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

Apple Has Been Echoing Consumer Values for 30 Years (and You Should Too)

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 »

managing
Painting: "Rushing Home" by Ann Rea.

7 Business Lessons from the Golden Gate Bridge

by Ann Rea

The Golden Gate Bridge is iconic, and it warrants instant recognition. But have you ever thought of it as a brand? Below, I’ll discuss seven business lessons you can learn from one of the world’s most well-known pieces of architecture. 1.  Keep building your brand I live less than a mile from one of the... Read more »

managing
watch-your-cash-flow

How to Anticipate Cash Flow Problems

by Tim Berry

Why don’t all business owners watch cash flow constantly? I recently caught up with a 2007 survey of business owners showing that only about one-half said they track cash flow regularly. Business experts constantly warn about cash flow. So why did so many business owners say they didn’t watch cash flow? Many business owners are... Read more »

managing
happyshopper

Use the Power of Positivity to Gain the Competitive Advantage

by Matt Rissell

The founding fathers were onto something. The pursuit of happiness matters more than ever, especially in business. To boost the productivity and performance of every employee (even the CEO) from the inside out—and the overall perception of a company by customers—get happy. In “The Happiness Advantage”, author Shawn Achor outlines a decade’s worth of research on... Read more »

managing
soldsign

13 Ways to Make Your Online Business an Attractive Purchase

by Scott Gerber

There’s a lot to think about when you’re looking to sell. From keeping your operations smooth to scouting potential buyers, getting ready to pass along your business takes a lot of work. However, this process is easier if your company is an attractive option for potential buyers. To find out how successful founders had managed... Read more »

managing
productpackaging

Product Packaging: The Most Overlooked Detail

by Brittany Klontz

Advertising budget: check. Marketing budget: check. Product development budget: check. Product packaging? Uh, check back later. If you’re like most small businesses, product packaging is often a last minute detail for you, or at least not at the top of your priority list. But there’s a reason the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its... Read more »

managing
facetoavoid

6 Ways to Maintain an Impressive Online Reputation

by Jeremy Gin

Warren Buffett famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” For this reason and many more, there is often no worse feeling for an entrepreneur than to see the brand he or she spent years building tarnished by a bad review online. But take heart! There are... Read more »

managing
Should you get a patent? What about a copyright? A trademark?

The Top 5 Intellectual Property Mistakes

by Mary Juetten

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be general information and nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Please consult with an attorney before making any intellectual property or other legal decisions. Everybody makes mistakes, but some can be prevented. Read on to see five common mistakes regarding intellectual property, so you can avoid the pitfalls.... Read more »

managing
stand out from the crowd

Do You Have What It Takes to Provide Stand-out Customer Service?

by Candice Landau

Almost all businesses have a customer-facing aspect to them. Restaurants have waiters and cashiers. Boutiques have shop assistants. Software companies have project managers, sales people, and sometimes whole customer service departments. Even B2B companies need a point-of-contact to provide solutions. Often, these employees will mean the difference between a company that is perceived in a... Read more »

managing
how to lose an employee in 10 days

How to Lose an Employee in 10 Days [Webinar Recap]

by Caroline Cummings

For our latest webinar, we discussed “How to Lose an Employee in 10 Days,” outlining major mistakes an entrepreneur or CEO should avoid if they want to hold onto valuable employees. I was joined in this webinar by Matt Rissell, the CEO of TSheets Time Tracking. If you’re not familiar with TSheets, they are a... Read more »

managing
what metrics should you know

9 Metrics Every Entrepreneur Should Know about Their Business Offhand

by Scott Gerber

There’s no excuse for not knowing how much money you are taking in, or how many people have purchased your product. Yet you might be surprised how easily business owners are stumped by questions like these. That’s why we asked nine members from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what metrics all founders should be aware of—always. Here’s what they had to say: 1. Cash on... Read more »

managing
Small business accountant is small businses consultant

Your Small Business Accountant: Your Small Business Consultant

by Brandon Chu

Here’s what you know: your accountant can do your taxes. But here’s what you might not know: your accountant can also help you accomplish your business goals. Accountants build up both financial and business acumen throughout their careers, and they’re often willing to share their knowledge with clients. San Francisco-based financial systems advisor Danetha Doe... Read more »

managing
intellectualproperty

Intellectual Property 101

by Mary Juetten

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be general information and nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Please consult with an attorney before making any intellectual property or other legal decisions. Does your business have intellectual property? If someone asked whether or not your business has Intellectual Property (IP) and your answer is “I do not... Read more »

managing
heartcup

Should You Serve Fair Trade Coffee?

by Angelique O'Rourke

For many consumers and small business owners in the U.S. and western Europe, the knowledge that the people producing their coffee were usually struggling from poverty, in rural areas, and vulnerable to exploitative practices by powerful middlemen who gave them prices far below market value, is disturbing. People in the western world wondered, is there... Read more »

planning
Ways to poll your customers

5 Ways to Survey Your Customers Without Annoying Them

by Scott Gerber

Sure, you could email customers after every transaction to evaluate their experience. But that seems clunky and time consuming. In order to figure out the best ways to get the information you need without the hassle, we asked five entrepreneurs from Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) what methods or tools they recommend for surveying customers. Here’s what they had to say:   1. Wufoo... Read more »

planning
take a vacation

I Went on Vacation and Increased Our Facebook Traffic by 300%. Here’s How:

by Jonathan Michael

I’m not going to be shy with my opinion on this topic: you need to take more time off of work. I took a week off in August and was able to increase our Facebook referral traffic by over 300%—all while being completely unplugged from work. I want to show you how, but first, let’s take a... Read more »

managing
bookkeeping

7 Bookkeeping Habits Every Entrepreneur Should Adopt

by Brandon Chu

Badly tracked finances can cause your business a world of problems—from poor cash flow to improper tax filings and beyond. These kinds of problems can put a young business at serious risk. Good bookkeeping habits, on the other hand, can help a business thrive—and not just survive. Dallas-based financial writer and founder of Careful Cents, Carrie... Read more »