes to searching for another job. Is now the right moment to put your long-lingering business idea into practice?

 

How the World Cup can Influence your Small Business

Many small business owners are accommodating or even indulging employees' passion for World Cup soccer, either giving them time off to watch the games, or making it easy for them to follow the matches while they're working. And not just for the U.S. games.

 

New IPhone 4 Targets Small Business

Could Apple also be worried about competition? Research in Motion Ltd.’s Blackberry, whose users are mainly business professionals, started its own version of the iPhone App Store earlier this month, called the Blackberry App World..

 

Top 20 Companies Hiring College Graduates

It’s no secret that the job market has been really tough on recent graduates. The companies in the AfterCollege network understand how crucial it is to market their opportunities to this highly talented segment of the workforce.

 

Thomas Edison - And The Light Bulb

It is well known that Thomas Edison was an inventor, a genius, and he never slept. Did you know that Mrs. Edison was a genius and never slept either? She was the marketing guru behind his engineering success.

 

How to create Long Term Business in a Freelance Position

As a freelancer you would always come back across two kinds of people. One would be the one time client, who will simply want your services for once and the others would be very long time shoppers, who would return for your services time and over again.

 

How to Write a Successful Exit Strategy

"Begin with the end in mind." Those who have created a successful business know it does not happen without planning, hard work, and a little luck. Yet most have no exit plan for leaving their business. To have a successful business, you must plan for all four D’s of a business exit strategy.

 

How to Write an Executive Summary

The executive summary section of a business plan is a summary of the highlights of your business plan. Even though the topic appears first in the printed document, most business plan developers leave the writing of the executive summary until the end.

 

Sam Walton's Guide to Building a Successful Business

Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, grew up poor in a farm community in rural Missouri during the Great Depression. The poverty he experienced while growing up taught him the value of money and to persevere.

 

7 Key Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur

Successful entrepreneurs like the ambitious Richard Branson have an inner drive to succeed and grow their business, rather than having a Harvard Business degree or technical knowledge in a particular field.

 

Online Press Release Management

With all of the advances in online marketing, it can often be the case that people lose sight of more traditional online marketing tools.