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Small Business Blog - daily small business software blog

:: Small business holiday marketing tips for 2018

The holiday season is already in full swing. And, I believe, you would have already pushed all the right buttons, at all fronts, be it your website pages, social media pages, marketing emailers and all, before things might get too hot to handle for you.

However, a checklist will always come handy, I believe. It will not only keep you on your toes but will remind you of the pending activities that might need your attention, now or later on.

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:: 4 Reasons To Support Small Companies On Small Business Saturday® And Beyond

Whether you are a small business owner, a consumer, or the CEO of a big corporation, you likely know that small companies are a pretty big part of the economy. This year, show your support for small enterprises by participating in Small Business Saturday® (SBS).

My accounting and payroll software company, Patriot Software, is an advocate of Small Business Saturday. And personally, I am a major supporter of small businesses. I know how much time, dedication, money, and hard work entrepreneurs pour into their small companies.

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:: Small Business Profile: DejaVu Designs

Custom handmade surf tumbled sea glass and tumbled stone designs, jewelry, hair clips and ornaments. #seaglass #tumbledstones #jewelry #handmade #homemade #dejavudesigns #smallbusiness #smallbiz #stonejewelry #seaglassjewelry

:: 10 Wealth Management Tips For Small Business Owners

As a small business owner, it can be a point of pride to watch your dreams translate into equitable profits. However, the road to success has many potholes to avoid and expressways to take — if you recognize them in time.

With the vast array of personal finance knowledge out there, it can be tricky to figure out which advice is the best fit for small business owners. Ten members of Forbes Finance Council weighed in with their own personal wealth management tips to help you keep your personal and professional finances in good shape.

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:: 4 Ways Small Businesses Can Internally Prepare for Holiday Shopper

Savvy small businesses are already looking ahead to the holiday shopping season, including Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. Here are four things you can do to prepare your business for the holidays.

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:: Struggling to Get Motivated? Don't Ask for Advice--Give It

There's a lot of advice out there for the lazy and unmotivated: Take baby steps! Set a timer! Enlist an accountability partner! But what if the best way to tackle lack of motivation is not to give any sort of advice at all, but to ask for it instead?

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:: Social Media Mistakes All Small Business Owners Should Avoid

Social media is a crucial component of any small business' marketing efforts. When done well, a strong social strategy helps you connect directly with your customers, and can even create some free publicity along the way.

For all of social media's advantages, there are pitfalls as well. The internet can look like a cavalier place when it comes to copyright rules, but there are plenty of no-nos that you need to follow if you want to stay out of legal trouble.

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:: Seven Accounting Staples To Analyze As A Small-Business Leader

Your role as CEO, president or founder is critical to your small and growing company — you need to focus on products, customers and strategies. One of the last things you want to do is babysit your bookkeeper. Yet I can think of dozens of horror stories born of a lack of accounting oversight in the early stages of startup growth.

What should you track? Here are seven items I have found are key to request from your bookkeeper and how to review them. Asking for these items is good accounting hygiene: It informs your bookkeeper that you are inspecting their work and allows you to quickly identify and minimize potential problems. And, in my experience, it should not take you more than an hour a month.

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:: This Is What a Great Book Does to Your Brain

Books can make us smarter, more informed, even more intellectually humble. But one of the most powerful benefits of regular reading is greater empathy. Through words you are transported to another's perspective. You look through their eyes. You understand their pain and their joy.

That can relieve loneliness and make life a whole lot more pleasant, but it's also good for business. Understanding customers and collaborators helps you get more done and be more creative.

So how exactly do books accomplish this magic trick? On Lit Hub recently Tufts University professor of child development and reading expert Maryanne Wolf explained the fascinating neuroscience of exactly what immersion in a good book does to your brain.

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:: 3 Steps to Recharge Yourself and Your Business

Running a business often means you have your hands in every aspect of the company. You are managing day-to-day tasks and making crucial business decisions all at the same time. It's no wonder small-business owners can often lose sight of the forest for the trees and get mired in the task of simply getting through each day.

Taking a step back gives you a tremendous amount of insight that not only reenergizes you to keep going, but can lead to crucial business decisions that transform and grow your business. Finding a way to build that inspiration into your life is not just a luxury—it is a necessity if you want to maintain a thriving business.

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:: 8 Time-Management Hacks to Optimize Your Life In and Outside Work

To really manage and maximize your time — to squeeze every opportunity out of it — you have to appreciate how much you have. Take control of your time, and don’t allow others to. Get family, friends, colleagues, and employees to agree on the most important priorities. Otherwise, they will pull you in multiple directions. When I do this, I'm able to control my time better.

I typically wake up before the sun and stay busy all day. Time is either invested or wasted, so I do not like white space on my calendar. I make time for myself, my family and my business, to do things like writing my goals, working out, taking a walk with my kids, and leading calls and meetings.

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:: 5 Critical SEO Considerations When Optimizing News Websites

A few rules of SEO, like publishing great content and providing a good user experience, are universal.

But not all websites thrive by using the exact same set of SEO guidelines.

News websites, in particular, place greater emphasis on certain elements than other types of sites.

Here are five best practices you should keep in mind to optimize your news site for search.

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:: SEO Basics for Newbies

In the modern business world, companies make use of SEO basics to secure a digital footprint. SEO is everywhere. What is more, the Internet is constantly changing. In order for businesses to keep up with demand, they have to cater to an audience that lives and breathes the Internet.

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:: Over half of consumers want businesses to text them back

It is easy to see why text messaging is the most-used data service across the world. We send and receive five times as many texts compared with the number of phone calls each day, according to mobile intelligence firm Informate.

A huge 90 percent of the time, a text is read within the first three minutes of receiving. Customers who receive texts from businesses tend to have a 40 percent higher conversion rate than those who do not. Small businesses could benefit from this consumer behaviour.

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:: To Create Truly Compelling Content Marketing, Make It a Team Activity

These days, content marketing is considered a crucial aspect of any company's advertising efforts. Yet, for a new startup with a limited budget, trying to find a way to craft compelling blogs, social media posts or infographics can seem overwhelming.

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:: Want to Become a Self-Made Millionaire? Do This for 30 Minutes Every Day

Entrepreneurs start their own businesses or side hustles--which you can do in just a few hours--for a variety of reasons. Some want to be their own boss. Others want to make their living by doing something they love. Others seek the opportunity to make a bigger difference in the lives of others.

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:: The Most Innovative Companies of the 2018 Inc. 5000

There are a lot of ways to build fast-growth companies. Just consider this year's Inc. 5000 list. The annual ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in America includes everything from canned wine producers and freight movers to kayak makers and truck bumper manufacturers.

The six companies below, though, take the cake when it comes to innovative business models. Whether it's reinventing hospital garb or hosting mind-blowing vacations, these startups all have one thing in common: They have tapped into something their customers really  wanted.

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:: How to Create a User-Intent SEO Strategy

Behind every Google search, there is an intention. People are looking for something in particular when they are searching the web -- the answers to their problems, information about the services available to them or sources for the product they want. If you want your business to be discovered by users on the web, your content needs to be optimized for user intent.

Since Google can recognize user intent, it displays pages in search results that are most relevant to what the user is looking for. Because of this, understanding user intent and creating content with the user's intent in mind is essential to improving the relevance of your website pages and improving SEO.

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:: 9 Reasons CEOs Should Hire Introverts, Not Extroverts

Well, it turns out that, according to decades of academic research, introverts are more likely than extroverts to have those characteristics:

1. Introverts are generally more creative.
Introverts are famously more creative than extroverts. According to the journal Perceptual and Motor Skills, Creativity is a problem-solving response by intelligent, very active, highly emotional, and extremely introverted persons.

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:: 5 Tips to Consider When Designing (or Redesigning) Your Organizational Structure

It is not a one-time undertaking but an ongoing process that must be revisited throughout the life of any business. In fact, nearly half of all CEOs launch a company reorganization during their first two years on the job.

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:: How to Deliver Bad News When It's Not Your Fault

Have you ever shared bad news with coworkers, employees or partners? As much as we don't want to shoot the messenger, sometimes we associate negative feelings with the person who tells us bad news.

Work is hard enough as is. You do not need a negative halo effect associated with you, especially if a situation was out of your control. For example, maybe you and a partner organization submitted a proposal and were waiting to hear back from a Fortune 1000 client. The client tells you that another company out-bid you with a lower quote.

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:: Organize Your Small-Business Finances With These 7 Steps

Going into business for yourself is a big deal. There is always a long to-do list and you will find yourself wearing many different hats from time to time. Your business is more of a hobby if you are not making money. Properly managing and organizing your small-business finances can contribute to the success of your business and make sure you’re hitting your profit goals. Like personal finance, there are plenty of ways to organize your small-business finances depending on what your goals are.

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:: Tax And Regulatory Cuts Solve A Long-Running Problem For Small Business

Then, as the recovery progressed, taxes and regulations reemerged.   But over the last year, those two concerns have been displaced by the availability of qualified labor.  Finding qualified employees is always a concern in a growing economy and has certainly grown in importance in this expansion, even more prominent than in 2000, when the ratio of employment to the population hit a record high.

Assisting its rise to number one has been the decline in the concerns about taxes and the cost of regulatory compliance.  The sharp decline in concerns about taxes and regulatory compliance are most likely due to the policies of this administration.  Record levels of proposed regulations peaked in the last two years of the last administration but dropped to practically nothing early in this term.  Since then, many existing regulations and rules have been eliminated or scaled back.

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:: Amazon Makes a Move Into Small Business

The company has launched a new store focused on smaller U.S. companies.

For many businesses, Amazon operates as both a competitor and a partner. The online giant offers a platform for companies to sell their goods while it also competes with the same companies it works with.

Now, the digital retailer has launched Amazon Storefronts, a new store that exclusively sells products from small and medium-sized businesses from the United States. It offers more than 1 million products curated by Amazon from 20,000 small and mid-sized businesses.

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:: Nine Simple Ways Small Businesses Can Give Back

It is often assumed that giving back is something that only big corporations can do. After all, larger businesses often have more profits and can easily give away money to notable causes. But it doesn't mean that smaller businesses can't do the same. Often times, small businesses can also have a significant impact on organizations that can use their help.

We asked members of the Forbes Business Development Council for ideas on how small businesses can give back to their communities.

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:: A basic SEO audit for small businesses

Most small businesses can perform a simple audit and improve their SEO considerably without involving an agency. Ten steps you can take to get started.

I am a big fan of getting the basics precisely dialed in for small business search engine optimization (SEO). Ensuring you lay a solid SEO foundation will typically deliver around 80 percent of the results, for only 20 percent of the effort, for small local businesses.

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:: 5 things to remember when growing your small business

Small business optimism is at a record high. In this year’s Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index, business owners consistently reported positive attitudes about their current situation and their future.

Part of that optimism is due to the high availability of financing and access to credit that many small businesses need in order to grow. Indeed, many small business owners are taking the opportunity to use these and other cash flow management tools to expand their business.

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:: Social Media and Government: What Are the New Rules of Engagement?

Social media, email, text messaging and other communication technologies are transforming government into a more efficient, effective and dynamic process. Whether it’s an elected official using Twitter to address constituents or a city using a Facebook page to make public announcements, government entities and elected officials are becoming more accessible and connected to constituents. And therein lie today’s nuanced First Amendment related challenges

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:: Seven Reasons Your Small Business Is Not Generating Sales

Here are seven reasons why your business is not generating sales:

1. You are marketing, not selling.

Reaching out to a networking contact is a sales call when that contact has expressed a need and interest for what you are selling, and you actually discuss your offer, your pricing, next steps and or other ways to move forward. If your networking meeting is to introduce what you offer or to reconnect in general, that is a marketing call. Many small business owners are busy on social media, tweaking their website, writing blogs, and catching up over coffee – all of which is great for marketing and may lead to sales eventually -- but these activities are not directly generating sales.

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:: Secrets to Getting More Traffic for Your Small Business Website Revealed

How to Get Traffic to Your Website

In building this strategy, it can help to get input from the experts who have been there before. Here are some tips and tricks ranging from content creation to SEO to social media from digital marketing experts around the web.

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:: A Small-Business Guide to Instagram Stories

Instagram is a great source to build your brand’s identity, engage new followers and expand your reach. However, if you’re simply posting images to your business Instagram page, you’re missing out on a major opportunity on the platform: Instagram Stories. With Stories, you can show a behind-the-scenes look at your brand while developing its personality and building authentic relationships with your followers.

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:: Google Spent a Decade Researching What Makes a Great Boss. They Came Up With These 10 Things

Those are the types of questions Google set out to answer. In 2008, they began research into what makes a good manager, code-named Project Oxygen. They originally identified eight behaviors that were common among their highest performing managers, and began training all managers to develop those behaviors. Over time, Google saw a marked improvement in key metrics such as employee turnover, satisfaction, and performance.

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:: Looking for Tips and Resources for Small Business Success?

Business owners need to constantly learn in order to be successful. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned entrepreneur, resources like business experts, books, tools and exercises can help you shape your strategies and cultivate sustained success. Here are some suggestions from members of the online small business community for resources and tips that can help you build a successful business and life.

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:: How to Escape the Tyranny of the To-Do List

Overwhelmed leaders cringe at multiplying demands, such as identifying and recruiting talent, envisioning the next iteration of their product, or developing their public-speaking skills. There are only 24 hours in a day, they plead.

True. But there are 168 hours in a week, 730 hours in a month, and 8,760 hours in a year. View time in that way and many of the larger-picture, often open-ended tasks that are crowded out by in-the-moment demands appear more feasible.

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:: #MeToo Means You Too Need Small Business Coverage

The #MeToo movement is making a major impact across industries, small businesses included. From reviewing internal policies to getting the right kind of insurance, these steps can help small business owners protect their companies and employees.

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