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:: 10 Hiring Tips for Your Small Businesses

Hiring is one of the most important things an entrepreneur will do to grow her company. For a small business, each new hire has a tremendous impact and influences the company's culture far more than a new hire at a 200- or 500-person company. The stakes are high, so you need to ensure that each of your new hires is a passionate, engaged and committed team player.

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:: 5 New Year Resolutions for Small Businesses

1. File all of that legal paperwork.

2. Re-Analyze your ROI.

3. Get your estimated tax payment in.

4. Explore social media.

5. Update your site.

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:: Big Issues Facing Small Businesses

Small-business owners are probably glad to put 2013 into the books.

For many, it was a frustrating year of waiting. Waiting to learn about the new health care law. Waiting for lawmakers to solve budget disagreements. And waiting for the economy to improve. Many put off big decisions like purchasing equipment and hiring as they sought clarity. But in the end, owners fought inertia and appear to be looking forward to 2014. Hiring seems to be showing an uptick and lending to small businesses is improving.

Here is a look back at some of the big issues small-business owners faced this year:

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:: 6 Ways Small Businesses Can Do Big Business

I learned a lot about selling to corporate America from a mentor, who once worked as a sales professional focused on business-to-business customers. He sold telecommunications systems and services to large corporations in the highly competitive retail market. Although million dollar deals were common for him, he taught me that the fundamentals of sales are the same when closing any sized deal. Here are six ways small businesses can do business with corporations.

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:: 5 Small Business Mistakes to Avoid in 2014

Believe it or not, it is creeping up on the end of the year again, which means it is time to start lying to ourselves about how few carbs we are going to eat and how many sit-ups we are going to do in the coming year. December is also the time when small business owners should be taking stock of how things have gone over the past 12 months and looking ahead to the future. The things we vow to do and do better at in our professional lives are to be taken seriously. Below is our list of 5 things we think are likely mistakes for small business owners to make in 2014. Read, avoid, and be ahead of the curve.

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:: Why Do New York Politicians Hate Small Businesses

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed a commission to figure out how to make the Empire State more business-friendly and change its reputation for high taxes. The New York state government is now running commercials on national television touting the tax breaks that businesses can get by relocating there.

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:: Answer Your Softwares Question

Software developers often struggle with choosing what kind of content to present on their website. To alleviate this problem, we have defined a simple set of criteria that will assist developers in providing the best variety of content for their website visitors; if your websites content is comprehensive, it should answer all of the following questions:

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:: Develop Content Worth Linking To

All webmasters have heard the adage, content is king. However, the struggle to discern what types of content to develop is one that webmasters have yet to conquer. If you are familiar with this dilemma, you should know that Googles latest algorithm changes cause Google to assess how visitors interact with a website. This data from a visitors experience is now used in organic search ranking. Therefore, you must create content that visitors will not only click on, but that they will spend time reading and even return to. For content development success, develop content not only worth linking to, but worth spending time on!

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:: 5 SEO Mistakes Small Businesses Make

Most businesses understand the importance of implementing SEO tactics into their overall marketing strategy.  However, many executives still think that there is a one size fits all SEO program, and by simply copying the same methods as their competitors they will see an instant improvement in their companies search rankings.

Unfortunately for these misguided professionals, a SEO strategy is highly personal.  Creating a tailored SEO strategy customized for a specific business' profile, goals, and budget can mean the difference between first page results and search engine oblivion.  This is especially true for small businesses.  With limited time, resources, and specific audiences, small businesses need to be extremely measured in how they implement their SEO program in order to maximize their return on investment.  Yet many small businesses make the same mistakes over and over in their optimization programs.  The following 5 mistakes are the most egregious, and, when fixed, could provide the biggest boost.

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:: 2014 Small Business Wish List

According to the j2 Global Forecast Survey, 28.16% of small business professionals say increasing their online presence, such as setting up a website or online store, is a top 2014 marketing priority. Other New Years resolutions include adopting email marketing automation to easily and efficiently reach customers (23.61%), using email to effectively inspire referrals and sharing on social networks (20.52%), implementing mobile marketing best practices, such as for email and website optimization (13.76%), and ensuring that email marketing efforts don't end up in the spam filters or Gmail tabs (11.05%).

SMBs expect that 2014 will be a big year for mobile, as well. And they want to do everything they can to prepare. According to the survey, 70.27% of SMB professionals have used or plan on using Facebooks mobile app for business and marketing purposes. Twitter (43.24%), YouTube (34.79%), and Instagram (16.29%) mobile apps are also must-haves for next year.

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:: 50 Coolest Businesses

This year we found the coolest small businesses in New York, Austin, New Orleans, Detroit, Seattle, and D.C., but small businesses in many other American cities are continuing to innovate like never before.

These up-and-comers—like a floating island restaurant, a vegan strip club, and a pirate supply shop— are shaking up the food and retail industries.

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:: SBA Seeks Business Names

The U.S. Small Business Administration New Mexico District Office is seeking successful and inspiring entrepreneurs to represent the state during the 2014 National Small Business Awards event hosted by the SBA.

Nominations are due Jan. 17.

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:: Affordable Care Impact on Small Businesses

But many small businesses, like mine, have also been notified that the plans we offer our employees will be canceled and replaced with more expensive alternatives.

This calls into question another of the Affordable Care Acts promises — that it will not hurt hiring. As a small business owner who is looking at the numbers, I can safely say this promise simply is not true.

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:: Working From Home

Developments in technology have made it possible, if not easy, for small businesses and employees to telecommute. Working from home can be quite a different experience from an office job, and many find it a preferable one. However, those who work from home may also face some of the intrinsic downsides of telecommuting. To sort out the good and the bad of telecommuting, we have compiled a list of the major pros and cons that those who work from home might experience.

Working From Home

:: Building a Successful Community

Building an online community demands time and sustained effort. While numbers are not everything when it comes to communities, there are several tricks that can increase the number of subscribers to your forum. However, it is important to note that a large number of members does not determine the success of a community; a smaller number of active and interested members can often result in a very successful online community.

Building a Successful Community

:: How to Use Pinterest for Business

Remember that guy who created the perfect wedding for his wife using her Pinterest? No. Well remember that time you got a bunch of new customers using Pinterest? You should. It is happening, this internet giant is making the jump from time-waster to marketing tool with the rest of it is social media friends, and it is time for all small business owners to get on board.

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:: Delay in Health Law for Small Businesses

The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a one-year delay in a major element of the new health care law that would allow small businesses to buy insurance online for their employees through the new federal marketplace.

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:: Small Businesses Compete for Shoppers

Big-box retailers may be preparing for Black Friday but for small, family-owned shops, this time of the year is just as important for business. However, it is not always easy for smaller retailers to compete.

Shopping in the village of La Jolla is far different than walking through your local mall. Still, shopkeepers in the village are also trying to make a living, which is sometimes easier said than done.

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:: Small Businesses Cautious

Small-business owners do not want to be Scrooge, but a pessimistic outlook this holiday season means many are cutting back on gifts, parties and bonuses.

A new survey from American Express OPEN indicates that less than a third of small retailers think holiday sales will be strong this year – down from 41% last year – and 34% of all small businesses expect this season will be weak. The government shutdown and other economic uncertainties are weighing heavily on small business owners’ minds, says Alice Bredin, Small Business Advisor to American Express.

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:: Need Business Cards?


:: Corporate Gifts

Need an Idea for a Corporate Gift? Check out some of these websites for ideas.

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