starting
30 Reasons to Start a Business.001

Need a Good Reason to Start a Business? Here are 30.

by Jonathan Michael

Are you toying with an idea for a business? A lot of people think about starting a business, but for whatever reason the idea never becomes a reality. If you’re an entrepreneur who is on the fence about starting a business, we have the encouragement you need to take the first step. We asked 30... Read more »

managing
shutterstock_184634228

Will Having a Positive Attitude Really Help Me Be More Successful in Business?

by Arlene Soto

Many scholars and researchers have studied the benefits of having a positive attitude. Athletes focus on winning as well as skill development. Optimism leads to more creative thinking and the energy to accomplish goals. A positive attitude reduces stress and leads to better health according to the Mayo Clinic. Operating a business successfully requires energy, health and creativity as well as many other skills and resources so a positive attitude is an asset that can benefit any business. Read more »

starting
Noah Parsons

Ask Me Anything! (Well, Almost Anything)

by Noah Parsons

Hi. I’m Noah and I’m COO here at Palo Alto Software. In case you didn’t know, Palo Alto Software is the great company behind Bplans. Our goal has always been to help entrepreneurs succeed in business. In addition to making business planning software, we also try and help by providing all of the articles and advice... Read more »

managing
2014 Top Articles

Our 10 Most-Read Articles of 2014

by Jonathan Michael

  2014 is on its way out. I don’t know about you, but as the year comes to a close, I love looking back to consider how the year unfolded. Did everything go as planned? What things were unexpected–good or bad? What did I learn from my experiences? Finally, what can I take with me to help... 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 »

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
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 »

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
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

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
the art of leadership

The Art of Leadership: 11 Quotes on Leading Well

by Jonathan Michael

Are great leaders born to lead, or have they learned what it takes to be great? Included below are 11 quotes from some of history’s greatest known thinkers and leaders on what it takes to lead well. Featuring quotes from Abraham Lincoln, Homer, Vince Lombardi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr. and more. Do you have... Read more »

planning
Why Businesses Fail

What is the Biggest Cause of Business Failure?

by Arlene Soto

There are many reasons businesses fail: lack of money, changes in the economy, ineffective management, employee turnover, theft, illness, or death of the owner are just a few. According to SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), the main reason businesses fail is ineffective management, whether it be poor planning or not understanding all that is required... Read more »

managing
10 apps for administrative tasks

10 Apps to Save Time on Administrative Tasks

by Lisa Furgison

In a business, administrative chores can stack up. It might only take 20 minutes to send an email, or five minutes to answer your business cell, but all of these little tasks can take up a significant amount of time. Before you know it, your day is nearly over and you haven’t done half of the... 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
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 »