planning
5 factors to consider about office space

5 Things to Consider When Choosing Office Space

by Sam Barnes

If you’re in the market for an office space, what you choose is incredibly important to your business. Not only does it affect your day to day operations and your staff morale, but also your brand image. There are so many things that can impact which office you choose; however, there are five factors that are... Read more »

starting
What is a benefit corporation?

What Is a Benefit Corporation?

by Angelique O'Rourke

I recently wrote a post on social enterprise, discussing what it entails, and what some of the legal structure options are for a business when the focus is on a social mission. The benefit corporation option is one such legal structure. It’s a fairly new structure, with the first one of its kind coming into existence... Read more »

managing
time to hire an employee

Is It Time to Hire an Employee?

by Lisa Furgison

If you own your own business and find that you simply don’t have enough time on your hands to be able to do all the things you need to do, you may be asking yourself should you hire an employee?  If you’ve already got employees, your question will be similar, when is the right time... Read more »

managing
motorcycling life and business lessons

What Motorcycling Can Teach You About Making Decisions

by Teri Epperly

It’s been a long time now, but in my other life (when I was living in Hawaii and before I worked for Palo Alto Software), I was a motorcycle safety instructor. I trained over 1,000 people through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course. The course taught not only the mechanics of how to ride,... Read more »

planning
5 ways to spy on your competition

5 Ways to Spy on Your Competition

by Sarah Brooks

Most companies are continually looking for ways to get an edge over their competitors, and a time-honored method is simply to spy on the other guys. Technically, it falls under the category of market research, unless, of course, it’s actual spying. But, we’re not going to get into corporate espionage here—we’ll stick with the “market... Read more »

starting
league2

Welcome to Summoner’s Rift: Why a Free Start Can be Better for Business

by Ryder Cochrane

At first glance, the business model sounds insane—a game that you can download and play for free. Not a free trial, not on a basic account, the game can be played forever while never spending a single penny on it. You read that right—the game is free. Anybody can play it for as long as they... Read more »

managing

How to Grow Your Business by Setting Goals [Webinar]

by Sabrina Parsons

We all have goals for our business, but sometimes we forget how important it is to clearly define these goals. This is especially true when it comes to financial goal setting for small businesses, where often financial goals are only vaguely defined or based too heavily on assumptions. Many small business owners may keep a... Read more »

managing
Are you micromanaging your employees? It might be time to cut the strings.

3 Reasons Why Micromanagement is a Macro Hindrance

by Ashley Coolman

“I’m just trying to help!” “I want to ensure our success!” If these lines sound familiar, you should know that they’re classic micromanagement warning signs. And, unfortunately for the well-intentioned micromanager, the results are rarely positive. For his book “My Way or the Highway,” Harry Chambers organized a interesting study about micromanagement. According to the survey... Read more »

managing
gatorade

Gatorade and the Kings of Cool

by Ryder Cochrane

When you are developing a marketing plan, it’s important to focus on the aspect of your product that you mean to be the selling point. You have to have that thing that makes you stand out from the pack, and that’s what you focus on. You’re the cheapest. You’re local. You’ve got the highest quality product.... Read more »

planning
Isaiah Thomas led the Detroit Pistons to back-to-back NBA championships. Chris Webber and The Fab Five narrowly missed NCAA championships.

Bad Boys and the Fab Five: Business Lessons from Basketball History

by Jonathan Michael

In 2009, to commemorate their 30th anniversary, ESPN released a new sports documentary series called “30 for 30.” The series included 30 full-length documentary features that highlighted sports history’s most memorable moments and personalities. The series was so popular that ESPN decided to release a second volume of 30 more documentaries, produce 30 new digital... Read more »

planning
Exit Strategy

What Startups Need to Know About Exit Strategies

by Tim Berry

  Startups looking for angel investors or venture capital (VC) absolutely need an exit strategy because investors require it. The exit is what gives them a return. Exit strategies related to startup funding are quite often misunderstood: The “exit” in exit strategy is for the money, not the startup founders or small business owners. The... Read more »

planning
Shoestring Marketing Budget? Get Your Customers to Do It For You

Shoestring Marketing Budget? Get Your Customers to Do It For You

by Sarika Periwal

To survive as a business you need sales, and to generate sales you need marketing. It is for this reason that most businesses set aside a sizable chunk of money for advertising, but wouldn’t it be grand if you could generate sales by getting your existing customers to do your marketing for you? If you... Read more »

planning
omni-channel retailing

What Is the Future of Retail?

by Candice Landau

If you own a brick-and-mortar business, or are thinking of setting one up, you’ve likely seen plenty of reports that imply the future of shopping is online and that it is also “mobile.” You’re right to be concerned about what this means for your business, but perhaps not in the way you may think. Firstly,... Read more »

planning
Orange is the New Black Season 2 Cast Photo

How to Run a Business in Prison (Orange is the New Black, Season 2)—Minor Spoilers

by Jonathan Michael

The Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black, takes a gritty, poignant, and hilarious look at life inside a women’s federal prison. The show premiered in 2013 to critical acclaim, and in June 2014 Netflix released all 13 episodes of its second season. The show recently won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy... Read more »

managing
Killer home page

How to Engage Customers with a Killer Homepage

by J.R. Garrett

These days, just having a website won’t cut it. You need a sticky website—one that engages visitors, persuading them to stay on your site and explore your brand further. That simply won’t happen without a killer homepage. Think about it: Your homepage is where visitors decide if you’re worth their time—and you’ve got about six... Read more »

planning
How to Calculate Your TAM (Total Addressable Market)

How Big is Your Potential Market, Really?

by Caroline Cummings

Whether you’re a startup or an up-and-running business, you should know what your total potential market opportunity is for your products or services. I’ve coached many companies over the years, as well as judged several business plan competitions, and I’m always surprised by how most business owners can’t confidently tell you their total market potential.... Read more »

starting

What I Wish I’d Known Before I Started My Business

by Lisa Furgison

If you’re about to start a business, you’ve probably read several how-to books looking for advice on how to be successful. While researching is a great first step, there are some lessons that you won’t find in a book. You need to hear from business owners who have been in your position, who started a... Read more »

planning

The Importance of Setting Goals in Business

by Arlene Soto

Why is it important to set business goals? Goals are powerful—they can focus attention on achieving desirable outcomes. In business, one desirable outcome would be profitability. Profitability does not happen without making sales, plus correctly managing expenses. Employees prefer to know what management expects them to accomplish, and goals provide that direction. The human brain... Read more »

planning
8 Quotes That Will Motivate You to Make a Plan and Stick to It

8 Quotes to Motivate You to Make a Plan and Stick to It

by Jonathan Michael

Forget about a “case of the Mondays.” Most weeks, it’s Wednesday when you start to wonder why you’re doing what you do. To get you through hump day with a little more pep in your step, we’ve gathered eight inspirational quotes from some of history’s greatest minds. Maybe they’ll inspire you to stick with what... Read more »

planning
Museum of Modern Art Non Profit Business

How to Write a Nonprofit Business Plan

by Angelique O'Rourke

Starting and running a nonprofit is an exhilarating experience, but it also requires thoughtful planning and execution to be successful. Nonprofit organizations share many overlapping needs with traditional for-profit ventures, including the need for a good business plan. At some point in the process of starting or managing your nonprofit, you will probably realize that... Read more »