managing
Robin Williams died on Monday August 11, 2014.

[Slideshare] What Robin Williams Taught Us About Life

by Jonathan Michael

As we mourn the death of Robin Williams, I wanted to take a look back to remember the life lessons we’ve learned from some of his most notable performances on film. Featuring images and quotes from Hook, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning, Vietnam, Jumanji, Aladdin, Patch Adams, Good Will Hunting, Bicentennial Man, and... Read more »

planning
what is an income statement

What is an Income Statement?

by Angelique O'Rourke

Learn what an income statement is including a line by line explanation of it's components, and view income statement examples. Read more »

funding
3791487536_071b8229e8_b

Got ‘Founder Fit’? If You Want Venture Capital, You Need It

by Candice Landau

A few weeks ago I spoke with Boris Wertz, founder of JustBooks, COO of AbeBooks and founding-partner of Version One Ventures. In as much as a scheduled interview with an angel investor can be, talking with Boris about what it takes to spark the interest of a venture capital firm was a coincidence. I’d reached out... Read more »

managing
positive workplace environment

Creating a Positive Work Environment

by Scott Huntington

When it comes to managing your employees, one of the most important things you can do for them involves setting the right tone at work.  We’ve all heard some of the horror stories about terrible jobs or bad managers, and the one thing each of these stories has in common was the negative workplace environment.... Read more »

managing
manufacturing

How to Find an Overseas Manufacturer: A Primer on Global Sourcing

by Laurel Delaney

You have a great new product that you want to take global. Now, you need to find someone to manufacture that product. Do you know where to find a manufacturer overseas? I do. Contract manufacturing is when a company arranges to have a local or overseas manufacturer make all or part of the product. Typically,... Read more »

starting
What Is the Right Age to Start a Business

[Slideshare] What is the Right Age to Start a Business?

by Jonathan Michael

It seems like today’s hottest startups and small businesses are being led by 20-something wunderkinds. So, if you’re over 30, does it mean that it’s too late to start your own business? We asked our Bplans.com executive team, as well as friends on LinkedIn, and they had some interesting answers. “What is the right age... Read more »

planning
If I gave you a $100,000 marketing budget what would you do?

If I Gave You a $100,000 Marketing Budget, What Would You Do With It?

by Cidnee Stephen

Let’s face it: developing a marketing budget for a small business is usually not a very big priority. Typically, we just don’t have enough money to warrant having a formal marketing budget. Sometimes we just ignore doing one because it’s depressing. After all, if you don’t have any money to put towards a marketing budget,... Read more »

managing
A few of the goodies Crane gives out to interested people.

Does Your Business Have Swag?

by Lisa Furgison

Promotional gear, goodies, swag—whatever you call it, items with your company name and logo are a great marketing tool. They provide a way to connect with customers, improve brand awareness, and help drive your sales up. Crane, a home appliance and wellness company, uses promotional gear to promote their brand and products at various events and trade... Read more »

starting
Fail Hard 15 Quotes on Failing to Succeed

Fail Hard: 15 Quotes on Failing to Succeed

by Jonathan Michael

Is it OK to fail? Most people believe that failure is something to be embarrassed about, or to sweep under the rug. But is there something about owning our failures that gives us the keys to succeed? Included below are 15 quotes from some of history’s greatest known thinkers and leaders on why failure doesn’t have to... 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 »

funding
Asset-Based Lending vs. Traditional Lending: Which is Right for You?

Asset-Based Lending vs. Traditional Bank Lending: Which is Right for You?

by Lew Koflowitz

Companies seeking financing to maintain and grow their business will often look first to traditional unsecured bank loans, since that is usually the least costly form of borrowing available. However, many small businesses are either:  Growing rapidly,  Do not have a lengthy track record; or  Do not have a sufficiently high credit rating As a result,... Read more »

starting
social enterprise

What Is a Social Enterprise?

by Angelique O'Rourke

A social enterprise is defined by its mission, specifically that it makes a positive contribution to a social cause. Because of this, the structure of a social enterprise can vary. Nonprofits are certainly social enterprises, but many for-profit companies fall into this category by making the conscious decision to have their focus be an altruistic... Read more »

funding
5 Things You Should Do with a Business Loan

5 Things You Should Do With A Business Loan [Free Webinar]

by Jonathan Michael

Thinking about getting a loan? Trying to grow your business but you’re unsure of where to start? Join us on Thursday, August 14 at 1pm ET/10am PT for “Five Things You Should Do With a Business Loan”—a free webinar that will help you understand how to get the most out of every dollar you get... Read more »

planning
Should you join an industry association?

Finding an Industry Association for Your Small Business

by Arlene Soto

Industry associations, also known as trade groups or business associations, are organizations founded and usually funded by businesses in that specific business or industry. Thousands of industry trade groups are in existence worldwide, and every industry has at least one trade group. Industry associations often provide access to certification, education, information, trends, political lobbying, group... Read more »

starting
day of the dead

How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

by Candice Landau

If what you do outside "work" is your true love, then why not consider making it your career too? After all, you do want to love what you do, especially if you’re going to spend most of your life doing it. Here's the complete guide. Read more »

managing
YELP

How Your Business Can Master Yelp

by Lisa Furgison

In the past decade, businesses have had to jump on the digital train to stay on top of new trends, capitalize on new markets, and expand reach. From social media channels to review sites like Yelp, there’s a lot for entrepreneurs to monitor in the instant feedback, smartphone-crazed world we live in. Yelp, for instance,... Read more »

funding
Factoring Contracts

Need Immediate Cash? Consider a Factoring Contract

by Lew Koflowitz

Factoring your receivables enables you to obtain immediate cash to operate your business, without waiting 30 to 90 days, or even longer, for your customers and other creditors to pay down their invoices. But when entering into a factoring arrangement, as with any contractual relationship, it is important to understand the issues and requirements contained... Read more »

planning

How and Why to Manage Cash Flow

by Tim Berry

No matter how profitable your company looks, it can still be in danger of going under without sufficient cash flow. Cash is your business’s lifeblood, its survival. Yet the world is full of “profitable” companies bleeding themselves dry and slowly—or sometimes not so slowly—going under because they haven’t paid due attention to cash flow. How... 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 »

planning
tvs 5 most famous bars

TV’s 5 Most Famous Bars [Small Biz Pop Culture]

by Jonathan Michael

I recently posted a question to the Small Business subreddit asking, “What are some of TV’s most famous small businesses?” The group offered up some great ones, like the junkyard from Sanford and Sons, Dunder Mifflin Paper Co. from The Office, or Central Perk from Friends. The conversation inspired me to start putting together some... Read more »