managing
Loyalty

8 Ways to Create Real Customer Loyalty

by JT Ripton

No matter the size of the business, customer loyalty is incredibly important. Repeat customers spend up to 67 percent more than new customers. Plus, it’s up to ten times more expensive to try to attract new customers than it is to keep the ones already doing business with you. If you’re looking for real ways... Read more »

managing
In the wake of SuperStorm Sandy, handmade decorations of encouragement hang from a tree overlooking some of the wreckage.

What to Do When You Need a Disaster Loan

by Angelique O'Rourke

When disaster strikes in your area and your business is affected, what’s next? For many small businesses, the future can be extremely uncertain. During the process of rebuilding, most small business owners will ask themselves if it’s time to apply for a disaster loan, or if that is a viable option for them. Let’s go... Read more »

planning
The new year is fast approaching.

10 Things All Founders Should Do in the Last Months of 2014

by Scott Gerber

Whether or not you can believe it, 2015 is quickly approaching. What have you accomplished? Where has your business taken you? We asked 10 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to share how they are spending the end of the year. 1. Saying Thank You Thanking your people. Our professionals are at the center of everything... Read more »

managing
incentive

10 Employee Incentives All Business Leaders Can Afford

by Kayla Matthews

So many things in this world are about the almighty dollar, but job satisfaction doesn’t have to be one of them. Giving your employees raises may help their short-term happiness, but if you want those employees to stay on, you need to offer them incentives that they can’t get elsewhere. Anyone can hand out a... Read more »

managing
Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 7.00.44 AM

One Big Small Business Mistake: Not Giving Employees Business Cards

by Candice Landau

I once worked for someone who wouldn’t print business cards for employees, not even on a case-by-case basis. The reason—I was told—was that no one did it anymore. Everyone used LinkedIn. The thing is, this employer still had their own business card and still regularly handed it out when meeting potential clients. Clearly, they didn’t... Read more »

managing
toolsproductivity

Ten Tools You Can Start Using Today to Maximize Your Productivity

by Angelique O'Rourke

Everyone wants to be productive. In fact, most people are looking for ways to become more productive than they already are. Just this morning, we posted about ways to be productive even during your down time and I have to say, having tried the Pomodoro Technique myself, I can vouch for the efficacy of that method.... Read more »

planning
Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 4.46.47 PM

How to Be Productive, Even During Downtime

by Belle Beth Cooper

With all the updates from Apple being released lately, I’ve been spending more time than usual sitting at my desk waiting for files to download or for my computer to restart. It’s a common time-waster for me, even when it’s not release season at Apple. I’m often sitting at my desk waiting for a file... Read more »

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
Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 2.24.22 AM

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 »