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:: Uncertainty Strangles Small Businesses

Businesses require two critical ingredients in order to expand and succeed: a clear understanding of what their costs are going to be, and access to capital. The current political and regulatory environment leaves them void of both.

When companies, it does not matter if it is a mom-and-pop operation or multi-national corporation, face uncertainty, they all do the same thing: nothing. Or, at least as little as possible when it comes to spending money. It is the reason trillions of dollars are currently sitting in corporate bank accounts; and unless its a bank, that is not what a company should do with its excess cash. Companies are supposed to invest it in the business in order to develop new or better products or services, increase its earnings and hire more employees.

Uncertainty Strangles Small Businesses

:: Social Media and Small Businesses

Never doubt the power of social media. In Todays Living, Twitter and Facebook, the new face of business and advertising.

A growing number of small business owners are finding word of mouth advertising on the web is allowing them to go global.

It does not get more local than this: a 30-minute photo shop in Irvine, California same storefront since 1990. But this is an international enterprise now.

complete article

:: SBA Awards Grants to 20 Universities and Organizations To Support Small Business Innovation

Supporting programs for innovative, technology-driven small businesses under SBAs Federal and State Technology (FAST) partnership program, the U.S. Small Business Administration has granted $100,000 awards to 20 state and local economic development agencies, business development centers, and colleges and universities. Candidates were submitted by the governors of all 50 U.S. states and territories.

The FAST Program is designed to stimulate economic development among small, high technology businesses through federally-funded innovation and research and development programs like the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). The project and budget periods are for 12 months, starting Sept. 30, 2010.

:: Innovation for Small Businesses

Innovation is what keeps small business thriving and prospering. That was part of the message this week from Rick Briand, an account manager with the Business Development Bank of Canada, who spoke at a kick-off event for Small Business Week.

Briand told the Chamber of Commerce luncheon that innovation does not necessarily mean having a Eureka moment and relying on new technology.

Innovation the Key to Business Success

:: Small Businesses A Good Investment?

In the world of high-yield securities, small business  loans are safer than junk bonds, and are expected to get even less risky over the next two years, according to PayNet, which provides risk-management tools to the commercial lending industry.

complete article

:: Social Media Is Key To Small Business Marketing

One of the most cost-effective ways for small business owners to increase sales is by getting plugged in to the world of social media.

Social networks such as Facebook or Twitter allow a company of any size to add a whole new weapon to its marketing arsenal. Tech-savvy marketing experts like Tomica Bonner say that, thanks to the rapid growth in the pace of technology, businesses can learn more about what their customers want and see how to increase profits.

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:: Small Businesses Say Recession is NOT Over

The National Bureau of Economic Research declared that the recession ended in 2009. The NBER may feel confident about its predictions, but the small business trends website paints a much different picture. The Obama white house has claimed that small businesses are the key to economic recovery.

Recession Not Over

:: Negotiations

Negotiation really is an art, and can be a challenge to master for even the most astute business professional. And like any art form, it must be refined and crafted. Getting a good deal can result in a feeling of euphoria. So, how does one negotiate a good deal? It can be difficult, especially if the other party appears to be holding all the cards. Follow these tips to help negotiate a great deal...


:: Social Media Plan

How can you get more attention with your blog posts while showing the proper respect for the blog owner and his/her audience? How do you create an unforgettable social media experience with tools like Facebook that will really make a difference for your business bottom line? What strategies should you use, what design and tool resources can you employee to ensure your brand rises above the rest and what goals do you - should you have when approaching social media in the first place. We’ve got some answers drawn from across the Web that should build on knowledge and encourage discussion. Social media best practices for your small business are here.

Social Media Plan

:: Plan for Small Businesses

The Democratic-controlled Congress on Thursday sent President Barack Obama a long-delayed bill to help struggling small businesses with easier credit and other incentives to expand and hire new workers.

The $40 billion-plus bill is the last vestige of the heralded jobs agenda that Obama and Democrats promoted early this year. They ended up delivering only a fraction of what they promised after Senate Republicans blocked most of the agenda with filibusters.

The Senate passed the measure last week. The 237-187 House vote Thursday that sent the bill to the president split along party lines as Democrats praised the measure for creating a $30 billion federal fund to help smaller banks issue loans to small businesses and for cutting taxes by $12 billion over the coming decade.

complete article

:: Nearly Half of Small-Business Owners May Never Retire

Nearly half, 47%, of small-business owners now plan to never retire until forced to do so for health reasons -- up from about 4 in 10 in 2005 and 2007 -- according to a recent Wells Fargo-Gallup Small Business Index poll. Another 41% plan to cut back on work but stay involved with their business when they retire. Those planning to stop working in their business altogether fell to 1 in 10 during 2010 from nearly twice that level in 2005

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:: What Is a Small Business?

A small business is many things. To define them purely by numbers is to miss their rich diversity and abundance.

You can recognize a small business when you see it. A self-employed plumber or builder, that independent store run by a hard-working couple, or those kids cooking up a new internet service from their garage or bedrooms.

Some small businesses will never grow into anything else, because their owners do not want them to. A self-employed architect or carpenter may well have chosen that path for the independence it offers and they don't aspire to establishing a commercial empire.

The small business is a haven for the specialist who loves what they do and want to remain hands-on, without the pressure of moving into management.

A small business can represent innovation. Many entrepreneurs start with a small business, as they convert their exciting ideas for a new product or service into a saleable commodity. A true entrepreneur doesn't want to stay small, just as they don't want to stay in the same business for too long. For them the excitement is the in start-up phase, turning a concept into a reality and then moving on.

Many small businesses are an escape route from corporate life. Droves of professionals yearn to be self-employed, free of the office cubicle, with its burdens of management expectation, bureaucracy and internal politics. Of course, working for yourself requires adherence to a new set of rules and ways of working, but it has the benefit of feeling much freer.

What is a Small Business

:: Minimum Wage Increase Causes Small Business Problems

Imagine if your monthly heating bill jumped to $130 from $100. How would you pay for this? What would you need to do — or not do — to find that extra $30 every month?

That is essentially the challenge many of our provinces smallest businesses have faced during the past few years. Only it’s not their heating bill that is increased, it is the amount the province requires them to pay employees earning minimum wage.

complete article

:: Small Business Support Will Boost Economy

Fixing the economy and addressing the state budget shortfall are on a lot of people's minds right now, including mine. As a small business owner, dealing with red ink is the kind of thing that will keep you up at night.

To create jobs and cut the deficit, we need to jumpstart the economy and support small businesses that are poised to expand and lead the recovery. As a small business owner, and one who works with many other businesses to address their financing needs, I believe addressing the small business credit crunch and reinvesting money from expiring tax cuts to support local economies are two effective ways to move the economy forward.

:: Small Businesses Worry About Taxes

President Barack Obama wants to phase out the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, those individuals making more than $200,000 a year, or $250,000 a household. But some small-business owners are worried they could get trapped in that wealthiest Americans net because their business income doubles as personal income.

Precisely how many small-business owners will get caught in that situation is hard to say.

Most small businesses -- barber shops and restaurants and small manufacturers -- do not clear $250,000 a year in profits, and of those that do, many pay presidents and owners a salary for tax purposes.

complete article

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