starting
businessvalidation

How Do You Know If You Have a Good Idea for a Business?

by Noah Parsons

How do you know if you have a good idea for a business? One of my biggest challenges at Palo Alto Software is figuring out which ideas to pursue and which ideas to put on the back burner. I have the luxury of working with a bunch of really smart people, so new ideas for... Read more »

funding
Bank Loan Hurdles

3 Hurdles to Getting a Bank Loan and How to Overcome Them

by Marc Prosser

The percentage of total bank business loans that go to small businesses is in a steady decline, from over 50% in 1995, to under 30% in 2012. While it is harder than ever for small businesses to get a bank loan, it’s not impossible. Here are three of the primary hurdles you will encounter when... Read more »

managing
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Inspired Ideas to Boost Employee Productivity During the Holidays

by Kayla Matthews

Wintertime brings with it a bevy of holidays, and that means one thing for business owners: your workers are going to be distracted. Whether it’s planning a New Year’s Eve soiree or buying gifts for family members, employees may experience productivity dips when the holiday season is in full swing. Although it may be tempting... Read more »

planning
waitinginline

10 Entertaining Things to Check out While You’re Waiting in Line Today

by Angelique O'Rourke

Good morning and Happy Black Friday! Another year, another Thanksgiving, followed by today – Black Friday – a major holiday shopping event in the United States (and outside of it), with most retailers featuring big discounts, crazy opening hours, and special offers through out the holiday weekend. Last year, Thanksgiving weekend saw 54.7 billion in retail sales... Read more »

managing
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Our Favorite Black Friday Deals for Your Small Business

by Noah Parsons

We all know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are great days to pick up deals and get your holiday shopping done. But, what about your small business? It needs a few holiday gifts to get it ready for the New Year. Here are 10 of our favorite deals that will help boost your business... Read more »

planning
nonprofit

Want to Run a Nonprofit? Start Here.

by Matt Kaufman

Starting a nonprofit means you want to make a difference. You’re not starting your NPO to hawk silly mobile apps or book infomercial time, you’re trying to make the world a better place. And that’s great! But, since a nonprofit is meant to serve the public good, the government takes regulation of nonprofits a lot... Read more »

managing
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16 PR Strategies Every Small Business Should Stop Using Right Now

by Scott Gerber

PR can do wonders for your startup or small business, but not all strategies have proven to be effective. Below, 16 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) share the one PR strategy they think all startups and small businesses should stop using, and why. 1. Over-the-Top Self-Promotion Press releases are a tool for getting your company’s name out... Read more »

starting
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Books to Empower Women (That Men Should Read Too)

by Candice Landau

In celebration of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we’re giving away 3 copies of ‘Fail Better: Design Smart Mistakes and Succeed Sooner’ by Anjali Sastry and Kara Penn. If you’d like to enter the competition, skip to the end of the post. Not too long ago I compiled a list of 10 business books that every savvy... Read more »

starting
WomenEntrepreneurs_featured

She Does: 21 Quotes on Why Women Should Embrace the Challenge and Thrive as Entrepreneurs

by Jonathan Michael

To celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, we’ve collected 21 quotes from women about the challenges and fulfillment they’ve found in entrepreneurship. Featuring iconic business women and trailblazers like Oprah Winfrey, Coco Chanel, and Arianna Huffington, to small business owners who are etching out a path of their own and reaping the rewards. Do you have a quote... Read more »

managing
The United Nations Headquarters, pictured here, will hold the Women's Entrepreneurship Day Conference.

Here’s to You, Women in Business

by Angelique O'Rourke

If you’re an active part of your city or town’s community, you may have noticed a sudden spike in the number of activities and events relating to business and entrepreneurship. That’s because we’re now in the midst of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW); a week wholly dedicated to inspiring people to unleash their ideas and take the... Read more »

managing
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Affordable Ways to Create Creative Workspaces

by Lisa Furgison

If the free flow of ideas is important to business operations, regardless of whether you’re a sole-trader or a business with 20 employees, you’re going to want to build an environment that breeds creativity. You’ve probably already heard about Google’s crazily creative office setups, each one different from the last—an indoor slide, chalets inside the office,... Read more »

managing
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Goal Setting That Leads to Greatness

by Stirling Cox

Steve Jobs was famous for his high standards. In fact, those impossible targets he set for his team made Apple the innovative powerhouse it is today. According to one employee, when engineers completed the prototype of the very first iPod, they presented their work to Jobs for his approval. Jobs scrutinized the device and immediately... Read more »

managing
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10 Ways to Develop Your Leadership Team

by Scott Gerber

Leadership development is an employee perk many don’t outright recognize, or greatly appreciate. We asked 10 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to explain how they provide their executive team with coaching to help them grow personally and professionally. 1. Split the Cost of a Business Coach The wonderful thing about coaching is that it improves... Read more »

planning
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Planning for the Future: Your Exit Strategy

by Candice Landau

Have you ever dreamed of building a company so successful that after only a few years you were able to sell it to a bigger company? Then, you could take your earnings and relax, travel, work on passion projects, or get right back into the swing of things with a completely new venture. What you’re dreaming... Read more »

planning
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Are You Ready for Equity Based Crowdfunding?

by Kali Banks

Are you an emerging entrepreneur with an underfunded venture? Could your business flourish with a gush of money and hype? Then, the unveiling of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed equity crowdfunding rules reveals a panacea for growing your business’s coffers. The SEC’s proposed rules (mandated by the JOBS Act of 2012) amend the Securities... Read more »

managing
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Free Webinar: PR Tips for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs

by Jonathan Michael

Do you want to build your visibility? Grow your brand? Get your “unfair share” of attention? And are you at a loss at how to do so? Any size business can benefit from public relations, and PR expert Jennefer Witter is here to provide you with nuts-and-bolts tactics that PR pros use. The best part?... Read more »

starting
14-1106-College-Grads

The Millennial Entrepreneur: Idealistic or Realistic? [With Infographic]

by Jonathan Michael

Earlier this spring, studies in both the U.S. and the UK have reported declines in entrepreneurship: more startups failing, fewer getting off the ground, and low growth expectations for those currently open. After all this time, is it possible that entrepreneurs are now an endangered species? I hope you can sense the sarcasm in my... Read more »

funding
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How Much Money Should I Invest in My Business?

by Lisa Furgison

One of the daunting questions that every entrepreneur faces when opening a business is: How much capital should I invest? Realistically, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all number that applies to every business. It can be tricky to figure this number out, but it’s vital to your business’s success. You’ll need that number to create a business... Read more »

managing
bankruptcy

If Your Business Is Hurting, Should You File for Bankruptcy?

by Lew Koflowitz

If your business has been experiencing financial difficulty for some time, is filing for bankruptcy the appropriate step? And if so, what bankruptcy options do you have? If the real problem is anticipating when cash will next be available, you may want to review our guides on cash flow: How and Why to Manage Cash... Read more »

planning
killgrowth

6 Things That Can Kill Business Growth

by Lisa Furgison

Whether you’re kicking around a business idea or working through your first year, it’s never too early to start thinking about growth. After all, the goal of every entrepreneur is to grow a profitable business. To make sure your business is slated for growth, start out with a detailed business plan. This document will serve... Read more »