managing
Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 5.02.16 AM

Want to Grow? Know Your Numbers. Track Your Metrics.

by Candice Landau

The content of this article is based upon an interview conducted on October 2014 with Sabrina Parsons, CEO of Palo Alto Software. For many small business owners—especially those who have turned a passion or hobby into a business—tracking metrics and numbers is a chore. If you’re not an accountant and you don’t have a background in... Read more »

managing
Google Headquarters has become known for it's vibrant company culture, including such things as an Irish pub themed lounge.

What Defines Your Company Culture?

by Angelique O'Rourke

Company culture is a hot topic lately, and for good reason. Recent research shows that especially among younger generations, people want their employers to not only provide them with an income, but meaningful work, and a positive environment. We’ve all heard the famous phrase: Culture eats strategy for breakfast. In short, your company culture determines much of... Read more »

managing
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The Entrepreneur’s Accounting Cheat Sheet

by Candice Landau

According to a study undertaken by the Small Business Administration, 28 percent of companies go bankrupt due to problems with the financial structure of the company. Many of these problems could be avoided by following good accounting practices. Keeping a record of your financial details IS important to the livelihood of your business. Not only will the correct... Read more »

managing
websitetrust

7 Reasons Your Website is Scaring Customers Away

by Cidnee Stephen

When you are researching products and services online, do you ever notice how quickly you dismiss some websites because you don’t feel they will deliver? Well, what about your website? Will your potential customers run away in fear? What does an untrustworthy website look like? Have a look at this list of website trust factors. If... Read more »

managing
Women at Work.001

Women at Work: 11 Reasons Why We Are Still Talking about This in 2014

by Jonathan Michael

We’re nearing the end of 2014, and it’s an unfortunate reality that gender discrimination is still an issue in our society. After all the progress women have made in the professional world, there are still plenty of reasons why we need to fight for workplaces that support women and men equally. In fact, we’re hosting a... Read more »

managing
You don't want to be running damage control.

How to Manage Your Business’s Online Reputation

by Mark Potter

“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well”—Jeff Bezos The importance of online reputation management cannot be understated. Thanks to sites such as TripAdvisor, it’s easier than ever for customers to post their comments and criticism online. And, as many businesses... Read more »

managing
Sometimes it's the smaller business that has more freedom to innovate.

Take Advantage of a New Trend: Big Businesses Look to Small to Innovate

by Lew Koflowitz

An increasing number of big companies are hiring small businesses to help them develop innovative products, processes, and procedures. If your company is an innovator, you may be able to team up with larger firms to grow your business much more rapidly. Many small businesses see themselves mainly as competitors with larger companies in their... Read more »

planning
shutterstock_211160746

Sleep Your Way to Higher Productivity

by Belle Beth Cooper

I’ve been feeling really tired lately. It’s that tired feeling that drags on for days and days until you finally give in and have a real rest from work (I’ve planned a week off in October). Trying to work on projects that require lots of thought, mental clarity, and—I can’t even think of the word... Read more »

planning
friendsandfamilyhiring

5 Things to Consider When Hiring Friends and Family

by Scott Huntington

It would seem like an ideal situation to work with close friends and family members. You can’t imagine people who would be more invested in your happiness and success. Not only that, but you actually like each other. These are the people you care about and easily socialize with. If you count on these people... Read more »

funding
money saving tips

30 Money Saving Tips for Your Business

by Angelique O'Rourke

Saving money as a small business can be tricky—if you’re a startup especially, money might be tight already. You probably don’t have a big portion of your income that you can tuck away as savings, and you welcome opportunities to make your operations more cost-effective. We’ve compiled a list of money saving tips—ways for you... Read more »

starting
shutterstock_110219861

Top 5 Places to Get Startup Advice from the Experts

by Allan Watson

As a small-business owner, you make hundreds of decisions every day—some of which will have a lasting effect on your business. Sometimes the solutions you need aren’t as obvious to you as you might hope. In those instances, you might want expert advice to help steer you in the most productive and profitable directions. How... Read more »

managing
stateofsmallbusiness

The State of Small Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

by Angelique O'Rourke

How successful would small business owners in the U.S. say they are, if you asked them?  Here at Palo Alto Software, we are always interested in helping people succeed in business. That’s why earlier this year, we wrote a white paper on the state of small business in the first quarter of 2014,  based off... Read more »

managing
Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 2.25.20 AM

The 5 Metrics You Need to Track for Your Subscription Business to Succeed

by Noah Parsons

Subscription businesses are everywhere these days. From the predictable to the downright weird, you can seemingly subscribe to anything. Subscription businesses are hot because of their recurring revenue model. And, while there are pros and cons to running a subscription business, the financial benefits tend to be great. Instead of chasing after customers every month, customers pay... Read more »

managing
EPSON scanner image

What a Famous Comic Artist Can Teach You about Starting & Running a Business

by Candice Landau

I have always believed that if I want to learn something, I need to DO something. I need to take action. This is how I learned to cycle, how I learned to solder metal jewelry and how I learned to write fiction. That said, I find equal value in first reading about and learning as... Read more »

managing
best blogs to grow your business

The 22 Best Blogs to Help Grow Your Business (That You May Not Be Reading)

by Jonathan Michael

There are plenty of popular business-advice websites that make it on these kinds of “best of” lists, but I wanted to take a different approach. The problem with many of the popular sites is that they often offer little more than fluff pieces that don’t actually help you improve your business. They’ll share entrepreneur success... Read more »

planning
Okay, this isn’t exactly what we mean, but it sure is green!

How Green Initiatives Can Benefit Your Business

by Kayla Matthews

In operating your own business, determining your “return on investment” is always top of mind when making decisions. One big decision for your company is whether to implement green initiatives, and that includes everything from reducing energy consumption to wasting less paper. When considering the decision to “go green,” look at both the short and... Read more »

planning
marketingplan

Help! My Business Needs a Marketing Plan and I Don’t Know Where to Start

by Gina Smith

Congratulations! You are among a select number of small business owners and executives who recognize the need for a marketing plan. As a marketing strategist, I recommend a marketing plan to all of my clients. More often than not, business owners feel they can just “wing it.” That, my friend, is a recipe for disaster.... Read more »

managing
applecustomervalues

What Apple Can Teach You about Marketing

by Jack Holt

Few iPhone users would identify “hedonism” (or the pursuit of pleasure) as a core value in their lives, but when you look at the sentiments behind Apple’s marketing strategy for the past 30 years, you might not be so quick to disagree. This extremely human core value is a key factor in Apple’s success today, despite... Read more »

managing
whyshouldyoucareaboutip

Why You Should Care about Intellectual Property

by Mary Juetten

Yes, your business has intellectual property (IP). In fact, 100 percent of businesses have IP. Your email list, logo, sales process, and even your website domain are parts of your IP. These intangible assets become very real when you value your business for investors, banks, and creditors. Intellectual property is divided into four major categories:... Read more »

managing
Don't let your good marketing be erased.

Good Marketing Undone

by Teri Epperly

I wrote this article a few years ago, before I took over the customer service team for Palo Alto Software. My perspective at the time was as a consumer. Looking back on it now, as the manager of my team, the glaring miss in this company’s story was the lack of training for their staff.... Read more »