managing
shutterstock_83327209

How to Handle and Avoid Negative Publicity

by Candice Landau

We’ve all heard of at least one social media disaster story—whether that’s the NRA posting a pro-gun tweet right after the shooting in Aurora, Colorado, or Gap’s somewhat insensitive tweet encouraging those caught up in Hurricane Sandy to do some online shopping—and the reality is, these social media disasters happen. Sometimes they’re honest mistakes, other... Read more »

managing
shutterstock_184189163

How to Do Your Own PR If You Can’t Afford to Hire an Agency

by Candice Landau

Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or veteran SMB owner, chances are you’re aiming to better publicize your message to a given target audience. Whether it’s customers, prospects, or partners, there is a target group you want to engage. But maybe you’re not ready to hire an expensive creative agency—maybe it’s not in your budget or... Read more »

managing
BOOK GIVEAWAY

20 Networking Tips from a PR Expert

by Jennefer Witter

Below is an adapted excerpt from “The Little Book of Big PR: 100+ Quick Tips to Get Your Small Business Noticed” by Jennefer Witter. It was published in October 2014 and is available for purchase online and in paperback.   I have a secret. I didn’t start actively networking until I started my business in 2003.... Read more »

planning
shutterstock_195933245

Midterm Election Issues Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Should Keep an Eye on

by Candice Landau

While the 2016 presidential elections will define some of the key areas in which small businesses will see the biggest impact, today’s midterm elections go part way to setting the stage for compromise. You’ll want to keep your eye on the outcome as it may have an impact on the business decisions you make in... Read more »

planning
holiday

How to Keep Your Team Productive Around the Holidays

by Kayla Matthews

As Halloween comes to a close and attention turns to Thanksgiving and the winter holidays, you’ll probably notice a perceptible dip in employee productivity. With Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s celebrations—and expectations—your team members are pulled in many different directions. Unfortunately, work productivity tends to suffer during this period. Although it’s impossible to... Read more »

funding
shutterstock_172828151

How to Fine-tune Your Small Business Finances—from Funding to Growth [Free Webinar]

by Sabrina Parsons

Obtaining funding continues to be the biggest barrier to starting a business, while ineffectively managing cash flow is what causes most small business owners to close their doors. If you’re an entrepreneur, then you’re familiar with the need to obtain funding to start your business. As a small business owner, perhaps what’s keeping you from growing... Read more »

managing
media

15 Easy Tips to Help Small Businesses Build Strong Media Relationships

by Elizabeth Victor

Small businesses don’t always have a dedicated PR department, or even a dedicated person to handle media relations and press. Therefore, it is not always as easy for small businesses to build media relationships because a small business owner must wear so many different hats. That doesn’t make connecting with media professionals any less important.... Read more »

starting
shutterstock_221125612

Yes, You Can Operate a Scarily Successful Halloween Business

by Lisa Furgison

The Fallenstein family started making and renting a dozen Halloween costumes from their Minnesota garage, and the small business sparked a lot of interest in the little town of Mankato. Years later, the founders decided to take the business online and sell costumes. In just a decade, the seasonal business went from a few employees... Read more »

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 »

planning
The General Small Business Loan - 7(a) - Image by Ben Patterson for Bplans

The Complete Guide to SBA Loans

by Candice Landau

What is an SBA loan? The U.S. Small Business Administration was created in 1953 to help Americans start, build, and grow their businesses. As an independent agency of the government, the SBA partners with both public and private organizations to deliver its services, including loans. An SBA Loan is not a direct loan from the... 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 »

planning
lawsuit

5 Common Workplace Lawsuits and How to Avoid Them

by Steven Cook

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be general information only. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Please consult with an attorney before making any legal decisions. Many employers assume that because they are “good” to their employees, they aren’t breaking any employment laws. Although this is sometimes the case, employers are often surprised to... 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 »

starting
homeoffice

Your Guide to Launching a Home-Based Business

by Lisa Furgison

Thinking about starting a business from your home? Plenty of well-known businesses have started with simple home-based roots. For example, in 1994 Jeff Bezos founded Amazon from his garage in Washington, and Harley-Davidson started out of a home—and a shed—in Wisconsin. In fact, statistics show that 69 percent of U.S. entrepreneurs start their business at home.... Read more »

planning
Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 3.19.27 PM

Do This One Thing Before You Write Your Business Plan

by Noah Parsons

So, you’ve been asked to write a business plan. It’s likely that your mind is filling with images of long documents, bad memories of writing term papers, and worries about doing market research and creating financial forecasts. Take a deep breath. It doesn’t have to be that way. Today, I’m going to walk you through... Read more »

starting
shutterstock_147190337

10 Business Books Every Savvy Entrepreneur Should Read [+ GIVEAWAY]

by Candice Landau

Below we’ve compiled a list of books that you’ll find particularly helpful if you’re starting a business. That said, even if you’re already in business or not planning to get into business anytime soon, these are all excellent reads that will teach you how to do things better, faster, and more efficiently, and they’ve all... Read more »