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Small Business Blog - daily small business software blog

:: Small Business Crowd Sourcing

Do not have time or money to do all of the marketing you would like? Why not get your customers, consultants, freelancers, experts, writers, and more to help you? That’s what crowdsourcing is, and it is a great way to enhance small business marketing efforts. By tapping into the crowd, you can jumpstart your social media and content marketing efforts, extend your brand reach, and amplify your messages through word-of-mouth marketing.

:: Small Businesses Need to Use the Internet

Small businesses know just how difficult it can be to attract new business to their physical location. It is tough to run your business and manage your marketing efforts at the same time—just one more ball to juggle with the rest of your responsibilities.

Many businesses do not realize how much potential there is in the Internet, and even if they try a few online marketing campaigns, if they are not successful, businesses abandon Internet marketing altogether.
As someone that works in online marketing and sees the power of successful strategies first-hand every day, take this advice: do not give up on the Internet

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:: Small Businesses are Beloved

Almost nine in 10 adults - 88 percent, have a favorable view of small business, compared with the two-thirds -67 percent, who have a positive view of major companies, according to a telephone survey of 1,750 adults sponsored by the Public Affairs Council, a nonprofit group for public affairs officials. More than half -53 percent have a very favorable view of small business, in contrast to only 16 percent who hold the same view about major corporations.

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:: Prevent Small Business Fraud

Experts believe that small business organizations are more vulnerable to frauds. Therefore, proper measures need to be taken if you want to prevent your organization from such frauds or maybe thefts. When you hire an employee, it is based on complete trust and honesty. However, there are times when in certain circumstances, a person may cross the line and it could be disastrous for your organization. To prevent such disasters, you should implement some techniques and take proper measures so that no fraud or theft occurs in your organization. A small organization needs a lot of hardwork and efficiency in order to be successful. Such a shameful incident will only push it backwards.

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:: Video Marketing Basics

Ours is a video generation and with that Video marketing is the fastest growing trend online today.You may have hours of footage on your camcorder of your products or service, but without any cohesive organization or engaging content.  Any novice business owner with a video camera can benefit from editing.  Before you post that cell phone video to YouTube, a little polish with a free editing program can make your customers actually want to click on your Facebook or Youtube links.

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:: Five Friendliest States for Small Businesses

The online referral company, in conjunction with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, surveyed more than 6,000 small business owners across the country to come up with the list of friendliest states for small businesses.  The survey looked at an array of things including tax regulations, licensing requirements, training and government support. While tax related rules are important, the survey found small business owners also want easy to understand licensing regulations and training programs that are well publicized.

Here is a look at the top five friendliest states for small businesses and the five that fared the worst.

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:: Fiscal Cliff

Potential massive cuts in federal spending are still months away, but some small businesses that rely on government contracts are already feeling the pinch.

The looming cutbacks -- part of the fiscal cliff -- are causing firms to slow business or shrink production and could threaten jobs, according to company owners.

The $110 billion in cuts for 2013 will kick in on Jan. 2 unless Congress agrees on an alternative. They will hit defense spending particularly hard but also affect other popular non-defense programs funded by Washington.

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:: Tax Credits

Businesses can enjoy a variety of tax credits. A credit differs from a deduction in that it reduces your tax liability dollar for dollar. For example, if your tax liability totals $10,000, but you are able to take the disabled access credit for $4,000 you would owe only $6,000 in taxes. A deduction merely reduces your taxable income. So let’s say you have a deduction valued at $4,000, and you are in the 25% tax bracket, you will save only $1,000 on your income taxes.

There are quite a few credits available. Some are obscure applying to only a small percentage of entrepreneurs but there a few noteworthy exceptions.

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:: Is it Time to Go Mobile?

About 20 percent of U.S. Internet traffic today comes from mobile devices, but only 26 percent of small businesses have a mobile website, according to a recent study.

:: Financing with Credit Cards

Many business owners, see credit card financing as a tool that can be handy in the right circumstances. In its 2011 Year-End Economic Report, the National Small Business Association found that about 33% of small businesses had used credit card financing in the past 12 months to meet their capital needs. Credit cards ranked the third most commonly used source of capital financing, behind only bank loans and the earnings of the business.

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:: If you Have a Small Business, you DID Build That

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is coming out swinging against President Obamas record of failure by attacking his belief in the role of government in the economy.

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:: Where to Find Logos

The Internet has made it easier than ever for individuals to start a business at a very low entry cost. The barrier to entry for starting a web-based business can even be as low as $100.00. Every web business should have an identity, and many business owners realize that they may lack the necessary graphical talent, and are often unsure of where to look for it. If cost is an issue, you can find ready-made logos at many online logos sites, such as these...

Where to Find Logos?

:: Five Low-Cost Local Marketing Ideas

Here is some advice that I would give to virtually any small-business owner, distilled to three core areas as secrets of the big brands.

Low Cost Marketing Ideas

:: Websites are a Small Business Must Have!

Marketing comes in many different forms, but the shift has dramatically swung to online channels in the past five years. Offline advertising and marketing that used to be staples of any small businesses success - including being listed in the yellow pages and local print ads in newspapers - are now all but extinct. Small business owners have had to adapt, taking to channels like Craigslist, Google AdWords and social media. And of course there's the still popular word of mouth referrals.

It seems obvious that at this point, any small business that does not currently have some form of a website, is way behind the times. A recent survey of micro businesses, small businesses with between 1-10 employees, done by Vistaprint showed that nearly 70% currently have a website for their small business. Of those micro business owners who have a website, 75% are generating revenue either directly or indirectly through a website. In addition, just over 50% have a dedicated Facebook page for their small business as well.

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:: Office of Naval Research Small Business

Growing a company in todays market environment is no simple feat, particularly for small businesses vying for success in the federal sector.

To open new pathways to partnership, the Office of Naval Research will join with entrepreneurs, start-ups and other emerging entities, Aug. 6-8 at the 24th annual Navy Gold Coast Small Business Conference at the San Diego Convention Center.

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:: Hurricane Season is Upon Us - Prepare Your Small Business

Getting back to business after a disaster depends on preparedness planning done today. Small business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, and yet, while the importance of emergency planning may seem self-evident, it may get put on the back-burner in the face of more immediate concerns. For small business owners, being prepared can mean staying in business following a disaster. An estimated 25 percent of businesses do not reopen following a major disaster, according to the Institute for Business and Home Safety.

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:: Follow Small Business Software on Twitter

Follow Small Business Software on Twitter

:: Presentation Tips

Presentations can be a great way to attract new business, simply by making yourself more well-known. However, nerves can often get in the way of entrepreneurs who want to use speaking opportunities to develop their business. Follow these steps to overcome nerves and make a powerful presentation during your public speaking engagement...

Tips for Public Speaking and Presenting

:: Redefine Your Community

Your small business can redefine how your community makes a living. Here is how:

1. Start small.

According to Brady, small businesses must first establish working relationships within their communities to incubate small ideas that could have a global, systemic impact. Businesses should ask themselves what simple steps their organization can make toward social change, and clearly identify that vision.

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:: F-Commerce

F-commerce. Social media specialists say the term was coined in 2009 to describe the growing number of businesses that sell through a Facebook page. Payvment, a start-up that provides support for Facebook shopping transactions, says it has 170,000 clients and is signing on about 1,500 stores a week, most with fewer than five employees.

The rise of F-commerce has been largely haphazard, something Facebook did not instigate or promote.

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:: Localized Social Media

It seems like the word of the week for social networking companies is local.

First, Foursquare unfurled a new feature that lets businesse send promotions and updates to followers based on whether or not they have checked in near specific locations. But Facebook and Twitter have also announced improvements to their local targeting features this week, and the same theme is behind an update from mobile marketing technology company Pontiflex.

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:: Small Businesses and the Government

Our revolution was about individuals and business being forced to do business in accordance with British dictates.  It was called Mercantilism.  Colonists were allowed to buy only products specified by King George III from approved suppliers.

The justification was that we colonists owed our existence to the Crown that provided the environment for our success.  Trade laws were enacted between 1650 and 1674 designed to give Britain a virtually complete monopoly on colonial trade, with them setting the prices.  The problem was not just taxation and a lack of representation that caused the revolution; it was excessive government controls and restrictions on everyday business and life.

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:: Why Small Businesses Should Have Videos

Video is also great for offering tips and tricks on how to use your products and services most effectively. Imagine a customer on the verge of deciding whether to order from you or from your competition — similar product, similar price — but, you happen to have 2 or 3 how to videos showing unboxing, assembly, optimal placement, usage or device settings… now which company do you think will get the sale? These videos do not have to be fancy, just helpful.

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