planning
IMG_2080

BloomNation: An Unconventional Startup Story

by Briana Morgaine

It’s like the plot of a Hollywood movie: Three best friends, with no prior business experience, decide to band together and form a startup business. They hope to create an innovative platform that will shake up the floral industry, and help both customers and florists alike. But, of course, they need funding—and wouldn’t you know... Read more »

managing
greenbrand

Building an Environmentally Friendly Brand: The Pitfalls to Avoid

by Tom Young

Several years ago the global PR firm Edelmen published a study which suggested that 73% of consumers would choose to buy from a different brand of equal quality if that brand supported a good cause. From a business perspective, there are few better causes than “being green.” As well as potentially benefiting from tax breaks... Read more »

funding
5

Is Bad Body Language Ruining Your Pitch? Here’s How to Fix It

by Briana Morgaine

During my sophomore year of college, I took a speech class called Intro to Public Speaking. Our final project was a 10 minute speech on a topic of our choosing. We were allowed note cards, visuals—anything that would help us give an engaging presentation. Sounds easy enough, right? I thought so, until I saw some... Read more »

starting
34ac9fa

The Candy Queen Store: A Story of Struggle and Perseverance for Entrepreneurs

by Anton Fraga

Have you ever noticed that children have a universal desire to play dress up? Kids love to be creative with their sense of fashion: they cover themselves in stickers, wear tutus with rain boots, adorn their heads with flowers and princess crowns. Mel Buchanan, owner of the Candy Queen Store, took notice. With drive and... Read more »

funding
Pitching

Business Pitch, Elevator Pitch, and the LivePlan Pitch: What’s the Difference?

by Tim Berry

What’s a business pitch? Clearly that depends on who you ask and what they’re thinking about when you ask. It might be a slide deck, or a 20-minute presentation livened by a slide deck, or a short talk, or even a strategy summary. Either way, it’s confusing and I’d like to help clear it up. Here’s... Read more »

funding
angelinvestor

11 Angel Investor Blogs You Should Be Reading

by Noah Parsons

In the business world, angel investors are sometimes equated with actual angels, sent to help us fund what could not otherwise be funded. These guardian angels of innovation are responsible for bringing many new ideas to life. The thing is, many of us—most notably those seeking investment—don’t know a lot about what angel investors are... Read more »

managing
Has your website got you stressed?

The 7 Website Mistakes Small Business Owners Make (and How to Avoid Them)

by Cathy Goodwin

If you’re a small business owner or service professional who wants to develop a new website, you might find yourself thinking, “It’s a jungle out there!” You wouldn’t be wrong. Let’s work through a case study with Carl, a financial planner, who’s a composite of several professional service businesses. Carl had been in business for... Read more »

managing
free whitepaper

New Study Reveals Business Owners Investing in Technology in 2015

by Candice Landau

“Where Main Street Meets Technology” – a study In January 2015, Palo Alto Software surveyed approximately 500 small business owners and entrepreneurs from across 18 different industries. The “Where Main Street Meets Technology” study found that 81% of small businesses plan to invest in technology this year and that 48% of those surveyed said that... Read more »

planning
shutterstock_261987500

What Type of Business Plan Do I Need?

by Tim Berry

We get this question a lot, mainly because there are so many different things labelled as business plans: strategic plans, annual plans, operational plans, feasibility plans, and, of course, what most people think of, business plans for startups seeking investment. And also, what real business owners want—lean business plans for better management. In this article,... Read more »

managing
Googleadwords

A Beginner’s Guide to Google AdWords for Small Business

by Lisa Furgison

Entrepreneurs are constantly looking for advertising options that provide a good return on investment. Given the dependency on technology, it’s not surprising that online options have become a popular option. One of those options is Google AdWords. Google AdWords is Google’s online adverting platform. You know the ads that show up on the top and... Read more »

starting
forrent

Starting a Web Business with Less than Your Monthly Rent (The $ by $ Guide)

by Roger Wu

Please Note: all figures mentioned were accurate at the time of writing.  Every entrepreneur has heard of the Lean Startup methodology; it’s a great way to prove demand with less time and money and to prevent building a product that no one will want. In practice though, the Lean Startup methodology is hard to figure out.... Read more »

managing
Image via sugarcrm.com

How to Choose the Best CRM for Your Business

by Marc Prosser

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a must for every B2B business and most consumer businesses. CRM software enables a business to record contact information, track interactions, and plan follow-up tasks with clients. Businesses that don’t have CRM software do the same task much less efficiently, through a combination of email inboxes, spreadsheets, and calendars.... Read more »

funding
crowdfundingfail

Why My Crowdfunding Campaign Failed

by Angelique O'Rourke

Crowdfunding has a reputation as an accessible way to secure funding for startups and small businesses. It’s quick and easy; just throw up your video, backers start investing their money, and you’re set. Anyone can do it, right? The truth is, it’s far from that simple. For every story of someone whose project went viral... Read more »

planning
businesswriting

Tools, Tips, and Tricks to Improve Business Writing

by Robert Morris

Of the many courses I took in college, business writing was the most challenging. Students whose plans involve business careers are not interested in abstract rules, referencing standards, confusing legal language, and other materials presented in those classes. After a term spent editing and writing different documents, my classmates and I ended up even more... Read more »

starting
Patreon Logo

How to Use Patreon to Start a Business from Home

by Candice Landau

Simply put, Patreon is an ongoing Kickstarter campaign with one key difference: rather than getting paid once off, per project, artists or creators are paid by their patrons (you, me, or whoever signs up as a patron) to continue creating on an ongoing basis. Read more »

funding
shutterstock_232294684

My Favorite Patreon Profiles

by Briana Morgaine

How many creators today would love to have the modern equivalent of a court patron, a wealthy benefactor such as a king who supported their work as a musician, writer, or artist, while they continued to create? It sounds like an ideal situation—the artist receives enough funding to work creatively, and the patron is rewarded... Read more »

planning
FREE DOWNLOAD

One Page Business Pitch Template Download [FREE]

by Jonathan Michael

Before you write your business plan, you should spend some time experimenting with your business idea and gathering your core assumptions onto a one page business pitch. That’s why we created our one page business pitch template. Using the free template, you can quickly create a simple, shareable, and impressive overview of your business. With detailed instructions for each section, you... Read more »

managing
Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 3.34.02 AM

The Best Mobile Payment Processor

by Spencer Grover

For small businesses, plastic payments have been a thorny problem for years. More and more people pay by plastic all the time, and increasingly, it’s absolutely expected that you offer plastic as an option. But with credit cards come complex hardware setups, costly contracts, gateways, and support networks. For small businesses on a tight budget,... Read more »

managing
Done any creative coifs lately? Show them off!

The Ultimate Instagram Guide for Hair Salons

by Lisa Furgison

Successful hair salons have to stay on top of trends, so it’s no surprise that salon owners and stylists are also embracing the hottest social media trend: Instagram. Instagram is the newest social media kid on the block, and its popularity is skyrocketing. According to research conducted by the Pew Research Center, Instagram was the fastest... Read more »

starting
You want your launch to be amazing- so make sure that you're prepared.

8 Questions to Ask Before Launching an Online Store

by Daniel Faris

The one thing that many entrepreneurs have learned over the years is that an online business is only as good as its digital storefront. Even assuming you had access to the best and most effective marketing campaigns available, there would still be a high probability of your customers failing to convert if your site cannot... Read more »