:: 2016 Social Media Trends
Businesses Need to Take Note of
Social media has become a necessary business tool
for companies big and small. There are now more than 2 billion
active social media users around the world, according to
a LinkedIn article about upcoming social media trends. More
people are now regularly using social media than the populations
of the United States and China combined, and the number
is growing at a clip of 25 percent a year.
:: Small Business 2016 New Years Resolutions
Take the time to understand your finances
Understanding the nitty gritty of your finances is crucial
to running a successful small business, but this is especially
true if you're coming from a place of bad credit. The best
way to get a handle on your finances, says Brad Farris,
a business advisor with Anchor Advisors, is to sit down
once a month and review your income statement, balance sheet
and cash flow for the prior month. Use the time to look
for changes and trends, as well as to monitor your receivables
:: 77 Percent of U.S. Consumers
are Planning to Shop Small
As small business owners across the nation gear
up for Small Business Saturday, a record number of shoppers
are making plans to support their favorite local businesses.
According to the fourth-annual Small Business Saturday Consumer
Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of
Independent Businesses and American Express, supporting
local small businesses continues to be a priority for shoppers
:: 10 Ways Small Businesses Can Be Big
Getting found online can be a tough thing to do
at times. Lucky for you, I am pretty good at it and really
enjoy getting my sites ranked. Traffic can mean the difference
in staying in business and not. Over the years I have started
several businesses and the ones that succeed are the ones
that consistently grow in organic traffic. I have put together
a list of things that I would do to get your business ranked
Here are 10 ways that small business owners can get their
business ranked on Google:
:: 10 Holiday Marketing
Trends Every Small Business Should Leverage
Small business owners already have a lot on their
plates during this time of year, so when it comes to holiday
marketing, it can all feel a bit overwhelming. Staples is
here to help. Beyond being the one-stop shop for everything
small businesses need to make more happen, below are some
tips to help small businesses capitalize on this seasons
:: Email Security for Small Business
How to Improve Email Security
In addition to a strong email security solution, small businesses
need to make sure that their employees use best practices
when it comes to handling email. Michél Bechard, director
of service provider technologies at Comodo, an Internet
security company, says that SMBs need to teach employees
how to spot and handle malicious email.
:: A Simple Tool for Small
Businesses to Retain Employees
When a key employee quits, it is a gut-wrenching
experience for most small-business owners.
That single loss will likely result in a significant performance
drop for the firm because that lost employee might represent
an entire function. The drain will last for months because
a good replacement takes time to recruit, hire, train and
get up to speed. Plus, a significant portion of the manager’s
time will be diverted toward recruiting and training a replacement.
Most small-business managers know little about retention.
Their focus is often elsewhere. So they find themselves
completely surprised when a key employee quits.
:: 12 Ways to Make a Difference at Work:
CEOs and Strategists Explain
Regardless of your job title, your role can make
a difference. It comes down to leadership and understanding
how to champion ideas and build trust. Read on
for advice from 12 CEOs, founders, presidents and thought
leaders to learn how you maximize every opportunity to make
an impact at work.
:: 6 Cool Gadgets for 2016
Each year, I gaze into my crystal ball (which is
getting a little smudged lately and needs an upgrade itself)
to preview what will become available next year in the world
of gadgets and technology. Fortunately, these new products
are much more likely to make their debut, given the companies
behind them have committed to making them happen.
:: How to Manage People (Without Making
Them Hate You)
How to Manage People (Without Making Them Hate
You) - video
:: 5 Ways to Maximize Word-of-Mouth
If word-of-mouth marketing sounds simple, do not
be fooled -- it is not. Creating cutting edge buzz-worthy
messages that go viral is no easy task.
While more than half of small business owners anticipate
growth for their businesses in 2015, according to a Small
Business Report, 56 percent say they are investing less
than 3 percent on marketing. When they do invest, most of
these business owners are likely thinking about traditional
forms of advertising or collecting new customers instead
of connecting with them.
:: The Essential Guide to Writing a Business
The best sorts of business plans tell a clear story
of what the company plans to do and how it will do it. Given
the high failure rate of startups in their first year, a
business plan is also an ideal opportunity to safely test
out the feasibility of a business and spot flaws, set aside
unrealistic projections and identify and analyze the competition.
:: Are they independent
contractors or employees?
The question becomes, what would your customer
do when they turn to you and then you hire an independent
You are not ready to bring on a fulltime employee yet. But
your customer is thinking at this point, why do not I hire
the independent contractor and save some money? Does this
scenario sound familiar to you?
:: Is Amazon Killing Small Businesses?
The Perceived Amazon Effect
As David and I spoke, he echoed some thoughts that many
small businesses have also shared with me. Many businesses
see customers come into their stores to learn, and then
they make their purchases online via Amazon or other online
retailers. The online retailers don’t have the overhead
of a brick and mortar store. For one of the products, David
mentioned that I can purchase it on Amazon for less than
he can purchase it. Of course, in his local market, his
Yelp reviews show how much his customers love his store
and appreciate his value. If he was local to me, I would
happily pay a premium for their high level of service and
:: Small Business: How to
price your product or service
Pricing can be quite difficult to compute.
There are so many factors to take into account it boggles
the mind. The simple way to approach pricing for
a product is to create a spread sheet that will calculate
it for you.
For example, when I make a gluten free mix, the Food and
Drug Administration requires I report each product based
on total grams, converted to ounces and pounds, which is
then reported on the box. The ingredient list on the box
is reported by heaviest ingredient to the least weight.
This is used to calculate the Nutritional Statement by an
outside company based on each serving. WHEW!
:: Three Baseline IT Security Tips for
Millions of small businesses are vulnerable to
cybersecurity attacks that can cost an average of $20,000
per attack. Here is some basic wisdom to help SMBs protect
:: Why Are Not More Small
Businesses Using SEO?
For more than a decade, thousands of businesses
have enjoyed the benefits of high rankings in Google searches
(and searches on competing engines) thanks to their SEO
efforts. Larger corporations pour hundreds of thousands
of dollars and allocate entire departments to gaining more
online visibility, but even small- to mid-sized businesses
can use a fraction of that budget to get more traffic and
However, according to a recent survey by the Small Business
Authority (SBA), less than 50 percent of small business
owners in the United States think of inbound traffic from
search engines as an important source of future business.
Another 14 percent declared themselves unsure.
:: 7 Credit Card Perks for Small Business
Owners of both new and established small businesses
can benefit from a broad range of valuable perks offered
with credit cards. Business credit cards not only provide
a means for building and establishing business credit, but
they can assist in record-keeping, preserving cash flow
and separating business and personal finances. Much like
consumer credit cards, the right business card can offer
a plethora of rewards that you can redeem for flights, hotel
stays and cash back on purchases.
Here are seven significant credit card perks for small business
:: Cast Your Vote for Your
Top Small Business Influencer Pick
You nominated them and now it’s time to cast
your vote to support your pick. Small Business Trends and
Small Biz Technology bring you the Small Business Influencer
Awards 2015. Here’s a chance to celebrate the people,
businesses, and even apps that have made an impact in the
small business market.
Even if you missed the nominations, you can still jump in
and vote for your favorite. But you might want to hurry.
There is less than a week left to vote!
To see a full list or to submit your own event, contest
or award listing, visit the Small Business Events Calendar.
:: Guide to Small Business Ideas
You know you want to start a business and give
yourself the best shot at success, but perhaps you’re
still considering the kind of business you want to pursue.
After all, you probably have a number of small-business
One thing is for certain: the type of business you start
should be well-suited for your expertise and business goals.
Successful entrepreneurs bring their varied experiences
and skills and allow these assets to inform their business
So, assess your priorities and lifestyle and business goals.
:: Three Kinds of Logos
Though a diverse range of logos exist, logo designs
can ultimately be categorized into three different general
styles. Each of these styles tends to suit different aesthetics
differently. For this reason, you may find that a certain
style of logo seems better suited to your purposes than
the others depending on the nature and niche of the brand
you intend to build. The three main types of logos are as
Kinds of Logos
:: 20 Productivity Apps
Apps mainly do two things: They either distract
us or keep us on track. If you are a busy entrepreneur or
someone who works for one, it is best to stick to the latter
kind, at least during working hours, especially if you want
to be a productivity powerhouse.
Productivity apps can give you -- and, yes, your boss, too
-- a leg up on putting your most organized, efficient professional
:: Need a Business Idea?
Here are 55
Today, tens of thousands of people are considering
starting a home based business, and for good reasons. On
average, people can expect to have two and three careers
during their work life. Those leaving one career often think
about their second or third career move being to their own
home. People who have been part of the traditional nine-to-five
work force and are on the verge of retiring from that life
are thinking of what to do next. The good news: Starting
a homebased business is within the reach of almost anyone
who wants to take a risk and work hard.
:: Online Marketing Trends and Tools
One of the most important events of 2015 was the
shift from the amount of desktop traffic compared to the
amount of mobile traffic. Google reported that mobile traffic
overtook desktop traffic in 10 different countries. The
search engine algorithm for Google was changed to give companies
who offered mobile optimized versions of their sites higher
rankings than sites that were not optimized for mobile.
The increase in mobile traffic combined with five times
as many cellphones as desktop and laptop computers means
that mobile traffic will become a priority.
:: 5 Investments Every Smart
Small Business Owner Makes
It is easier than ever to start a business from
scratch without any overhead costs, which is great news
for aspiring business owners who do not have the capital
to start anything big. But to grow a business from an idea
to something profitable, you do have to put some money into
it. Here are five investments you should make to grow your
:: What Scares You as a Small Business
Fear stops the decision-making process because
fear is a decision, a decision not to take action, a decision
to accept the status quo.
For some small business owners, fear is seen in their reluctance
to speak, to share an emotionally compelling reason why
a potential buyer should connect with them.
:: 34% of U.S. Small Businesses
Have Been Hit by Disasters - It Pays to Be Prepared
No business owner ever expects it to happen. After
closing up for the day or the week, a phone call at 6 a.m.
lets you know that the severe storm that passed through
town overnight took a punch at your small business, with
flood damage, fire, tornado or other damage.
Or it could have been an earthquake or hurricane. Still,
what may have taken years to build is in ruins. How do you
begin to recover?
:: Uberfying: How to Run a Traditional
Business in the Digitial Age
Over the last few years, a new generation of digital
apps such as Uber and Just Eat have been available to download
to our smartphones and tablets. They are designed to make
it easier to find a taxi or order a meal, but have received
as much criticism as they have praise for the way they have
taken control of traditional markets and damaged business
We spoke to two businesses – one in the takeaway industry
and the other in the private minicab industry – about
the challenges these disruptive companies pose, what they
are doing to combat them and how other small businesses
can follow suit.