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Small Business Blog - daily small business software blog

:: Amazons Tepid Response to Counterfeiters Frustrates Sellers

04/19/2017
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

04/17/2017
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

04/14/2017
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

04/12/2017
It is generally assumed that millennials are seeking jobs in coastal cities — New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles.

But new data from Indeed.com 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

04/10/2017
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

04/08/2017
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

04/06/2017
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

04/04/2017
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

04/02/2017
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

03/31/2017
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

03/29/2017
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

03/27/2017
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

03/25/2017
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

03/23/2017
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

03/21/2017
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

03/19/2017
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

03/17/2017
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

03/15/2017
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

03/13/2017
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

03/11/2017
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

03/09/2017
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

03/07/2017
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

03/05/2017
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

03/03/2017
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

03/01/2017
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?

02/27/2017
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?

02/25/2017
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

02/23/2017
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

02/21/2017
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

02/19/2017
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

02/17/2017
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

02/15/2017
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

02/13/2017
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

02/11/2017
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

02/09/2017
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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