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:: The Surprising Challenge Small Business Owners Are Facing Today

01/30/2019
A healthy economy means many small businesses are thriving -- but they're also having a hard time hanging onto employees. A good 24% of small businesses lost at least one employee in 2018, while 11% of small businesses lost 10% of their workforce, according to Bank of America. Not only that, but 58% of businesses had trouble finding qualified candidates for open roles, and 25% said it took more time to fill open positions in 2018 than it did in 2017.

And there lies the problem with a strong job market: When employment is plentiful, workers have more options to choose from, so getting them to join or stay with your team becomes more challenging for companies across the board, but particularly for small businesses with limited resources.

complete article

:: Top 30 2018 Facebook Trends for Small Business

1/27/2018
Here are the statistics and headlines that you should be aware of.

Facebook Popularity
Facebook has more than 2.2 billion active members around the world.
More than 1.6 billion people around the world have used Facebook to connect with a small business.
More than 80 million businesses use Facebook to connect with customers.
But it’s not all about growth. 42 percent of U.S. adults have taken a break from Facebook for a few weeks or more.
44 percent of younger users have deleted the Facebook app from their phones in the past year.
But only 12 percent of older users have done so.

complete article

:: For Most Small Businesses, 2018 Was a Good Year

01/25/2019
While December has been a lousy month for the stock market, 2018 has generally been a good year for small-business owners. Over half (55%) of owners or decision makers at small businesses in the United States said that their business is better off today than it was a year ago, according to a new survey from Fundera.

Another 33% said their business has remained steady, leaving only 12% that saw their fortunes decline in 2018. Those are very strong and encouraging numbers, but that does not mean it should be assumed the good times will continue to roll.

complete article

:: 3 Lessons Learned from Helping a Small Business Invest

01/23/2019
As a Texas real estate broker, one of the things I do at my company, Goodwin Commercial, is educate our clients on the commercial investment process. We offer a step-by-step process evaluation to protect our clients when making the decision to go from leasing to purchasing a property for their business. That process often includes making recommendations about how they might leverage a good situation or opportunity into a great one, often via strategic financing and purchasing decisions. In this case, the couple initially tried to go the SBA (U.S. Small Business Administration) route but were turned down by the first national bank they approached. They were definitely discouraged!

complete article

:: Top 5 Small Business Marketing Automation Trends of 2019

01/21/2019
2019 Marketing Automation Trends

If you want to use marketing automation to help your business succeed in 2019, your approach to automation will predetermine much of your success. To start out strong, consider bringing the following marketing automation trends into your strategy for the year ahead:

complete article

:: 4 Workplace Trends Every Small Business Should Know About for 2019

01/18/2019
Many of us are wondering, for example, how the U.S. economy will impact business. Will hiring finally ease up? How will younger generations change our workforce?

Without a crystal ball, it's tough to answer every question. But, given trends we saw this year, it is possible to make a few educated predictions about what small businesses should prepare for as 2019 approaches. Here are my top four predictions:

2019 is the beginning of the Gen Z takeover.

complete article

:: Four Small Business New Year's Resolutions For Success In 2019

01/16/2019
The end of the calendar year is a natural time to reassess how your business did in the previous 12 months and then devise a plan for improving. By almost every measure, 2018 was a good year for the economy. Small business optimism is high, holiday sales were the strongest in years, unemployment is low, and consumer confidence hit an 18-year high in September before tempering a bit in November.

It would be hard to duplicate the atmosphere that prevailed in 2018. The impact of President Trump’s tax cuts will lessen, interest rates have risen again, and the Dow Jones dropped from 25,862.43 on December 3 to 21,792.20 on Christmas Eve, a sign that the economy may be slowing.

Small business owners need to take all of these factors into account.

complete article

:: How to Handle Late Paying Clients with Ease Using These Tips

01/14/2019
The holidays puts everyone in a celebratory mood — or almost everyone. For small business owners, the celebration may be tempered by stress over unpaid invoices. My business is lucky: Lots of our clients are scrambling to issue payments before year-end to finish off their fiscal years. But for other small businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs in the B2B world, getting paid this time of year is an ongoing struggle.

complete article

:: Americas Love Affair With Small Business Rekindled

01/12/2019
Bloom Brewery is the kind of Main Street business that shut its doors a generation ago when shopping malls lured customers to their mega-buildings with well-lit parking lots, extended hours and everything imaginable under one roof.

The brewery, which offers 24 artisanal beers on tap, sits near the Great Allegheny Passage, a 335-mile bike trail that has connected Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh since 2013. And with it, a new kind of customer is being drawn through its doors, seeking comfort and community instead of big-box discount deals.

complete article

:: 5 Ways Small Business Owners Can Start Preparing For Retirement

01/10/2019
Small business owners are often so involved with the day-to-day operations of their business, many feel they don’t have the time to look down the road and plan for retirement.

And as a result, some entrepreneurs may never be ready to retire. According to a survey by Manta, one-third of business owners don’t have any retirement plan, and 75% of respondents to a BMO Wealth survey said they had “$100,000 or less” saved for retirement.

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:: How Much Does Building a Website Cost?

01/27/2019
Estimating the cost to build a website is like asking how much it costs to construct a building. The obvious answer is, It depends on what you want to do with the building.

For small businesses, the answer depends on the main purpose of your website: Is your website solely for marketing purposes? Or do you plan to sell goods and services on it? While one site can certainly do both, its main purpose should guide your selection as to which hosting platform and design software are best suited for your business.

complete article

:: 15 Examples of Augmented Reality to Inspire Small Business Owners

01/06/2019
Incorporating augmented reality (AR), whereby an interactive experience of a real-world environment is created by computer-generated perceptual information, into business operations, marketing and functions, is not confined to big businesses with big budgets to play around with.

On the contrary, many small businesses are jumping on the burgeoning AR bandwagon, as a means of attracting new customers, retaining existing ones, and ultimately becoming more competitive and profitable.

complete article

:: Top Small Business Manufacturing Trends in 2018

01/04/2019
The global manufacturing market has experienced a myriad of changes in recent years. Particularly in the U.S., automation, offshoring and technology have made a major impact on manufacturing businesses of all sizes.

Manufacturing Trends
Here are some facts and statistics that illustrate these prominent industry trends.

Manufacturing Market Size
The median annual revenue for manufacturing companies is between $50 and $100 million per year.
About 7 percent of manufacturing companies have annual revenues under $1 million.
In the U.S., manufacturing makes up 12 percent of the national output.

complete article

:: Innovation is Hot, Hot, Hot! Expect More of It in the Small Business Sector in 2019.

01/02/2019
This past year, 2018, has been a very good one for innovation. We've seen the blockchain boom, the increase in low-code and no-code app development, the start of the rollout of 5G technology and AI and AR: All came into their own with countless programs and applications for both business and consumer life.

On the coattails of such a year, I believe that 2019 has the opportunity to show even more promise. Here are the trends I predict we will see in small businesses and across the industry as a whole:

complete article

:: How to Boost Post-Holiday Sales

01/02/2019
For businesses large and small, the annual holiday season really is the most wonderful time of the year, to quote the classic tune. Customers looking to spread a little cheer among their loved ones come out in droves to get the newest toys, try out the latest services and end the year spending more money than they did the previous year.

complete article

:: The Biggest Reason Why the U.S. Needs Small Businesses to Thrive Has Nothing to Do With Taxes or the Economy

12/31/2018
Despite recent stock market turmoil, everywhere you looked this year someone was heralding the strength of the economy, which grew at 3.5 percent in the third quarter. However, not all economic growth favors small businesses, and some even detracts from it. The Inc. Entrepreneurship Index, which measures the quarterly health of the U.S. startup economy, currently sits at 83 out of 100 for the third quarter of 2018. This is down two points from the second quarter and a full nine points from the first quarter of 2017, when our Index peaked. Our indicator sees one factor in particular still dragging like an anchor on the startup economy: job growth.

Even though overall economic conditions have been largely favorable, small businesses have hit a growth ceiling as larger companies--bolstered by generally strong market conditions, favorable tax policies, support from local governments, and easing federal regulations--have been gobbling up talent. This is why, for the past year, the Index has shown a startup economy that is strong but slowing.

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