:: Small Business Owners Sacrifice in
the Face of a Failing Economy
Small and medium-sized businesses played a key
role in helping Canada move forward from the 2008-2009 recession,
with many owners making personal sacrifices to help their
businesses survive, according to a new report from The Canadian
Federation of Independent Business.
The report found that 62 per cent of business owners
worked longer hours; 43 per cent cut their own salaries
including one owner who had not taken a salary since July,
2009); 40 per cent took on more debt; and 37 per cent cancelled
personal holidays to weather the economic storm. Just 20
per cent made no changes in their own behaviour at all.
:: Facebook Marketing Tool
Sheryl Sandberg is new COO of Facebook, the same
position she held at Google. Now, she is working to encourage
businesses to treat each of the 750 million users as potential
customers and advertise with the website.
Among the benefits of a Facebook marketing campaign is that
companies can target their advertising materials, narrowing
demographics down to just one zip code or gender, if they
wish, the news source explains.
:: Tips to Get Things Accomplished
All of us start the day with every intention of
completing a variety of tasks, but unfortunately many of
us become distracted as the day moves on. Or even worse,
we are tasked with crisis management, and at the end of
the day we find that we have made little progress in whittling
down the days planned tasks. As well intentioned as you
may be, it seems to become a routine, and one that far too
many of us fall into.
to Get Things Accomplished
:: Small Business Pessimism
When the country recovered from recessions in
the past, small businesses were usually the first companies
to start hiring. But smaller companies are so pessimistic
now that they are not taking on their historical leadership
The National Federation of Independent Business, which
issues a monthly report on small business optimism, says
confidence in the future of the economy crashed in August.
The group's optimism index -- which it wryly called the
Small Business Pessimism index -- was down for the sixth
:: Small Business Pay For Regulations
Small businesses pay the heaviest price to comply
with these rules. According to the Small Business Administration,
mom-and-pop businesses pay 60 percent more to meet federal
standards than larger corporations. In fact, the cost exceeds
$10,500 per year, per employee. It's no surprise, then,
that small businesses are extremely reluctant to hire new
workers — even if they can — because of the cloud of
uncertainty that billows out of Washington these days.
:: IBM Lending Money to
IBM Corp. will provide $1 billion in financing
over the next 18 months to credit-worthy small and medium
businesses to help them acquire the companys new suite of
Announcing the financing initiative Thursday, officials
at IBM headquarters in Armonk said it is aimed at helping
those businesses spur innovation and drive economic growth
by making credit more easily accessible and eliminating
many of the cost barriers to business growth.
They pointed to U.S. Small Business Administration reports
that more than 50 percent of small businesses fail within
their first five years due to lack of capital.
:: Need Business Cards?
Need inexpensive professional looking business
cards? Checkout the Business
:: Follow Small Business Software
Tweets on Twitter.
:: Cyber Risks to Small Businesses
A band of thieves rents an office in the same building
as a California law firm. They then use that address with
a different suite number to have $70,000 worth of computers
and office furniture delivered using the law firms line
of credit. They load the furniture into a truck and disappear.
In Pennsylvania, thieves place malware on a school districts
computer system and use information gained to siphon about
$700,000 from its bank accounts in 74 transactions over
a two-day period.
:: How Small Businesses
are Coping in Declining Economy
A vast majority of the nations small business owners
expressed concern about the possibility of a double-dip
recession, according to the latest Citibank survey, though
many also said they are successfully coping with uncertain
According to the survey, nine out of 10 small business owners
said they are concerned the nation could slip back into
a recession. But 79% of small business owners said they
are prepared if the economy were to experience another downturn.
:: Number of Small Businesses in Decline
More than 1 million self-employed Americans are
no longer in business almost four years after the last recession
began, as the economy constrains entrepreneurial activity
and small-business job creation.
The 18-month contraction that started in December 2007 initially
resulted in more would-be business owners, as the number
of people who work for themselves grew to 16.3 million in
July 2008 from 15.7 million at the end of 2007, according
to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since then,
the total has fallen about 10 percent to 14.7 million in
July, the data show.
:: Social Media and Small
A pair of florists, a nutritional therapist and
an aspiring coffee shop owner sat among a dozen others in
a small Portland classroom on a recent evening, trying to
understand a big issue. Social media.
The two words are quickly becoming a necessity when it comes
to running a business. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and a
host of other social media outlets promise low-cost, targeted
routes to customers.
More and more companies are joining one or more social networks
to learn how they work -- and how they pay. But many wonder,
if likes and tweets do not lead to sales,
is it all worth it? Small businesses often don't have the
staff or budget to find out, leaving owners to navigate
the networks themselves.
:: Entrepreneurs Need to Keep Stress
There are many rewards in running your own business.
But you must be aware of the tradeoffs and sacrifices that
come with being in charge. Over time, the stress may take
its toll on your physical and emotional health, affecting
your business as well as your relations with employees,
family and friends. Fortunately, there are good ways to
keep business burnout at bay.
First, identify responsibilities or activities that are
causing the stress. What regularly causes your anxiety?
Perhaps you dread mundane tasks like bookkeeping and filing
reports, or having to make sales calls. You may have customers
who are difficult to work with or do not pay invoices on
time. And, because you are responsible for everything your
business does, you may obsess about things beyond your control.
:: Going Mobile With Your
Cellphones have been around for a long time and
many small businesses have them. They are good for phone
calls and basic text messaging. Smartphones - more powerful
cellphones - were introduced to the business world more
recently, and their popularity has grown exponentially ever
Smartphones, such as BlackBerry, are used today for much
more than phone calls and text messaging - small and large
businesses alike rely upon them every day for everything
from email and browsing the Web, organizing calendars and
scheduling appointments, to editing documents and tracking
orders and customer activity. They are essentially pocket-sized
computers that have, arguably, led to a new generation of
mobile workers, new ways of doing business and the emergence
of a new type of office - the mobile office.
:: Small Businesses Hit Harder By Disaster
For East Coast business owners shaken by last weeks
earthquake and bracing for Hurricane Irene's onslaught,
the stats are gloomy. Twenty-five percent of small businesses
hit with a disaster like a flood or an earthquake never
:: Class for New Small Business
A new session of Entrepreneur School will launch
early next month at Southwest Florida Enterprise Center,
the city of Fort Myers' small-business incubator.
Entrepreneur School runs one evening a week, for six consecutive
weeks. It boasts more than 200 past participants. This program
could be right for you if:
- You are thinking about starting a business;
- You are starting a business but are confused about everything
you have to do; or
- You own a business, but are dissatisfied with the results.
:: Towns Adapting and Dropping Regulations
for Small Businesses
The poor economy is prompting many cities to bend
their rules to help struggling businesses. Their actions
could pay off for residents as well.
In Lighthouse Point, neon-lit Open signs now are
tolerated in storefront windows. Downtown Boca Raton is
welcoming sandwich-board business signs on sidewalks. Restaurants
in Fort Lauderdale, Margate and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea now
can sell alcohol at Sunday morning brunch. And in Boynton
Beach, the commission in September will consider easing
requirements for sidewalk cafes downtown.
:: Small Business Scams
Scams that target small businesses come in a number
of forms, and can leave your business vulnerable and exposed
to a variety of threats.
Scammers will often go to great lengths to convince businesses
that their offer or request is legitimate. Many scams succeed
because they look like the real thing or try to take advantage
of a busy office environment.
The best defence to protecting your business is by being
aware of the most common scams targeting businesses, and
knowing what to do if you are targeted by a scam.
:: Disaster Survival Tips for Small Businesses
The devastation may seem overwhelming, but business
must go on as quickly as possible. Here are some tips to
consider to help your business bounce back and get up and
running as quickly as possible in the wake of a disaster.
1. Have a Plan.
Consider what the impact will be if power and communications
are down for a day…or a week. Communicate now--proactively--with
suppliers, partners, customers, or other affected parties
to explain the situation, and to inform them that business
may be interrupted, and you may be unable to communicate
reliably, but that business will resume as quickly as possible.
Survival Tips or Small Businesses
:: Business Continuity Plan
In the event of an accident or disaster,
small business employees are well positioned to keep operations
running smoothly while a business owner is away.
Developing a business continuity plan and sharing it
with employees can prepare them to properly navigate most
emergency situations while the business owner is out of