starting
starting a SaaS business software as a service business

SaaS 101: Starting a Software as a Service Business

by Brian Mackley

Considering launching your own app-based startup? Here are the basics to know before you begin. Read this first if you’re thinking about starting a SaaS or software as a service business. Read more »

planning
IT support provider

How to Find an IT Provider for Your Small Business

by Jon Schram

Hiring an IT support provider often gives you an entire team of experts for less than it would cost to keep a single full-time IT employee on staff. Here's how to find an IT provider for your small business. Read more »

funding
SBA loan rejected

5 Reasons You Might Not Qualify for an SBA Loan

by Marc Prosser

Seeking an SBA loan? Unfortunately, many businesses that want SBA loans get turned away by banks. Here are the 5 main reasons that SBA loan applicants get rejected, and what your alternatives are. Read more »

funding
asking friends and family for money

How to Ask Family and Friends to Fund Your Business

by Lisa Furgison

Considering asking your friends and family to help fund a business? Many small businesses and startups turn to family and friends for funding. To do so successfully (and without damaging the relationship in the process), you'll want to follow these tips. Read more »

starting
how to start a digital marketing agency

How to Start a Digital Marketing Agency Without Outside Funding

by Aaron Agius

It’s easier to start a digital marketing agency without funding than people might think. Here's how one entrepreneur did it—from bootstrapping, to useful tools, to how (and when) to hire employees. Read more »

planning
SWOT analysis

Why SWOT Analysis Belongs in Your Business Plan

by Tim Berry

Why add SWOT analysis into your business plan and the strategic planning process? The SWOT phase was vital to the planning process for Palo Alto Software, and helped the company grow from zero to over $5 million in annual sales. Here's how SWOT analysis helped PAS scale, and how to add SWOT analysis to your planning process. Read more »

managing
business valuation

Valuation: Is Your Small Business as Priceless as You Think?

by Jim Moran

After spending years building your small business, it can be hard to put a price on it. Your company probably seems priceless to you, but there inevitably will come a time when you must calculate precisely how much your business is worth. Here's how to do it. Read more »

planning
exit strategy small business

Planning Your Exit Strategy for Your Small Business or Startup

by Candice Landau

Start planning your business’s exit strategy now, whether you want to be acquired, go public with an IPO, or sell to your employees. Read more »

managing
facebook customer data

If Facebook Disappeared Tomorrow, Would You Lose All Your Customer Data?

by Tyler King

Most social platforms are optimized for engagement only within that platform. The problem? Social media success doesn't always translate into real value for your company. Here's how to use social media as part of your marketing strategy—without losing control of your customer data and wasting time and resources. Read more »

planning
restaurant business plan mistakes

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Writing Your Restaurant Business Plan

by AJ Beltis

If it's your first time writing a formal restaurant business plan, it's easy to make mistakes. In the competitive restaurant industry, however, it's good to be as prepared as possible—so here are the pitfalls to avoid. Read more »

managing
tax tips for new tax cuts and jobs act

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Will Affect Your Small Business

by Eric Tyson

Now that tax season is just around the corner, you’re probably wondering (or outright worrying!) about how the recent Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which took effect in 2018, will affect your tax picture this year and beyond. Here's how your business could be impacted. Read more »

managing
nontraditional payment processing trends

5 Mobile Payment Processing Trends: Increase Your Sales and Keep Customers

by Jasmine Glasheen

While mobile payment trends are generally great for customer convenience, there are also some potential wins as far as customer retention and even reduced costs for small businesses and startups. Let’s take a look at five payment trends that you can use to boost sales and encourage repeat business. Read more »

managing
wifi restaurant customer loyalty

How WiFi Marketing Can Help Restaurants Boost Customer Loyalty

by Allen Graves

In today’s ultra-competitive marketplace, restaurants have the challenging and sometimes unenviable task of making their brand stand out from all the others. Here's how to use WiFi marketing to collect customer data and build real loyalty. Read more »

planning
how to do a restaurant sales forecast

How to Build a Restaurant Sales Forecast

by Tim Berry

There is no single right way to do a restaurant sales forecast. The best sales forecast method will vary according to how you manage information, how much past data you have access to, and what special factors drive your business. We'll walk you through an example restaurant sales forecast to help you build your own. Read more »

managing
customer journey

How to Test and Optimize Your New Business’s Customer Journey

by Oren Greenberg

In order to optimize the customer journey, you must start by looking at every interaction your company has with your customers from start to finish. Here's how gathering user data can help you do just that, to create the best possible experience for your customers. Read more »

funding
what startups can learn from angel investors

5 Things Startups Can Learn From Angel Investors

by Tim Berry

Angel investors can teach you a lot about what it takes to start a successful business. Whether you're seeking angel investment or just looking to grow a better, stronger business, they're people worth listening to—and here's their best advice for startups. Read more »

funding

The 7 Key Components of a Perfect Elevator Pitch [With Video]

by Noah Parsons

A solid elevator pitch is an essential tool for achieving your goals—and it needs to cover these 7 things. If you're pitching investors or building a pitch deck, here's how to make sure you've covered the essentials. Read more »

managing
intellectual property and contracts

How to Protect IP When Outsourcing Software Development

by Carly Klein

When starting a business, a lot of founders are turning to international outsourcing. While this may be an innovative solution to your immediate need for tech talent, the question of how to protect your intellectual property when outsourcing software development has probably crossed your mind. Read more »

managing
year round tax tips

Last-Minute (and Year-Round) Tax Tips for Small Businesses

by Steven Cohen

If you haven’t already filed your taxes, now is the time to get your information together to ensure that they’re filed on time and avoid costly penalties and unnecessary stress. It’s also the perfect opportunity to start organizing your taxes for the next filing season. Read more »

funding
why i hated your business pitch

10 Things I Hated About Your Business Pitch

by Tim Berry

Business planning expert Tim Berry has over 20 years of hearing business pitches as a judge of business plan competitions and as an angel investor. Here are the things he hates to see in a business pitch, so you can avoid making these key mistakes. Read more »