Small Business Owners Lending Money to Employees – Good Business Sense?

June 3, 2010

There’s no firm statistics on how many small-business owners lend money to staff. But those who frequently engage in the practice say it makes good business sense. One reason, they say, is that it can help prevent a slowdown in productivity because workers who are stressed out about money may have difficulty focusing on their jobs. Another rationale for helping employees overcome financial hardships is that it can boost loyalty, morale and unity within a work force.

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Does the Internet Show the True Colors of Your Business?

June 2, 2010

What attitude adjustments should you make in your business to influence your employees? The next time you get a customer complaint, online or not, is your reaction, “Oh geez, here we go again?” Or do you think to yourself, “A customer problem! This is my job to fix.” The difference in your attitude will translate into a difference in that of your employees, and might turn around how your business is perceived, online and off.

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What Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg

June 2, 2010

Despite all the criticism that Mark Zuckerberg has taken for his actions in the past, there is one thing that nobody can contest: Zuckerberg is an extremely shrewd business person. He often thinks in terms of decades, not days, weeks, or months, and has built the only site that has ever had the chance to take down (or at least compete with) Google. So what is it that has brought him to this point and what should entrepreneurs take away from his successes?

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OPENapps Launches Web App Marketplace to Bring Together Developers and Website Owners

June 2, 2010

OPENapps allows app developers to easily get their application to market and provides website owners a way to find and integrate apps into their sites while still maintaining their own branding.

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4 Powerful Marketing Lessons From a Voyage Around The World

June 2, 2010

If you do not live in Australia you may not have seen the news that a 16 year old girl named Jessica Watson successfully sailed around the world unassisted. Apart from the feat itself which was pretty astounding, what caught my attention was the planning and execution by the team responsible for the marketing of the whole journey.

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Do You Know Your Time-is-Money Rate?

May 29, 2010

I think this time-is-money analysis is important because sometimes we get too cheap with business expenses. I can give you lots of examples including: Are you spending extra hours on cheap rental cars? Does the money saved equal time saved? How much time does a business book or magazine have to save you before it’s worth it? How much time does a business software product have to save you to be worth the money?

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Five Tips For Not Getting Ripped Off By A Credit Card Processor

May 28, 2010

If you have your own business, you most likely have gone through the annoying and frustrating process of choosing a credit card processor (also called a merchant account provider) in order to accept credit cards. Since there is not a lot of information out there on how to choose a processor, a lot of business owners get ripped off with tricky rates, confusing salespeople, and contracts that are impossible to understand. Here are some tips to help guide you in your search.

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8 Must Haves For Your Twitter Contest

May 28, 2010

Spend ten minutes on Twitter and you’re likely to find someone giving away an iPad, iPhone or iSomething. Contest marketing is everywhere on social media and it hasn’t escaped SMB owners looking for new ways to gain followers or build awareness. And it hasn’t for one important reason – it works!

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How Your PR Can Seize the Day – Turn News Events Into Publicity for Your Business

May 28, 2010

The best PR programs often leverage a company’s best assets, its subject matter experts, by seizing and capitalizing on the news of the day. I call this Carpe Diem PR. Absent new company developments, the key for any company is to secure frequent, meaningful media mentions and buzz, by finding natural ways to make the company part of an already existing news cycle or trend.

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No-Image Email Design Experiment

May 28, 2010

I gave myself a challenge: design a visually engaging HTML email without using a single image. The biggest challenge of any designer is to work within the limitations of the project at hand. Fine, if images are a problem, I’ll do without them. It’s an extreme solution to the problem of blocked images, but one that is well worth investigating.

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Pricing Based on Customer Expectations

May 28, 2010

If you can, try to offer different products or services at different price points. Offer a no-thrills price with very little in non-essentials. Offer a middle and a high-end price with more options. Think about the airlines. Many have first-class, business-class and economy. Each gets you to your destination, but they have different prices and different services.

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Don’t Get Hung Up on Vision. Lessons from Threadless Founder Jake Nickell

May 27, 2010

Take action, even small steps, and you just might become a celebrated visionary. That’s what happened to Jake Nickell, whose passion has always been art, not business. About a decade ago, Nickell founded Threadless, a t-shirt company based in Chicago. Threadless, of course, doesn’t just print t-shirts. It prints shirts with designs that people submit online and that are then voted on by the Threadless community, which is now 1.2 million strong.

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5 Tips for Creating an Internship Program for Your Startup

May 27, 2010

Almost 70% of college students plan to pursue an internship while in school, a smart move considering that recent figures show that 90% of direct-from-college jobs will go to students who’ve had internship experience. And while an internship program might be appealing to a startup as a way to recruit a cheap but enthusiastic labor force, Babbit and Bottner argue that there are both practical and legal guidelines to consider when creating an internship position.

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Closing a Sale: How Great Sales Teams Do It

May 26, 2010

If you respect your customers and believe they are intelligent individuals with whom you wish to have long-term and mutually beneficial relationships, your goal should be to provide them with products and services that will make them successful. This article examines how successful businesses approach closing the sale, the stages in the process of closing the deal, and how to follow up after the close of the sale.

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Five Start-ups Using Crowdsourcing In Creative Ways

May 26, 2010

As open-source software developers learned long ago, asking a pool of people to create something can be faster, cheaper, and more accurate than putting a project in the hands of individuals. These five start-ups are doing just that by using crowdsourcing in creative ways.

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7 Tips for Managing a Remote Work Force

May 26, 2010

While sites like oDesk make it quick and easy to hire remote workers, it can sometimes be a challenge to manage them. Besides the fact that you can’t always meet face-to-face and you can’t see what they’re working on throughout the day, I’ve found that managing remote workers requires a completely different mindset to managing in-office employees. And while it may be more affordable to hire remote workers for some tasks, it can end up more expensive in the long-run if you don’t know how to manage them effectively.

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Go Ahead, Call Me A Twitter Snob!

May 21, 2010

I made the deliberate decision to keep my Twitter follows as small as possible, thereby breaking every social media “rule” known to man. I should be hung by my toes. I’m not going to tell anyone that there’s a right or wrong way to use social media, but there are legitimate reasons for keeping a small Twitter/Facebook/whatever network. And they hold true regardless of whether you’re an individual or a business.

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5 Surprising Social Media Business Success Stories

May 21, 2010

Chances are, most of the businesses you interact with as a consumer are on social media. Your local restaurant is blogging, your grocery store is on Twitter – even your favorite candy is on Facebook. Companies in mainstream, consumer-facing industries are all over social media. But how about other businesses? Manufacturers? B2B service providers? Equine dentists? Are they experimenting with social media? You bet!

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How to Market Your Small Business With No Budget

May 19, 2010

From a marketing standpoint, it’s a great time to own or start a business. The social web makes it more cost-effective than ever to get the word out about your products and services, no matter what industry you’re in. The toughest challenge facing small business marketers these days is not cost, but finding a strategy to get your message heard over the din of a noisy Internet.

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Blogging: Format for SEO and Readers

May 18, 2010

Using a blog to highlight your expertise and company is one thing. Using your blog intelligently to showcase your expertise in search engines and your authority to your readers is an entirely different thing. Its not just about what you write, but also how you present it… to the search engines and your readers. Smart bloggers leverage the power of SEO optimized copy and formatting to elevate their reach across human and technical audiences.

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