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Small Business Blog
daily small business software blog
:: Making Better
Cash Flow Forecasts
A key element of controlling cash is
to forecast cash flows and requirements. This
entails forecasting and tabulating all significant
cash inflows relating to sales, new loans, interest
received etc. and then analyzing in detail the
timing of expected payments relating to suppliers,
wages, other expenses, capital expenditure,
loan repayments, dividends, tax, interest payments
The difference between the cash in- and out-flows
within a given period indicates the net cash
flow. When this net cash flow is added to or
subtracted from opening bank balances, any likely
short-term bank funding requirements can be
:: SBA Introduces Online Resource
For Small Business Email Marketing
Want to try marketing via email, but
are unsure about how to go about it? A new resource
unveiled by the Small Business Administration
(SBA) might be able to help.
Co-sponsored by Constant Contact, a self-described
"do it yourself" email marketing service, this
new email marketing resource is available through
the SBA's Online Small Business Training Network
now at http://sba.email-marketing-101.com/.
The site includes "Email Markeitng 101, a free
on-demand Web seminar series that provides small
businesses with email marketing education, easy-to-follow
instructions, and advice.
:: Steps to Creating
and Promoting RSS
RSS, or Really Simple Syndication as
it is commonly known, is a technology that gives
webmasters the ability to easily distribute
and publish syndicated content on the Internet.
It seems like all Internet businesses now have
RSS feeds available; at least your competitors
do. You have finally made the decision that
you have to have one. Where do you start?
Steps to Creating an RSS feed
:: Is Amazon the New Big Brother?
The debate is on with the privacy fanatics
on the left and the smart marketers on the right.
Amazon tracks the purchasing and browsing habits
of their customers, some feel this is an invasion
of privacy rights while still others feel that
this is simply a form of intelligent targeted
Amazon.com Knows and Predicts Shopping
:: Create Good Content
Danny Sullivan just has a knack for
saying things the right way!
"Sooner or later, virtually everyone who
practices search engine optimization learns
the most important "secret" to creating high
ranking web pages. Often, after spending hours
struggling with the arcana of tuning meta tags,
balancing keyword density or spending hours
in futile attempts at securing reciprocal links,
most people finally see the light. The "secret"
to high ranking web pages is almost frustratingly
simple: Create good content."
:: Innovative Ways to Display
RSS is a form of eXtensible Markup Language
or XML. Viewing an RSS feed in a web browser
generally produces code that is not easy for
website visitors to decipher. As a result, webmasters
use tools to display the content contained in
an RSS feed.
Content contained in RSS feeds can be added
to websites a number of different ways. Each
method for displaying the RSS feed has pros
and cons associated with it. Webmasters will
need to determine which option will best meet
their hosting and technology needs.
Displaying RSS Complete Article
:: Unraveling Google
and Understanding the Infamous Google Sandbox
There is a great article on Axandra that tackles the age old question
of how long it takes to get listed in Google.
The article explains Google Sandbox and ways
to expedite listings.
:: Feds Aim To Reduce Access
To Social Security Numbers
Prompted by an incident in which personal
information was fraudulently obtained from data
broker ChoicePoint Inc., Congress is likely
to enact legislation to limit the sale of Social
Security numbers, a key lawmaker said last week.
But the CEOs of ChoicePoint and information
broker LexisNexis Group's U.S. Corporate and
Federal Government Markets cautioned the lawmakers
not to ban all sales of Social Security numbers.
:: Interesting article
on Search Engine Optimization
The article is interesting, I don't
agree 100% with the sentiment expressed but
its a view worth considering.
"Greg Boser manipulates search engines for
a living, and there's little the Googles of
the world can do about it."
"Boser, who owns and operates WebGuerrilla,
a web marketing outfit based in Valencia, California,
is not alone. An entire industry of search engine
optimizers, called SEOs, has sprung up, many
of which take advantage of loopholes in the
way rankings are calculated."
The best line is at the very end of the article
"Finally, there is "search spam," which are
machine-generated pages designed to appear in
the engines to attract traffic (and ultimately
But Boser defines search spam another way:
"It's any site that ranks above mine."
complete article - Search Engine Manipulation
:: Yahoo! Debuts Yahoo! 360,
an Innovative New Service That Allows Consumers
to Conveniently Communicate and Connect with the
People They Know
Yahoo! Users Can Now Create and Share
Blogs; Share Photos from the Web or a Mobile
Device; Recommend Favorites and More .
Yahoo!, the No. 1 Internet brand and the most
trafficked Internet destination worldwide, today
announced Yahoo! 360, an innovative new service
that allows people to easily share what matters
most to them and keep connected with the people
they know -- all in one convenient place. Available
March 29 through an invitation-only beta, Yahoo!
360 will provide users with an integrated experience,
seamlessly bringing together popular communications,
content and community services such as Yahoo!
Messenger(R), Yahoo! Photos, Yahoo! Local, LAUNCHcast
Music and Yahoo! Groups with new services like
web logs (blogs), mobile blogging (moblogging)
and other sharing tools for recommending favorite
movies, restaurants, music and more. The company
plans to add additional features and functionality
throughout the beta period.
"Consumers are looking for a new type of service
that takes the best of first generation social
networking services and successfully integrates
it with communications, self-publishing and
community tools," said Dan Rosensweig, chief
operating officer of Yahoo!. "Yahoo! 360 will
offer consumers an innovative and engaging way
for people to share their lives, leverage their
community and get the most out of their online
The Yahoo! 360 beta is designed to give consumers
the control to share what they want, with whom
they want, in the way that they want, thanks
to unprecedented privacy and sharing controls.
Yahoo! 360 will also be the first service to
offer a convenient "My Friends" page that gives
consumers a full perspective on the latest postings
and new content from the people they know. Consumers
will also be able to view their friends' blogs
on My Yahoo!, with Yahoo!'s Mobile Internet
service or through any RSS reader.
:: SEO for RSS
In some ways RSS is very similar to
HTML, the language commonly used to create websites.
Just as with HTML, webmasters using traditional
search engine optimization tactics when creating
an RSS feed will find that their RSS feed receives
additional exposure and interest.
Complete Article - SEO for RSS
:: TPW Text-to-Hyperlink Conversion
Very cool tool to automatically convert
links to hyper-links. Insert article or text
that include an url and the converter automatically
converts the links to live hyper links.
:: Yahoo Beefs Up
Small Business Site
Yahoo has revamped the information resources
section of its small business site, increasing
the section's content tenfold, redesigning the
layout, and adding search functionality, according
to a Yahoo executive.
The resource center will feature about 1000
articles on topics such as legal issues, starting
a business, sales and marketing, e-commerce,
and finances. The content comes from Yahoo and
from a variety of partners, such as Inc. magazine,
Entrepreneur.com, and Nolo.
:: Are you apt to make mistakes?
You're not alone. Find out how to avoid these
8 common pitfalls.
Businesspeople don't necessarily follow
flawed strategies because they're greedy, arrogant
or careless. Our brains are wired in ways that
tend to prevent us from following tried-and-true
That's the view of Charles Roxburgh, a London
director of consulting firm McKinsey & Co.
who cites behavioral economics studies that
show decision-makers commit similar mistakes
in ways that suggest irrational behavior is
:: Innovative Business
Use of RSS as a Technology
RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, is
a new way to broadcast corporate news and structured
information. RSS offers a quick, easy corporate
communication channel. The RSS contents are
published as a feed and the feed's content keep
customers, partners and journalists abreast
of corporate news and information. The RSS feeds
are read using a tool referred to as a news
aggregator, or an RSS reader. The aggregator
periodically checks to see if the RSS feed has
been updated. As the feed is updated, new information
will automatically appear in the RSS reader.
While RSS was at one point only considered to
be a means to deliver news headlines, RSS has
quickly become a powerful medium to disseminate
all kinds of information. As traditional marketers
are attempting to rein in content delivery,
measuring e-mail open rates, click-throughs
and conversions, Internet users are fighting
to gain control over the content they receive.
Savvy marketers and business owners are using
RSS as a way to improve corporate communication
and increase their external exposure and brand
Additional Details - Innovative Business Use of RSS as a Technology
:: US Domain Owners Lose Privacy
The U.S. Commerce Department has ordered
companies that administer internet addresses
to stop allowing customers to register .us domain
names anonymously using proxy services.
The move does not affect owners of .com and
.net domains. But it means website owners with
.us domains will no longer be able to shield
their name and contact information from public
The Electronic Privacy Information Center said
the move violates First Amendment rights to
anonymous free speech. And the representative
of one of the largest domain-registration companies
is concerned that customers who have been victims
of stalkers won't be able to protect their privacy
without changing their web address to a domain
that offers anonymity.
:: Google Formally
Launches Desktop Search
Google Inc. late on Sunday made its
desktop search widely available as it takes
on rivals Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. in
the race to help users find e-mail and files
stored on computer hard drives.
Google in October was the first major search
company to roll out a test version of its desktop
Google Desktop Search locates e-mail, AOL chat
sessions and previously viewed Web pages. It
also searches various file types, from PDFs
and Microsoft Word files to audio, video and
Office workers and other computer users previously
had few effective tools for finding documents
and e-mail buried on their personal computers.
Search companies and others have jumped in to
fill that void with the hope of replicating
the success Web search has enjoyed.
:: Kerry Takes On Small-Business
If you've been wondering what John Kerry
has been doing since he lost the presidential
race against President George W. Bush, look
no further. The Massachusetts senator has called
for a full audit of the federal government's
Small Business Administration (SBA) for fiscal
2003 in an effort to ensure the SBA is protecting
small businesses. A December 2004 report from
the SBA Office of Advocacy found that more than
$2 billion in federal contracts that were designated
for small businesses in fiscal 2002, many of
which were IT-focused, were, in fact, awarded
to large and midsize companies. Kerry called
for the SBA to investigate 44 firms.
:: Yahoo is 10 Years
Its official today is Yahoo's birthday.
As a search engine and directory it certainly
has evolved. One thing that can not be argued
is that Yahoo has staying power.
:: Keywords and Four Word Searches
Internet users who use four-word searches
are more likely to purchase goods or services
or receive items of value than those using fewer
Keep this in mind when selecting search phrases
for pay-per-click search engines.
:: Podcasting is Not
Just for Music
Although podcasting is new, it is well
on its way to becoming a mainstream communication
medium. Podcasting, simply put, is audio files
that are delivered via RSS. Many people believe
that podcasting is solely for the distribution
of music files, but really, nothing could be
further from the truth. This emerging method
of audio file distribution has opened an array
of marketing and communication opportunities
to businesses. Currently, most who are familiar
with podcasting are technically savvy, but it
is clear that podcasting will be more than a
passing fad as many businesses are adopting
podcasting and employing it in unusual yet powerful
ways. Podcasting can be used for talk shows,
tutorials, music demos, educational training,
stories, comedy clips, debates or even foreign
Complete Article - Podcasting is Not Just for Music
RSS Feed -
December 2004 Blog