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Small Business Blog - daily small business software blog

:: Startup Slump

11/03/2017
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.

complete article

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

11/01/2017
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.

complete article

:: How AI Tech Is Changing Small Business Marketing And Customer Service

10/30/2017
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.

complete article

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

10/27/2017
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.

complete article

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

10/25/2017
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.

complete article

:: 4 Budgeting Tips For Small Business Owners

10/23/2017
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.

complete article

:: The 15 Most Profitable Small-Business Industries

10/20/2017
Thinking about launching a new business? Here is where to look to for high profit margins.

complete article

:: 11 Cyber Security Questions Every Small Business Should Ask

10/18/2017
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.

complete article

:: 10 Ways to Break Your Small Business Out of a Rut

10/16/2017
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.

complete article

:: 18 Secrets From CEOs Whose Companies Will Not Stop Growing

10/13/2017
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

complete article

:: 14 Startup Tips From Small Business Pros

10/11/2017
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.

complete article

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

10/09/2017
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.

complete article

:: 50 Small Business Ideas for the Homebody

10/06/2017
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.

complete article

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

10/04/2017
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.

complete article

:: 10 Tips for Building a Customer Focused Business

10/02/2017
For tips on keeping your business customer focused and more, check out this recent content from members of the online small business community.

complete article

:: 3 Things Smart Employers Look for in a Resume

09/30/2017
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.

complete article

:: To Be Successful, Be Patient With Your Imperfections

09/28/2017
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

09/26/2017
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

09/24/2017
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.

complete article

:: Small Business Hiring Rises

09/22/2017
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

09/20/2017
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

09/18/2017
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

09/17/2017
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

09/15/2017
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?

09/13/2017
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

09/11/2017

#neverforget - September 11th

:: 6 Things Your Small Business Needs to Spend More Money On

09/09/2017
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

09/07/2017
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 amazon.com 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

09/05/2017
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

09/03/2017
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?

09/01/2017
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

08/30/2017
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

08/28/2017
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

08/25/2017
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

08/13/2017
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

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