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 »

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
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
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
Creativity In book Civer

The Pixar-inspired Guide to Managing a Creative Company

by Candice Landau

Unless otherwise stated, all quotations can be attributed to Ed Catmull.  Creativity needs to be protected. This is never more true than in the workplace, in which a creative culture is something precious and in danger of being stamped out if not nurtured. In his book, “Creativity, Inc.,” Ed Catmull shares his experience as a manager of... Read more »

starting
story of microaid

MicroAid: Helping Entrepreneurs Rise Out of Poverty

by Angelique O'Rourke

For those living in extreme poverty in developing nations, even the most entrepreneurial people face challenges. While in recent years, the rise of microloans and microcredit programs have certainly done some good, there are new ideas cropping up about ways to create sustainable change using education, business planning skills, and technology. To learn more, we... Read more »

planning
Easy ways to lower your monthly budget

4 Easy Ways to Lower Your Monthly Expenses

by Kim Whitley

Whether your business is a brand new venture, or you’ve been up and running for years already, it’s likely that you’re on the lookout to reduce your expenditure as much as possible. A common fear that comes with saving money is the concept of “cutting back,” that a large-scale, dramatic change is necessary in order... Read more »

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 »