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Starting a New Business? Here’s What You Can and Can’t Deduct

by Cameron McCool

If you’re planning to use your personal savings to launch a new business, you’ll be happy to hear that many of the costs you’ll incur are tax deductible. In this article, we’ll go through what you can and can’t deduct during the startup phase of a business, to help you spend strategically and get a... Read more »

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5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 2: How to Identify Weaknesses

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to Day 2 of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Sign up for our daily updates during the challenge and complete your own SWOT Analysis. Click here to join the challenge for FREE. Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. Whether you’re new... Read more »

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Subway

How to Start a Franchise Business

by Angelique O'Rourke

A lot of people are drawn to franchising. If it’s right for you, it can be a road map to profitable business ownership. You can get in on a great idea or successful business that has a track record of success and a strong brand, and still run the business yourself. Franchise expert Joel Libava... Read more »

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5 Day SWOT Challenge - Strengths

SWOT Analysis Challenge Day 1: How to Identify Strengths

by Lisa Furgison

Welcome to Day 1 of our 5 Day SWOT Analysis Challenge! Sign up for our daily updates during the challenge and complete your own SWOT Analysis. Click here to join the challenge for FREE. Invite others to take the challenge! Share this article on Facebook or Twitter and use the #SWOT hashtag. As an entrepreneur,... Read more »

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Cats With Your Coffee? What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Purringtons Cat Cafe

by Briana Morgaine

Over a year ago, I first heard the rumor that a cat cafe had opened in London. To me, it seemed a whimsical, storybook sort of place, where one could get a cup of tea and pet a cat at the same time. Charming, I thought, but a bit unbelievable—did such an establishment really exist?... Read more »

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, image via winbeta.org

The Biggest Business Fails of 2014 and How to Avoid Them

by Angelique O'Rourke

Every year, a few businesses make bad decisions or mistakes publicly. Sometimes they recover quickly and no one notices. Other times, the blunders are nothing short of newsworthy. We’ve gathered up some of the worst fails of 2014 and included some helpful tips on how to avoid them yourself. Walmart asks its employees to purchase... Read more »

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Books I Can't Wait to Read This Year

12 Business Books I Can’t Wait to Read This Year

by Jonathan Michael

Are you a voracious reader? I have to admit that I’m not. I’m what you call a voracious book starter. A lot of topics interest me, but there are only a few books each year that keep my attention long enough for me to finish them. I’ve looked at some of the business books coming out over the next... Read more »

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15 Surprising Perks Employees Love

by Scott Gerber

A happy team leads to a good product, so keeping your employees positive should make the top of your to-do list. Below, 15 founders from Young Entrepreneur Council share the surprising perks your employees might really care about. 1. Lunch I never realized how much our employees loved and appreciated lunch until we skipped it for a... Read more »

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6 Forward-thinking Businesses That Are Making the World a Better Place

by Angelique O'Rourke

As we begin the year, it’s always helpful to look back and reflect on the things that went particularly well. While it’s easy to learn from others’ mistakes, there’s a lot to be said for emulating ideas that work. These businesses all share key qualities that make them admirable, including innovation, sustainability, creativity, and social responsibility. Warby... Read more »

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Noah Parsons

Ask Me Anything! (Well, Almost Anything)

by Noah Parsons

Hi. I’m Noah and I’m COO here at Palo Alto Software. In case you didn’t know, Palo Alto Software is the great company behind Bplans. Our goal has always been to help entrepreneurs succeed in business. In addition to making business planning software, we also try and help by providing all of the articles and advice... Read more »

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Bplans Briefcase: Business Stories to Keep You in the Know

by Angelique O'Rourke

Where can Syrian entrepreneurs find startup funding? What U.S. industry is becoming more pet-friendly? Here are interesting news stories about innovative small businesses, surprising PR choices, and a business competition opportunity in the Middle East. Penda improves health care in Kenya Why they made headlines: The Kenyan capital of Nairobi is becoming known as a... Read more »

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9 Ways to Thank Your Favorite Customers

by Scott Gerber

It’s that time again—when we thank our customers for their business this past year and encourage them to stick with us throughout the next. But how can we do this in a more personal, human way than automated thank you emails? Nine entrepreneurs from YEC share their simple but effective ways to show appreciation for their... Read more »

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Photo credit: Alexander Gerst/ESA/NASA

15 Videos for an Inspiring Start to 2015

by Angelique O'Rourke

Video is everywhere, and as inexpensive and ubiquitous devices change power dynamics, people are now able to share new ideas from around the world more easily than ever before. Because we frequently come across excellent content, we’ve compiled a list of 15 inspirational videos that should help motivate you to succeed and dream big in... Read more »

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5 Surprising Traits of Successful Entrepreneurs

by Erin Baebler

There is much written about what it takes to be a successful business owner. Passion, focus, and persistence show up again and again as traits you must have if you want to be an entrepreneur. However, we’ve uncovered some additional behaviors that don’t traditionally go along with the busy life of an entrepreneur but that can be of great benefit. Here are five traits of successful entrepreneurs that might surprise you. Read more »

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How to become your own boss in 2015

How to Become Your Own Boss in 2015 [Free Webinar]

by Sabrina Parsons

Are you unhappy with your soul-sapping job? Have you always wanted to be your own boss? Don’t just quit! You need to create a plan to fire your boss—first. In today’s business environment, small business owners have even less time to hit it big with their target customer. The key to success is not only... Read more »

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How to Start a Food Shelf in Your Community

by Lisa Furgison

Hunger is a mounting problem in the U.S and abroad. In the U.S., 49.1 million Americans lacked access to a sufficient amount of affordable and nutritious food, according to Feed America. This “food insecurity,” as it’s called, is impacting a growing number of families. In response to this growing demand, you might consider opening a food... Read more »

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2015 is coming, and you've got plans for your business.

Business Owners Share Their 2015 New Year’s Resolutions

by Angelique O'Rourke

It’s that time of year again—you’ve no doubt been spending time on vacation and with your loved ones, and now it’s a new year and you’re getting back into the swing of things. Of course, being an entrepreneur, you’re also doing some reflection. How did 2014 go for you? The start of the year is... Read more »

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How to Choose a Brand Name That Can Be Trademarked

by Steven Cook

Federal trademark law is complicated and a little counter-intuitive at first, but the takeaway is this: if possible, you may want to choose a creative, memorable brand name… not a descriptive one, if you want robust federal trademark protection from the get-go. Read more »

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John Favreau

The Year’s 10 Best Movies for Entrepreneurs

by Jonathan Michael

Jon Favreau (who also wrote and directed the film) stars as Carl Casper, a head chef who is fired after a video of his spat with a food critic goes viral. That’s when he decides to start a food truck and reignite his passion for cooking. This is the only movie on my list that actually involves an... Read more »

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13 Quotes on the Joy and Importance of Giving

by Jonathan Michael

Will your business end the year strong? Are your employees staying productive? How will you get a jump on next year? Amid these concerns, don’t forget to enjoy this season and share joy with others. Generosity is good for you and your business, and some of the most successful people have tapped into the power of giving. That’s... Read more »